Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
December 2012
Story Title: 
Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

Jason Aaron (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler),Norman Lee (inker), Morry Hollowell & Rachel Rosenberg ( (colorists), Chris Eliopoulis (letterer), Ed McGuiness & Morry Hollowell (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (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 the X-Men and Avengers fight the Phoenix-powered Cyclops, Kitty Pryde tries to run the school as well as possible. When Husk is incapable of stopping a conflict in her class, Kitty addresses Paige’s increasingly erratic behavior. Refusing to consider psychological help, Paige quits instead. While the Stepford Cuckoos observe the battle via Cerebra, Kitty announces a school dance to distract the students. Broo is worried about Idie’s mood swings and believes they may be connected to her frequent visits at a church. He visits Pastor Hail and attacks him to find he is a robot, which as it turns out has been constructed by the new Hellfire Club to manipulate Idie. Kade Kilgore shoots Broo in the head. In the meantime, Glob Herman visits the other members of the Hellfire Club to report his failure in getting Quentin Quire on their side. The students are enjoying the dance. On Utopia, Xavier falls, but not before instructing Wolverine that he has to continue the school, no matter what happens. The Cuckoos call Kitty when it becomes clear that they are safe, as Hope Summers has stopped Cyclops. Thanks to her dispersing the Phoenix, suddenly new mutant lights appear, whereas in Salem Center unnoticed Broo’s light dwindles…

Full Summary: 

On Utopia, Professor Xavier and the X-Men face Scott Summers gone mad with power. X-Men versus Phoenix, here they go again, Iceman jokes.

Meanwhile at the Jean Grey School, the Stepfrod Cuckoos use Cerebra to try and follow the battle but they cannot tell who is winning. Cerebra monitors mutants’ location but doesn’t allow them to peer into their minds. Not without getting expelled, at least, one of them points out.

Another sister doesn’t care. They aren’t enrolled in here anyway. The first sister reminds her Kitty Pryde only gave them clearance to monitor the lights and provide a mental link among the teams, if necessary. Apparently, the only telepath they have left around here is Quire. She thought you had to have a brain to be a telepath, the second sister scoffs. The third sister marvels that one of the mutant lights seems to be a Brood. A mutant Brood. Apparently tops of the class… They agree this place is weird.

In Kitty’s office, she tries to talk with Paige Guthrie aka Husk about what happened in class today. Confused, Husk replies she is not sure. What was is that happened again? She is talking about the fight, Kitty reminds her.

In class, Glob Herman threatens Quentin Quire but is instead forced to hit himself in the face repeatedly by Quentin. The others laugh and Husk halfheartedly tries to convince them to return to their desks before trailing off. Broo is concerned about her. He suggests to Idie they stop this horrible display.

The Present:
Confused, Page asks Kitty what the problem is. Nobody was hurt, were they?

Idie begins to laugh madly, causing Broo to ask if she is all right. She’s never felt better, she assures him. He admits nobody has heard her laugh before. Indeed, even the fight has stopped as the whole class looks at her in confusion. Smirking, Idie suggests they better get used to it. A baffled Quentin stares after her. Herman uses the opportunity to whack him.

Kitty tells Paige that she is the problem. Something is the matter. Her powers have been erratic for a while now and her behavior is starting to follow suit. It’s been a trying few months for all of them. She knows Paige is overworked.

So she’s telling her she’s fired, is that it? Husk snaps. She’s not telling her that at all, Kitty replies. Then can she go back to her class? Husk demands. She’s fine!

No, she can’t and no, she isn’t, Kitty replies. She can’t let Paige teach here any longer until she admits that something is wrong and lets them help her.

Husk tears her skin off to reveal a lava form. If Kitty doesn’t have the guts to fire her she will save her the trouble. She quits! This school is an embarrassment anyway, is Paige’s parting shot. The only one with any sense here is the janitor. Good riddance!

Note to self, Kitty sighs. Do not hire any more of Emma Frost’s former students. Ironically, she then contacts Emma’s former prize pupils, the telepathic Stepford Cuckoos, who inform her that the battle is still raging at Utopia. Kitty doesn’t want details; she has a school to run. She asks them to send a telepathic announcement to all students. They’ve got to do something to alleviate the tension around here, so she’s decided that tonight they’ll be having the first ever Jean Grey School dance. In the east wing ballroom.

Dance while the world ends, huh? Anole muses. He likes it. Rockslide hopes that if it is the end of the world, he might be able to find a date.

Broo is worried to see Idie sneaking out of school. She tells him she is only going to church. Broo points out that she has been going there every day for weeks now. She explains that, when the pastor delivers a sermon, it’s almost like he is just talking to her. She bribes Krakoa with some fertilizer to get over the wall and ignores Broo’s offer to come with her. She promises to be back in time for the dance. She’s never been to one. They just have to go. Broo sighs he will have some Googling to do.

Xavier and the X-Men do their best to stop Phoenix-powered Cyclops. Xavier thinks to himself that he started with a school and this is where it led them. To X-Men fighting X-Men. To the end of the world as they know it. They never should have left the school!

Elsewhere, Idie enters the church. The pastor asks her what she prays for. She prays that there will still be a tomorrow, she replies.

