Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #30

Issue Date: 
July 2013
Story Title: 
The Hellfire Saga - Prelude

Jason Aaron (writer), Pasqual Ferry with Pepe Larraz & Salva Espin (artists), James Campbell (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Nick Bradshaw & 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 Rachel attack Hellfire Club locations but find no sign of the missing Oya and Glob Herman. The other X-Men figure out they must have a traitor among the staff. Kid Omega already knows this. Trying to figure out what happened to Idie, he reads a Bamf’s memories and sees something strange, as well as learning Idie’s reason for joining the Hellfire Club. Kitty wears a device that allows her to partially read thoughts. Mistakenly, she and the others believe Kid Omega to be the traitor. He flees and meets with the real traitor, Toad. He is doing this for his beloved Husk, who has joined the Hellfire Club. In the meantime, Beast has travelled to the PEAK with Broo to ask the imprisoned Dr. Xanto Starblood for help. Starblood considers nothing wrong with Broo, though. He and Broo, as well as Quentin and Toad, are teleported away by the Hellfire Club’s Philistine.

Full Summary: 

New York City, official headquarters of the Hellfire Club:
A furious Wolverine and Rachel Grey attack the Hellfire Club guards. As they do so, Rachel telepathically informs Wolverine this is a waste of time. She’s mindswept the place a thousand times the last two weeks. The Hellfire Club Lords know they are looking for them. They’re not dumb enough to come here.

No, Wolverine replies, but they are still smart enough to be watching. Congratulations, they shot one of his kids in the face, he announces. Lured two others away from his school. They finally got his undivided attention. So now it doesn’t matter how far they run or how deep a hole they try to hide in. He’s gonna find them… every last damn one of them! And when he does… he unsheathes his claws.

Snikt - that’s it? Wilhelmina Kensington asks in the Hellfire Club hideout. She was hoping for more details on how he’s gonna kill them.

Max Frankenstein suggests they nuke New York City. He could activate a dozen missiles with one button on his phone. Manuel Enduque tells him to slow down. He owns half the city.

Kade Kilgore gloats how it must sting to be Wolverine. To have become so painfully irrelevant after all these years. Let the poor fool slash away at some thugs and snikt for the camera to his hairy little heart’s content. He was never their main concern, after all, unlike Wolverine, they still have a school to run.

The PEAK, headquarters of SWORD:
Abigail Brand warns her boyfriend, Beast, this is a bad idea. Even for a guy with a long furry history of bad ideas. Wearing green jumpsuits when you have green hair, that’s a bad idea, Henry retorts. This is an act of utter desperation. Bring him out.

He takes Broo along and address the prisoner. He knows Henry wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t absolutely desperate, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid. Henry knows he’s already thinking of a way to use this opportunity to stage an escape. That’s not going to happen. These guards have all killed aliens before and they’re sanctioned to kill him if he so much as twitches a tentacle in a way they find suspicious. They are on a space station, so forget about escape and focus on why Beast is here. Help him and he will do what he can to help him. Do they have a deal or shall Beast have him thrown back into his cell?

He loves the new look, Xanto Starblood replies, and as for his offer, of course he would be more than happy to help. After all, he is a doctor.

Soon they examine Broo. Broo was the victim of severe cranial trauma due to a projectile blast of unknown type and origin. My heavens, Starblood mocks, who in their right mind would want to do such a thing to their darling Broo. Other than himself, of course. Henry warns him not to try his patience.

Extensive brain damage Starblood continues. All repaired through microscopic surgery, capably so. Subject was in a vegetative state for a number of weeks. Was resistant to all forms of coma therapy. Awoke spontaneously. Since then has displayed previously unseen feral tendencies which, yes… he does seem a tad less chatty then when last they crossed paths. Broo growls at him.

Henry asks if he can help. Help him how exacty? Starblood asks. His brain is healed. He is in peak physical shape for a brood of his age. His senses are acute. His claws sharp, his appetite healthy, judging by the smell of meat on his breath. This is one of the healthiest broodlings he has ever examined.

Henry asks about his personality. Starblood tells him now he veers into the realm of fantasy. Brood are not meant to have personalities. They are meant to be Brood. He cannot help to fix this creature because there is nothing here to be fixed.

At the Jean Grey School, Storm, Kitty Pryde and Iceman watch surveillance tapes to see Idie Okonkwo sneaking out of the school last night. Kitty announces that Glob Herman confirmed it on Twitter: like him, Idie’s gone over to the Hellfire Club. Iceman announces that confirms it. They are officially the worst teachers in X-Men history. Storm agrees they should have helped Idie. Kitty notices something odd. Dozens of email messages were sent to Idie and Glob’s school accounts from someone on behalf of the Hellfire Club. Those emails couldn’t have made it through the filters. They couldn’t come from outside. That means one of their teachers is a traitor!

Soon an emergency meeting of all staff members is called. Quentin Quire (wearing an I was right t-shirt) listens in on the thoughts of the confused teachers, some believing it’s Warbird or Doop. Others are wishing for Rachel to be here for mandatory mind probes.

Quentin figures he’s already been inside the mind of their traitor, but he didn’t find the answer he was looking for, namely what the hell was Idie thinking? He heads outside. Security cameras show her leaving Broo tied out here and saying something to him before she sneaked away. If he could hear what she said, maybe he could figure out what the hell she’s really up to. He sees a Bamf and realizes it might have overheard. This is gonna be fun! he decides and chases after the Bamf with his telepathic guns.

Finally he hits the Bamf. Swatting away the others he gets into its mind and sees a strange image of Azazel cutting his own arms, giving the red Bamfs of his blood. He tells them to drink and be free. Some distance away stands a cloaked figure, his face covered by a white hood, begging for help.

The vision stops and Quentin wonders what the hell that was. He focuses on memories of Idie:

He sees through the Bamf’s eyes how Idie orders Broo to stay behind. She’s leaving, not him. She explains that it was the Hellfire Club all along. Glob Herman joining them makes her certain. They’ve been trying to manipulate her for weeks now. They made a robot priest and they… she’s pretty sure they are the ones who shot him. She’s going to join their school. She’s going to get close to them. And when she finds out who pulled the trigger she’s going to kill them for what they did to him. After all, what’s one more sin when you’ve already committed as many as she has? She tells him goodbye.

Quentin supposes that settles it. Hellfire Academy, here he comes! She heard that, someone snaps. He turns around to see Kitty Pryde wearing a strange device on her head, flanked by Warbird, Doop, Storm, Iceman and Lockheed.

Kitty explains she’s wearing a localized thought amplifier. Dug it out of Beast’s closet and set it to find all brain chatter related to the Hellfire Club. It’s buzzing like a nest of hornets around Quentin.

That’s rather invasive, he points out. He’d like to formally lodge a complaint with the— Quentin Quire… traitor, Iceman remarks. How predictably… predictable.

Storm cuts off Quentin’s protests and orders him to tell them everything he knows about the Hellfire Club or he will be spending the rest of eternity in detention inside a tornado.

Idie’s in trouble, he announces and there’s only one person who can save her. “I’ll do my best. But I’ve got a gig in the village tonight, too,” Doop announces. Isn’t it obvious why she left? Quentin shouts. The poor girl’s in love with a Brood!

On the PEAK, Beast refuses to accept Starblood’s diagnosis. Broo is no ordinary Brood! He’s a caring, compassionate, highly intelligent young man. Or at least he was. And will be again! Now, will he tell him something useful or are they done here?

He’s given him his expert medical opinion. If he refuses to accept it, perhaps a demonstration will be in order. Starblood growls something to Broo in his language and Broo attacks Hank. How caring and compassionate does he seem now? he mocks.

Brand orders her men to fire at Broo. Hank tells them to leave Broo to him and keep their weapons on Starblood.

That moment, the Philistine teleports aboard, greets Starblood and attacks the SWORD agents.

At the Jean Grey School, Kitty accuses Quentin of contacting the Hellfire Club to join their school. Don’t lie to her. She’s seen the emails. He has no intention of lying, he replies. As he said, there’s only one person here who can help Idie. He grabs a Bamf. Consider this his official transfer request!

He has the Bamf teleport him outside. They are on to them, he informs someone waiting in the bushes who replies they’d better move quickly.

Aboard the PEAK, Starblood tells the Philistine that he accepts the job offer. He addresses Broo, asking if he is McCoy’s sniveling teacher’s pet or a true red-blooded Brood? Broo follows him.

Outside the Jean Grey School, Quentin remarks that the X-Men will be on them in seconds. He sure hopes he knows what he’s doing. He’s only doing what he’s told, Toad replies. But the Hellfire Club plans for everything.

Quentin asks why Toad did it. Because they made him mop floors? He’s smarter than half the teachers here. Quentin wouldn’t understand, Toad replies. He’s too good-looking. And too young to ever haven been in love.

Philistine’s teleportation portal opens, bringing a deranged-looking Husk who greets Toad. Happily, he hugs her and asks her if they can be together now. They’ll be together forever, just like she promised. She raves about the Hellfire Academy and curses the Jean Grey School and the X-Men.

Quentin is skeptical, especially when he sees Starblood and Broo stepping out of the orange mist but it is too late and they are teleported away.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Storm, Warbird II, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Broo, Kid Omega (students at the Jean Grey school)


Abigail Brand

Kade Kilgore, Manuel Enduque, Max Frankenstein, Wilhelmina Kensington (Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club)
Husk, Philistine
Hellfire Club mercs

Dr. Xanto Starblood

on screen:

in Bamf memories:
Red Bamfs
Mysterious white hooded figure
Broo, Oya

Story Notes: 

Doopspeak: page 12, panel 3: “I’ll do my best. But I’ve got a gig in the village tonight, too.”

Broo was shot by Kade Kilgore in issue #18.

Starblood tried to kill him in issues #6-7.

The mysterious, white-hooded figure is Nightcrawler. The storyline will be continued in the new Amazing X-Men series.

Beast got his new look in All-New X-Men.

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