Ultimate X-Men #43

Issue Date: 
May 2004
Story Title: 
New Mutants - part 4

Brian Michael Bendis (story), David Finch (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Frank D’Armata (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), MacKenzie Cadenhead (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men wonder why Beast left without any warning. Xavier uses Cerebro to find him in a Washington hotel, but Beast refuses to come back for several reasons. In the meantime, Emma Frost, a mutant and former coworker and lover of Xavier’s, offers President Bush an alternative to the X-Men. She shows him several young mutants who would make excellent spokespeople for the government’s mutant agenda: among them, Beast and Cyclops’ elder brother, Alex. The president decides on a line-up and leaves with Frost. Several elements in the government are, however, unhappy with this decision, believing this to be a trick of Xavier’s and decide to act. Xavier gets a visit by Nick Fury, who has bad news for him.

Full Summary: 

The X-Men and Xavier are gathered and Xavier asks one of their number – Storm – to calm down. She is calm, the weather-controlling mutant insists. Outside, the foul weather belies her claim. The reason for her foul mood is the fact that her boyfriend, Beast, apparently just left without any discernible reason. Maybe he was kidnapped, Cyclops suggests. He wasn’t kidnapped, Storm angrily states and Wolverine agrees. You don’t pack a bag when you are kidnapped.

Did Ororo and Hank have a fight? Jean suggests. Storm emphatically denies this and thunder rolls again. The X-Men look at each other nervously. Cyclops asks if Xavier happened to pick anything from his mind. Xavier vehemently states that he doesn’t read minds he doesn’t have permission to read. It’s immoral. Can he use Cerebro to find Hank? Scott asks. Yes, Xavier replies. It’s just so disappointing that he has to.

At the White House Situation Room, Emma Frost introduces herself to the president as a Chicago schoolteacher, who can help him with his mutant problem. Is she a mutant, the president inquires. Yes, Frost calmly states. The Secret Service agents panic: one of them smashes Frost’s head onto the table ordering her not to move, while another shouts for everybody to get down.

The president angrily orders them to stand down – she has security clearance. He apologizes to Emma but, since Magneto’s attack … Emma understands and the president wants to know more about her. She explains that she has been running some mutant education seminars in her school district. Their governor supported it and, last month, she met the chief of staff. What’s her power? he interrupts her. Can she show him? Emma agrees and, a moment later, displays diamond hard skin. She explains her power and the president states that, a moment ago, she could have pretty much taken out the whole room if she wanted to. She wouldn’t do that, Emma explains. The answer isn’t violence, it’s education. Mutant racism is a social problem and you can only treat it by educating people.

Perusing her file, the president points out that she used to be affiliated with Xavier. Frost agrees, admitting that, for some time, they were more than just student and teacher. A few years ago, they had a falling out over the matter they are just now discussing. She doesn’t believe that mutants should set themselves up as a police force. Instead, mutants should be role models, educators and live by example, instead of popping their claws and shouting ‘bring it on’ when faced with adversity. This, in her opinion, is where Xavier’s failed. The X-Men may be noble but they are just naïve. The president’s curiosity is piqued.

Elsewhere, a nervous bellboy shows Hank McCoy the Beast to his room. So eager is he to get away from this obvious mutant that he won’t even touch the tip Hank wants to give him.
It’s not getting any better, is it? a voice announces to Hank. He turns around to see the astral form of Xavier, standing in the room. He shouts at Xavier to get out of his head. The professor explains that he found him with Cerebro. This is merely a mental projection. He just wants to talk. Why did he leave? Hank doesn’t answer. Is he mad about him or the other students? Xavier inquires. Angrily Beast states that Xavier knows exactly why he left and what he’s doing here. No, he doesn’t, Xavier assures him. He respects Henry as a student and a friend and would never read his thoughts.

He made his decision and that’s that, Beast stubbornly insists. Xavier points out that he hurt Ororo a great deal. She’ll find somebody to take her mind off it, Beast snaps. Is he talking about Angel? Did he leave because of that? He said Angel was attracted to Storm, not the other way round. Beast refuses to talk about it. He’s grateful for everything Xavier did for him. But he doesn’t want to put his life into danger for people like Wolverine anymore. He doesn’t want to be there anymore and he wants Xavier to leave. Xavier admits he’s disappointed but Henry will always have a home with him. With that, he leaves. And Hank silently stares outside at the Capitol.

In the Situation Room, Emma Frost shows the pictures of several young mutants to the president. Not trained warriors but smart, attractive mutants, potential spokesmen for the White House’s mutant agenda. Who is this Dazzler person the president asks, holding up the singer’s picture. A rock and roll star, Emma replies, whom they got a record deal and MTV backing. The president scoffs and Emma points out that MTV got Clinton the White House. Why not get his mutant agenda out too - Can she imagine if Eisenhower had to deal with MTV, he asks.

Suddenly, he notices Beast’s pictures among the others. Emma quickly explains that Henry McCoy was affiliated with Xavier but is no longer with him. A political advisor adds that this was his idea. Distancing himself from Xavier will seem rather abrupt. But including one of his students as a spokesman will soften the political backlash. Beast’s a teddy bear. He tests well.

Emma points out another interesting candidate. Alex Summers, Scott Summers’ elder brother. Also a mutant but one who turned down Xavier’s invitation. The brothers haven’t spoken since. Politically, he’s a homerun. His powers are energy distribution. Emma starts to talk about Alex’s girlfriend, Lorna Dane, but when the President sees that she has magnetic powers he refuses to even consider her. Emma points out that this makes things difficult, as Alex and Lorna are a couple. What does Alex want the most, the president asks. To be more famous than his brother, Emma replies. Then he’ll dump his magnet girlfriend.

The president decides on the line-up: no to “the wolf-girl,” no to Bishop with his criminal record, no to the magnet girl, no to the one who looks like she crawled out from under a rock. But they should add the Asian girl who was in his head this morning he adds, referring to Xi’an Coy Manh aka Karma. The president decides on a few members and then reluctantly adds, “the idiot with the idiot MTV hair,” referring to Dazzler.

Over the objections of the forces’ commander, the president decides that he wants this to go through and he wants it smoothly. They can sell these kids. They can sell education. They can make history. This feels right, he decides and walks Ms Frost out, telling her they’ll have to create some new kind of title for her. And somebody better get Nick Fury on the phone. He’s going to hate this.

Several advisors remain behind, clearly unsettled by this turn of events. Of all the mutants in the world he is angling up to Xavier’s ex-slut, one states derogatively. And one of his students? And the “brother” of one of his students? Xavier is manipulating all of this. They botched the Wolverine job with those Weapon X grunts and, now, Xavier is onto them. He can read their minds! This is their country and now mutants are taking it away from them. From inside the White House! Another man reluctantly states he sees no choice. And one elderly fellow decides, rather ominously, that they are going to have to make a stand.

Back at Xavier’s Scott, Jean and Ororo join Xavier in his study. The professor asks how Dazzler reacted to Scott’s invitation. Cyclops explains that, according to Dazzler, another mutant organization had approached her and that she told them whoever gets her a record deal she’ll sign with. But she didn’t remember who they were. He doesn’t think she remembers talking to him either. Ororo asks if the professor has talked to Hank and the professor replies that he doubts Hank will be returning anytime soon. Jean interrupt them. She feels something coming. So does Xavier.

A helicopter lands on the School’s lawn, covered by a psychic shield. Jean’s hands flare but Xavier tells his students not to act. He knows who it is. A somber-faced Nick Fury accompanied by his right-hand, Dugan, exits the chopper. They need to talk with Xavier.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Beast (former X-Man)

General Nick Fury (director of SHIELD)

‘Dum-Dum’ Dugan (one of Fury’s top agents)

Emma Frost

President George W. Bush

Security Council and unnamed advisors

Secret Service agents

on the screen

Beast, Alex Summers, Dazzler, Lorna Dane, unnamed male Asian mutant (presumably Shiro Yoshida), unnamed male Native American mutant (presumably John or James Proudstar), Unnamed shorthaired woman (presumably Rahne Sinclair), Lucas Bishop, Clarice Fergusson, unnamed female mutant with an eyepatch (presumably Callisto)

Story Notes: 

The former Weapon X soldiers hunted Wolverine during the Blockbuster arc. [Ultimate X-Men #34 - 39]

Issue Information: 

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