New X-Men: Academy X #14

Issue Date: 
July 2005
Story Title: 
Dance Hall Days

Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (writers), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Michael Ryan (cover), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

It’s time for the spring dance at Xavier’s. While everyone of the faculty staff prepares things, Dani gives a call to federal agent Justin Pierce. They talk, and Dani invites him to the prom, which he accepts. Meanwhile, all the students are talking about the dance. The New Mutants are still ignoring Josh, which upsets Noriko, who runs away from the team when they start talking about it. Laurie is still angry at Josh and doesn’t want to go to the prom, and plans to skip it. David doesn’t want to hear anything of that, and offers to Laurie that she goes with him, and she accepts. Kevin tries to ask Laurie too, but is too late. Julian also tries to convince Sofia to go to the dance with him, but she ignores his attempts. Jay tries to invite Dust, but she doesn’t feel good about the dance, so she puts the offer down. Later, Noriko talks to Josh, and he informs her about the future David saw in which they were married, and explains that’s why he ignores her. At the dance, Julian is present with the Stepford Cuckoos as his dates, but when he sees Sofia, he ignores them and she agrees to one dance. During the dance, they talk and Julian invites her to spend the summer with him in his house in California, since his parents will be away for the season. Also at the dance, Justin and Dani have a nice talk. Laurie’s mother has also shown up to help chaperone, and wanted to see her daughter again, since they have been fighting of late over her powers and Josh. Shan wants to go find Rahne and convince her to come back, but Dani is still mad at her, and has already made a few calls to help find a new mentor for the Alpha Squadron and the Paragons. Magma has already answered the call, and is present at the dance. However, when Amara goes to talk to Josh about the time when he used his powers to heal her, Laurie suspects that Josh is flirting with her and gets jealous. She uses her powers on David and makes him kiss her. Josh notices and almost starts a fight, but when David realizes what he has done, he runs away. Sofia and Laurie get into an argument about Laurie’s powers, but she doesn’t want to talk about it since she gets enough grief about from her mother. Gail hears, and runs away, too. The next day, the X-Men get an invitation from the Avengers for a meeting. They agree to come, and Cyclops and Emma give Dani the permission to run the prize ceremony day for the winners of the Field Day. Later in the city, the citizens notice the X-Plane soaring over. The Blob notices it too, and realizes that with the X-Men there, there aren’t any at the school. He threatens a chauffeur to stop, and drive him to the Institute.

Full Summary: 

Washington, DC:

Justin Pierce sits at his office. He gets a phone call, and picks it up. It’s Dani. She jokes about wanting to report a complaint on mutant/human relations. Justin recognizes her voice and plays along. Dani explains that a certain agent promised that they’d get to know each other better, despite him “just” being a normal human, and they only had one dinner together. Dani mentions that there’s a dance at the Xavier school at the moment, and she has to chaperone the students, but doesn’t want to do it alone. Justin gets the hint, and asks Dani to just tell him when and where the prom is going to take place, and he’ll be there.

Meanwhile at the cafeteria, Noriko talks to Jeffrey about the dance. He asks her if she’s going, but Nori claims she’s not the dancing type of girl. Jeffrey jokes if nobody has asked her yet. Nori confirms, but doesn’t care, she wouldn’t go if someone asked. Jeffrey takes off, and goes to sit with his squad. Nori tries to make the ghost-boy understand that they’re just kids and not a squad yet, but Jeffrey doesn’t want to hear it. The other New Mutants notice Nori, and call her to their table. Nori passes Josh, who sits alone at a table and looks sad, but doesn’t say anything to him.

Laurie has noticed, and says she thought she finally had a date this year, and was really looking forward to the dance this time, but now she’s so mad at Josh she doesn’t even want to think about the dance. Sofia has an idea, and offers to go to the dance without boys this year. Laurie thanks her best friend, but since she doesn’t want to spoil Sofia’s fun, she thinks she’ll just stay home. David finds that stupid, and reminds Laurie that her pheromone powers are perfectly under control now, and tells her she should go. He even offers that Laurie goes with him.

