Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #29

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 
Key to the Future

Jason Aaron (writer), Ramon Perez (artist), Laura Martin (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Ramon Perez & Laura Martin (cover artists), 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: 

Wolverine and Beast search Dog Logan’s cabin but only find a box which they cannot open, which drives Logan wild. Later he holds a speech to the school and they bury a time capsule with objects by every student to be dug up again 25 years later. 25 years later, an older headmaster Logan finds the time capsule which he doesn’t remember burying. The school is now thriving, but the time capsule reminds him of certain sad events he hopes to prevent by accessing time technology. The grown-up Eye-Boy appeals to his conscience not to do that but Logan finally sends a key back in time. Present Wolverine finds the key when burying the time capsule. With it, he opens Dog’s box and finds two paper boats he and Dog used to play with when they were children and friends. In the meantime, Dog Loan has killed his future self and is recruited into the Hellfire Academy. Idie Okonkwo meets the Hellfire Academy’s inside man, announcing that she wants to join the Hellfire Academy.

Full Summary: 

The grounds of the Jean Grey School, where all the students and staff have gathered to listen to the headmaster’s speech. Wolverine thanks them for coming. Not just today, but coming to this school… being a part of the crazy thing they are building here.

He admits he has no idea what he’s doing as their headmaster. He was trained much of his life for a different kind of pursuit. But the way of the samurai is one of immediacy and it’s best to dash in reckless and with great joy, so here he is being reckless.

Every new day in this school is seriously the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life. And he’s a lot older than he looks and hasn’t exactly been taking it easy till now. Part of him would rather go toe to toe with the Juggernaut than have to stand up here in a tie talking. But he does this because he knows how important this place is. He’s doing what he can to be here for the school because, if the school hadn’t been there for him, he’d be dead or in a padded cell. Or on the run like a wild dog.

Earlier, the Rocky Mountains:
Logan breaks into Dog’s cabin and finds it empty. Dog was here! Calling him Logan, Beast tells him he’s sorry. Wolverine asks him not to call him by that name. Not right now. He notices a small futuristic metal box.

Logan continues that he’s here to help the kids however he can. And to pay back the debt he owes this sacred ground. But if he had to sum up the reasons why he’s at this school, there’s one word. Family. The X-Men are the only family he’s ever known. Xavier was like a father, the other teachers are like his brothers and sister and, God help him, the students are his children.

Nobody’s more frightened by what he just said than he. This has been no easy ride for them and he’d be lying if he told them it was gonna get any easier. All he can promise them is that it’s worth it. To be part of this family.

Earlier, the Jean Grey School, basement level C:
Wolverine stares at the box while Beast makes his examination notes. They have found various knives, bones of wolverines, one cabin, now preserved in a miniature state, and one box they have been unable to open so far.

Wolverine tries it with his claw. Beast tells him he tried subatomic lasers, transmutation rays, Shi’ar dynamite. He even tried shrinking himself and getting between the atoms of the box. But not even Kitty’s phasing power can penetrate the metal.

Logan is sure that the clues they need are in the box. Angrily, he slashes at it. Beast notes Logan never told them that he had a brother or any kind of family. When Logan doesn’t want to talk about it, Beast, calling him ‘Logan’ again, points out he respects his privacy but if his family is becoming a threat to this institution… Again Wolverine asks him not to call him that. His momma named him James, he finally states, recalling a happy day when he and Dog were playing with paper boats. Though he doesn’t think he wants him calling him that either. He pleads with him to open the box.

Logan continues he remains as devoted to the school as the day it was opened. More so. Because with Charles Xavier dead, it’s more important than ever they fight like hell to keep his dream alive. This school… is that dream. All of this.

Students begin putting objects into a metal cylinder. He doesn’t believe in the future, Quentin Quire bitches perfunctorily as he puts in a “Cyclops was right” T-shirt. After him, Iidie Okonkwo puts in her Bible. He’s all for turning one’s back on organized religion, Quentin remarks, he’s still a bit surprised she… Idie cuts him off and suggests he get a life of his own instead of intruding on hers.

Logan explains this time capsule will be dug up 25 years from now. He doesn’t know who’ll be here to do the digging and he doesn’t need to know. He doesn‘t need to see into the future to know that what they are doing here is working, ‘cause for him this school… this moment… this here and now, this is the future. One helluva damn future, if they ask him. So let’s bury this thing and get to class already!

Most of his teammates are touched. Kitty smiles that, for a man who barely said three words to her for the first six months she knew him, he can really get going when you wind him up. Storm is pleased that there wasn’t as much cursing this time. Iceman asks if this is finished; this is one of his ice doubles. He’s been asleep in his office the whole time, while Beast is wiping away a tear.

Logan tells Toad he’s got this and takes the spade. Right, ‘cause he’d much rather be scrubbing toilets, Toad mutters. Logan apologizes to Krakoa and begins to dig a hole.

25 years in the future:
The time capsule beeps and is dug up by the eager hands of Bamfs (now with white beards). An equally aged Logan remarks that has been beeping all damn day and wonders what it is. Heh, he’ll be damned, he remarks, when he sees the capsule.

The student body is now more diverse than ever (even including Sentinels). Professor Xorn makes the daily telepathic announcements. The fifth period underwater sword fighting class will now be held in the underground lagoon. Please remember that tomorrow is the deadline for registering with the study abroad program if you wish to continue your studies at one of the other Grey school campuses in New Bejing, Sea Francisco or the Anole Industries prototype colony on the Blue Area of the Moon.

Sasquatch admonishes a phasing boy with ice powers, one Carmen Drake, for throwing snowballs in the hallway.

Xorn continues that candidates for this year’s homecoming king are Barry the Wdngo, C’vrrrK Bloodskull of the Brood, Warren Worthington IV, Kubrick Quire. Candidates for Homecoming Queen include Charlene Xavier, Rose Logan, She-Sentinel 17, Summer Grey…

In his office, still surrounded by Bamfs, Logan studies the insides of the capsule and wonders when they buried this. Bamf, one of them replies. Right. Musta been right after that trip to the Savage Land, he agrees. That was when Dog… He still doesn’t remember burying this thing. He hopes he didn’t make everybody listen to one of his Xavier’s dream speeches. He really had no idea what he was doing back then. So, all this stuff must be from before… before the-- He takes Idie’s Bible. Ah, hell! he mutters.

Trevor Hawkins is now manning a space station made of a Sentinel Head called Space Station X. He gets a transmission from the Jean Grey School, ignores it and watches the screens for the eastern hemisphere. Aerial traffic camera outside Wakanda Sky City 5 just captured an image of what appears to a dirigible made of human remains. He figures Frankenstein Inc. is back in business and gives orders to have Thunderbird and Phoenix deal with this.

Moloid message board chatter seems to indicate rising political unrest in the subterranean settlement. Ask Captain China and available members of the Krakoa Corps to be ready to intervene.

Energy readings in the Latverian fall-out zone suggest the Church of Cyttorak is conducting necromantic rituals gain. Alert Shark Woman’s X-Force squad.

Genetic profiling in Arizona Bay, Hellfire Unlimited attempting to purchase the moons of Jupiter… Still no signs of the hidden Akkaba city. Candidates for the interstellar committee on religious fanaticism: Majestrix Ava’dara of the Shi’ar, Allfather Thor…

He is told there is an incoming teleportation from the Jean Grey School and finds Wolverine clawing at a section of the station. Logan tells him to stay back and calls him Eye Boy. Trevor asks when he is going to start calling him Eye-Man and warns him not even he is allowed in there.

Diverse Archangel robots surround Logan, telling him access to the vaults is strictly prohibited without approval from X-Men High Command, the Time Variance Authority, the Interstellar Committee on Superhuman Arms Control, the Bureau of Mass Destruction …

As he is about to attack the robots, Trevor tries to prevent that but finds he has to help him, angrily remarking this just became the most expensive sparring session in X-Men history. He could just tell him what he is looking for.

This is where he keeps the time travelling tech, Logan asks. No, Trevor announces. No more trips through time! No more Days of Future Nothing! They can’t do that anymore, especially after the last time when--

Logan tells him he ain’t going back in time anymore. He’s just gonna send somebody a message. Who? Trevor asks. Himself, is the reply.

The robots are destroyed. Logan walks on. Trevor points his weapons at him. As X-Man, he cannot allow him access to time travel tech; just tell him what the hell is going on. Does he remember burying a time capsule at the school 25 years ago? Logan asks and is told ‘no’. Neither does he. But he dug one up today and opening it was like… like ripping open a whole mess of old wounds. Now all he can see is the way he was back then when the school first opened. Eye-Boy and all the kids from the original class… they trusted him but he had no idea what was in store for them. So he’s gonna warn himself about everything. The Hellfire Academy and the damned siege. Azazel and his pirates. The Black Order. That butcheress Mondo. Sabretooth’s secret plans. The new Brotherhood. The Apocalypse Crusade. Jean.

Trevor tells him he can’t do that. He can’t change the past. Was it worth what they went though, what they put the kids through… just to keep that damn school open? Logan asks.

A call from Thunderbird: Frankenstein Inc has seeded the stratosphere with science vampires. Requesting assistance. He’s gotta go, Eye-Man remarks, do what he trained him for. He has no answers. If he wants to take his time tech, do it. But if he sees his younger self, tell him he said ‘thanks’.

In a special spacesuit, he flies outside to take care of the vampires. He hates it when the damn kids are smarter than him, Logan sighs and takes a small tube-shaped object.

Logan digs and finds something metal, a small tube-shaped object. Inside is a note with a key: Thanks, bub, and good luck – L.

The hell is going on? Logan wonders.

Elsewhere, younger Dog Logan beats up his older alter ego while asking two newcomers how they found him or even know who he is. He has his way, Kade Kilgore replies, or actually his associate here does. He’s come with an offer. Ain’t interested, Dog replies. Kade tells him he will be. Go away or he’s next, Dog threatens and grabs a gun.

Kade asks if that is really wise. He shouldn’t have hit him, Dog replies. “To hell with you, Dog Logan!” the older Dog cries. “Exactly. To hell with me”, the younger Dog agrees and shoots him. He will indeed do nicely, Kade remarks. Has he ever considered a career in education?

The future:
Logan muses that Eye Boy was right. The past is the past. They can’t go back and relive it. They can’t ever make it perfect. They can only make certain they never forget it.

The present:
Logan opens the box with the key and finds two small toy boats with which he and Dog used to play as kids.

Elsewhere, Kade welcomes Dog to the Hellfire Academy.

Nighttime at the Jean Grey School. Idie tells Broo goodbye and calls out she is here. Is she sure she wants this? a familiar voice asks and she recognizes the speaker. She didn’t know he was working with… They don’t have much time, he replies. He needs to hear her say it. He needs to know that she realizes what she’s letting herself in for.

Her name is Idie Okonkwo. She’s a killer and a monster and a danger to everyone around her. Please take here where she belongs. Take her to the Hellfire Academy.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cannonball, Chamber, Rachel Grey, Iceman, Karma, Kitty Pryde, Northstar, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Warbird II

Anole, Blindfold, Bling!, Broo, Cipher, Dust, Ernst, Eye-Boy, Face, Genesis II, Gentle, Graymalkin, Hellion, Indra, Krosta, Match, Mercury No-Girl, Oya, Pixie III, Primal, Rockslide, Shark-girl, Sprite III,Surge, Trance, Transonic, Velocidad (all students)
Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (original X-Men)

Dog Logan
Future Dog Logan
Kade Kilgore

in the future:
Eye-Boy / Eye-Man
Carmen Pryde
Lots of students

in pictures:
Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Martha Johansson

Story Notes: 

Given his name and power-set, Carmen Drake is clearly Iceman’s and Kitty’s son.

Apparently in the future, Warbird becomes Majestrix of the Shi’ar.

Written By: