Ultimate X4 #1

Issue Date: 
February 2006
Story Title: 
Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four: part 1

Mike Carey (writer), Pasqual Ferry (pencils), Dave McCaig, Paul Mounts, Rob Schwager, Guru EFX & June Chung (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), John Barber & Nicole Wiley (assistant editors), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Professor Xavier gets contacted by an alien woman, who introduces herself as General Lal-Qil-Atrox. She claims that her space ship is about to crash on Earth, and that her bio-weapons have already escaped and could mean trouble. Those “weapons” are mutants, and she begs Xavier and the X-Men for help. They rush into action, but Xavier orders Iceman and Shadowcat to stay behind so they can inform Logan about the situation once he gets home, and also the world in case they don’t return. Later that night, Kitty and Bobby are attacked by a ninja who calls herself Kicking Bird. She manages to defeat the two young mutants, including the returned Wolverine. Before stealing the inner parts of Cerebro, she also puts a virus in Logan’s healing factor so he can’t follow her. After recovering a bit, Kitty discovers that the ninja placed a call before she attacked, and its trail leads towards… the Baxter Building and the Fantastic Four! Logan fears that they are in fact dealing with the government, which wants to use Cerebro to track down mutants and doesn’t want to see that happen. While they travel to the Baxter Building, the ninja ends her contract with her employer, Caliban, and kills his AIM agents, because she is now interested in using Cerebro for her own evil schemes. The three X-Men attack the Fantastic Four and soon realize they probably made a mistake, and are probably all being set up. On that very moment, Kicking Bird activates Cerebro and attacks the Baxter Building as well, planning to enroll Reed’s help.

Full Summary: 

Professor Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, Westchester, New York. Nighttime…

Professor X lies comfortably in his bed, until a loud zooming noise is heard. He wakes up, and a voice happily greets him as “teacher-savant,” requesting that Xavier immediately wakes up his students. A holo-projection reveals itself, in the form of a woman, claiming that the world is in need of their help, if it is to survive for the next few hours. There is an unspeakable danger upon the world. Xavier stares at the woman, unsure what to do. The woman obviously doesn’t know how to deal with this, wondering if the projection is showing itself correctly.

On that very moment, the X-Men arrive, in full battle costume. Cyclops asks Xavier if he’s alright, but stops talking when he notices the woman. Xavier assures the woman that he’s hearing her perfectly clear, on psychic as well as audible frequencies. He wants to know who she is and what the problem is. The woman introduces herself as General Lal-Qil-Atrox of the fifth arm of the Supreme Consistory. Kitty doesn’t believe the “General” part in her statement, wondering where the woman’s pips are. Bobby jokes that there is no room for that on the woman’s uniform. Jean asks Bobby to keep the thoughts he’s thinking to turn the volume down, as thanks to that she’s having a hard time concentrating.

The general explains that one of her ships, one with bio-weapon capability, has been badly hit and shall land on Earth in about three hours. Xavier understands. He wants to know what kind of toxins are on board and how dangerous they exactly are. The general claims that the things on her ship are no toxins. By bio-weapons she means mutants. Mutants whose combat capabilities have been classed at sun-eater level. Cyclops believes that the mutants will understand they are in the wrong place. The general further explains that the orders of these mutants are hard-wired into their brain context and have no choice but to obey.

Scott wants to know what these orders are. The general explains that the mutants have to “slash and burn.” Scott can’t say he’s surprised. The general that she’s underway to Earth to take care of the problem but not sure if she can make it in time to stop the mutants. She fades away, wishing the X-Men good luck to contain the dangerous mutants.

Xavier believes they have to head to the Malay Archipelago and has Cyclops prepare the plane and informs that he’ll accompany the team for this mission. Scott asks if they are taking this situation at face value. Xavier believes that they have to act; explaining that the general’s thoughts had harmonics, which weren’t entirely human. Xavier orders Iceman and Shadowcat to remain at the mansion until Wolverine returns and once he does to inform him about the mission. Bobby doesn’t want to stay behind and Kitty asks the Professor to take him, or else he’ll keep whining about it whole night. Xavier explains to Bobby that, should the team fail, somebody has to be there to warn the rest of the world about the threat. Bobby understands, and a few moments later, the X-Wing leaves for action.

Later, at 2:43:22 PM, outside the school…

A female ninja lands on the school grounds. She reports back to her partner that she right on schedule and happy that she had the right telephone number of the school. She orders her partner to keep the motor running and that should anyone besides her come out of the school, he can kick their heads until they die. The ninja breaks into the school, but the security system immediately warns the residents about the danger. The ninja doesn’t care about that though, claiming to have everything covered.

At the control rooms, Bobby doesn’t see any danger on the monitors, but Kitty is certain that the alarm sound doesn’t mean that the toast is ready. She suggests that Bobby takes the front of the house and that she’ll take the dorms. Not much later, Bobby finds the ninja lurking around in the darkness, trying to steal some of the X-Men’s equipment. He attacks the ninja, joking that the ski mask was a good choice as she is about to have an off-piste experience dealing with him. Bobby tries to throw some ice at the ninja, but nothing happens!

The ninja happily explains that there is no moisture in the air, because she took it all using her power. She demonstrates what she means, and reveals that fire can come from the tip of her fingers! She jokes that it’s time to have some marshmallows for dinner, and attacks Bobby with her flames! Kitty hears the noise of the battle and panics about Bobby’s safety. She phases to the basement and warns the ninja that if Bobby if hurt, she’ll kill her. The ninja is surprised to hear that, because she thought Kitty and Bobby weren’t an item anymore. She is angry with the intel and after this battle promises she’ll have a word with someone.

She throws some shuriken at Kitty, but she phases right through them, remaining unharmed. The shuriken ricochet but Kitty phases again, warning the ninja she can’t get hurt. The ninja explains that the shuriken are shielded against the EM disruption she generates when she phases and if she turns solid they’ll rip her apart. Kitty doesn’t go solid, however, but the ninja has a back-up plan: she releases gas from her gloves and, since Kitty still metabolizes oxygen in her phasing state, the gas knocks her out. The ninja thinks she has won and wants to move over to her plan, but on that very moment an angry Wolverine returns and immediately attacks her!

Wolverine grabs the ninja tight and takes off her mask, revealing that she’s just a young girl. The ninja tries to explain that, if Logan kills her, he would be killing just a kid, but that doesn’t bother Logan at all. He jokes that the ninja should have done her homework. Logan notices his friends on the floor, and tells the ninja she sure did all right for a kid. He wants to know who sent her and what she’s after, or else he’ll put her over his knee and spank her. The ninja suddenly smiles, touching Logan’s hand with her fingers and causing him somehow to get confused. Logan panics, and the ninja quickly pushes him down. The ninja, Kicking Bird, reports that her mission was a success and will return to the headquarters, with gifts for all.

A few minutes later, everyone has recovered a bit. Kitty heads back to the control panels in an attempt to find some evidence they can use to prove the ninja attacked them. But the house security systems didn’t pick up anything, making it seem they were attacked by the Invisible Man or something. Logan, still in pain, mentions he’s got a six degrees of fever and the mansion has a short fuse. He believes they got attacked by a professional who sent the rest of the team away on a wild goose chase. And, Logan now realizes, the ninja perfectly knew what she was looking for: Cerebro. Bobby recalls the flamethrowers on her fingers, and feels lucky he didn’t evaporate.

Kitty finally finds something. She has discovered that the ninja placed a call before she attacked, but the number is unlisted in their records and classified as well. She can only hope the Professor’s SHIELD clearances haven’t been revoked yet, so she can trace the number down. Eventually, Kitty manages to do the trick, but panics… this situation is no good at all!


Kicking Bird and her partner Robbie arrive at a warehouse at the docks. She orders Robbie to park the car and then put a techno-trance on it. She contacts her contractor, Caliban, asking if he can hear her. Caliban responds that he can, but is surprised, as Ms. Burchill shouldn’t even be able to come through this. Burchill explains she succeeded in her job and got the things her boss wanted, so he can send his men to pick it up. But, she demands double payment. Caliban is upset hearing that because they had made an agreement.

Burchill remembers that, but that was the price before she realized she had to deal with Wolverine, and before she could see how beautiful the device she stole actually is. Caliban panics a bit hearing Wolverine’s name, wanting to know if Burchill didn’t leave any trail he could follow. The ninja tells her boss he can relax, as she nailed Wolverine with a sneaky little retro-virus which mutates every twelve seconds. That’s too fast for his healing factor to cope up with. But about the trail, she smiles, she left a trail a mile wide.

The Xavier Institute…

Kitty has put up a picture of the Baxter Building on the computer screen. She explains the building is fifty-four stories packed full of top secret government items. Bobby wonders if that means the building is some sort of post office. Kitty corrects it’s actually a research unit of some kind. The building is wrapped up so tight you need to be either God or Nick Fury to be able to even fly towards it. Logan thinks the timing couldn’t be worse. Xavier falls out with SHIELD thanks to that situation with Polaris, and the next thing they know, someone from a government bug farm walks in and steals Cerebro’s insides.

Unless, Logan thinks could be possible, someone is playing a serious game with them here. He believes there’s something suspicious about this entire event. Kitty tells Logan that, if he’s looking for a smoking pistol, she’s got one for him. The newsfeeds are linking the Baxter Building to the newest super-hero team, the Fantastic Four. They’ve got a fire-starter, someone who can turn invisible, a muscle man and their very own resident genius. Kitty tried calling the X-Wing but didn’t get an answer so far. She notices Logan still shaking and asks if he’s feeling alright. Hesitant, Logan changes the subject by saying that the ninja kid must have spiked their communication systems.

Kitty is certain the team will return once they realize they have been played, thinking that won’t take any longer than six hours. Logan fears they can’t wait that long, because whoever has Cerebro now could use that time to retro-engineer it to their wishes. If it is the government they are dealing with, they could have data to all known mutants at the moment and Logan doesn’t think they can risk that. Bobby is happy that they have just become the front line of the action.

