New X-Men: Academy X #18

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
House Divided - part 3

Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (writers), Aaron Lopresti (penciller), Brad Vancata (inker), Pete Pantazis (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Sean Ryan (asst. editor), Nick Lowe (assoc. editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

After a brief tussle, the New Mutants convince the Japanese terrorists that they are genuine in their desire to help shut down Project: Genesis. Unbeknownst to them, Laurie Garrison is a deep cover SHIELD agent. She calls in the terrorists’ location and the Hellions arrive to arrest them. Surge commandeers the Hellions’ teleporter and forces Magik to take them inside Project: Genesis. They all see the true purpose of Genesis: to force mutation upon normal humans. This process often has fatal results. Meanwhile, Karma uncovers the truth about Sean Garrison. Not only is he a SHIELD spy as well, he came up with the idea for Project: Genesis. She and her ally, Doug Ramsey are discovered by Garrison who turns his pheromones against them. In Japan, the Hellions side with the New Mutants in opposing Project: Genesis and Laurie Garrison’s duplicity is revealed. She then uses her pheromones to force the Hellions, New Mutants and the human terrorists into a killing frenzy.

Full Summary: 

At the New Mutant Leadership Institute, the Stepford Cuckoos (minus Sophie) offer their condolences to Tag about the death of Quentin Quire. They discuss Quentin’s personality a bit and tell Brian they never thought Quentin was the type to kill himself. This causes Brian to question what could make Quentin feel despondent enough o take his own life. He looks up and sees Dr. Sean Garrison watching him.
In Tokyo, David and his mismatched crew of friends (Surge, Jubilee, Dust, Mercury, Wallflower and Sophie) are confronted by Donald Pierce, the leader of the human terrorists who attacked the Institute. Nori tries to make it clear that they’ve come to help but things escalate into a battle. Nori is still hurt from her encounter with SHIELD agent, Josh Foley but uses the fight to cover for her while she searches for her father. Wallflower, who is secretly working for SHIELD, slips out to call her father and alert him to the terrorists’ whereabouts.
Elsewhere in Japan, the Hellions are inspecting Project: Genesis. The project is converting human waste products into recycled food products, just as Emperor Sunfire explained. Hellion wonders if the operation they’re seeing is really enough to inspire the human terrorists’ fanaticism or if there’s more going on here than meets the eye.
Back at the Institute, Karma catches Tag in her office looking through Dr. Garrison’s personnel files. Brian explains that he is looking for evidence that Garrison used his pheromone powers to manipulate Quentin’s emotions to the point of suicide. Karma says he needs to let it go but cannot help but be a bit concerned when Tag points out that Garrison spent time in Japan which might connect him to the terrorists who attacked the Institute. When Shan tries to further access Garrison’s file, she runs into a SHIELD restriction blocking her access.
Mercury is in combat with Donald Pierce and despite his superior fighting skills, there isn’t much he can do to harm Cessily. The entire fight is being monitored by Seiji Ashida. He is giving strategic advice to his fellow terrorists. Nori finds him and punches him in the jaw. She is appalled that he has become a terrorist. She tells him to call off his men so they can talk. The two groups discuss the threat of Project: Genesis and the futility of the terrorists’ indirect and seemingly random attacks. David and company offer to help get them inside Project: Genesis to attack it directly. The Hellions arrive (thanks to Laurie’s radioing them in) and a fight ensues.
During the battle, Surge grabs Illyana and forces her to teleport them all inside Project: Genesis. Once inside, they find a team of Japanese geneticists performing horrible experiments on baseline humans. Seiji points out that Emperor Sunfire initiated this program under SHIELD advisement. The Project kidnaps the poor humans of Tokyo and subjects them to experiments that force evolutionary leaps, often with fatal results. Scion says that this changes everything and Moonstar replies coldly, “Does it?”
Back at the Institute, Karma has recruited Doug Ramsey’s help in breaking into SHIELD’s systems to find out the truth behind Sean Garrison’s secret files. They discover that he is a deep cover SHIELD agent. They then proceed to find out about his connection to Project: Genesis. As they are reading the file, Garrison arrives and fills them in on the truth. He devised the plan behind Project: Genesis. Shan realizes that the terrorists’ true target was Garrison and their rallying cry of “No New Mutants” did not refer solely to the students at the Institute. Shan asks if Garrison killed Quentin and he replies that Quentin killed himself and perhaps she and Doug will too once his pheromones do their job.
In Tokyo, Moonstar stops the Hellions from taking action and suggests that they lodge a formal protest with SHIELD. Julian argues that action is needed here and that’s what they’ve always been about. David realizes that even Moonstar didn’t know about Project: Genesis and Sophie scans the group. Her scan reveals that one among them did know the truth about Project: Genesis. Laurie Garrison. Laurie is disgusted that the Hellions have joined with the New Mutants in opposing Genesis when they were supposed to take down the terrorists for her. She turns her pheromones on the entire group to incite them to act upon their hatred and rivalry and kill each other.

Characters Involved: 

Dust, Jubilee, Mercury, Prodigy, Quentin Quire, The Stepford Cuckoos (Celeste, Esme, Mindee, Phoebe and Sophie), Tag, Wallflower, (all students at the New Mutant Leadership Institute)
Magik, Quill, Julian Keller/Scion, Surge, Synch, Wind Dancer, (all members of the Hellions, Junior SHIELD Agents)
Karma, Cypher, Dr. Sean Garrison (Staff at the New Mutant Leadership Institute)
Danielle Moonstar (SHIELD Agent)
Seiji Ashida, Donald Pierce and other terrorists from a Japan-based human resistance group
Japanese scientists working for Project Genesis and their mutated human subjects

Story Notes: 

Donald Pierce appeared in the final frame of NEW X-MEN #17 but his identity was not confirmed until this issue.

Issue Information: 

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