Ultimate X-Men #18

Issue Date: 
July 2002
Story Title: 
World Tour - part 3

Mark Millar (story), Chris Bachalo (art), J.D Smith (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Brian Smith (associate editor),
Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Marvel Girl and Cyclops confront colossus in St. Petersburg. He tells them, he is not interested in rejoining the X-Men. Unlike them, he can appear normal, when he wants to, and being normal is all he wants. He considers his debt to Xavier paid in full and besides he considers him a madman anyway, for trying to help Magneto. Cyclops and Marvel Girl try to make him reconsider – he should at least help the sunken Russian submarine. Piotr however is positive that the experts and iron Man can handle this. While they keep on arguing, they learn, that one important reason, why Piotr quit is that he always was the odd man out. No one really cared for him. When Marvel Girl hints, that this has actually to do with his unrequited love for another team-mate, Piotr throws them out. Later, when he learns that the experts cannot help the submarine and iron Man isn’t available, Colossus decides to help after all. He actually carries the submarine up and is considered a hero by everyone.

In the meantime, the X-Men have followed David to Berlin and are now waiting for the backup SHIELD team and the Ultimates, whom agent Braddock called. The X-Men are not happy at the prospect of having to fight this powerful mutant again. Betsy and Xavier on the other hand, get on very well. At a restaurant Xavier tells Betsy how he met and married Moira and how together they more or less invented posthuman medicine together. However the relationship with his family suffered, when he befriended Magneto and eventually left his family, in order to realize his and Magneto’s vision.

After he and Magneto had their big fallout, which resulted in Xavier’s paralysis, he was approached by sponsors to create schools for mutants and he once more chose to involve Moira.

When they learn that Colossus is coming back, Betsy asks why he isn’t happy. Xavier reveals at that point that he’s aware Betsy is actually David. The two of them calmly discuss how David managed the switch and what he intends to do. David tells him that he’s going to kill them all, after he’s finished his dessert.

Full Summary: 

Saint Petersburg:

Marvel Girl and Cyclops have a hard time believing that Colossus wants to have nothing to do with the X-Men anymore. They ask him to at least consider helping the Russian seamen in the sunken submarine. Piotr replies, they should stop trying to trick him into rejoining their “stupid cult”. There are experts dealing with the submarine and in any case, that’s the sort of situation the Ultimates were created for. He prefers his poorly paid job in the car-factory to hiding from a world that hates his guts. Besides unlike Jean – who needs the school to keep her psychic powers in check – and Scott – who needs his ruby quartz glasses – he can appear normal and intends to do so. He claims that mutations are actually disgusting and asks them to leave.

Berlin airport:

The rest of the X-Men, Moira MacTaggert and STRIKE agents Dai Thomas and Betsy Braddock are waiting for the Ultimates, Braddock has called to help them with David, whom she has tracked to Germany.

Storm, Iceman and Wolverine are not happy at the prospect of having to fight the incredibly powerful David instead of enjoying the world tour. Hearing their snippy remarks, Moira angrily points out that David is a young boy with a very serious medical condition – something that doesn’t really interest the X-Men. On the other hand, they are thrilled at the prospect of working with the Ultimates.

Bobby wonders how Betsy could track David to Germany, when Xavier couldn’t – because, Beast explains, David was in Xavier’s head and devised defenses against him.
The X-Men are somewhat bothered at how well Betsy and Xavier seem to get along, something that’s typical of psychics, Thomas explains. When Storm sardonically remarks that maybe Betsy has the hots for the Professor, Moira cries out in horror. Not because of Betsy’s possible intentions, but because she realizes, why David lured them to Berlin, of all places – this is the place, where she, David and Xavier had their last family holiday together.

In the meantime Betsy and Xavier are communicating telepathically with each other. Betsy wonders why Wolverine is so shaken after David’s attack. Xavier answers that Wolverine is a feral beast and thus relies entirely on his senses. For the first time he was up against a foe, where his powers proved useless. Xavier adds, that he is confident that they’ll be able to capture and rehabilitate David. Betsy is dumbfounded. Rehabilitate him? Xavier explains that David is a nineteen-year-old, who spent the last seven years bedridden. Added to that, he’s probably the most powerful mutant in the world. He needs to be educated more than anyone else. Betsy is starting to become intrigued by Xavier. They continue their conversation in a restaurant, where the topic shifts to Moira.

Xavier tells Betsy, that they were very much in love once. Theirs was a whirlwind romance: they met a t a post-graduate course in genetics in Glasgow and married a few weeks after. Together they pretty much invented mutant science. Moira was the one who designed Cerebro, which was originally used to track down young mutants, who needed medical help.
Eventually, their work attracted the attention of Erik Lehnsherr, the first adult mutant Charles met.