Kitty thinks this is crazy as Logan can hardly walk in his current condition, but Logan doesn’t care about that. He finds the keys to the limo and tells Kitty and Bobby it’s their decision if they want to join him or not, but he’s heading towards the Baxter Building, thinking the Fantastic Four will be easy enough to deal with now that they are sitting all relaxed at their very own home.

The Baxter Building…

Johnny and Ben are in a heavy argument with each other, as Ben has just walked into the room and smashed Johnny’s sound system while he was listening to Fifty Cent music. Ben defends he dislikes the music, but Johnny had already told Ben not to touch any of his stuff and wants to fight. Sue walks in and puts an invisible force field between the two youngsters, reminding them she is watching the finale season of Lost and doesn’t want to be disturbed any further.

Outside, Wolverine, Kitty and Bobby arrive. Kitty suggests she phase them through the building. Bobby doesn’t like the idea of holding hands with Kitty, but she tells him to get over it, as he already ditched her. Logan tells them to shut up as they are in stealth mode. Kitty successfully phases them through the building but, just as they go solid again, Reed arrives and panics a bit. He asks if he can be of help. Logan quickly snikts out his claws and points them at Reed’s head, demanding to know if he was anywhere near Westchester. But Reed doesn’t even know where that place is.

Logan’s senses are still a bit shot and can’t even tell if Reed is lying or not. Kitty and Bobby think they might have made a mistake, but Logan still wants to search the place to be sure. Logan still points his claws at Reed’s head, upsetting him. Reed stretches his body and slams the X-Men out of his way and sets the alarm!

The docks…

AIM agents have arrived at Burchill's hideout and hand over her money. The ninja has Robbie hand over the case in which the Cerebro units are in she stole. AIM promises that now the transaction is complete, Burchill won’t hear from them again. But Kicking Bird has a better idea. She is impressed by how much the CPU’s of Cerebro look like an exact replica of the human brain, and thinks about the possibilities one could have with it, using it besides to track mutants down. The AIM agents warn the ninja that it’s not of her concern what they are going to do with the unit. Burchill has Robbie kill the agents, and corrects that Cerebro isn’t for sale anymore. She puts the helmet on and wants to see what it can do.

The Baxter Building…

Security guards attack the X-Men. Bobby fears the entire situation has gone completely out of hand. The general of the soldiers notices that they are supers, and orders his troops to hit them with the flatliner gun. Kitty doesn’t know what the gun is exactly, but it has a sinister ring to it so she dislikes it. She tries to phase through the gun, but instead finds herself getting hit by a forcefield from Sue! Bobby panics. Logan suggests he’ll go rescue her if Bobby guards his back. Bobby agrees to do it and Logan jumps into action, but gets stopped by the Thing.

Wolverine snikts his claws open and starts the battle. Ben isn’t impressed much. He likes the way how fast Logan moves, as it reminds him of Tasmanian Devil. But Ben himself prefers live action, and quickly slams Logan against a wall. Bobby rushes towards his teammates and puts up a protective ice wall between them and the Fantastic Four. Bobby wants to get out of here and get Kitty into safety, but Logan doesn’t think so.

Johnny uses his flame powers to help his team get through the ice wall.

The docks…

Burchill has activated Cerebro and is overwhelmed by its capabilities. She feels like Robbie now, and can see everything at the same time, inside and outside. She can look through people’s minds and through their eyes. She wants to find someone who can help her find a person who can help her everything open up. She locates the Baxter Building and recognizes Reed. She enters her mind, and asks the lover boy if he remembers her. Reed’s nose starts to bleed and panics a bit.

Characters Involved: 

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

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing (all Fantastic Four)

General Lal-Qil-Atrox

Rhona Burchill (aka Kicking Bird)

Robbie (her partner)

AIM agents (both unnamed)

Baxter Building security guards (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This mini-series apparently takes place after Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, seeing Wolverine hasn’t returned to the school yet after that mission. Either way, it most definitely takes place after Ultimate X-Men #65.

First mentioning of Caliban’s existence in the Ultimate Universe. This issue also marks the first appearance of General Lal-Qil-Atrox and Kicking Bird. It’s also the first appearance of AIM in the Ultimate Universe. Robbie, Burchill’s partner, is apparently the ultimate version of Awesome Andy. Rhona Burchill previously appeared in Ultimate Fantastic Four #19-20 and is the female, ultimate version of the Mad Thinker.

Iceman and Shadowcat shared a brief relationship from Ultimate X-Men #57-61, and broke up when Kitty discovered Bobby still had contact with his ex-girlfriend, Rogue. Kitty now has a relationship with Spider-Man as of Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1, though still remains good friends with Bobby.

The X-Men’s partnership with the SHIELD began in Ultimate X-Men #33, but was recently ended because of Polaris and the fact Fury discovered Xavier had been keeping other things secret from him, like Rogue’s situation, as revealed in Ultimate X-Men #65.

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