Noriko doesn’t understand why everyone is so caught up in the dance. Jay asks Nori why she is so bugged by it all, but she claims she’s fine. David begs Laurie to come with him, and she finally agrees, and says she doesn’t need Josh. Noriko gets even madder. She tells everyone that the whole “Josh-is-an-outcast” thing really should stop, and walks away. Nori gets passed by Julian and his squad, who tell her to watch where she’s going, since he is practically royalty around the school. Noriko ignores him and takes off.

Julian starts to speak real loud around the cafeteria, and tells everyone how confident he is that the Hellions will get the Field Day Award. He claims that it’s tradition that the leader of the winning squad gets to pick his date, but Sofia realizes that this is the first year with Field Day activity, so it doesn’t count. And besides, she adds, she prefers her men to be more modest, and walks away. Kevin approaches Laurie, and asks her what her dance plans are. David explains that she wanted to skip it, but he didn’t want her to, so he stepped in. Kevin obviously doesn’t like the idea, but fakes that it makes sense.

Julian runs after Sofia, and apologizes for his loud speech, but tells her he really wants to go with her. Sofia explains that there’s too much going on between them, and with the fact that they are both squad leaders on separate teams that don’t go along too well. Julian agrees, but thinks that doesn’t count when the summer begins, and asks her what she does when classes end. Sofia mentions she doesn’t have any summer plans, since her father won’t welcome her home. She had hoped to spend the summer with Laurie and her mom, but since they have been fighting, she guesses those plans can be put away. She thinks the fight had something to do with Laurie’s father.

New York City, Dr. Sean Garrison’s office.

One of Sean’s patients is in a session with him. He has been feeling aimless, and has heard that Sean sometimes threats people like him. Sean confirms the rumor, and explains that he sometimes his clients include some super heroes, costumed villains and everything in between. But Sean doesn’t want to talk about himself, and asks the patient what’s wrong with him. He explains that he has these friends, who are just like him, and they have this “club.” They got disbanded a while back, but now they are back together, and didn’t ask him to rejoin. The patient claims to be sensitive and that this has hurt his feelings. Sean wants to talk about that. The patient just wants to be useful.

The patient says that his “club,” the Brotherhood of Mutants, have recently attacked the X-Men, a team of mutants who he hates, and the Brotherhood got defeated. The patient, none other than the Blob, can’t help but feel that he could have made a difference. Blob asks Sean if he’s going to tell him the reasons why he shouldn’t be a bad guy anymore. Sean, with a serious look on his face, explains to Blob that there’s one thing he knows for sure: a person has to be true to himself.

Xavier Institute, outside the Danger Room.

Shan tries to explain to both the Alpha and Paragons squad what the meaning of the upcoming session is, but they aren’t much interested, especially when the Paragons just got eliminated from Field Day. A member of the Paragons finds it hard to believe that Rahne left them, and didn’t see the fact coming that she was having an affair with a student. Victor doesn’t see what difference a Field Day now makes, since his former squad mentor, Northstar, is dead.

Shan explains to everyone that Field Day exercises really do matter. She knows how hard this semester has been, and that Jean-Paul died protecting his students. But his squad still needs to train and the school has to keep them safe. For Northstar’s sake. Shan tells the Paragons that she knows they miss Rahne, but promises to find them a new advisor next semester. However, they don’t want anyone new, and just want Rahne back. Shan understands, since she wants the same thing.

Jay enters Noriko’s and Dust’s room. He asks Nori if she’s alright. She says she is, and claims she could care less that David asked Laurie to the dance, and tells Jay that he doesn’t need to check up on her. Jay smirks, and confesses that he didn’t come to talk about David and Laurie, but wanted to ask Dust to the dance. Dust, at her desk, quickly wraps her burka on her head so David doesn’t see it. Noriko understands and leaves the two alone. Jay cuts to the chase and asks Sooraya the question, but she isn’t comfortable with the dance, and doesn’t want to go. She apologizes if she hurt Jay’s feelings. Jay smiles, and promises Sooraya that she didn’t. He already figured that she’d probably say no, but he didn’t see any harm in just asking.

Meanwhile, Noriko finds Josh in… the library! Nori has looked everywhere for Josh, and this is the last place where she expected to find him. Josh explains that since finals are coming up, he needs to study. He used to have David, his smart roommate, to help him with the homework, but now, not anymore. Josh admits he’s surprised to see Nori talking to him, since he thought nobody would speak to him outside squad sessions. Nori explains she doesn’t care about rules, since everyone saw what that brought to the team in the Field Day standings. She tells Josh not to worry about it, and promises that everything will be back to normal next semester.

Josh hopes so, because Laurie seemed pretty upset to him, and he has seen how David can hold a grudge. That’s what Laurie wanted to talk about. She remembered that before all this, Josh seemed to have an idea why David avoids her, and she wants to know the reason, since it’s driving her nuts. Josh promises Nori he will tell her, if she promises to go to the dance with him. Noriko starts to walk away, telling Josh she can’t do that, since she thinks he’ll use her to make Laurie jealous. Josh holds her, and explains to Noriko that David had a real intense dream a while back. He saw a possible future where he and Noriko were married. Noriko’s startled. Josh confirms, and since that isn’t the bad thing, he thinks it’s best he tells her everything.

The spring dance:

The dance is already going on for a few minutes, and some of the X-Men watch over the students while they are having fun. Shan and Dani are sitting at a table together. Shan wants to leave tomorrow, to go find Rahne and talk to her. Dani doesn’t understand, since Rahne made her choice. Shan is aware that Dani is mad at Rahne, but she knows that there are currently two squads without a mentor. Shan already has the grade school, and there’s no way she can help both squads next year. Dani, looking around the room, tells Shan not to worry, as she already made a few calls, and tells her that Rahne really messed up. Shan knows Rahne did, but she saw how the kids miss her. She can’t give Northstar back to the Alpha Squadron, but can give Rahne back to the Paragons.

Dani understands. Dani suddenly smiles, and stands up when she sees Justin. She was starting to think that his FBI job would keep him away until the last minute. Justin smiles, and tells Dani not to worry, as he wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Elsewhere at the party room, Cyclops and Emma thank Laurie’s mother, Gail, for helping with the chaperoning, and always like it when parents take interest in the school activities. Gail says it’s nothing, as she tries to be as much in her daughter’s life as she lets her. Emma has noticed how good Laurie is progressing on the social front, and really is starting to come out of her shell. Gail finds that wonderful, but wonders if Laurie would use her powers to manipulate a social event like this. Emma knows how tempting it might be, but sees Laurie as a very responsible girl.

Gail notices Laurie standing with her friends. Gail says hi to her. Laurie is surprised, since she didn’t knew her mom would be coming. Gail would have told Laurie, but didn’t have the chance since Laurie hasn’t come for dinner lately. Gail notices David and asks the boy if he’s Laurie’s date. David says he is, but promises that he’ll make sure Laurie has fun and stays safe. Gail is certain he will do that.

Kevin is watching the whole thing from the back. Julian notices, and tells Kevin his problem: he keeps focusing on what he can’t have, while there’s a wonderful girl dying to spend the night with him. Kevin watches at Cessily, and admits that he finds her a nice girl, but doesn’t think it’ll be the same as with Laurie. Julian lets Kevin have his way, and just wants himself to have a nice night, together with his three dates… the Stepford Cuckoos!

Josh and Noriko are sitting on a bench, looking at everyone. Josh notices Laurie, and jokes that his ex-girlfriend is with Noriko’s ex-husband. She can’t laugh at the joke. Josh apologizes, and was just trying to find the funny part in this miserable evening. Quil approaches them, and asks Noriko if she wants to dance with him. She agrees, and they go over to the dance floor together, leaving Josh alone.

Josh watches her friend dancing, and is still bored. Suddenly, he is greeted by Magma, who remembers Josh. Josh remembers her too, as Dani’s friend. Amara recalls their first meeting, and that the school infirmary got destroyed in the process. Josh apologizes for that. Amara tells him not to be, as he healed her and she was just confused at the time. She has also heard that Josh is the boy who gave Rahne her powers back, and understands that those circumstances were equally disastrous. Josh jokes that he’s a one-man wrecking crew. Magma smiles that at least Josh always has good intentions, and that’s a good start.

