New X-Men (1st series) #118

Issue Date: 
November 2001
Story Title: 
Germ Free Generation - part 1

Grant Morrison (writer), Ethan Van Sciver (penciler), Prentis Rollins, Hanna, and Florea (inkers), Comicraft (letters), Hi-Fi Design (colors), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The world is talking mutants, including the Xavier Institute and the X-Men. Beast recuperates in the mansion hospital while Cyclops and Jean experience more marital discord. While the X-Men handle protestors and anti-mutant hatred at their front gates, mutants abroad are suffering because of John Sublime and his U-Men’s organ smuggling operation. Through his organization, Sublime implants humans with mutant body parts and, with state-of-the-art surgical procedures; the humans can use those parts as if they themselves were mutants. Sublime gets his supply of organs by illegally capturing mutants and removing body parts. The U-Men abduct a teenage mutant with fly powers, desiring her wings, but Wolverine has other ideas. Cyclops and Emma question Sublime about his activities, but they end up in dire straits, the next possible victims of his devious medical operations.

Full Summary: 

A gun-toting high school student gets in front of his school and proclaims his membership in the U-Man Army. He plans on having x-ray eyes implanted in his skull after killing the mutant they belonged to. According to him, once the U-Men implant the eyes in his skull, he’ll possess x-ray vision just like a real mutant, even though he himself is only human. His plans are cancelled when a police officer shoots and kills him.
In the Xavier Institute, Jean peeks into the heads of newscasters through Cerebra, reading their thoughts and their news broadcasts. Worldwide, mutants are the talk of the town. She discovers a new mutant energy signature in Wyoming and telepathically asks Wolverine to check it out, who’s nearly five-dozen miles away from the signature. Through the mind link, Wolverine agrees to locate the mutant and asks Jean about the Beast. She shows Wolverine the Beast recuperating in the mansion sick bay. Jean leaves Cerebra and Wolverine and, while she eats a bag of chips, looks through a mansion window and sees the anti-mutant protestors at the gates.
Outside, on the other side of the gates, Cyclops and Emma notice the protestors as well and wonder how Professor Xavier could leave right now. Jean comes to join them and Emma tells her that the two of them could telepathically punish the protestors. Jean decides to talk it out instead and opens the gates to meet the angry public. She and Cyclops defend the Xavier Institute to the protestors and the media, but Emma becomes irritated and uses her mental abilities to quell the crowd and push them into leaving, much to Jean’s chagrin.
Cyclops and Jean return to the mansion and visit Beast while he heals in bed. Jean admits that she wanted to do the same thing Emma did, but held back because she believes using her telepathy to influence thoughts is wrong. Jean wonders why anyone would want to hurt Beast so severely, ignorant of Cassandra Nova’s involvement. Unnoticed, the comatose Beast scratches an X into his bedsheet. Cyclops sees on television that John Sublime, head of the U-Men and author of The Third Species, is back in the news. Also, Magneto has become some kind of marketing figure, “a best-selling t-shirt hero to America’s disenfranchised youth.” Cyclops tells Jean that he and Emma can investigate John Sublime if she wants. Jean, worried about her marriage, asks Cyclops if he slept with Emma while they were on a mission in Hong Kong. Cyclops gives her a vague and none too reassuring answer.
Meanwhile, a young mutant girl suffers abuse in a dirty house. The father figure hates her and he may be a child molester. The fact that the girl stinks and has some weird bubbles or puss balls forming on her back doesn’t help matters either. During an argument she runs away into the nearby woods and goes to sleep on a big rock.
The next morning the mutant girl awakens in the woods, emerging from some kind of cocoon with huge fly wings on her back. Her new powers at work no doubt. Unfortunately, she finds herself surrounded by a bunch of heavily armed U-Men. They try to capture her, mentioning stealing her wings, when she attacks with acidic spit and the deafening power of her tremendous flapping wings. She tries to escape, soaring into the air, but her flying is erratic and she collides with power lines. The shock sends her reeling and she falls to the ground, winded. In her vulnerable and weakened state, the U-Men advance, ready to take her.
Cyclops and Emma question John Sublime in his office downtown. They accuse him and his U-Men of being responsible for illegally smuggling mutant organs. Sublime defends his organization and his crusade, preaching celebration of the different. He claims that people victimizing mutants and stealing their body parts have nothing to do with him. If they’re forming rogue U-Men divisions and taking matters into their own hands, they’re doing so without his support. Unbeknownst to the X-Men, Sublime has, hidden behind his desk, some kind of brain stuck with several syringes full of glowing pink fluid. A squadron of U-Men ambush Cyclops and Emma while Sublime uses his brain device to neutralize their powers. While the X-Men are subdued, he reveals that he plans on using the students of the Xavier Institute as an organ farm to service his program’s needs.
Wolverine arrives at the location of the mutant signature Jean told him about. Jean contacts him via Cerebra mind link and informs him that the young mutant is very close, scared and anesthetized. Wolverine tells Jean to sever the mind link so he can do his job with a clear head. He discovers a van parked on the road opens the back doors. Inside, Wolverine sees the fly girl tied to a bed surrounded by U-Men armed with knives and surgical tools. He pops out his claws, ready for action.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Phoenix IV, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
The fly girl
John Sublime

Story Notes: 

First appearance of the fly girl.
Emma Frost and Wolverine have slight costume variations this issue. They both cover up a lot more in the chest area. Maybe it’s the weather.
The Hong Kong mission Jean mentions happened in New X-Men Annual 2001.

Written By: