GeNext #1

Issue Date: 
July 2008
Story Title: 
Where Do We Go From Here?

Chris Claremont (writer), Patrick Scherberger (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer),Jordan d. White & Nathan Cosby (assistant editors), Mark Panniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

GeNext created by Chris Claremont & Patrick Scherberger

Brief Description: 

The latest batch of students are in the X-Men’s Danger Room, undergoing a training session. X-23 targets Becka Munroe, who is always holding back with the use of her powers. Instead of defending herself, Becka clams up and her teammates come to her rescue (though X-23 quickly makes short work of them). Afterwards, Becka tries to come to terms with her failure, afraid of turning into her more feral self and also fearing to be expelled. To cheer her up, her friends take her to a club. There, Becka is recognized as a mutant and insulted. She turns into her feral self and almost hurts the guys, until Oli Raven calms her down. Becka flies away to think things through, then decides to give herself another chance. Oli tells her that her friends will always stand with her.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute’s Danger Room: formerly the home of Charles Xavier and his X-Men, now school to the latest generation of mutants GeNext. Their instructor X-23 talks to them while binding her fist, careful not to let her claws slip out. She addresses Becka Munroe, telling the tall girl that she’s next. She’s been dodging those lessons since she came here. The heads have cut her a lot of slack. X-23 prefers a more direct approach.

X-23 begins attacking Becka with fists and feet, daring her to let loose with her powers. As the girl falls, still not acting, X-23 angrily tells her she is making a greater danger for herself and those around her. She orders her to defend herself with her powers and skills. If anything, Becka’s reaction is fear.

Her teammates can’t stand to watch anymore. Rico and Olivier Raven step between Becka and X-23 and orders their teacher to back of. If anything, X-23 considers this a challenge and the boys realize this might not have been the smartest move.

X-23 quickly focuses on Olivier, commending him for his moves, but he still has a lot to learn. Oli tries to fly out of her reach, but X-23 drags him back and slams him into Rico.

Pavel Rasputin, grandson of the original Colossus, with the same powers, intervenes, trying to surprise X-23 from behind. X-23 topples him and chides him for being too nice.

The team’s last member, an energetic petite blonde going by the handle No-Name, tries to drag Becka up. The boys are fighting and getting slaughtered for her. Why won’t Becka help? Desperate Becka assures her she can’t.

She means she won’t, No-Name replies disgusted. She’s scared too, she remarks, but sometimes you have to make the right choice, even if it hurts. Being here among the X-Men has taught her that. She runs to join the boys.

But suppose the right choice is to do nothing, Becka wonders. What do they do then?

No-Name’s attack is easily anticipated and deflected by X-23, who remarks it is unlike her to take the initiative. She almost throws her into Rico, who evades No-Name and actually manages to hit X-23.

Nice shot, Beast remarks from the observation booth. He’ll only make X-23 mad, his wife Cecilia predicts. With anger come mistakes, Hank points out before gushing what potential this group of students has. Potential for what? Cece wonders. Some of them like Rico and Colossus are third generation. Having grown up in the life they might hunger for something different. Some of these kids have seen and suffered a lot. Maybe they deserve a break from this life? He wishes life was that simple, Henry replies and hugs his wife.

Downstairs, X-23 is making short works of Rico. Suddenly, she realizes he hasn’t been using his power in the fight. A moment later, she realizes she has lost sight of Oli. Rico smirks and, the next moment, an invisible Oli hits her. It isn’t enough and she forces Rico to make Oli visible again. She tells them it was a good play, but next time to make sure that one punch will do the trick and not to wait for a cue. She chews them out when Oli points out it’s only an exercise. If they can’t learn the proper care of themselves here, how do they expect to have a prayer when they run into trouble for real? she shoots back.

The kids are left alone to ponder her words. Well, that was fun. Not, Rico summarizes the situation. Oli admits they should work on tactics. Becka refuses to meet the others’ looks and a concerned Pavel asks her how she feels. Becka assures them she is all right, even as she runs away.

Oli asks No-Name what got into her. He means because it isn’t her style to get involved? she asks. Well, it’s a start, he admits. He feels just peachy, Rico points out, thank you very much. Why is he so angry? No-name inquires. With a smirk he tells her he couldn’t care less about all of this. He just wants to play his guitar, not be a superhero.

Becka sits alone, half-dressed in the locker room, still haunted by the events in the Danger Room. Coming here was a mistake, she tells herself. Her eyes begin to glow golden and she develops fangs. She feels so lost, she thought the X-Men could save her. Noticing the changes in her body, she tells her self to calm down. A knock at the door startles her. It’s Oli, who asks if everything is okay. She tells him that she’s just getting changed and needs some time for herself. She doesn’t sound okay, he presses. Again she assures him she’s okay and repeats her wish to be alone.

Oli notices too clearly that she sounds awful. He’s torn between charging in and respecting her wishes. Inwardly, Becka hopes that Oli will help her. But suppose he sees her as she really is… he sees a monster? Oli is unsure, then decides to comply, hoping she will feel better later. Becka wants to call him back, then catches sight of herself in the mirror, her expression more feral. In agony, she screams. Why can’t she stop changing?

Suddenly, her mobile rings and she turns normal again. Meeting tomorrow with the headmasters. She fears she’s going to be expelled. She recalls her life in the Savage Land and fears they’ll send her home again. She begins to cry about her fears of not getting a proper future. She can’t lose that, she speaks aloud.

Lose what? Rico asks. He apologizes for startling her and suggests they get out and have some fun. He drags her along and suggests they do something about her outfit first.

Later, in a trendy club in Salem Center, Oli and Becka, now changed into a slinky outfit, are dancing up a storm. Rico sulks at the table. This is so not fair. It’s his idea, he does all the work, but his best friend gets the credit.

Pavel and No-Name share a look, then laugh out loud. No-Name explains that tonight isn’t supposed to be about Rico and Pavel adds that perhaps Becka believes Oli will act like a gentleman. He can act like a gentleman. Rico sulks. The others look at him and laugh.

No-Name turns more sober as she tells the boys that Becka’s been summoned to the headmaster’s office the next day. Do they think she’ll be expelled? Rico isn’t impressed. Where is it written they all have to become superheroes, just because they are born with powers? Pavel protests that their powers give them a responsibility. Last he looked, this country still called itself “land of the free,” Rico shoots back. They’re supposed to have the right to make that choice for themselves.

No-Name wonders where Becka could go. Back to the Savage Land? No, Pavel says and looks down. There are too many… memories. No-Name tells him to spill the goods. He can’t drop a bombshell like that and then clam up. Rico leans back bored and orders her to give it a rest. That’s private.

On the dancefloor, Becka remarks that she bets their friends are talking about her. She can hear over all this? Oli asks. She has really great ears, comes the reply. Oli takes her answer serious and she explains she’s using her eyes, not ears. She hears through her eyes? She’s using her brain, idiot, comes the reply. Pavel looks embarrassed, which means he said something he shouldn’t have. No-Name’s pushing him hard with that eager look she gets when she’s uncovering really juicy secrets. And Rico was just hoping for an evening of pleasant mindless fun. She’s very good at this, Oli commends her. For all that’s worth, Becka replies.

Leading her off the dancefloor, Oli assures her they just want to help. As Becka gets the next round of drinks she wonders what to do. She knows her friends just want to help. This place so sucks! Now that they let anybody come here! a big guy suddenly insults her as he comes close to her. Becka tells herself to ignore him, but he stands in her way. His friend grabs her and calls her mutie. Oli intervenes, telling them she’s bringing them drinks. Pavel notices there’s trouble.

The second guy leans closer to Becka, demanding a kiss. He never kissed a girl with glowing golden eyes. Then tonight isn’t his lucky night, Becka replies and shoves him into Oli with a gust of wind. Oli tells her to control herself but too late as Becka not only breaks the bottles but transforms into a strangely beautiful but dangerous, more savage version of herself, including tribal tattoos.

A girl begins to scream in panic. Showing her feral fangs, Becka smiles and asks her attacker if he wants to play? Then they’ll use her rules. She gets ready to attack. That moment, Oli shoves the boy aside and orders her to get herself under control.

Becka lashes out with her wind powers and shouts that they hate them. Some maybe, he points out, not all. And it’s because they make other people scared. With good reason! she snarls and flies away.

As she flies upward into the clouds, she muses that the boy wasn’t interested in her as a person. She was just a monster to him. And how did she react? She proved he was right. Lightning flashes around her, reflecting her inner turmoil as she realizes she could have torn him apart. She still wants to. She feels lost and doesn’t know where she belongs. She orders herself to think. She’s only lost if she runs away. Maybe the time has come to make a choice and face all consequences, good and bad.

She lands outside the pub where Oli is waiting for her. He asks how she feels. She admits to being scared and wanting to run away but it’s time she started growing up and taking responsibility for her life and for the way she chooses to live it.

Oli gives her friendly kiss. Good for her. Her friends will always stand by her. That’s what friends are for. Becka smiles and turns normal again as he promises her she will never be alone. They join the others.

Characters Involved: 

Pavel Rasputin / Colossus III, Becka Munroe, No-Name, Oli Raven, Rico (all GeNext)

Beast, Cecilia Reyes, X-23 (all X-Men)

Becka’s two would-be-attackers

Guests at the club

Story Notes: 

The issue includes early sketches and notes about every character

Olivier Raven (son of Rogue and Gambit):

The early sketches show him as having a glowing eye and a mask that covers the lower half of his face.

The notes state that Olivier never considered becoming a superhero unlike his sister. His powers are derived from his mother Rogue in that he temporarily absorbs the memories and abilities of those he touches, but he can control the ability. He also permanently possesses the power of telepathy which he hates.

Becka Munroe (daughter of Storm and an unknown father):

Early sketches show her with white hair and a facial mask.

She is described as something of a haunted character. She hails from the Savage Land and her birth dates back to a period shortly after Ororo’s capture by Brainchild (in the X-Treme X-men: Savage Land LS). Her basic appearance is human, but her combat appearance reflect more of the Savage land Ororo with golden eyes, pointed ears, fangs, claws, tattoo-like markings. She has inherited Storm’s weather control, when her combat persona emerges the weather mirrors her much more primal personality.

Colossus (son of Peter Rasputin Jr from the Savage Land and an unknown mother):

Pavel Rasputin is the grandson of the original Colossus and the savage Land woman Nereel. A chip of the old block. The most normal of the team.

Rico (parents unknown, though hinted to be connected with the Fantastic Four):

The sketches show him with shorter hair.

A born rebel not interested in superhero life, as brilliant as his father and grandfather, but wants nothing to do with their lives. He wants a normal life, playing his guitar, and therefore keeps his true identity and his ability (to turn invisible) under close wraps. Only Oli knows who he really is.

No-Name (character/identity unknown):

She’s very smart, a natural leader and tends to consider others more expendable.

The issue also reprints “The Soul of a Poet” from X-Men: 1st Class Special.
This limited series is the result of the fans voting which project Chris Claremont should tackle. Originally, this was sold as the next generation of X-Men in a continuity where the X-Men aged normally and within Claremont’s own continuity, meaning for example that Jean Grey had never returned from the dead. However, the project changed and is now part of the X-Men: The End continuity. For example, the character who is now Oli Raven (introduced in X-Men: The End) was originally meant to be Cable and Colossus III was Peter Jr.

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