Julian notices Sofia standing with Jay, and leaves the Cuckoos alone. He asks Jay if he minds cutting in, but Jay says that’s not his decision to make. Sofia asks Julian if he isn’t too busy with his three dates. Julian smiles, and just wants one dance, and grabs her hand. Sofia jokes that Julian couldn’t settle for just one of the Cuckoos. Julian jokes back that he could have ended up worse: there used to be five of them. Sofia falls into Julian’s arms, and they start dancing. She wonders how many people are watching them, and wonder why two squad leaders who obviously hate each other’s guts are dancing together.

Julian doesn’t care about the others, and wants to talk about the upcoming summer. He mentions that his parents are at the Caribbean for the entire season, which leaves the house wide open to him. He was going to invite the other Hellions over, but he’d rather invite Sofia. Sofia is surprised that Julian is asking her to spend the entire summer with him. Julian isn’t, and says he’s only asking her to spend a part with him, since he’d really like to know her better, and thinks a beautiful place like California is a good place for that.

Laurie notices Josh with Amara, and thinks he has found a date after all. David recognizes Magma, and corrects that she’s just one of Dani’s friends. Laurie gets upset and suspects that Josh is going through them all. Laurie asks David to kiss her to make Josh jealous. David refuses to do that. Laurie smiles, and asks David if he really doesn’t want to kiss her. She starts to glow, and uses her pheromone powers on David. He smiles, and they kiss!

At the same time, Dani and Justin are talking about Rahne’s situation. Dani hasn’t talked to her since she left, but Dani defends that Josh isn’t just a student to her, she’s also his legal guarding. Justin doesn’t mind dating a single parent, as he’s starting to feel that she’s worth it. Dani hears Josh shouting, as he has noticed David and Laurie kissing. He even calls David a traitor. Justin tells Dani to go take care of it. Magma tries to stop him, but with no luck. Dani manages to catch Josh. She also thanks Amara for answering her call, and wants to talk to her after this. Josh is angry, but Dani tries to tell him that he and Laurie broke up, and that she is just moving on.

Laurie stops kissing David, and thanks him. David mumbles he’ll do anything to make her happy. Sofia gets angry, and uses her wind powers to get David away from her. Laurie wants to know why Sofia did that, and lies she didn’t use her powers. David wakes up and, when he realizes what happened, he angrily walks away. Laurie tries to apologize, saying that it was nothing and just to make Josh jealous, though David doesn’t want to hear it. Julian asks Sofia if she wants him here, or if he should go. Sofia wants to go talk to her friend. That’s fine by Julian, and he leaves.

Sofia shouts at Laurie that she knows better than this, but Laurie doesn’t know what Sofia’s talking about. She is tired of being ashamed of her powers, and claims that it was harmless. Sofia tries to make Laurie understand how David took it, but Laurie tells her to be quiet. She doesn’t want to hear from Sofia how bad her powers are, since she gets enough of that from her mother. Laurie turns around, and realizes that her mother was standing the whole time behind her, and has heard everything she said. Gail cries, and runs away.

The next morning:

Dani gets called to Cyclops’ and Emma’s office. They report to her that they are leaving today, besides the fact that it’s the prize giving ceremony today. Scott explains that the X-Men have been asked to meet with the Avengers, and that this seems to be very important. Dani understands and wants to let the students know that the ceremony has been postponed. Emma doesn’t want that to happen. Dani panics a bit, since with now both the headmaster’s and Havok’s team away, there won’t be any of the key facility around. Emma tells Dani she can do the prize giving ceremony. Dani doesn’t understand, since Scott and Emma are the headmasters and they should be there.

Emma gets serious, and tells Dani that if she is ever going to repeat what she is about to say, she’ll deny it. Emma tells Dani that this day is for her, and not for the headmasters. Emma feels that Dani has been giving more to the students as a full-time teacher than Scott and she can give as X-Men. Dani really should run the ceremony. Dani jokes that if she deserves to run the ceremony, she also deserves to run the school. Emma tells her not to push it, and she and Scott leave, promising to be back soon.

