Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
January 2012
Story Title: 

Jason Aaron (writer), Chris Bachalo (pencils & colors), Tim Townsend & Jaime Mendoza (inks), Rob Steen (letterer), Bachalo & Townsend (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: 

The school suffers a series of earthquakes, followed by an attack of Frankenstein monsters with flamethrowers, all thanks to the new preteen Hellfire Club. As the X-Men try to protect the students, Iceman surprises everyone by creating an army of multiple ice-bodies all under his control, which take out the monsters. Even more surprising, one of the icemen kisses Kitty, much to the displeasure of Lockheed, who melts him. In addition, the school inspectors are turned into a Wendigo and a Sauron respectively and the attack is followed by the ground becoming alive and turning hostile, a new version of Krakoa, which is doing the Hellfire Club’s bidding. Idie meets and saves Broo who immediately falls for her. Meanwhile, in the detention room, Quentin Quire watches the events and enjoys the show.

Full Summary: 

Two weeks ago:
Wolverine and Iceman are inspecting the still ruined grounds of the Xavier Institute. The old girl has seen better days, that’s for sure, Bobby announces. But he’s gotta say, it feels right being back here… feels like they never should have left.

Wolverine reminds Iceman he was the first person he asked to come with him to help him build something. Sure he was, Bobby laughs. Right after Maggott turned him down.

Logan continues, undeterred. He needs Bobby to do something special for him. He needs him to step up. Oh boy, here it comes, Bobby sighs. Everybody likes him, Logan continues. They always have. He’s a fun guy. He’s everybody’s favorite uncle. But he’s gonna need Bobby to be more than that. Hank’s gonna build them a school. Kitty’s gonna run it and Bobby’s gonna hold it all together.

Scott always said that, of all the original X-Men, Iceman had the most untapped potential. They can’t afford “untapped potential” anymore. They can’t leave anything in the tank this time.

Bobby tells him to can the pep talk crap. He sucks at it anyway. Just tell him what he wants him to do. Something amazing, nothing less, Logan insists. Oh, that is all? He can do “amazing,” Bobby decides.

After the new Black King of the Hellfire Club, the preteen Kade Kilgore, threatened Wolverine, the school grounds literally attacked the school. Iceman joins Wolverine, asking what happened. Not sure himself, Wolverine decides it was an earthquake They need to get to the kids. He slices at some rocks, which, to his surprise, inexplicably punch him in the face.

Inside the school, Rockslide asks the others who had “less than a day” in the “how long before the whole school gets demolished” pool. Anole mutters that maybe Cyclops wasn’t so bad after all and the Brood boy worries something’s coming. Iceman warns them not to hit the rocks. They hit back.

Rachel announces the kids are scared but okay. Was that an earthquake? Logan tells her to telepathically contact every student and staff member. If they are unconscious, wake them up, this was no earthquake. They’re under attack!

Well, that sure didn’t take long, Kade Kilgore announces. From a hill some distance away, he and the other preteen Hellfire Club members are watching the scene. Kade congratulates the Baron on demolishing the school like a vet. The Baron mutters he never destroyed a school before, to which Kade informs him he’s averaged two a year since he was four.

The third member, Manuel Enduque, asks if they can get back to New York now? He’s got fortunes to squander and rivals to assassinate and he’s not getting any younger. Wilhelmina Kensington happily announces she just bought a zoo and today’s the day she plays the hammer game with the penguins.

Kade remarks they are not done yet. The Hellfire Club isn’t here to destroy buildings. They’ve come to demolish entire hearts and minds. The Baron agrees: let them not forget the esteemed guests from the New York state department of education…

Kitty Pryde tries to calm said guests, Mrs. Marigold and Mr. Clud, who believe the school is trying to murder them.

The baron tells his friends that he recently visited the homes of Mrs. Marigold and Mr. Clud and added a little extra to their water supply. They have spent the last 72 hours bathing in chemical compounds of his ingenious design, compounds that are triggered by specific connections in the brain. So, if they happen to become, let’s say, incredibly frightened and unnerved…

Before Kitty’s horrified eyes, the two guests change monstrously with Mrs. Marigold turning into a Wendigo and Mr. Clud into a Sauron. A moment later, the two monsters are chasing Kitty.

A bit ostentatious, Manuel criticizes through his binoculars. He’s still for just lopping off their heads and mailing them back to their bosses. That oughtta get the place closed down quick enough. At least it worked for the boy scout camp his dad tried to send him to.

Rule number one of the Hellfire Club, Kade inform him: never be afraid to be ostentatious! All together now! They fire their rifles and Kade explains that each mortar round releases an entire platoon of miniaturized genetically engineered combat troops, which then expand upon contact with the air. Manuel finds them a bit familiar looking. He based them on an old family recipe, the Baron explains. And so an army of Frankenstein’s monsters armed with flamethrowers descends on the school.

Manuel asks if he is actually descended of that Franken—He doesn’t like the F-word, Kade reminds him.

