Ultimate X-Men #21

Issue Date: 
October 2002
Story Title: 
Hellfire and Brimstone - part 1

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: 

As 14-year-old Kitty Pryde comes home from school, her mutant powers manifest themselves, causing her to phase wildly through the floor and into the ground. Her Mother decides to write to Xavier and ask him for help. Jean grey is sent to fetch them to school and while Theresa and Charles discuss Kitty’s case, Jean gives Kitty the grand tour, introducing her to everyone and showing her around. Kitty is flabbergasted, but also quite taken – especially by the sight of colossus.

Theresa in the meantime is impressed by the school and its syllabus, but insists, that kitty will not take part in any missions. Finally, as the Prydes leave, jean suddenly has the vision of a huge Phoenix. She shouts horrified that her visions are coming back.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere in a big city, 14-year-old Kitty Pryde and two of her friends plan to deceive their parents and secretly attend a party. Kitty is surprised, as she comes home and her mother Theresa already knows what she she’s up to. Kitty denies this and dares her to call Shelly’s parents. Theresa calls her bluff. She already did that and as a result Shelly is grounded. Kitty marches off in a huff, while her mother calls to her to microwave her dinner: spaghetti and meatballs. Another affront, as Kitty has been a vegetarian for a month and a half, after all. As Kitty grabs the plate it suddenly slips through her fingers and Kitty starts to sink into the ground. She calls her mother for help, and ends up in the apartment beneath, where her neighbour is just having an adulterous love affair. Mrs. Winterbottom shouts at Kitty to get out or she’ll call the police. Kitty apologizes and as she stumbles backwards, she starts phasing again, as she finds herself outside the house.
Hysterically Kitty shouts “get out of the way!”, as she is run through by a cab and then a bus. She cries for someone to please just hold her hand. She needs something tangible, but people shy away. Kitty slips through the ground again and ends up in the sewers, her little power display finally stopping. She calls her mother on the cell phone and tells her, that “it” happened again.
Later, while Kitty is asleep, Theresa gets an E-mail from Professor Xavier, whom she asked for help. Xavier writes that he believes, his school can help Kitty and he´ll send Marvel Girl to transport them to school.
One or several days later.

Jean drives the two of them to Xavier´s. Theresa asks her, whether she´s the telepathic one. Jean replies amused, that she´s telepathic enough to know, that Theresa doesn´t really believe in such things- Theresa wants to know, whether she was the first student. Jean corrects her. The first student was Cyclops, whom the professor saved from a lynch mob. A week later he checked out Jean from a psychiatric institute. Cyclops, she points out is the nice lad, piloting the jet that races above their head. Cyclops, sounding uncharacteristically relaxed, tells them hello, and Jean replies, he can probably look forward to a month of detention for this road violation. Cyclops brushes her off and Jean states amused, he´s loosened up incredibly ever since he got a girlfriend.
The Car approaches the school, protected by a hologram. Xavier mentally explains to Theresa and Kitty that this is one of the school’s eight main security features. There are enough lunatics who’d love to burn the school to the ground after all.

Xavier then apologizes to Theresa for the telepathic conversation. He’s hardly used to using his voice these days. Kitty is very shy, when introduced. The Professor and Jean try to calm her. Yes, she is a mutant, and yes, it’s perfectly normal to have shameful thoughts, when being close to a mind reader. Jean offers to show her the school, while the Professor takes Teresa to his private office.
Kitty curiously asks Jean how she met the professor. Jean repeats that she was in a mental institute at the time and the Professor taught her how to get a grip on her extrasensory perceptions, which had put her there. Apart from the occasional migraine and telekinetic nightmare, she’s been okay ever since. A lack of control of one’s mutant power is perfectly normal at the beginning, Jean explains. Even Cyclops couldn’t control his optic blast without the special ruby quartz glasses. And Storm used to hit things with lightning every time she sneezed, Jean says as they look out of the window and see Storm and Cyclops, who just left the jet, waving up to them.
Do they get flying lessons as well, Kitty asks eagerly. That and driving, jet skiing and defusing nuclear bombs, Jean replies. But those two just returned from an undercover mission in San Francisco, investigating the disappearance of a young mutant.

