New X-Men: Academy X – Yearbook Special

Issue Date: 
December 2005
Story Title: 

Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (writers), Georges Jeanty (penciller), Don Hillsman (inker), Tom Chu (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Aaron Lopresti (Cover artist) Sean Ryan (asst. editor), Nick Lowe (assoc. editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

It’s the end of the school year and perhaps the end of the New Mutants! Recent events have left the members of the New Mutants squad at odds with one another and several members have requested to be assigned to a new squad next year. Wind Dancer is determined to smooth things out and orchestrates a campfire outing to try and help her teammates make amends. But before they can resolve their issues, the team must air their frustrations and this nearly tears them apart. But they manage to clear the air and after several well-deserved apologies and a tentative step towards romance for Surge and Prodigy, the New Mutants are whole once again. Their efforts inspire their advisor, Danielle Moonstar to seek out her own best friend, Rahne Sinclair and work out their recent differences as well.

Full Summary: 

It’s the end of the semester at the Xavier Institute and the students are preparing to leave for the summer break. As the term draws to a close, the New Mutants squad has reached a breaking point due to the growing tensions between various members of the squad. Prodigy and Elixir are fighting on the lawn as Sofia talks briefly with Julian Keller about her concerns about her team. Julian tells Sofia that he has faith in her ability to work it out with her squad since he knows she never gives up and always sees the best in everyone, even him. The two share a brief first kiss before Julian rushes off to meet his squad.

Sofia goes to visit the squad’s advisor, Dani Moonstar to discuss the situation with the team further. Sofia admits that she’s not sure what to do about the group’s difficulties. Dani lets her know that she must do something since several of her teammates have requested transfers off the squad. Sofia meets up with Icarus and Surge at the Grind Stone where Noriko is venting her frustrations with David’s recent treatment of her. Icarus tries to help Nori understand what David is going through and Sofia throws in that all the best romances start with heated arguments. Jay can’t help but agree but Nori is far from convinced. Sofia tells Nori and Jay that as soon as Noriko is off work they’re all going to have a campfire!

At the campfire, Sofia explains that Dani gave them permission to do a sleepover by the lake in the hopes that the squad could work through their recent troubles. As the kids begin their outing, Dani, Karma and Magma watch from afar. Dani shares her concerns about the squad with her friends and former teammates who offer her appropriate words of reassurance. Dani admits that it’s been a challenge, one that Amara is about to take on as the advisor of the Paragons. Karma is especially thankful since she had been doing triple duty advises the Paragons after Wolfsbane’s departure as well as Alpha Squadron following the “death” of Northstar in addition to her duties with the Lower School. Amara shares that she’s happy to help but that she’s also planning a vacation, much to Moonstar’s surprise.

Back at the campfire, Sofia asks David if he’d like to start them off since he is the team’s co-leader. He refuses and the squad sits in awkward silence. Sofia gets a bit angry and lays into them. She tells them that they are a team and friends and nothing is going to get better until they start to talk about it. This leads to each of the team members venting their issues with each other in rapid succession.

Josh says that no one has wanted to talk to him in weeks since his brief relationship with Wolfsbane became public knowledge. Laurie snaps back that Rahne would be happy to. Or maybe even Amara, who he was friendly with at the dance. Josh tells Laurie that it’s obvious she’s mad at him and that everyone on the squad is on her side. Despite this, he tells her that it still wasn’t right for her to use her pheromones to scare him like she did. Laurie says that he deserved it. This prompts a warning from David who reminds her that that’s dangerous territory. Nori chimes in that David is good with warnings since he knows all about the future.

David defends himself by saying she has no idea what he’s been through. She retorts that she might if he’d talk to her instead of ignoring her all the time. Josh throws in that David thinks he has the right to judge everyone and what he thinks is best for them. David jumps all over Josh for telling Noriko about his visions in the first place. Josh then criticizes David for making out with Laurie at the dance right in front of him. David tells Josh that once again, he has no idea what he’s talking about and to back off. Sofia tries to stop the bickering and resorts to using her wind powers to carry their voices away.

Despite their inability to hear each other, the team continues fighting. Josh throws a punch at David who easily dodges his attacks. Josh then falls on his face. Laurie tells Sofia that she needs to talk to them, so Sofia brings their voices back on her winds. Laurie admits to Josh that she manipulated David into kissing her with her pheromones to make Josh jealous. She admits that is was wrong. David says that it still doesn’t change anything since Josh gets no say in who Laurie dates. Josh turns on David and agrees that it changes nothing. He then punches David, knocking his glasses off and sending him tumbling to the ground. Josh tells David that they were supposed to be friends and yet David never even bothered to her his side of things. Seeing things devolve into petty fights, Jay says he’s had enough and leaves. He’s seen how families work and this is just pathetic to him. He commends Sofia for trying but declares that the group is hopeless.

