Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #18

Issue Date: 
May 2014
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Marco Rudy (art), Val Staples (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer & production), Alexander Lozano (cover art), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Some time ago, Magik brought Kitty Pryde to their secret school to talk things out with Cyclops. Once Magik left them alone, Kitty threatened to kill Cyclops for the murder of Charles Xavier. However, Cyclops managed to convince her that he didn’t want to kill Xavier and how guilty he feels. Finally, she asks him for a favor. Not much later, the favor is called in as Kitty and the time-displaced original X-Men move to Cyclops’ school. Emma Frost fumes at the presence of Jean Grey. Jean distrusts adult Cyclops and both Cyclopses are somewhat weirded out by the situation. In the present, X-Men and students return to the school to find it empty, with evidence of a battle. They figure out that the Shi’ar have come for Jean Grey and that there is no way they can help their friends in space.

Full Summary: 

The X-Jet lands at the new Xavier School and the people aboard are arguing. Triage tells Eva Bell to leave Cyclops alone. She retorts she is allowed to ask questions. Cyclops repeats that David Bond is no longer on the team and there is nothing else to say. So any of them can get kicked off at any time? she demands. Like in the real world, Cyclops points out: you mess up, you’re fired. If you willfully put the team in danger, you’re out. Eva insists he deserves a second chance.

The jet lands and they get out. This is the tenth time she brought that up, Triage points out. They all liked David but he made a choice. He totes blew it, Goldballs agrees. This isn’t a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ kind of gig, Emma Frost remarks. It’s ‘one strike and you’re out’, Irma points out.

Eva summarizes: David’s gone, Magneto seems to have left, Angel is hanging out with his old friends… Is there anything David can do to get back on the team? She doesn’t like the idea that any of them is— Hold on! Cyclops interrupts.

Kitty Pryde and her students, the original X-Men, aren’t there. The Cuckoos scan but find nothing. Illyana points out that they had the plane so the other group had no way to travel.

Celeste feels psychic residue at the front entrance. They race there to find it totaled. When they find a Shi’ar weapon, Emma realizes the Shi’ar came for Jean Grey. Panicked, Illyana shouts for Kitty, worried for her best friend, but she isn’t there either.

The newer students ask what’s going on. Aliens came and took the original X-Men away, Celeste breaks it down for them.

And Cyclops mind races back to the recent past…

Two weeks ago:
Cyclops is outside the school, training his broken powers and not doing very well. He swears in frustration. What’s wrong with him? a newcomer asks. It’s Kitty Pryde, brought there by Magik. Kitty repeats her question.

What is she doing? Scott demands of Illyana. Kitty contacted her and asked for help and she thinks they should help her. Because helping her is helping him. They should have discussed this, he insists angrily. What part of this being a secret school did she not— Illyana interrupts him, reminding him that Kitty is a mutant and an X-Man and a friend. Her bit said, she teleports away.

Scott curses about everybody doing what they want. Bitterly, he figures Kitty will return to Wolverine and the others and tell where they are— He is in for a surprise when Kitty phases her fingers into his head. He killed Charles Xavier, she states coldly.

Magik has teleported inside. The Cuckoos sense another mind and Illyana explains it’s Kitty. She’s going to kill Scott Summers, one of the Cuckoos gasps. Illyana tells Emma Frost to sit down and repeats she is helping a friend.

Outside, Kitty snaps she promised herself the night Xavier died if she ever got a chance with him alone— She promised herself to push her hand into his head and unphase it just enough to destroy his brain, Scott summarizes. Exactly that! Kitty shouts.

Scott continues doesn’t she think if he thought even for a millisecond that he killed Xavier by his own hand… by his own will… that he had not been controlled by a power greater than anything else on this planet that he would kill himself? Uncertain, Kitty repeats that Xavier died by his hand. He said it! Scott tells her Xavier was his father. He raised him. Everything he knows, everything he is is because of him. And the image when he closes his eyes and sees his dead body in front of him… Doesn’t she think he is punished every day?

Defensively, she shouts that he told Wolverine he did it. Told him he was responsible!

He is, Scott agrees, because for all his talk, all his ego, all his experiences, he wasn’t strong enough to stop the Phoenix from controlling and corrupting him. He couldn’t stop this thing from using him as a puppet to do the worst thing he could think of. And now he’ll have to live with it. He’ll pay for his sins. He has made his peace with dying but he doesn’t want her to feel the way he is feeling.

Kitty recalls that Charles Xavier, the good and the bad, and she cries. Angrily, she tears her hand away out of his head and turns away.

It had to happen, Illyana tells the others. They have to move past this.

In the snow, Kitty cries that she misses him so much and there hasn’t even been time to mourn him. How does she think he felt last year? Scott asks. When he thought, they all thought, she was lost in space. He crouches down next to her. He cried for her. He cried and screamed until he couldn’t anymore and he prays every day that Xavier is going to find some way back to them. Like she did. Like Peter. Maybe he will, she replies hopefully. Maybe they are not thinking of all the— He didn’t mean to say… Scott back-pedals. Xavier’s gone.

Whatever she’s here for, whatever she needs, whatever he can give her… She is not joining this revolution of his, she replies strictly. And he shouldn’t even be calling it that. They’ll see how she feels when the time comes, he retorts. So they are clear: she is angry at him, Logan is angry at him, everyone is angry at him but he is angrier at himself. He means it. He is going to pay for his sins, but he’ll be damned if he doesn’t make it so their people have a chance first. They are all that’s standing up for mutants having a future. Not the Avengers, not SHIELD, just them. But forget that now. What does she need from him?

One week later:
Cyclops welcomes Kitty and the time-displaced original X-Men to the new Xavier School. Angel is glad they’ve finally come to their senses. Scott hesitates when he sees his own younger self and Jean Grey. Emma Frost throws Jean a dirty look. Both Cyclopses admit to each other this is weird.

Kitty somewhat doubtfully inspects her new quarters. And Illyana says this is a converted Weapon X prison cell? Because it doesn’t look all that converted. She should have seen it before, Illyana grins. She’ll hang up some posters of the stupid musicians she likes. The Beatles, Kitty states.

Emma announces that she still doesn’t understand. Illyana tells her the original X-Men from the past don’t feel safe at the Jean Grey School. They need their help. The end, Emma scowls at Scott: He thinks this is a good idea? They haven’t been in a ten miles radius of a good idea since her Bat Mitzvah, Kitty laughs. Emma accuses her of planning this. She thinks Kitty is still mad at her for that thing that time and she and Hank McCoy concocted some concoction to bring Jean Grey back to life just to make Emma miserable again! With a grin, Kitty promises her that part is a happy accident. Emma threatens to find a way to bring a toddler version of Peter Rasputin to the present. See how she likes it. She stalks off.

Kitty and Illyana giggle. Kitty loves that she can’t read minds anymore. Look at how annoyed she is. She can still hear with her ears! Emma shouts.

The next day, X-Men old and new gather. Jean watches them from a balcony above. He’s been avoiding her, she tells the grown Scott Summers without looking up. He admits he wasn’t sure what’s appropriate. Probably nothing, she agrees. Including what he is thinking now. He just wanted to say ‘hi.’ Uh-huh, she replies unconvinced. So, how much does she know about them? Everything, Jean claims. Scott doubts that. When she first got here, Hank McCoy opened his mind to her. Well, wasn’t that nice of him. Thing is… he doesn’t know everything. Not about them.

Jean tells him she knows and fumbles a letter out of her costume. She hands it to him. It is the invitation to their wedding. He doesn’t know what to say. Jean walks away and remarks that, thing is, he lived it and she can’t imagine it.

Sometime later outside, young Scott joins his adult counterpart and thanks him for letting them stay here. “Well, what’s mine is yours,” is the wry reply. Young Scott admits the situation is weird. He figures it’s is a once in a lifetime chance, hanging out with your older self, maybe he’s supposed to impart some wisdom to him. He’ll let him know if he finds any, adult Scott promises. Oh, stay away from redheads. Now he tells him, young Scott retorts. And blondes, Cyclops continues. And psychics in general. So brunettes? young Scott asks. Probably stay away from them too, he is told. So just women in general? He thinks so. Both grin. Finally, young Scott asks what happened to Charles Xavier. It’s really bothering him.

Magik shouts for Kitty. Emma and the Cuckoos announce nobody’s here. They have to go get them, Cyclops decides. Emma reminds him they have no spacecraft. He insists they know someone who does. Who? Emma asks. Their pal Tony Stark? Everybody hates them. No one’s going to help them. He suggests stealing one from SHIELD. And who will fly it and to where? she asks.

Eva points out they that know Scott is still alive. She means his younger self, otherwise adult Scott wouldn’t be here anymore, right? Magik suggest going to the Jean Grey School. Emma suggests trusting that they can make it back.

Outside, Scott unleashes his optic blasts in impotent fury.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik (X-Men based at the New Xavier School)
Benjamin Deeds, Goldballs, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus, Triage (all students)

Two weeks earlier:
Cyclops, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Magik, Magneto (X-Men based at the New Xavier School)
Benjamin Deeds, Goldballs, Hijack, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus, Triage (all students)
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (original X-Men)

Story Notes: 

What happened to the other team is told in the Trial of Jean Grey storyline.

A Phoenix-possessed Cyclops killed Xavier in Avengers vs X-Men.

Kitty’s memories of Xavier include images from:
Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #168
Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #171
X-Men versus Obnoxio the Clown

Kitty was lost in space for a long time due to events in Gant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1.

Colossus came back to life in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #1-6.

Kitty and the original X-Men join Cyclops’ school due to the fallout they had with the other X-Men in the Battle of the Atom storyline.

Young Cyclops gave Jean the wedding invitation in All-New X-Men #6.

Beast shared memories with Jean in All-New X-Men #3.

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