Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #4

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler / colorist), Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey & Victor Olazaba (inks), VC’s Joe Caramagna (lettering & production), Bachalo & Townsend (cover), Kris Anka (variant cover), Jordan D. White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

While Cyclops explains to the staff and students of the Jean Grey School why their school exists (and why he isn’t to blame for killing Xavier), Emma has a telepathic heart-to-heart with her former prize students, the Stepford Cuckoos, who are angry with her for abandoning them. They take pity, though, when they learn what Emma has been through and that she has lost her telepathy. Eventually, they and the timed-displaced Angel decide to join them. At the new Xavier School, the students have accidentally started the Danger Room. Eva and Ben wonder if this place is right for them. And Magik has spells when she loses control of her powers.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops and his X-Men team have just teleported to the grounds of the Jean Grey School. To the teachers and students who have stormed out, Cyclops announces they are not here to fight. Especially not other mutants. They are here to clear the air as best they can and make them an offer. Is he out of his mind? Kitty Pryde bursts out.

While Cyclops and the others begin to talk, the Stepford Cuckoos telepathically address their former mentor, Emma Frost, calling her a piece of work. It’s good to see them too, Emma replies also telepathically, asking them how they’ve been. They look good. Standing in front of her sisters, Celeste spits: Go to hell “mom!”

Cyclops tells Iceman they all have many sins to atone for. But only one of them murdered Charles Xavier in front of the rest of them, Bobby shouts back. Do they think that’s exactly what happened? Scott asks. Do they think he set out to murder a man who raised him?

They are here to recruit them? the Cuckoos continue to Emma. “How desperate are you people?” You people? Emma repeats. “We are your people! They are starting a new school, and forgive them for wanting the youngsters to have all the choices they didn’t.

And she thinks they are going to come with her? one of the girls asks She knows they think they hate her, Emma replies. She knows they think they don’t need her. But no one on this planet understands them better than she does. In fact, she would argue she understands them better than they do themselves at this point.

Go to hell!” Celeste snaps. One of her sisters orders her to stop speaking for them all and the third sister explains that Celeste is angry because they reached out to Emma psychically and couldn’t find her. It felt like she bailed on them. They accuse her of just abandoning them here. And they notice something is different about her.

Scott continues. If they believe he murdered Xavier of his own free will, then kill him right here. He couldn’t live with the thought that any of them event think this is who he is.

Emma stammers, unable to tell the truth. Celeste realizes she doesn’t have her telepathic powers any more. She smirks that Emma can only hear their thoughts because they are letting her. Oh no, one of her sisters exclaims while Celeste continues, this is going to be fun. A moment later, she has Emma isolated in an endless white space.

Come on, Emma announces, she knows the trick. She taught them how to do that, it doesn’t impress her. The three girls appear, dwarfing her. She keeps thinking they are trying to impress her, Celeste scoffs. Why does she still think she knows them so well?

Because they are a piece of her, Emma shoots back. Against her sisters’ warning, Celeste enters Emma’s mind unbidden to see what happened. The girls relive Cyclops taking away Emma’s aspect of the Phoenix power.

Celeste apologizes. She’s sorry. No, she isn’t, Emma calmly replies. She wanted to hurt her and she did. She wanted to embarrass her and she did. She’s not judging them. The three of them are little hers. They were born to be little hers and for years this is what she did. No one knows how mean she can be more than she does.

Phoebe and Irma point out that they aren’t like her completely. They are growing … changing. They are seeing things a little differently than they used to. Celeste repeats she is sorry.

Emma asks them to come to the new school and let her teach them. She has more to teach and they have more to learn. She knows she isn’t their mother, but she wants them to have things better than the way she had them. She needs this. But it’s their choice.

The new Xavier School, somewhere in Canada:

The four students wonder what to do. Christopher Muse, now calling himself Triage, suggests they pick out rooms. He remembers camp. Fighting for the top bunk… They look at each other and immediately make a run for the best room. Benjamin doesn’t like his. Christopher is happy with his. Fabio looks for towels and Eva wonders if there are separate sections or are they co-ed? Benjamin promises everyone will behave. He’s not going to behave, Christopher promises. He’s not one of those cheeky boys, is he? Eva sighs. He’s not sure what ‘cheeky’ means, but probably. She asks him not to be. When he first got here he was sweet. She tells him if there’s anything she likes about him she will find out herself. He doesn’t have to put on a show. Did she find it yet? he smirks. God help her, Eva sighs.

Back at the Jean Grey School, Emma and the Cuckoos watch the unfolding scene. Emma asks them about the original X-Men. Why are they still here? They just appeared in the present to screw with Cyclops’ head but decided to stay. The faculty doesn’t talk about them. Like they don’t know they are here. She should hear their thoughts. All jumbled and contradictory, like ferrets. Emma points out they were living a peaceful existence, and now find out their dreams don’t come true.

What is Jean Grey thinking? The girls scoff Jean isn’t what everyone sold her to be. She is not the great psychic warrior princess they were told about. They are ten times the psychic she is. She doesn’t even know they read her thoughts.

Emma half-heartedly chides them for that before asking what Jean is thinking. Mostly she wonders how she could have ever fallen in love with a man who would grow up to kill Charles Xavier. What kind of psychic can’t hear them right now? one of the sisters scoffs while another points out Jean is untrained. Emma asks them not to do anything to her, but nevertheless smirks.

Cyclops announces they’ve opened a school. They are accepting applications now, Emma adds. Even from time-displaced original X-Men, who are probably destroying the fabric of time and space by being here, Illyana bitches.

Scott tells Kitty they are doing good work but they are days, weeks, months away from a push against their people, and they have to be ready. New mutants are popping up all over the world and with that will come confusion, Magneto adds, that will lead to fear that will lead to hatred. With that will come violent attacks on their people. Cyclops states they can train them to fight back and fight for each other… at the new Xavier School.

Telepathically, the Cuckoos ask Emma what kind of students they have at the school…

At Xavier’s, the kids have tried out the Danger Room. Bad move, as a huge monster is chasing Fabio, who creates a series of gold balls as he tries to flee. The teachers have returned to give the Jean Grey people some time to think about their offer. Emma suggests not to interfere yet and watch this. She could watch this all day, Illyana announces.

A gold ball hits Cyclops’ head. He decides he has seen enough. Magneto presses a button on his cell phone and everything turns back to normal.

What do they think they are doing? Magneto inquires. He was looking for a phone, Fabio admits. Benjamin tattles he was pushing buttons and they were trying to stop him. Then all of a sudden they were transported. No, attacked, Eva corrects. After they were transported, Ben insists.

Scott clarifies they were in the Danger Room. A fully immersive virtual reality of his own design, Magneto adds. Specially calibrated to their specific needs and abilities. What it isn’t calibrated for is them turning it on with no one working the controls or running them through the program.

The kids can’t believe that wasn’t real. He was looking for a phone, Fabio mutters. There is no phone, Cyclops tells him. He tries to explain the situation. This training, what they are preparing for, is all-encompassing. No one can know they are here. No one!

Benjamin still stupidly asks if that wasn’t real. Illyana didn’t teleport them somewhere? Is he really not getting this? Eva asks annoyed. Angrily, he asks, is he the only one who hasn’t experienced fully subversive virtual reality that punches you in the face?

Magik suddenly screams in pain and is dragged into Limbo. Before the others have an idea what to do, she falls back again, surrounded by demon fire.

Is she okay? Scott asks. She just needs a moment. Emma asks what happened. She’s okay! Illyana brushes her and Scott off and leaves. Scott tells the others to let her settle down. Then he’ll talk to her.

Hours later:

Ben joins Eva outside. Eva tells him they left again to see if any of the Jean Grey School people want to be part of this school. Until yesterday, he didn’t even know there was a Jean Grey School, Ben remarks. Is she still freaked out about the Danger Room? She’s still processing the fact that Captain America hates her. That was a bit much, he agrees. The Avengers.

Eva admits that she is worried their teachers have more problems than they do. She needs full disclosure if she’s going to stay. He thinks he’s going to need proof that Scott Summers is a good man, Ben remarks. Eva believes he’s a good man, but then breaks off. There’s something about him she really likes and something… That scares the hell out of her, Ben finishes. She agrees. Fabio informs them they are back.

Soon Cyclops introduces their new students: The time-displaced Warren Worthington III from the past and the Stepford Cuckoos, Celeste, Phoebe and Irma. The kids wonder how to understand Angel’s coming from the past. Suddenly, Illyana screams again…

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (all X-Men)

Angel, Benjamin Deeds, Fabio Medina, Stepford Cuckoos,Tempus, Triage (all X-Men students)

Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pyde, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men at the Jean Grey School)

Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl )original X-Men)

Anole, Kid Omega, other students at the Jean Grey School

Story Notes: 

This is a crossover with All-New X-Men #10-11

Cyclops killed Professor X in Avengers versus X-Men #11.

The Stepford Cuckkos were created by the Weapon Plus program from Emma’s stolen ova, so genetically speaking she is their mother X-Men: Phoenix Warsong].

The Cuckoos have actually met the grown Jean, so it is unclear why they are so dismissive of her here.

Issue Information: 
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