Erik and Charles were fascinated with each other. An emotion, according to Charles, stronger than the love they felt for their human wives. They spent hours at a piece mapping out the future.

David however was somewhat less happy meeting Lehnsherr’s twin children, as they terrorized him.

The fascination and the growing alienation between him and his family led to Charles leaving his family one-day with Magneto to build a utopia. Of course later Magneto and Charles had their infamous argument, which led to Magneto paralysing Charles, after he had discovered his plans.

Later when investors approached Charles with the idea to create an open school and a secret one for less fortunate mutants, he once again contacted Moira.

Betsy asks, whether he did so because of guilt. Partially, Xavier admits, but mainly, because Moira is the foremost expert in genetics and this ensured, that his ill son had a secure home.
Betsy wants to know whether he feel responsible for David’s reality-warping powers emerging after he left his family.

Charles denies this nonchalantly. His powers would have emerged anyway sooner or later. What he does feel guilty about, is not having been there for David, when it happened.
Provocatively he states that he loved his son, sometimes like a pet, but he loved him.

St. Petersburg

Piotr is having dinner with his mother and his two younger siblings. Jean states that Russian intelligence just called. The Submarine cannot be reached by the experts and it all hinges on Iron Man now. What if his armor can’t handle that kind of depth, jean asks. Piotr doesn’t buy it. Scott snaps why he doesn’t want to use his powers to help people. After all Xavier helped him, when he got him out of the Russian Mafia.

Piotr replies that he paid his dues to Xavier, whom he considers a madman for trying to rehabilitate Magneto. He wants a normal life, nothing else.

Scott tries to explain that Piotr isn’t normal and has nothing in common with normal people, the X-Men are his family now.

The X-Men don’t even know him properly, Piotr snorts and admits that this is one of the reasons he left. He asks whether either of them could name one of his favorite tv shows, for example. Sure, Jean pipes up, “Will and Grace”. Seeing as how she is a mindreader, Piotr is not impressed.

Jean asks him, whether the problem isn’t truly that he wants the one teammate he loves, to love him back? In response, Piotr angrily throws them out.

Later the Rasputins watch the news and learn that Iron Man is occupied elsewhere and nobody can help the sunken submarine. Piotr makes his decision.

The Barent´s Sea

Piotr is sent down to dislodge the submarine. He dives down, armed only with a flashlight, and lifts the submarine.

Jean and Scott hear of the newest developments in their car.

The news crews find an exhausted Colossus on the shore along with the submarine, which he carried all the way up. The people go wild, Colossus is interviewed, he’s the center of attention and he loves every moment of it.

Berlin, later

Munching a packet of M & M-candies, Betsy asks whether Moira went to pick up Colossus with the others, at the airport. Charles explains that Moira needed to lie down, because of her aching hip. But the X-men are very excited about Piotr coming back and are all meeting him at the airport.
Betsy asks whether he’s glad to have his whole class together again.

Charles suddenly addresses her as “David” and tells “David”, he’s probably glad as well, since this gives him the chance to revenge themselves on them all.

The conversation between Charles and “Betsy” is surreally calm.

David asks, when Xavier figured out he had taken over Betsy.

In the restaurant, Xavier replies, since his demeanour and table manners were more those of a male teenager than of a well-bred young lady.

When did he take over Betsy, Xavier wants to know. Back in Scotland, David replies, right after the big crash. He has also murdered Dai Thomas and not called the Ultimates or the backup S.H.I.E.L.D. team the X-Men are waiting for.

Xavier remarks that David has certainly created an excellent trap for them by flying them halfway around the world and cutting them off from any support system. He notices that David has better control of his powers, as Betsy’s body hasn’t disintegrated yet. Are they going to fight now, Xavier asks.

First he’s going to finish his package of M & Ms, David replies, then he’s going to kill Xavier, the X-Men and destroy everything Charles ever built.

Xavier calmly states that he’s going to find a way to stop him despite his powers. “We’ll see”, David replies cryptically.

Characters Involved: 

Professor X, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Colossus, Storm, Beast, Wolverine, Iceman (all X-Men)

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Agent Dai Thomas, Colonel Betsy Braddock (STRIKE Agents)

The Rasputins: Colossus´mother and two younger siblings (probably brothers, but not quite clear, all unnamed)

David Xavier
In flashback:

Younger versions of Xavier, Magneto, Moira, David Magneto´s wife (possibly Magda Lehnsherr, but unnamed), Wanda and Pietro Lehnsherr

Story Notes: 

Iron Man can’t help with the submarine, because he’s in space – presumably with model Shannon Elizabeth (according to “the Ultimates 4”)

Issue Information: 
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