New York City:

The X-Plane soars over the city. The citizens below stare in awe at the magnificent plane. The Blob is hiding in a dark alley, and also notices the plane. He realizes that, if the X-Men are there, the school has got none of them. He’s stops a driver, and threatens the guy to bring him to the Institute. Triumphantly, Blob thinks it’s time that he’s true to himself!

Characters Involved: 

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

Dust, Hellion, Mercury, Tag, Wither (all the Hellions)

Rubbermaid, Victor Borowski & others (all Alpha Squadron)

Hope, Jessie, Megan, Wolf Cub & others (all Paragons Squad)

Stepford Cuckoos, Quill (all the Corsairs)

Dani Moonstar, Karma (all Xavier Institute teachers)



Cyclops, Emma Frost (both Xavier Institute Headmasters)

Beast, Colossus, Gambit, Shadowcat, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Nightcrawler (X.S.E.)


Justin Pierce

Dr. Sean Garrison

Gail Collins

Jeffrey Garret

various other Xavier Institute students & cafeteria chef (all unnamed)

Blob’s “kidnapped” chauffeur (unnamed)

various bystanders (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This issue finally reveals Quill’s real name, namely Max Jordan.

Wolfsbane’s and Elixer’s hidden and forbidden relationship have been a secret well kept for months, but has been revealed to everyone by Wither in New X-Men: Academy X #12. It caused a panicking Rahne to flee from the school, and mostly everyone to distrust Josh.

There are two pictures of super heroes, whom Garrison claims to have had therapy sessions with him. The shield of Captain America is seen, and Sean standing next to former hero Jessica Jones, aka Jewel.

There appear other students besides the earlier named mutants among both the Alpha Squadron and Paragons Squads, but they do not get named in this or earlier appearances.

There appears a big, hulking guy with red hair throughout the dance scenes, who looks like the Juggernaut, but it can’t be him, since he has been missing since X-Men (2nd series) #164. Though it could be him, if this story takes place after his confirmed return. It’s possible, since Wolverine already appears in the first pages of the story, so it’s obvious that this story takes place a few months after last issue, and certainly after the events in Wolverine (3rd series) #20-31.

Magma was in a coma after the Church of Humanity nearly killed her and other mutants on the X-Men’s front lawn. Luckily for her, Josh used his healing powers to restore her, though at first it caused her to freak out and run away, as seen in New Mutants (2nd series) #7. She afterwards recovered, and helped Storm’s former X-Treme X-Men team defeat the villain Elias Bogan, but hadn’t been seen after neglecting an offer to join Ororo’s new X.S.E. team in X-Treme X-Men #46. Writer Chris Claremont mentioned that Amara had changed her mind, though, and now has joined the X.S.E., but went on a secret mission. This story has yet to be shown in a comic. Besides her brief appearance at a Christmas celebration, this is Magma’s first full appearance after X-Treme X-Men #46.

Northstar was killed by a mind-controlled Wolverine in Wolverine (3rd series) #25. His Alpha Squadron squad saw it from close by, and have been feeling down ever since. However, the students are unaware that Jean-Paul is still alive thanks to resurrection, though he’s currently also mind-controlled, evil and working for Hydra [Wolverine (3rd series) #26-31].

The X-Men have apparently found a new cafeteria cook, since the old one, Marilyn, was killed when the Brotherhood attacked the school in X-Men (2nd series) #164. Though, so far, the chef is unnamed.

The Brotherhood was recently reincarnated by Exodus and Black Tom throughout X-Men (2nd series) #161-164. They attacked and destroyed part of the school, but where all defeated by the new Xorn, who trapped them all (except Sabretooth) in a black hole, and they are currently still missing. Blob has been a lifetime member of earlier Brotherhood versions, but indeed wasn’t asked to join this reincarnation, so that’s why he feels down.

The Hellions chronologically appear next in their limited series “New X-Men: Hellions” #1-4.

The meeting of the X-Men and the Avengers can be seen in House of M #1.

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