Ultimate X-Men #44

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
New Mutants - part 5

Brian Michael Bendis (story), David Finch (pencils), Danny Miki (inks), Frank D’Armata (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Nick Lowe (assistant editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Angel and Wolverine practice in the Danger Room and Angel turns out to be an inexperienced, reluctant fighter. In Xavier’s study, Fury tells Xavier that the president has engaged Emma frost and a new group of mutants to be his spokesmen on the mutant agenda and, much worse, that there are high government officials who believe Xavier to be manipulating the president and that they will probably act during today’s press conference.
The X-Men join the crowed, as the president introduces Emma frost and her young mutants, including ex-X-Man, Beast. A moment later, Sentinels show up to attack them. The X-Men make short work of one of them, only to find Beast buried under debris, possibly dead.

Full Summary: 

Angel walks trough a beautiful, woody landscape. Wolverine watches him crouched on a tree. He unsheathes his claws and jumps down at his teammate. Angel just screams in terror and tries to protect his body with his hands. Confused, Logan stops, asking him what he’s doing. He doesn’t want to fight, the boy explains. But he asked him to teach him some moves. How can he learn if he isn’t going to fight? Angel tells him to forget it. He though he should learn some moves, because the others can all handle themselves. Well, he should, Wolverine states. He’s never hit anyone in his life, Angel confides.

Wolverine switches off the Danger Room hologram and wryly states that at least Angel can always fly away. If the Danger Room is for practice, why was Wolverine trying to cut him, Angel asks. He wasn’t, Wolverine shoots. Back. Angel doesn’t believe it and insists that he was out for blood. Wolverine lunges at him with unsheathed claws and stops millimetres before the boy’s throat. He reiterates that he needs practice. Uh oh, he suddenly announces, as he catches whiff of a familiar scent.

In Xavier’s study, the newly-arrived Nick Fury suggests Xavier send his students, Jean, Ororo and Scott, outside. He doesn’t have any secrets from his students, Xavier states. Hedoes, Fury points out. He doesn’t, Xavier shoots back. Fury gives in and explains that this is an almost indescribably difficult situation and Xavier is in the center of it. His black ops at SHIELD have been running an Intel underground search to find out who was behind Wolverine’s recent run-in with renegade Weapon X soldiers. They believe that a faction of the government’s highest echelon thinks that Xavier is using his mental powers to manipulate the president. And they believe that is why the president is now on the pro-mutant bandwagon. Fury assures Xavier that he knows that isn’t the case. Nor is Xavier manipulating Fury. If Xavier were, he wouldn’t be s angry with him so often, but other people believe Xavier is doing something. Fury believes that these people have now decided to do whatever is necessary to counter the public mutant menace.

Who are “they,” Xavier asks. If he knew that, he would be here to tell him the problem was solved, Fury replies. He has some good guesses, but these are higher ranking government officials. He can’t accuse these men without any proof. Fury explains how delicate the situation is, only to interrupt himself and suggest that Logan, who is eavesdropping behind the door, can come in.

He continues that the president is about to announce a new mutant education campaign. He has hand-selected a group of young mutants to be spokespeople for his agenda. The campaign is led by a schoolteacher from Chicago – Emma Frost. “Oh” Xavier mouths, adding that he used to know her. Fury explains that this plan was specifically created so the president could distance himself from Xavier, without turning tail on the mutant agenda. Fury may be out of the loop on this but he does know that the group includes one of Xavier’s ex-students - Hank McCoy – one of Fury’s trainees and Cyclops’ brother. Cyclops has a hard time believing it, though he and his brother don’t really speak.

What does he want from them, Xavier asks. Fury explains that he cannot confront the men he believes to be a threat to the president. Nor can he alert the president without alerting them. He is also not allowed to enlist the aid of the X-Men, because they are civilians. The president is holding an outdoor press conference on the steps of the Capitol building to announce his new mutant agenda. Fury wholeheartedly believes that his safety and the safety of the mutants are at risk. But he cannot tell Xavier this without breaching protocol. He can’t do anything. So the question is, what are Xavier’s plans?

The Capitol. The media, pro- and anti-mutant protesters and the X-Men are present, as the president announces his new agenda. Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, he announces that humans and mutants must come together through understanding, compassion and most of all education. He introduces Emma Frost and her ideas and explains that he has handpicked Ms Frost to join him and his administration and she, in turn, has introduced him to these fine young men and women.

As he continues his speech, Jean caustically remarks that their fifteen minutes of fame were up about six minutes ago. One young man recognizes Kitty as an X-Man and asks why they aren’t up here. Kitty throws him a scathing glance, until he explains that he thinks they are awesome. She smiles at the guy, who suddenly looks scared, asking what that is.

Up in the sky hovers a huge Sentinel. The Secret Service men try to get the president away, as everyone panics. Frost’s mutants are confused and Xavier orders his X-Men to save both the president and the mutants.

Another Sentinel appears and shoots optic blasts at the mutants on the steps of the Capitol. Beast tries to get the others away but gets hit by a piece of debris. Angel stupidly asks Wolverine what that is and Logan just orders him to fly him up and get him near the robot’s head. Angel proceeds to do so, all the time moaning that he can’t do it. Wolverine is too heavy. He panics when the Sentinel lets loose another optic blast that incinerates the flesh on Wolverine’s foot. Wolverine curtly tells him it’ll grow back.

When they are high enough, Angel drops him on the Sentinel and Wolverine makes short work of it with his claws, till Colossus catches him. Cyclops lets loose with an optic blast, while Storm asks Jean to help her on the steps.

Xavier moans “oh no” and the others stare in shock as they find a lifeless Henry McCoy buried by heavy debris.

Characters Involved: 

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

General Nick Fury (director of SHIELD)

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

President George W. Bush

Emma Frost

Beast, Dazzler, Alex Summers, Karma (Frost’s candidates)

Pro- and anti- mutant protesters

Story Notes: 

While some of the new mutants on the Capitol’s steps are hard to recognize, they are meant to be Dazzler, Karma and Alex Summers (whose hair is miscolored as light brown, instead of blond, causing some readers to believe he was meant to be Gambit).

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