Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #35

Issue Date: 
September 2015
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Valerio Schiti (artist), Richard Isanove (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer & production), Kris Anka (cover artist), Xander Jarowey & Christina Harrington (assistant editors), Mike Marts & Mark Paniccia (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The mutant called Animax confronts her father, a coach at a high school in Tempe, Arizona. She is angry at him for abandoning her, and releases large monsters, which start attacking his students. The seven young mutants formerly of the New Xavier School – Triage, Hijack, Goldballs, Benjamin Deeds, Celeste, Irma and Phoebe Cuckoo – arrive and start to take control of the situation. The Cuckoos try to telepathically restrain Animax, but they are knocked out by a large monster. Goldballs is being filmed on a smart phone as he releases his gold balls at the monsters, annoying his teammates as he keeps shouting “Goldballs” all the time. Benjamin tries to calm Animax down, using his power to appears to her as herself, when she is suddenly struck in the head by one of Goldballs' gold balls. The monsters are defeated, and while Goldballs revels in the defeat of Animax, dancing and blasting off more gold balls while dancing – and still being filmed, Hijack and Celeste tallk to the students and explain that they are a new group of heroes. The young mutants soon enter the old un-used Hellfire Club building, deciding to to live in it for a while. The next morning, Goldballs wakes to find that his recent exploits of his power have gone viral on the internet – people love him. He phones his parents, only to discover that the media are already at his parents' home, interviewing them. He tells his mother not to reveal anything about him, but it's too late, she already has. Goldballs is propelled to stardom, appearing on talkshows and magazine covers. He battles numerous villains, and his parents continue to be interviewed as well. However in one interview, his father outs Goldballs as a mutant. After succesfully taking down Klaw, Goldballs and his teammates, who have been dubbed the Hero Squad, are attacked by a mob who hurl anti-mutant abuse, and glass bottles, one of which strikes Goldballs in the face and cuts into his neck. The furious Stepford Cuckoos start to shut the mind down of the woman who threw the bottle, while Triage and Benjamin rush to help Goldballs. Hijack deals with the police who arrive on scene, aiming their guns at the mutants. Hijack snaps the Cuckoos out of their state, and they release the woman. Soon after, the Hero Squad arrive at the Jean Grey School. Goldballs is alive, but they realize they weren't ready to be super heroes – or perhaps the world wasn't ready for them. Celeste asks Storm if she is accepting applications, and Storm welcomes the students in.


Full Summary: 

Tempe, Arizona, where members of a sports team follows their coach through a busy school:
'I'm just worried that it won't be fair' one of the jocks remarks. 'They keep an eye out for these things. It's the semi-finals... you just play the best you can' the coach tells his team. 'But how will we know, coach?' one of the jocks asks. 'If a mutant shows up on the playing field, trust me, you'll know' the coach replies, to which the jock then asks what will happen if a mutant does show up.

'Yeah, what happens when a mutant just shows up... Dad?' a voice demands, and the coach turns to see a young woman wearing punk clothing standing before him. He calls her Blake and asks her what she is doing here. 'Oh, you remember my name' Blake or Animax as she calls herself mocks, before telling her father that she was looking for him. Blake informs her father that she has been in trouble lately, and started to wonder if she was going about things the wrong way, so she wanted to talk to her father, even though he was pretty abusive and abandoned her and her mom. 'But I was looking for – I guess, closure... so here I am'.

Blake continues, pointing out that she hears her father being racist towards her people. 'Go home' Blake's father scowls at her. 'Now, looking at you, I'm thinking that maybe the problem isn't me' Blake remarks, while her father asks her what she means by “her people”. 'Who is this?' one of the jocks asks the coach. Blake frowns and tells her father that maybe it is because he is a drunk, abusive piece of crap that changed his name so he could work here. 'Leave here right now!' the coach tells Blake. 'And you got a job teaching children?' Blake asks, pointing a finger at her father, who shouts 'Now!'

Blake begins to cry, and energy flares up around her. 'Children!' she screams, shouting it again as large monsters rise up from the energy around her. The students begin to run for their lives, while someone calls out 'You have to be kidding me... this is crazy!'

It is Fabio Medina a.k.a. Goldballs, who drops from a jet alongside his teammates Christopher Muse a.k.a. Triage, David Bond a.k.a. Hijack, Benjamin Deeds and Celeste, Phoebe and Irma the Stepford Cuckoos. 'Like, more-crazy-than-normal crazy' Goldballs adds. Triage recognizes Animax and tells his teammates that he always wondered what happened to this animal lady. 'Really, Christopher? I didn't give her a second's thought' Hijack smiles, while Celeste reminds the others that they wanted to be super heroes and to fight the good fight. 'Well, fight!' she tells them as they land, and engage the monsters created by Blake.

'Goldballs!' Fabio shouts as he lands on a car, blasting his signature goldballs from his body, some of them strike monsters which have gathered around Benjamin Deeds, who exclaims 'Oh, stop it, Fabio! Now he yells out Goldballs every ten seconds'.

Animax sees the young mutants and scowls. 'The X-Men? No! How?!' The Cuckoos switch to diamond-form, and Celeste tells her that it is pretty simple, actually. 'You're a mutant, honey' Irma points out, while Phoebe reveals that they have mutant find technology. Animax screams in frustration, while her father the coach looks on, shocked. Irma tells Animax that they have a psychic hivemind. 'Which means we can shut you down' Celeste declares. 'Go to sleep' Phoebe tells her. 'STOP IT!' Blake screams. 'Get out of my head!' she tells the Cuckoos, creating a huge monster which rushes towards the Cuckoos and slams a fist down, sending the Cuckoos careening backwards.

Hijack is standing on a school bus, where Goldballs is releasing more of his power against the creatures. Taking control of the situations, Hijack instructs Triage to help the Cuckoos. 'Benjamin, you're up!' he calls out, as Goldballs once again shouts “Goldballs”, Hijack tells him to stop saying that. Benjamin darts amongst the monsters, and someone records the battle on their smartphone.

'Hold still' Triage tells Celeste as he takes her hand and uses his healing power on her. 'Agh! That hurts!' Celeste exclaims, but Triage assures her he can heal her. 'Hey, what's your name?' Benjamin asks Animax as he moves closer to her. 'Go to hell!' she retorts. 'Seriously, what's this all about?' Benjamin asks, as his appearance suddenly changes, so that he now resembles her. 'What the hell are you doing?' Animax asks him. Benjamin tells her that he is just trying to figure this out, and asks her if this is the best way to get what she wants out of today. 'What are you?' Animax asks him. Benjamin smiles and tells her that he is just like her. 'Can you do me a favor and stop hurting all these people?' he asks. Animax turns to see that her monsters are devastating the school, while the young mutants are doing their best to stop them. She frowns, and Benjamin points out that she isn't mad at these kids. 'Who are you really mad at?' he asks her. Blake looks over to where her father is cowering beside a car. 'You're right' Animax replies, when suddenly, she is struck in the face by a gold disc – and several more slam into her, knocking her over.

'I did it!' Goldballs exclaims as he rushes over and crouches beside the fallen mutant. 'We helped!' Benjamin exclaims, his appearance reverted to his true self. Students gather around, while Fabio shouts 'GOLDBALLS!' and releases a lot more goldballs into the air. Hijack tells someone that they are a new group of heroes, but are having a hard time finding a name. 'All the good ones are taken' Celeste points out. Hijack adds that they were thinking of something like Hero Squad, to which Celeste remarks that it is taken. 'Maybe just “the Squad”' Hijack suggests, but Celeste declares that nothing has been decided. Someone is using their smartphone to film Goldballs dancing, while Benjamin shouts 'Go Goldballs! Go Goldballs! Go Goldballs!'

Later, at the abandoned headquarters of the Hellfire Club in the head of night:
'Get out of town!' someone utters. 'Where are we now exactly?' another asks. 'It's the original -' Phoebe begins. '- often imitated but rarely duplicated -' Celeste continues, '- Hellfire Club!' Irma concludes as the seven young mutants examine their surroundings. The place is a mess. 'Didn't this place used to be, like, a weird kinky club full of mutants who were all into weird kinky world domination?' Benjamin asks. Phoebe smiles as she reports that Emma Frost was their White Queen. 'You should have seen how she was dressed back then' Celeste remarks. Benjamin asks what they are doing here, to which Irma reports that they are crashing. 'Here?' yawns Goldballs. Celeste reminds everyone that they are on their own now, and no one is using it. She adds that it is about fourteen steps above the Weapon X remodelled torture chamber they were living in. 'Kind of...' Benjamin utters. Goldballs announces that he doesn't care, and tells everyone he is so tired, he needs to sleep. Celeste tells him to pick a room. 'This isn't weird at all...' Fabio mutters as he enters a room which looks like it was used by the White Queen, and he flops down on the bed, '...Goldballs...' he mutters to himself as he falls asleep.

The next morning:
Good morning!' Fabio tells everyone as he enters the kitchen, where the others are eating breakfast, drinking coffee, or doing their nails. 'Dude, have you been asleep this whole time?' Christopher asks. 'I guess' Fabio replies, stretching. He then asks if there is food for him. 'You might want to sit down for this' Christopher tells Fabio, who asks 'For what?' David holds up his smartphone and points at the screen. 'For this' he tells Fabio, who sees himself on the screen shouting “Goldballs”. Wide-eyed, Fabio asks if that is online. David informs him that got over ten million hits in one night. 'You're trending, dude' Irma smiles. Fabio asks if people are making fun of him, but David tells him that people love him. Benjamin opens up a bag and tells the others that he went out and got burner phones, in case anyone wants to call anyone. Fabio looks at one of the phones and wonders if he should call his parents and tell them that he is okay.

'Oh, dear Lord! Fabio? Is – that you? Oh my God!' Mrs Medina exclaims over the phone. 'Mom! You don't have to tell. It's a phone' Fabio tells his mother, pulling his ear away from the phone. 'They are calling for you!' Mrs Medina tells her son. Who? What?' Fabio asks. 'They're all calling for you! The news is here! They saw you on the internets!' Mrs Medina exclaims as she sits on a sofa inside her living room. Her husband sits opposite her, while a reporter is perched on the arm of a chair, and a video camera rests in front of them. 'Is that him?' the reporter asks. 'They did? How did they know it was me?' Fabio asks his mother. She tells him that she doesn't know, and that she doesn't know what to say to them, so she said that they are very proud of him – that he is a super hero. 'No! You don't confirm it's me! You don't tell them!' Fabio exclaims, covering his face with his free hand. 'Oh, uh, it might be too late for that' Mrs Medina tells her son. 'Mom!' Fabio exclaims, before going wide-eyed as his mother announces that the Tonight Show called, and they want him on the show.

Later, Goldballs waits in the wings as the host exclaims 'He's the internet sensation that everyone is talking about. A new super hero. Part of something called the Hero Squad. He's here with us tonight... his real name is Fabio Medina but you all know him – as Goldballs!'

Fabio enters the stage, smiling and waving. He appears on the cover to a magazine, and spends time signing photos for fans. He battles the Grey Gargoyle, shouting his usual “Goldballs!” as he releases his power against the villain. Another interview, where the host tells him that what she likes about him is that he doesn't look like the typical hero figure, which she thinks is part of what people are responding to. 'This is how God made me, right? I'm kind of thick and Hispanic'. Fabio adds that he is not going to hide who he is, and no one should ever have to. 'I'm proud of who I am' he announces. Another battle, this time against the Mad Thinker, followed by another interview, where one of the hosts holds up a goldball and declares that it is heavy. 'It's made of gold' Fabio explains. 'Real gold?' the host asks. 'Yeah, but it only lasts -' Fabio starts to explain, before the goldball disappears. 'Oh my God! That is amazing!' the host smiles.

Another battle, this time against the Mole Man, followed by another magazine cover, which Goldballs shares with Sam Wilson, Carol Danvers and Wiccan and Hulkling.

A night out dancing, 'Oh, good Lord!' Benjamin Deeds exclaims. 'This is our life now!' Triage declares. 'Goldballs!' Fabio shouts on the dancefloor.

Mr and Mrs Medina are involved in another interview, where the host tells them that they must be very proud of their son. 'Oh, yes. He is a good boy' Mrs Medina replies, while her husband admits that when they first found out he was a mutant, he was scared of him, and then he disappeared and they didn't know what was going to happen. 'Wait, Fabio, your son, is a mutant?' the surprised host asks on the live interview. 'Uh, yes. He makes gold balls' Mr Medina replies. 'It's his mutant power'. The host asks the Medinas why they think he has been keeping his mutant genealogy a secret. Mrs Medina looks at her husband, who tugs on his collar, 'Um...' he starts to reply.

Another battle, this time against Klaw, who is knocked out when Fabio shouts 'Goldballs!' and fires several globes at the villain. The rain pours down, and as the Hero Squad stands over the defeated Klaw, Goldballs remarks 'Wow. That – that was a hard one. Celeste leans over Klaw and tells the others that this is a big Avengers bad guy. Hijack asks if everyone is all right, while Triage is over with Benjamin, and reports that he is a little wobbly, but he has him. 'Wow! Avengers villains! That should up our rep points big -' Goldballs begins, when suddenly, a glass bottle is thrown at his face, and blood spurts out of his neck where a shard of glass is stuck. 'Oh my God!' Celeste exclaims as she runs over to him.

'You mutant! You liar!' a woman in a mob calls out. She holds another glass bottle at the ready, while others carry bats or have their fists clenched. Goldballs sinks down as more bottles and rocks are hurled at him. 'MUTIE!' someone shouts. The Stepford Cuckoos stand together, their eyes glow, '#$%&#$% racist monsters! Die!' Phoebe shouts, and immediately the angry woman who threw the bottle starts to cough up blood. 'I can heal him! I can heal him!' Triage utters as he rushes over to Goldballs. 'What do you need me to do?' Benjamin asks, following Triage, who tells him to pull the glass out of Fabio's neck, or the heal will just make it worse. Hijack steps between the Stepford Sisters and the mob, 'Stop! No! You can't – stop!' he tells them, while the woman's body contorts backwards, and the policce arrive on scene. 'Everyone, hands over your heads now!' an officer shouts, aiming his weapon towards the young mutants. 'Stepfords! Stop!' Hijack exclaims, grabbing Celeste and shaking her. 'We – we – oh no...' she utters. The police surround the young mutants, and one of them tells them to get on the ground.

The angry woman from the mob sits up and covers her bloody mouth. 'This is – bad. Yeah' the Stepford Sisters utter. Triage is tending to Fabio, 'Come on...' he utters. Blood pours out of Fabio's neck and mouth, 'Oh no...' Triage exclaims, as the others look back through the rain to their teammates.

The Jean Grey School, Storm and Iceman open the front door. 'Can we help you?' Storm asks. Standing before her are the Hero Squad. Celeste, Phoebe, Irma, Triage, Benjamin, Hijack and Goldballs. They are all live, but look terrible. 'We – we thought we were ready to go out there and be super heroes' Hijack explains. 'But we're clearly not' Benjamin points out. 'Maybe not. But more importantly, the world doesn't seem that ready for us' Triage remarks. 'Are you accepting applications, Madam Storm?' Celeste enquires, while Phoebe declares that they need help. Iceman smiles at the Hero Squad, and Storm tells them to come inside, which they do.

Characters Involved: 

Benjamin Deeds, Goldballs, Hijack, Stepford Cuckoos, Triage (all Hero Squad)
Iceman & Storm (both X-Men based at the Jean Grey School)

Mr. & Mrs. Medina

Coach Schiel
Grey Gargoyle, Klaw, Mad Thinker, Mole Man

Angry mob
Camera crews
Police officers

On Magazine Cover
Carol Danvers
Sam Wilson
Hulkling & Wiccan

Story Notes: 

Final issue of Uncanny X-Men (3rd series). The story continues in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600.

Animax has previously appeared in X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 and All-New Doop #2.

Written By: