Ultimate X-Men #20

Issue Date: 
September 2002
Story Title: 

Mark Millar (story), Adam Kubert (pencils), Danny miki (inks), Dave Stewart (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: 

After his failure with his own son, Xavier plans to leave the school. After his morning routine, he leaves a letter to Cyclops, not to be opened before midnight, explaining his reasons. He also mentions that he plans to give Magneto back his memories.

The X-Men in the meantime are fighting the Acolytes, a violent splinter group of the Brotherhood of Mutants in New Zealand and have no idea of their founder's plans.

Back in Westchester, during a shower Colossus and Wolverine discuss the battle and Wolverine tells Piotr, he's glad the Russian is back.

Xavier goes to Central Park looking for Magneto aka Erik Lehnsherr. The two begin to chat and Erik recognizes Charles from all the media attention he's been getting lately. Xavier tells Erik that he plans to disband his X-Men, because his arrogant pacifist ideals aren't working. The two embark on a serious discussion that strips away Xavier's veneer of calm and shows how desperate he is. He feels like a fraud and everyone who believes in his ideas must be mad. Erik then shows him the tickets, he has bought to Xavier's cancelled lecture, tickets he held onto, just in case. Xavier breaks down, as “Magneto” of all people is the one to restore his faith in his dream.

In the Danger Room Storm and Beast are having an argument. She feels he is shutting her out. He is insecure about their relationship after Proteus claimed that Xavier made Storm fall in love with him. He doesn't believe a beautiful girl could fall in love with a monster like him and feels Storm deserves something better.

In St. Charles Hospital Marvel Girl and Cyclops secretly check on the heavily injured Iceman. The X-men have been barred from any further contact with the young boy. Jean comes on strongly to Cyclops and the two finally kiss.

In the evening Xavier telepathically contacts all the X-Men and tells them lessons will resume the next day.

Full Summary: 

Westchester County, New York.

Xavier gets up in the morning and goes through the motions of showering, shaving dressing, before he sits down and composes a letter to Cyclops, to be opened at midnight.
The Auckland Sky-tower, New Zealand

In the meantime the X-Men are engaged in a fight against the mutant terrorist Acolytes, a splinter group of the Brotherhood, who felt that the Brotherhood has betrayed its cause. Cyclops orders Jean to create a forcefield around all team members and orders Storm to take out the Acolytes with her winds. Wolverine and Colossus quickly and brutally dispatch the remaining Acolytes.
Xavier's letter

In his letter Xavier writes, that by the time, the X-Men return to the mansion, he will have left and this letter is his farewell. Xavier wants to leave, because he feels he has failed in every possible way, as father, husband and teacher. He no longer believes in the naïve dream of co-existence – only one species will sit at the top of the food chain. Therefore he's glad that his New York lecture was cancelled and – yes – that new terror groups are starting to replace the Brotherhood. His biggest conceit was however trying to rehabilitate Magneto. Therefore he intends to give him back his memories and let nature take its course.
Xavier's school

Wolverine and Colossus are taking a shower and discuss the battle. Wolverine is amazed, how the Acolytes broke away from the Brotherhood, because they deemed them too soft. Colossus replies that Quicksilver's cease-fire is very controversial. He is in talks with the UN and that has caused great unrest among the ranks, he expects more splinter groups to show up.
Wolverine complains about the bullets under his skin and Colossus tells him, he's glad to be back. Giving him a friendly look, Wolverine tells Colossus, it's good to have him back too.
Central Park

Erik Lehnsherr (the amnesiac Magneto) approaches Xavier and tells him he recognizes him from the newspapers. He has seen Xavier quite often here in Central Park and asks him, whether he knows one of the kids, Erik works with. Xavier denies this, claiming he just likes coming to the park to think. Plus, he finds it reassuring, that he is not the only teacher having to deal with disadvantaged youngsters. Erik laughs at the comparison. He agrees that the two of them are doing the same job in a strange way. Maybe this explains why he is so interested in Xavier and the X-Men. Possibly, Xavier agrees flatly. Erik introduces himself to Xavier and then asks him why he is here, when the X-Men are fighting terrorists in New Zealand. Xavier replies that this is their last mission under his jurisdiction. He plans to close the school this night. But why turn his back on his pacifist mission, Erik asks, shocked. Certainly he is aware of what his son did, on the planned book tour, Xavier replies, somewhat coolly. Erik urges him to not blame himself. Many people are saying, things would have been even worse without the X-Men.

And that's the point, Xavier explains. He wanted to promote non-violent thinking and his students stop a foe by crushing him under a car. And what's worse – they were probably right to do so.
Westchester: the Danger Room

Storm asks Beast whether he wants to go out for dinner with her. Beast claims he has work to do on the virtual reality facility and declines. Ororo presses on, asking whether he'd like to see a movie instead. When Beast declines again, Ororo asks him, when he will stop shutting her out. A few weeks ago, they were considering moving out of school and getting their own place, now he treats her like a casual acquaintance, because he's afraid that the professor telepathically made her love him, so he'd stay at school. Beast tells her, he loves her too much, to simply accept that she loves him, without evidence that this is the case without Xavier's interference.
Central Park:

Erik asks Xavier, whether he now sees violence as the answer. Xavier replies, he really doesn't know. But the history of evolution is one of bloodshed. Why should this phase be different? Perhaps Magneto was right and Xavier's simply clinging to some old-fashioned human sentiment. Actually, Erik replies, according to his girlfriend, Magneto was the one whose tactics were based on a traditionally human mindset. After all smashing one's opponents into submission is a pretty imperialistic idea, no? And even the Brotherhood of Mutants are following Xavier's lead these days – thanks to talks and negotiations, not violence. What would Xavier's quitting do to the cause, Erik asks. Xavier feels that Erik is overestimating his importance. How can he be a saviour, when he ´s really an emotional vacuum. He asks full of anguish. How can he shape a generation, when he couldn't even raise one boy? He feels like a fraud and anyone who believes in his ideas is mad.

Erik replies that he takes that as an insult and shows him the tickets he had bought for Xavier's cancelled Madison Square Garden appearance. He's holding onto them just in case.
Xavier is astonished that Erik did something like that of his own free will. Without Xavier having to mentally nudge him.He breaks down crying, thanking Erik, who hugs him.
St. Charles Hospital.

Marvel Girl and Cyclops secretly stand guard at Iceman's bed in intensive Care. Jean telepathically prevents the guard from perceiving them, as Bobby's parents have forbidden the X-Men to visit him.

The two feel sorry for Bobby. Jean understands, that his parents are against the X-Men now, how could parents act otherwise? But she doesn't blame Xavier – they all knew, what they signed up for after all. Jean then asks Scott playfully, that she hopes he's not considering leaving and joining the Brotherhood again, as he did last time an X-Man was hurt badly.
Cyclops assures her, he'll stay. Good, Jean says, because she was terribly lonely, when he was away that time and Scott is the only one who understands her. She asks Scott to put an arm around her, claiming she's freezing. Jean leans closer, assuring him, that she knows his feelings and kisses him. Scott reciprocates.

Xavier is concentrating hard and telepathically tells his students that classes will resume the next day at 9:00

Characters Involved: 

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

Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto)

Several unnamed Acolytes

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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