Ultimate Comics X-Men #1

Issue Date: 
November 2011
Story Title: 

Nick Spencer (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Marte Gracia (colorist), Kaare Andrews (cover), Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Mart Gracia, Mark Bagley, Andy Lanning & Jason Keith (variant covers), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters), Sana Amanat (associate editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher

Brief Description: 

The news that mutants were originally created by the United States government has broken and there are riot on the streets. In an interview, Valerie Cooper attempts damage control. Karen Grant tries to recruit a mutant girl but finds her parents have killed her, rather than let her live as a mutant. Meanwhile, Jimmy Hudson leaves Karen’s group because he wants to find out more about the place where his father, Wolverine, was turned into the first mutant. Elsewhere, Rogue is attacked by Nimrod units on Times Square. When Iceman, Kitty Pryde and Johnny Storm learn of this, they decide to help her. Quicksilver visits the US president and offers his help.

Full Summary: 

A beautiful, young, black-haired woman leaves a taxi in a suburban area. A woman, Mrs. Pleasant, hesitantly asks her in. As they sit down, she admits she didn’t really understand from the call. She is from some kind of school? No, not a school, the young woman explains. More of a concern, really. Set up to help kids such as her daughter.

Mrs. Pleasant offers to show her the video. They watch a video of a young girl telekinetically lifting small objects. When did her powers first manifest? the young woman asks. Three weeks ago, she is told. She just turned twelve. Isn’t that young? Not really, the young woman replies. She was a bit younger when hers popped up. She is a mutant. One of Charles Xavier’s first students. Mrs. Pleasant may have seen her on the news once or twice. Her name was Jean Grey then.

Karen Grant, as she calls herself now, continues that their relationship with the government is complicated at the moment. She can assure Mrs. Pleasant, though, that if her daughter comes with her she will not be shuffled off to a containment camp. Would it be possible to meet Chelsea? Just to begin the conversation?

She’s upstairs taking a nap, Mrs. Pleasant replies evasively. She tires easily. Karen agrees that’s normal and asks where Mr. Pleasant is. The woman begins to cry as she states he is upstairs too.

Karen asks if she could go up. Mrs. Pleasant begins to babble. When she called she thought they could try something else. But he is right. She can’t go through all this. She is a good girl. When he heard Karen was coming… The next moment, they hear a gunshot.

She’s gone, a grieving man, holding a Magneto style helmet, announces as he staggers down the stairs. The grieving couple hugs. He assures his wife that she was sleeping and didn’t feel a thing. She is waiting for them in Heaven. Karen stares at the scene in horror.

Elsewhere, Valerie Cooper, the president’s special liaison on superhuman and mutant affairs, is holding a press conference. They have already seen the president’s statement, she begins, so she can right get to it. At one PM today, the Washington Post, in a report citing previously classified documentation, disclosed the following: rather than being the product of evolutionary processes, random genetic mutation or outside interference mutants – the race know as Homo Superior – are the product of a series of experiments in bio-engineering that were conducted and funded by the United States government. She’s gonna go straight to the questions, Val announces.

What’s the president’s reaction to what they’ve been seeing in the streets since the news broke? one reporter asks. Namely anything from looting to fighting in the streets to angry protests. Val repeats what the president said in his statement. He hopes that people will remain calm and let the investigation run its course. He understands the desire for answers, but violence is not a solution here.

The next journalist asks if the president has spoken to any foreign leaders yet and, if so, is he prepared to accept responsibility for the creation of mutants in those countries? She is not at liberty to say regarding the first part. As for the latter, her understanding is ‘yes’. The mutant genetic strain was created in an American-funded lab in Canada and the strain spread from there, not unlike a virus.

Watching the interview on TV are the other three members of Karen’s clandestine group: Liz Allen, Derek Morgan and Jimmy Hudson. Did they just call them a virus? Derek asks angrily. Liz asks him to shut up. She wants to hear this.

Another journalist asks what can Val tell them about the connection between the Weapon X Program and the deceased X-Man Wolverine? Val explains the Weapon X program culminated in the successful creation of the first Homo superior specimen dubbed Mutant Zero by the research team. He eventually escaped from that facility and later became Wolverine. They know as much about that as she does.

Derek asks Jimmy if that Wolverine isn’t his dad… his biological dad, he amends. Jimmy agrees, then grabs his shoes and gets up. He wants to see where they did that to him. Liz reminds him that they said that place got shut down like sixty years ago. And he can’t just leave! The hell he can’t! Jimmy retorts. Liz reminds him Karen will be back any minute. She will know what to do. Liz thinks she didn’t know about this? Jimmy scoffs.

Derek tries to defend Karen. Jimmy tells him if they want to stick with Karen, pretend to be the new X-Men and play “save the mutie” every day till some Sentinel calls their number, that’s fine. He just found out everything he was told about where he came from was a lie, so sorry but he is done taking anybody’s word for anything! With that, he leaves their motel room.

At the press conference, Val Cooper takes more questions, namely that the living conditions in the facilities the first mutants lived in were horrible. Is the administration concerned about parallels to their newly opened containment centers? Val reminds them that most journalists present have been inside one of these centers. They know firsthand that the mutants in there are treated with dignity and compassion.

In one of those centers, Storm sits among the prisoners.

When the journalist tries to press her question, Val cuts her off, claiming that most of the mutants in these centers are living in better condition than they were before they were admitted.

In one of these centers, Colossus, who is being shackled and held down with electric shocks, wouldn’t agree.

Val asks for the next question. A journalist asks since the government is culpable in the creation of mutants, will they be reassessing the “apprehend or execute” statute that’s been in place since Magneto’s attack? Absolutely not, Val stresses. The president has to be concerned with national security threats of today. Executive order 3144 has saved lives, human and mutant. They will not repeat the mistakes that led to Magneto’s attack on New York.

One of the people currently on the run is Marian Carlyle aka Rogue in the streets of Manhattan. A Nimrod unit orders her to freeze.

At the conference, the question is asked whether she has responses to the Speaker’s remark that the president ought to resign. Val reminds everybody that the documented detailed events occurred over half a century ago. Since then, there have been plenty of presidents to come and go on both sides. Responsibility in this matter is a bipartisan matter.

The journalist insists: Did the president know that man created mutants?

The president, some advisor and Nick Fury watch the televised conference, fearing this is getting ugly. Fury insists on evac orders. American lives are in danger, even in allied territory and he can’t be everywhere. The president knows what his budget is like these days.

Any ideas about this? the president asks him. Normally he’d say this was a Captain America moment, but that’s not an option now. He recommends deploying the National Guard. The president is reluctant.

“Couldn’t agree more,” Quicksilver, who suddenly sits in a previously empty seat, remarks. As he said himself, violence is not a solution…

The Secret Service men immediately draw their guns as does Fury. Pietro asks them to calm down. He only came to help. The president asks who he is. Pietro Lehnsherr, Magneto’s boy, Fury states. And a member of Fury’s Ultimates, Quicksilver reminds him. Former member, Fury replies angrily.

The president asks everyone to settle down and asks Pietro to make his case. Pietro thanks him and apologizes for his abrupt entrance but, when he saw the news and realized in how much danger the president was in, well, he got here as quickly as he could!

In the meantime, Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, both former X-Men, and their friend Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch, formerly of the Fantastic Four, have hidden in the Morlock Tunnels under Manhattan, where they are listening to the news on their tablet computer. Kitty warns the boys to shut it off or she’ll phase her hand though it. But this is history – like the moon landing! Bobby insists. No, this is like finding out they faked the moon landing! Kitty shoots back.

Johnny announces that mutants got their powers through a science experiment and so did he. It’s the same thing. Just no, Bobby tells him. Listening to Kanye does not make you black. Whatever, Johnny sulks, he’s counting it.

Bobby informs them about the situation on Times Square. Some people are dead already. Someone should… Stop right there, Kitty warns him. She knows what he was gonna say. Somebody should do something. Somebody. Not them. She reminds them of their deal. They stay here in the Morlock tunnels. They go up once a day to get food and supplies, until they figure out something more permanent. They don’t attempt to be superheroes. They don’t use their powers. They keep their heads down and stick together… that was the deal when she let them crash here. And if they can’t remember why they made the deal they can go visit Peter’s grave in the morning!

Bobby looks at the tables and calls her again. Kitty doesn’t want to listen. He just shows her the tablet. It’s Rogue being attacked by Sentinels. Beaten, Kitty tells them they have to move fast. Johnny turns into the Torch, Bobby ices up and Kitty puts on the Shroud costume. Together, they get ready to save their friend…

Characters Involved: 

Iceman, Human Torch, Shroud (all X-Men)

Firestar, Guardian, Jimmy Hudson, Karen Grant (all Ultimate X)

Colossus, Rogue, Storm (former X-Men)

General Nick Fury

US president

Quicksilver (Brotherhood of Mutants)

Valerie Cooper


Mr. and Mrs. Pleasant

Story Notes: 

The origin of mutants in the Ultimate Universe was revealed to the reader in the Ultimate Origin series and to the ordinary citizens in the Ultimate Universe in the Ultimate Fallout LS.

Karen’s group came together in the Ultimate X limited series.

“Peter” refers to Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, who died in battle. In Ultimate Fallout #6 the three kids decided to hide in the Morlock Tunnels.

Ever since the events of Ultimatum, mutants are hunted.

Kanye West is a famous rapper.

Issue Information: 
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