Xavier realizes this was his great failing. He failed them as a teacher. As a leader. He failed them all in every way. But it’s never too late. He telepathically orders the X-Men to stand down. This is his responsibility. Wolverine protests weakly, but can only watch helplessly.

The Jean Grey School:
The dance motto is Dance like there is no tomorrow. Deathlok observes to Kitty that several of the students seem to be making extremely awkward gyrations that conform to no known pattern of human dance. Should he alert them to the severity of which they are embarrassing themselves? Kitty teases he has a lot to learn about dancing.

Warbird remarks that she finds Earth dancing remarkably boring. There’s barely any bloodshed. Doop makes an indirect offer. Her room, five minutes! she orders.

A hopeful Broo with a bouquet of flowers and two hours’ worth of learning the Jitterbug addresses Idie, but she is busy dancing with Quentin Quire, who remarks he isn’t sure what’s come over her but he likes it.

Battling Cyclops, Xavier telepathically contacts Wolverine and asks him to promise to never close the school. Some day that school will save the world. Some day those kids will save them all.

The Jean Grey School:
Broo runs away dejected.

Helplessly, Logan witnesses Xavier’s death.

In Westchester, the Cuckoos sense it too.

Broo runs out into the night and into Westchester to the church Idie has been visiting so often. Is he a lost soul? The pastor asks. He supposes he is, Broo admits. Then he has come to the right place, the pastor states. Welcome to the Church of Everlasting Damnation. His name is Pastor Hail. Would he like to tell him about his sins?

Is this the place his friend Idie has been visiting? Pastor Hail confirms. She has many sins. They speak of them often. And he offers her counsel? Broo asks. There is no counsel for the wicked, comes the reply. Only judgment and punishment. That is all he offers.

Is she different because of him? Broo demands. Hail explains Idie has come to accept her nature. Broo looks like someone who knows well the way of wickedness, or is he mistaken? Broo begins to growl. No, he is not.

Cyclops has gone Dark Phoenix and threatens to burn the entire world. Threatens to kill them all.

Broo attacks and decapitates the pastor. He looks down at the pastor who is just a robot.

An amused Kade Kilgore stands in the doorway. He imagines that, in the days to come, Broo will tell himself he realized he was a robot before he attacked him. That he smelled it on him or something. But he believes they both know that’s not true, don’t they?

In the meantime, Glob Herman has disappeared from the dance and runs towards a cave, where he is expected by two other Hellfire members, Manuel Enduque and Wilhelmina Edgington. Herman complains he is missing a dance for this. And he had to feed a wheelbarrow full of Ex-lac to Krakoa to sneak past him. So keep an eye out for mudslides.
Manuel arrogantly tells him he better have something to make this worth their time.

In the church, Broo recognizes Kade, who remarks this was his robot Broo just killed. Their robot, he amends and points to Max von Katzenelbogen, who built it.

In the cave, Manuel asks Herman if there has been any progress or have they done wrong in choosing him as their contact. Glob Herman explains Quentin is being stubborn. He’s tried to talk to him about all the awesome things they have promised him but he doesn’t want to hear. He thinks Quentin is actually starting to like the school.

Wilhelmina helpfully suggests he stick sharp things in Quentin’s face. Manuel orders him to keep after Quire and keep his mouth shut. The Hellfire Club doesn’t tolerate leaks.

In the church, Broo demands why they are manipulating Idie. Kade mocks that Broo loves her. He agrees they have plans for his would-be sweetheart, plans Broo wouldn’t like. But look on the bright side… He goes for his gun. He’s just kidding. There is no bright side for Broo.

Hope attacks Cyclops. With him beaten, she becomes the new host of the Phoenix.

At the dance, Idie remarks Quentin is shaking. That’s just how he dances, he claims, and asks about her sudden change of heart when it comes to him. Because they are all going to hell, she reveals. Maybe sooner rather than later. She spent too long being afraid of that. Being afraid to live. But now she thinks they might as well have some fun as long as they can.

In the church, Broo tries to jump Kade, who fires.

At school, Kitty enters the Cerebra chamber to learn what is going on. Is the world ending? The shocked Cuckoos announce she did it. Hope did it. She saved them. She saved the whole world. She dissipated the Phoenix, broke it apart and sent it out into the… A sister interrupts her. They see new lights.

On Utopia, the relieved survivors help each other.

In Westchester, Kade is satisfied that the Phoenix stuff is sorted out and orders Max to fix the robot.

Idie and Quentin kiss.

And as Kitty and the Cuckoos realize that it’s over and new mutants are being born, they do not notice that near Salem Center an existing light flickers and goes out.

As Broo lies in the church, shot in the head, Kitty and the Cuckoos hug.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Husk, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Wolverine (all X-Men and staff at the Jean Grey school)
Warbird II
Anole, Broo, Glob Herman, Graymalkin, Indra, Kid Omega, Mercury, Oya, Rockslide , Stepford Cuckoos (all students)
Krakoa II

Professor Xavier

Manuel Induque, Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Wilhelmina Kensington, Kade Kilgore (Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club)

“Pastor Hail”

Story Notes: 

This is part of the Avengers versus X-Men crossover and takes place parallel to issue 12.

More of Paige’s story is told via her twitter account:

Doopspeak, page 10: You know… my wounds have healed from last time.

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