The monsters begin using their flamethrowers. He thought they didn’t want to kill anyone? Manuel asks. They make money off mutants being hated and feared, not dead. They are not killing anyone, Kade calms him. They are merely going to horribly disfigure them. He wants everyone in that building to suffer and burn! He wants no flesh left unscarred. From this day, every time Wolverine dares to look upon these children he has so sanctimoniously sworn to protect, he wants him to see nothing but his own miserable failure in every charred and melted face! How’s that for a first day at school!

Wolverine screams in frustration as he attacks the first monster. Rachel informs the others the monsters were born in vats. Bred to do nothing but stomp and destroy. Their minds are half dead and half solid steel and there are so damn many! It’s not just them they are after, but everyone!

When one Frankenstein attacks the lab, Beast worries that this hopefully wasn’t his doing. Did he leave a pot of Frankensteins on the stove?

Kitty asks Lockheed to help the kids. They must be scared out of their minds! Far from it, Kid Gladiator is finally enjoying himself, while his guardian Warbird observes that this probably isn’t part of the curriculum.

Elsewhere, Husk takes on a powerful form to protect her students, taking out one of two Frankenstein monsters. Facing the other, Idie wonders if they should run or is it all right to kill the monsters. Before either she of the monster can act, she is saved by the Brood boy. She asks what he is but, when he replies, she mishears “Brood” as Broo and asks if that’s his name. It wasn’t before, he admits, but he supposes it will be now. Idie introduces herself and “Broo” suddenly realizes that the very act of looking at her face seems to be having a rather peculiar effect on his physiology. He can feel his knee joints weakening and his mouth become inexplicably dry, he admits. Is this perhaps a manifestation of her mutant powers?

Before she can reply, she shoves him when a Frankenstein attacks and ices it. Is he all right? she asks. How long after first meeting is it customary to wait before proposing marriage? Broo asks Would now be considered too soon?

Elsewhere, Rachel is doing her best to smash Frankenstein minds, but there are too many. Wolverine orders Iceman to take the kids and go. He is not losing a single damn kid ever again! he vows.

Iceman promises they are not losing any more kids, then orders everyone to bundle up - it’s about to get cold! He begins to focus and soon several ice-bodies under his control emerge from the ice. All right, follow his lead! he orders the other Icemen.

Is that him? Kitty asks one of them confused. Beast marvels at him controlling multiple bodies. He wasn’t aware Bobby was capable of such a feat. Him neither, he admits. Warbird accosts one of the icemen. Is he all ice under there?

While the icea rmy battles the Frankensteins, Kitty asks one of them (looking like a snowman) how he is doing all this. He doesn’t know, he replies. The idea just kind came to him and he’s learned over the years when you have an impulse it’s best to just follow. In demonstration of this, Iceman suddenly he grabs Kitty and kisses her. While Kitty is just surprised, Lockheed angrily melts the Iceman.

Nevertheless, the other Icemen are enough to take down the Frankenstein soldiers, much to the surprise of the Hellfire Club. Are they done yet? Wilhelmina pouts. She’s got lots of cute little penguins to beat with a hammer. Go to phase two! Kade orders.

Suddenly, the ground beneath the X-Men comes alive. Kade asks the baron if it will obey. He has it on an electromagnetic leash strong enough to corral a comet. Go tell it to cripple and maim at will. Krakoa is a go!

A huge maw opens next to the X-Men. There’s only one chunk of dirt with a face like that! Wolverine shouts. Krakoa! She thought they just made that up! Rachel protests. Does it feel like they made that up? Bobby mutters.

Rachel warns everyone telepathically that the grounds aren’t under attack. The grounds are the attack. He built a school atop of Krakoa, Henry sighs. He will never live this down.

What in the world is a Krakoa? Idie wonders. Broo doesn’t know but suggests they run from it.

Krakoa, the living island. A mutated chunk of rock with a hive mind sentience. When Wolverine joined the X-Men, it was the first enemy they faced. Sounds like a bad joke but it actually killed its share of X-Men…

In a detention room, a grinning Quentin Quire sees into its mind, feels its mindless animal rage and knows that there is only one person around who can successfully fight it, and that would be him. But unfortunately for the rest of these half-witted wannabes and washed up old soldiers he is perfectly fine right where he’s at. Who knew being an X-Man was this much fun?

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Husk, Iceman, Marvel Girl III, Shadowcat, Wolverine (all X-Men / staff)
Anole, Broo, Kid Gladiator, Kid Omega, Oya, Rockslide and others (all students)
Warbird II

Mr. Clusk and Mrs. Marigold (school inspectors)

Manuel Enduque, Baron Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Wilhelmina Kengsington, Kade Kilgore (all Hellfire Club Inner Circle)
Krakoa II

in flashback:
Iceman, Wolverine

Story Notes: 

In X-Men: Regenesis, Iceman was indeed the first Wolverine asked.

Iceman’s untapped potential has been a plot point over the years. Read his biography for more info.

The original Krakoa killed several X-Men, as revealed in the X-Men: Deadly Genesis limited series. As Rachel was a big part of the story, she should be aware of Krakoa.

The Frankenstein’s monster soldier’s notation of “Fire… bad” is most likely a reference to Phil Hartman’s Saturday Night Live character of Frankenstein’s monster, who would regularly mutter this proclamation.

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