Jean then points to Colossus who just comes in carrying the injured Wolverine. They come from a joint effort with the NYPD to bust an illegal street drug derivative of a telepath’s cranial fluid. Colossus jokingly tells Kitty not to worry about Wolverine’s injuries. His healing factor is coping and he’s already scheduled for his next Danger Room session.
That’s their training area, Jean explains. They used to use a virtual reality program, but as it kept on crashing they went back to the basics.

Kitty asks, who’s in the room they are passing, another cute guy perhaps?

That’s Beast, Jean answers evasively, their genius, but after breaking up with Storm and Iceman being injured, he’s not feeling very sociable.

Inside the room, Beast hangs from the ceiling and intently watches CNN, where a lobbyist speaking on the Drake family’s behalf preaches about the mutant menace. According to him, Bobby drake now has steel pins in his legs and will probably on painkillers for the rest of his life. That’s why his parents are suing Xavier for fifty million dollars.
Kitty in the meantime wonders, where Xavier gets the money to pay for all that state of the art tech. Jean doesn’t really know either. The school’s being sponsored by an anonymous consortium of billionaires, but the Professor refuses to divulge any more details on the matter, Understandably really. If any of those guys is outed as a mutant sympathisant, he can forget about business.

Wolverine – feeling a lot better already – and Colossus are starting a Danger Room session under Cyclops´ supervision. Wolverine expresses, that he hates having to jump through hoops for the little snot. Colossus teases him and tells him he is just mad because Cyclops is now with Jean. But Wolverine had his chance with her after all. Wolverine tells him, he doesn’t get it. At least he and Jean always knew the score. Peter asks him not to start with that paranoid theory again that Xavier is brainwashing them. Why did Cyclops join the Brotherhood then? Why did Peter go home to Russia?

But why, Wolverine shoots back, did they all end up returning to Xavier?
In the professor’s office Xavier and Theresa are having tea and discuss Kitty’s future. Theresa’s very impressed by what Xavier has to offer, including a scientific syllabus, as opposed to the creationist nonsense Kitty might be exposed to at another school. But considering, Xavier’s preaching pacifism, the place seems very occupied with violence. While Xavier tries to defend himself, Theresa keeps on insisting that she doesn’t want Kitty to have a codename and take part in dangerous missions. She doesn’t want to run the risk of her ending up like Iceman.

Xavier agrees to respect her wishes, although he feels, she’s making a mistake.
Outside, Colossus is supposed to drive the Prydes back home. As Kitty’s concentration drifts, she phases out of the car, and ends up rather hard on the snowy ground.
Xavier asks Jean, whether she feels Kitty is truly as enthusiastic about starting school as she seemed to be. Jean replies sarcastically, that Kitty’s a little more enthusiastic about Colossus in his tight white shirt, but it’s always nice to have an extra pair of hands with the washing up.
Suddenly Jean notices a change in her surroundings. She seems isolated and feels something terrible is waiting behind her. She involuntarily turns and is dwarfed by a giant burning Phoenix.
Jean has a seizure and cries for the professor. While Xavier asks the others to hold her down so she doesn’t bite through her tongue, Jean gets violently sick, crouches on the ground and cries that the mind-blocks aren’t working anymore and the visions are back…

Characters Involved: 

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

Kitty Pryde

Theresa Pryde (Kitty´s mother)

Shelly and an unnamed girl (Kitty´s friends)

Several neighbours and people on the street

Unnamed spokesman and lobbyist for the Drake family

Story Notes: 

First Appearance of Kitty Pryde in the Ultimate Universe

Issue Information: 
Written By: