Ultimate X-Men #32

Issue Date: 
June 2003
Story Title: 
Return of the King - part 6

Mark Millar (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler/breakdowns), Danny Miki (inker/finishes), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Dave Stewart (colorist), Dolly Setton/Stephanie Moore/Nick Lowe (assistant editors), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Jean saves the day in Miami, possibly making progress with the Phoenix powers. Things take a turn for the better when the humans actually cheer the mutants on for saving them. At the North Pole, Cyclops and Wolverine go toe to toe. Cyke blows Wolvie away with one huge blast. After a media frenzy the next day, President Bush holds a meeting with Tony Stark and Nick Fury. After much discussion, it’s decided that the X-Men should go free and be brought under governmental control vis a vis S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, Xavier’s Institute is rebuilt and the grand reopening features Parents’ Night. Charles meets with Rogue’s parents and Psylocke’s dad among others. It turns out that Betsy is alive and well within someone else’s body. Hanks parents are there as well much to his surprise. After they tell him how much they’ve changed, Hank introduces them to Storm. Colossus parents arrive in a helicopter provided by S.H.I.E.L.D. This prompts Jean and Thor to have a discussion about the usefulness of the military. After that, Thor and her discuss the possible mysteries behind the Phoenix. That night, Charles meets with Colonel Fury and after several conspiracy innuendos they part ways. Xavier leaves to feed his cat, Mystique.

Full Summary: 

In Miami, Jean takes care of the power plant problem by atomizing it. A large black cloud fills the sky over the humans and Sentinels.

Back at the North Pole, Scott and Logan prepare to face off. They circle about while the rest of the X-Men watch. Wolverine tries to get Cyclops to back off a bit, but it doesn’t work. He then admits to the rest of the team that he did try to kill Cyke to get Jean, and he warns them not to interfere in their fight. He tells them that he deserves what he gets. Wolverine’s face flashes across Cyclops’ visor. Cyke unleashes a powerful blast, which knocks Wolvie down for the count.

Back in Miami, Professor X and Nightcrawler discuss the ramifications of Jean’s actions. The Professor worries about what may have happened to her mind from the tremendous exertion. Jean hears him and tells him not to worry. Charles isn’t totally calmed and tells everyone to stay back. Jean tells him to calm down, explaining that she’s in control of the Phoenix abilities now.

She lands back on the ground with her fellow mutants. Rogue alerts them to the fact that the humans look like they’re ready to start trouble with them. The Professor orders everyone to form a circle around Jean so she can create a psychic shield around them. Surprisingly, they’re mistaken. Instead, the humans start to cheer the mutants for saving them. Jean is unsure how to cope with this new-found friendliness.

The next day it’s all in the news. The X-Men are on the covers of the New York Times, Time magazine, Newsweek and the National Enquirer. They’re reported to have taken down Magneto and turned him over to the Ultimates. A few people are interviewed, including a shadowed figure with pointy ears and white hair who claims the whole thing is a big conspiracy for the coming race wars. Professor Xavier also reports in that Wolverine is no longer affiliated with the Xavier Institute.

In Washington D.C., President Bush holds a meeting with his top advisors. Included in on the meeting are Tony Stark and Nick Fury. The President is unsure of what to do, now that the X-Men have stopped Magneto and saved Florida. Nick and Tony try to convince him to take it easy on them. In fact, Tony has brought a report with him detailing a way out of the genetic war that America seems to have gotten itself involved in. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have some reservations about the plan, which include a distinction between the Brotherhood and the X-Men and a complete exoneration for Charles Xavier. Fury points out that it’s more of a compromise. The X-Men will be brought into the Federal budget and put under S.H.I.E.L.D. jurisdiction.

The President isn’t sure where he’s going with this. Tony further explains, stating that with his plan they could have a hand-picked group of politicians and thinkers influencing the syllabus of the next generation of super-soldiers. With more and more mutants being born every month, this would be a great way to start cultivating them. Rumsfeld starts to disagree again, but Bush tells him to be quiet. Fury leaves them with one last thought, “Do you really think it’s smart to alienate these kids when they might be the only thing keeping us alive at some point?” The President’s cabinet is speechless.

Later. At the Xavier Institute for Gifted Children, it’s the grand reopening and all the students’ parents are invited. Inside, it’s a semi-formal party. Nightcrawler makes the rounds offering champagne to everyone. Nightcrawler ‘ports near Bobby and Kitty, and Iceman asks him for a drink. Kurt tells him “No”, of course.

Nearby, Charles meets with Rogue’s parents. Rogue’s mom thanks him for convincing S.H.I.E.L.D. into releasing her daughter. He assures her that it wasn’t too tough, considering she was a minor and at one point forced into the Weapon X program. With that out of the way, Rogue’s dad voices his doubts over what good it would do to have Rogue at the Institute. He tells Professor X about how Rogue put one of the boys from back home in a coma. Charles tells him that that’s the reason he built the institute; to turn curses into blessings. Nightcrawler ‘ports in with some desserts. He offers to fill Rogue’s parents in on why the academy would be a good place for their daughter.