Inside, Dani, Shan and Amara discuss the situation and how things were with their own team of New Mutants. She wonders what will happen to her squad if they can’t forgive each other. Amara points out that Dani herself still hasn’t forgiven Rahne. Dani tries to say that it’s different due to her guardianship of Josh but Shan aggress that Amara has a point. She points out that Dani’s feelings of betrayal are not so different than the feelings, which have caused the rift between her squad members. Dani admits that Rahne is like a sister to her and that she knows she’ll forgive her in time. Amara suggests that perhaps with classes done for the term, now might be a good time for Dani to pay Rahne a visit. Dani considers it.
Josh finds Jay playing his guitar and compliments him on his playing. He asks Icarus how he manages to stay out of all the drama and be friends with everyone. He says he’s been through a lot and these fights don’t seem worth it, so he keeps to himself. Josh tries to say that he stays to himself as well, but Jay says that that’s just because people are mad at him all the time but it’s not in his nature to be a loner. Josh explains how he didn’t fit in because he was a Reaver and how Rahne felt like an outsider too. That’s how they connected. Then it got even deeper when he restored her powers and complicated when he started to have feelings for Laurie too. He confesses to Jay that he was thankful that Rahne ended things because it gave him a chance with Laurie and that things with her were really good. Josh wonders if Jay is even listening as the others arrive to hear his music.

Josh sees Laurie and apologizes for not telling her about him and Rahne. Laurie says she can’t compete with someone like Rahne and Josh explains that he liked her for who she was and that Rahne broke things off because she could see that. He also tells her that he didn’t try to rekindle things with Rahne because he was happy with her. Laurie in turn apologizes for using her pheromones against him. This leads to the two being friends once more…but nothing more for now.

Laurie then apologizes to David for using him the way she did at the dance and admits she was trying to use her powers to be strong because she’s tired of always being the weak one. David tells her that he never thought she was weak to begin with. Sofia uses this wave of apologetic sentiment to prompt David and Josh to air their feelings as well. Josh apologizes for thinking the worst of David and always leaving his messes for David to clean up. David apologizes for not hearing Josh’s side before making a judgment. Josh notes that he didn’t apologize for punching David. David says he owed it to Sofia to try and work things out and commends her for the job she’s done. Jay and Nori are watching and Jay seems surprised that Sofia has managed to fix things. Nori walks away telling Jay that not everything is resolved.

Later that night as the kids are asleep, David wakes Nori up and asks if they can talk. He tells her that he knows she asked to be transferred off the squad and tells her that he did too. He finally starts to open up about his dream and how stupid he’s been acting. He tells her that she’s loud and opinionated and frustrating and he doesn’t know how to deal with her, but he wants to. That’s what his dream showed him. Nori tells him that she thinks he thinks and talks too much. He interrupts and tries to explain that he’s trying to help her understand. She tells him to shut up already and kisses him. As they kiss, the other kids wake up and look and then promptly go back to sleep.

The next morning, the New Mutants return to the school where they are greeted by Dani. She asks how things went and Sofia notes that they went very well. Dani is pleased and says that she should have known since Sofia never gives up. She tells them all how good it is to see them all together again. David says that they’d like to get in a little extra training today and Dani agrees that that’s a great idea. But she tells them they’ll have to do it without her since she’s heading to New York for a few days to visit a friend she’s needed to see.

Characters Involved: 

Elixir, Icarus, Prodigy, Surge, Wallflower, Wind Dancer (all New Mutants)


Karma, Magma, Moonstar (All Xavier Institute staff)

Story Notes: 

The Yearbook Special features a nineteen page story, five pages from the “yearbook” that spotlight the student squads (New Mutants, Hellions, Paragons, Alpha Squadron and Corsairs) and single-page Handbook style entries for the following NEW X-MEN characters: Dust, Elixir, Hellion, Icarus, Karma, Magma, Mercury, Moonstar, Prodigy, Rockslide, Surge, Tag, Wallflower, Wind Dancer and Wither.

The main story takes place after NEW X-MEN #15 but before the events depicted in NEW X-MEN: HELLIONS #1. The entire story is set before the events of the HOUSE OF M crossover.

The yearbook section features never-before-revealed information about several members of the Paragons, Alpha Squadron and Corsairs. This includes codenames, real names and powers. While this information was not revealed in the actual stories, it has been incorporated into the Character Glossary and will be added to the Xavier Institute Yearbook article on this site.

The tensions between the New Mutants squad members stem from recent storylines. Josh’s brief relationship with Rahne Sinclair became public in NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #12. Laurie used her pheromones to frighten him away in that same issue. David had a vision of the squad’s potential future in the TOO MUCH INFORMATION story arc in NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #10-11. Noriko learned that the two had been married in this possible future in NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #14. Laurie used her pheromones to make David kiss her in front of Josh in NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #15.

This story marks the final issue by creators Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis. Together, the team of writers created most of the characters that populated this series. Their complete run includes 13 issues of NEW MUTANTS (2nd Series), 18 issues of NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X, the four-issue HELLIONS Limited Series and this Yearbook Special for a total of 36 issues!

This issue resolved many of the dangling interpersonal plots introduced in the NEW X-MEN series. This helps to clear the slate for the new creative team, which takes over following the HOUSE OF M crossover with NEW X-MEN #20.

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