Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #20

Issue Date: 
January 2013
Story Title: 
The Search for Something New

Jason Aaron (writer), Steve Sanders (art), Frank D’Armata (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Nick Bradshaw & EFX (cover artists), 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: 

Angel has decided that his calling is to find new mutants and introduce them to the Jean Grey School. Beast warns him of using his new powers. His energies come from the Life Seed and, once that energy is used up, he will die. Angel doesn’t let that deter him from his mission. He finds the next new mutant in Brazil. Iara dos Santos woke up one day with a strange craving for raw fish and found she is a wereshark of sorts. Angel’s offer doesn’t really interest her. That moment, Angel is attacked by the new Silver Samurai while his partner, Mystique, tries to make Iara a better offer. When the girl isn’t interested, Mystique tries to force her. Iara shapeshifts and hurts her badly. Now Mystique wants her dead. Angel uses his new powers to save both of them by flying away superfast. Iara decides to stay at the school. Elsewhere, Kade Kilgore recruits a new mutant for a school of his own…

Full Summary: 

Night time in a port in Recife, Brazil:
Men are trying to load their cargo when they hear a crunching noise. They look down below and see a petite teenage girl who just bit into a raw fish. She apologizes, but she just had a sudden craving for fresh fish. Looking at the blood on her body, she admits this is really gross. She doesn’t know what came over her. She’s usually not much of a seafood girl. But she just woke up in the middle of the night with a crazy strong hunger for—She wonders how she got these fish. Did she catch them with her teeth?

One of the men nervously orders her to leave. She agrees, holding onto her fish, then asks if they smell that. Shark fins! she exclaims as she looks at their cargo. They are cutting up sharks, then dumping them back in the ocean still alive! All, so they can sell their fins overseas for soup! That’s illegal! And for some reason it makes her really mad!

As the man tries to attack her, she claws at his eyes. He holds his face in pain. She is surprised that he is bleeding so badly. The other men look at her in horror as she suddenly has razor claws and shark teeth. The hell kind of fish did she eat? she wonders.

Hours later, normal again, she sits at the beach, still staring at her hand. He knows exactly what she’s feeling, a voice comes from above from Angel. A mix of horror and excitement, of fear and confusion. But take it from him: this is the beginning of something amazing. He is Angel and is here to talk about the Jean Grey School—

The girl screams and dives into the ocean. Angel protests that she shouldn’t believe what she’s read online. He promises Wolverine doesn’t kill students. He’s only ever wounded a few!

He dives after her and sees that she is transforming, becoming more shark-like in the water until she even has a shark head. She snarls and throws herself at him. Time to show Shark Girl how he got his name, Angel figures. He grabs her by the arms and flies upward with her. He’s not here to hurt here, he promises. Put her down! she orders. He will, if she stops trying to eat him.

Iara calms down and turns human and they land near her stuff. Iara changes into a surfing suit. Angrily, she demands what is happening. How is he doing that to her? He’s not doing anything, Angel assures her. She is a mutant. Her X-gene has been triggered. She appears to have some kind of were-shark power. Like a werewolf, but with more teeth.

He totally made that up! she accuses him. Angel assures her he’s been through the exact same thing. Like hell he has, Iara snorts. He’s got big shiny wings. She ate raw fish and almost slashed a man’s face off. And she turned into a giant freaking shark!

He assures her things will get weirder. She may not even have seen the full extent of her mutation, but there is a place for people like them. A school. The most astounding school she can imagine.

The Jean Grey School:
Outside on the grounds Kitty Pryde grabs Quentin Quire, who is just talking Ernst and Krakoa into destroying the Jean Grey statue.

In his lab, Beast examines Angel. Calling him Warren, he remarks he doesn’t know if this is a good idea. Angel asks to be called Angel, and it’s not an idea, it’s a calling. There are new mutants appearing worldwide and he must be the one to track them down. He’s regained control of Worthington Industries and installed a new board of directors. As of now, the company’s new area of research are teleportation technology, space flight, intergalactic amusement parks and a line of pastries that actually help you lose weight. And, of course, mutant education and integration. He’s told sales of the fat-free cream-filled donuts alone are enough to fund the school for any wars to come.

Beast reminds him he’s only just graduated. Which makes him the perfect ambassador, Angel decides. He’ll need Ms Grey to track the new mutants with Cerebra and direct him accordingly. And then whatever local contacts they can offer can handle the rest.

Does he know they have to thank Broo for that multi-million dollar pastry line he mentioned? It was his science fair project, finished right before he was— Angel trails off. He loves this school and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to see that its students have the chance to thrive. How is Broo? He suggests he could lay hands on him.

He is being cared for, Henry replies and tells him he should be worried about his own condition. He reminds Angel that, in his previous life, he had an encounter with something called a Celestial Life Seed. It is a sort of alien genesis bomb designed to re-grow whole worlds. Instead, it re-grew him. As the old Angel died, a new one was born from this seed. A whole new mind and new powers as well apparently, judging by those energy blasts he displayed.

Since being reborn, he continued growing, changing at a remarkable rate. The power of this Life Seed still courses through his veins, power that is nothing less than staggering in its potential.