Next up for Charles is Professor Braddock. Xavier shakes Braddock’s hand and tells him that he often thinks about him, his wife and departed daughter. Moira tells Charles to keep the discussion light, as they’re having a party. Professor Braddock tells Moira not to worry, as his daughter has returned and has accompanied him to the party. It turned out that Betsy’s consciousness, upon death, went into the body of a comatose woman named Kwannon. Betsy’s mind took over as Kwannon’s spirit moved on. Moira is shocked with disbelief. Professor Braddock continues on, explaining that Betsy is back with the British arm of S.H.I.E.L.D. She’s currently working on the British version of the Ultimates. Charles in intrigued and Professor Braddock offers to explain it further.

Colossus, overhearing the discussion, walks over to Betsy and apologizes for killing her in Berlin. Betsy tells him not to worry, as the “death experience” was the most fascinating experience she’s ever had.

Meanwhile, Tony Stark is chatting it up with Ororo and Jean. He’s in the middle of telling them the story of his battle with the Hulk. He stops mid-sentence and verifies that Storm is over the age of eighteen. He'd hate wasting his time here… Once assured, he continues his story, much to the dismay of an eavesdropping Hank McCoy.

Beast walks over to Colossus and asks him if he’s seen Cyclops. It turns out that Fury once served with Cyke’s dad in the Gulf War and wants to speak with him. Peter informs Hank that Scott left to head into town to pick something up for Jean. He comments that he might be uncomfortable on “Parents’ Day” without having any parents. Hank agrees with Peter, as his parents rejected him when they found out he was a mutant.

Colossus asks Beast what he means. Beast further explains that his parents wouldn’t be caught dead here. Peter is surprised as he was just talking to Hank’s parents a bit earlier. And speak of the devil, Mr. and Mrs. McCoy call out his name. They coddle all over him, much to Hank’s amazement. His parents explain how they’re writing a book about how it was to raise their mutant son. In fact, they have a three book deal and the movie rights are currently being negotiated. They then apologize for how they treated him in the past, which caused him to run away from home. They hope to show him how open-minded and liberal they’ve become. Henry is very sarcastic about their newfound love and tells them of his girlfriend. They act all happy, but are taken aback when they meet Storm. She acts all gushy and hugs them both, calling them mom and dad. Hank gives her a thumbs up and she gives him one back.

Outside, on the Institute’s helipad, Peter’s family is dropped off (courtesy of S.H.I.E.L.D.). He wraps them up in his arms. Jean, who is outside, comments on how it’s great that the military would do such a nice thing. She believes that that’s the kind of stuff that the army should be doing all the time; nice stuff. Thor pokes fun at her suggestion, but Jean asks him why not. After all they’re public servants. She’s sure that if Americans were polled, they would rather have Uncle Sam mowing their lawn instead of toting machine guns around.

Thor changes the subject and asks Jean how she’s doing. She tells him that she’s never felt better in her life. She says that the whole Phoenix thing was insane. She believes it to have been a manifestation created by her being unable to deal with her immense powers. Thor tells her to be careful anyway. Not everything can be explained with rational viewpoints. Jean wants to know what he means by that. He tells her that if he were trying to possess someone he would try to convince the host that he didn’t exist. He tells her to be careful, as there are more things in Heaven and Earth that even Charles Xavier doesn’t understand.

Later on that evening in the emptied banquet hall, General Nick Fury and Professor Charles Xavier have a meeting. Xavier asks Fury how Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are doing. Fury asks him if he really expected those two to show up to the party after his X-Men just hospitalized their dad. Fury changes the subject by mentioning the blue fur all over his jacket that he got from his conversations with Beast. Xavier asks him if he’s trying to recruit him to the Ultimates. Nick tells him not to worry, he won’t be recruited until after he graduates from the Institute.

Nick tells him that he respects what the school is doing for mutants and the fact they’ve brought the school under federal control has nothing to do with them wanting to destroy what he’s built. Charles tells him that that’s a ridiculous statement and that he would never have believed that. It’s just as dumb to say that he engineered the whole Magneto catastrophe just to gain access to the U.S. military. Fury tells him they live in paranoid times and Charles agrees. Xavier leaves Fury by the window and takes his cat, Mystique, for some dinner.

Characters Involved: 

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


General Nick Fury, Iron Man, Thor (all Ultimates)
Professor Braddock

Brian Braddock

Moira MacTaggert

Betsy Braddock

Norton McCoy and his wife (Beast’s parents), Colossus' family, Rogue's parents

Barbara Walters

President George W. Bush

Vice-President Dick Cheney

Secretary General Donald Rumsfeld

unidentified conspiracy nut (in the shadows)

Story Notes: 

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are currently affiliated with the Ultimates.

Beast's parents had thrown him out upon learning he was a mutant

Issue Information: 
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