Generation Hope #9

Issue Date: 
September 2011
Story Title: 

Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (art), Jim Charalampidis (color), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Salva Espin & Jim Charalampidis (cover), Irene Y. Lee (production), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Hope’s team is alerted when another mutant appears in Sheffield, UK. The mutant in question is a student, Zee, playing Truth or Dare with two other students in his dorm when suddenly his nose falls off and his features begin to melt. One of the others, Luke, reacts by recording him and uploading the pictures to the Internet. Already worried about what being a mutant means, Zee commits suicide. Hope’s team is too late to save him and is horrified and furious when they learn about what Luke did. Two weeks later, Zero returns to Sheffield to kill Luke but is confronted by Wolverine. They discuss whether or not Luke deserves to die and Kenji confides that his father killed himself rather than come out as gay. He stops his attempt at murder and Wolverine invites him for a drink.

Full Summary: 

In the Cerebra chamber, Hope and Gabriel thank Phoebe Cuckoo for running shifts with the other telepaths. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have a heads-up on any new Lights. They figured they’d keep her company. They figured it’d be lonely. And there’s nothing else to do, Gabriel adds. Phoebe thanks them, but tells them she isn’t alone. She and her sisters are the Three-In-One. She’s watching Glee through Irma’s eyes, while Celeste calls them names and tries to talk them into turning over to something a little more self-improving.

Hope thanks her and the two of them leave, somewhat weirded out. Gabriel remarks he thinks the Cuckoos make him feel the way Hope’s group makes everyone else feel. So, why are they down here? One of her feelings, Hope admits. She’s tense and it might mean something. But they can’t know. They can only be ready. They have to wait. Gabriel suggests making out while they wait. No, she warns him.

The university of Sheffield, United Kingdom:

In a dorm room, three students, two boys and a girl, are playing “truth or dare.” No way, the girl refuses. So she wants a dare then? one of the boys asks. She’s not going to snort chili powder, she replies. The other boy, Zee, holds his nose and grimaces, assuring her she does not want to snort the chili. The first boy tells her Zee already did, but they have a whole bunch of dares to work through here.

Okay, she tells them and looks away ashamed, as she reveals the truth to the question asked before. Her. On a beach. Middle of nowhere, with someone she barely knows. The two boys laugh at her and the first one, Luke, calls her a bloody liar. It’s true, she insists. What about him?

Okay, he reveals. He wants to have sex with a mutant. “Oh, Luke,” Zee sighs. He means, make love to a mutant. Even worse, the girl chides. He wants to make love with a mutant as a mutant. He’s insane, Zee tells him. The girl isn’t so sure, at least about the first part. That Cyclops guy is kinda cute… Firstly, Zee tells her, that is 300 % freakier than her beach thing. Secondly, Cyclops didn’t get to look like a superhero because he’s a mutant. He gets that look because he goes to the gym and eats properly and all the things they will never do. He heard the mutant part of him killed his family when it activated. If that’s true, he walks around carrying that. Knowing one bad glance can kill anyone he cares about. And Cyclops is one of the lucky ones!

When he was a kid, he had a book. “Portraits of freaks. 500 mutants you must see before they die.” Just page after page of what could happen to you if you get the bad roll of the dice. One day you’re you. Next day you’re sentient saliva. And what you get, that’s it! That’s your life forever! Living as a lump of mucus, being feared and hated and laughed at for the rest of your days. And at the best, the very best, you end up a fetish object to people like Luke. That’s being a mutant!

For a moment, the three are silent. Okay they get it, Luke laughs, breaking the silence. Zee’s turn. What’s his freakiest sexual fantasy? He’ll take the dare, Zee replies.

In Utopia, Cereba activates and Hope’s team gets ready.

In Sheffield, Zee suddenly screams in pain and holds his nose. He’s fine, he assures the others, until he looks into his hand and sees his nose has come off.

Horrified, he gasps. His features seem to melt. Luke takes his picture with his smartphone, announcing he has to get this for posterity. They’ll need it for his entry in that book…

The Blackbird is en route to the UK.

Luke has uploaded the picture to the internet, announcing they won’t believe how many hits they’ve got. Zee has locked himself in the bathroom calling him bastard. Horrified, he looks at himself in the bathroom mirror. He seems to be melting all over.

He gets out again and walks into the kitchen. Luke tells him to stop. He wants to get some update footage. Zee grabs a knife from the kitchen drawer. Man, don’t! Luke shouts, terrified for a moment that he will be attacked. But Zee walks past him and locks himself in the bathroom again.

Aboard the plane, Hope and the Lights suddenly all suffer a wave of pain. Kitty Pryde asks if they are okay. What happened? Hope addresses Laurie, who tells everyone to fasten their seatbelts. With that done, Transonic gets out of the plane and flies ahead at such a speed that her body transforms into an aerodynamic arrowshape as she heads toward Sheffield.

She kicks in the dorm’s window, just asking “where?” Luke points toward the bathroom door. Laurie orders him to get out of the way and kicks in the door. She is too late.

The plane with the others lands. Laurie tries to keep them away. Hope shoves her aside, to see paramedics bring out the covered body. Kitty looks at her computer and shows the others that Zee’s plight was put online under the headline “Sheffield liquid-face boy”. Hope turns to the other students, especially Luke, and shouts abuse at them. Kitty and Gabriel get her to calm herself. They have to be better, Hope decides.

Two weeks later. Night time. Kenji is back in Sheffield. He stares up at the dorm. From his right hand, a small, techno organic spider emerges and climbs up the building to the sleeping Luke’s room. When it has reached him, the drill that is its tail begins to move towards his head.

He doesn’t want to do that, Wolverine warns Kenji. What is he doing here? Kenji demands. He smelt of murderous rage for weeks, comes the reply. He gets a ticket to the UK. Logan put two and two together. No, what is he doing here? Kenji clarifies. He thought Wolverine of all people would understand. He does, Wolverine agrees. That’s why he’s saying, don’t do it.

This world isn’t right, Kenji replies. If he’s to live in it, he needs to do something about it. Without thugs like that, the boy would still be alive. Maybe, Wolverine concedes, but putting a drill through that idiot’s head isn’t going to bring the boy back. Platitudes won’t miraculously resurrect him either! Kenji snarls.

Wolverine replies that if he could click his finger and make the guy not ever have even existed, he’d do it. But that’s not killing. That’s not the same thing at all. Some people deserve to die, Kenji insists.

Wolverine agrees. But him up there? He’s not one of them. He made a stupid mistake. Like the one Kenji is about to make. The kid deserves to live. Because having that hanging around your chest and weighing you down… that’s the heavy thing. He touches Kenji’s shoulder. If he kills him, he carries all that. And more as well. He knows about that too.

This world, Kenji mutters, drawing away. This world… His mother suspected his father was having an affair. Followed him. Turns out she was right. He was seeing a man. His father killed himself rather than have to come out. At first, Kenji wanted to kill him. Later, he wanted to kill everyone else. This world is not right. Why would they live in it?

It gets better, Wolverine assures him. Not for him, Kenji refers to Zee, it doesn’t. He withdraws the killer spider. What now? he asks. Wolverine asks about his age. Nineteen. Well, that works, Wolverine decides. They are in the UK. He doesn’t know about Kenji, but he needs a drink.

Characters Involved: 


Oya, Primal, Transonic, Velocidad, Zero (Five Lights)

Shadowcat, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Phoebe Cuckoo
Zee (seventh Light)

Luke, girl and other students

Story Notes: 

The story was announced as a metaphor on the subject of teenage gay suicide.

The title and Wolverine’s line to Kenji specifically refer to the “It gets better” project created by Dan Savage. More information can be found here:

“Glee” is a high school musical comedy TV show.

The rumor about Cyclops killing his family is not true.

Issue Information: 

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