Angel remarks that sounds rather awesome. Beast warns that that energy is still a limited resource. Once it’s gone, so is he. Then he supposes there is no time to waste, Angel decides. Beast warns him if he uses those new powers of his he’s eventually going to burn himself out and die.

Strictly speaking, Angel replies he was given the new power for a reason, to use it. And that’s exactly what he intends to do. He flies upward, asking Rachel to direct him to the latest new mutant. Iara dos Santos, Brazil, he is told. Such a pretty name, he muses. She sounds like a lovely young lady.

Her face distorted, Iara growls. She calls him a crazy winged hippy and orders him to fly back to America. She’s not interested in his weirdo mutie commune. It’s not really a commune per se although that’s actually not a bad idea. It’s merely a place where her spirit can be free to soar and revel in -- She interrupts that every word sounds way too churchy for her.

Did he forget the part about Wolverine? And the claws and the stabbing? The Jean Grey School isn’t about religion. It is about providing a haven to young mutants. A place where you can grow and learn.

He is suddenly fired at as a voice announces the Jean Grey School wants to teach you something all right. Like how to hide! How to live in fear! “Come with us,” Mystique tells Iara, and she’ll never have to hide again.

Angel recognizes her and the new Silver Samurai. He tells Iara to run. He flies towards them and uses his wings as protection from the Silver Samurai’s energy sword.

With the men busy, Mystique scoffs that run is their answer to everything. If Iara wants to run and hide, by all means, go with him, but she doesn’t look like a runner to her. Does Iara really want to go a stuffy old boarding school run by a bunch of washed-up sellouts who’ll teach her to be afraid of what she is? Or would she rather revel in that newfound sense of power and be free to realize her potential. She’s officially intrigued, Iara admits. Keep talking.

Silver Samurai attacks Angel, trying to decapitate him.

She’s not so sure about her recruiting methods, but her offers sounds more intriguing, Iara admits. But she never asked for any of this and she isn’t going anywhere, she decides and turns around to leave. Unsurprised, Mystique stretches her arms and goes for Iara’s throat.

Silver Samurai fires an energy bullet at Angel, who manifests an energy sword and swats the Samurai away. Mystique, having trapped Iara, calls to the Samurai to come along; they are leaving.

Angry and caught in Mystique’s arms, Iara transforms to her were-shark form and bites Mystique’s head.

The men both stop in their tracks. He admits he’s never been turned on by a shark before, Samurai remarks, but wow!

The two women land hard. Mystique turns one of her fingers into a spear-like implement and cuts through Iara’s cheek, forcing her to release Mystique’s head. Mystique turns one of her arms into a mace, announcing Iara’s invitation is officially withdrawn. She’s going to kill her, grill her and eat her with some tartar sauce!

Iara tastes Mystique’s blood in her mouth and it’s delicious! She attacks the other woman.

The Samurai chattily asks Angel if this isn’t turning him on too? Angel tosses his sword at him, asking him to hold it. Instead it hurts him. He flies over to the combatants and grabs Iara. He tells her to be calm and covers her ears, then flies them away at superspeed.

Damn! Mystique swears. Silver Samurai tells her there are plenty more fishes in the sea. Poor choice of words. Is she as hungry for sushi as he is?

Angel awakes in the infirmary of the Jean Grey School. Wearing a school uniform, Iara informs him they are safe, thanks to him.
They step into the hallway and Iara tells him the big furry guy says he can teach her to control the shark-outs. And apparently someone called Iceman has already appointed her captain of the swim team.

Is she staying? Angel asks. Grimly, she muses back on the beach she would have killed that woman, if he hadn’t stopped her. Even though it probably wouldn’t have been a big loss, that’s still not her. Whatever this thing is she’s becoming, she will learn to control it and kick much butt with it. But she is still not moving in full time. Why would people want to live this far from the ocean?

Angel offers to fly her to Brazil on the weekends. Will this be all right with her family? She doesn’t have any, she tells him. Well, that’s one more thing that’s about to change, Angel promises.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the redwoods of Alabama, Kade Kilgore tells a redneck family about the horrors of the Jean Grey School and how unsafe that school is. The father, Mr. Ledbetter, announces no son of his is going to no school in damn New York. Kade smoothly agrees and asks how his son feels.

Mudbug, a boy with an insect head (who has been relocated to the doghouse), announces he reckons Wolverine used to be all right when he was always stabbing folks. But now he‘s gone all sissified. He heard he doesn’t even use his claws anymore ‘cept on folks that actually done some wrong. What kinda tree-huggin’ liberal crap is that?!

Kade tells them they have seen through the elitist nonsense that is the Jean Grey School. Now if they’ll permit him, he’d like to present them with an alternative…

Characters Involved: 

Shark Girl

Mystique, Silver Samurai II
Kade Kilgore
Kilgore’s team

Mr. and Mrs. Ledbetter

In flashback:
Angel, Beast, Kitty Pryde
Rachel Grey (unseen)
Ernst, Kid Omega
Krakoa II

Story Notes: 

Broo was shot in issue #18.

Angel’s new personality and the Life Seed are explained in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #18-19.

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