Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 
Just Another Day in Westchester County

Jason Aaron (writer), Nick Bradshaw (artist), Justin Ponsor (colors), Rob Steen (letterer), Bradshaw & Frank Martin (cover), Irene Y. Lee (production), 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: 

Wolverine comes clear with Beast and Kitty about his involvement with X-Force. Because of said involvement are two new additions to the school: the amnesiac Angel and the teenage Apocalypse clone Genesis. At a staff meeting, the X-Men discuss the school problem, the biggest of which is the money problem. Wolverine hopes that, with the addition of Angel, that problem may be solved. X-Force ally Deathlok gives a guest lecture in future history, shocking (or delighting) the kids with several facts about their more or less imminent future. However, he stops before telling Genesis his future. When Genesis asks him later, Deathlok recalls a future in which he dies and the X-Men have to fight Genesis, who has become the new Apocalypse. He chooses not to tell the boy though, informing him his future is his own. Angel, who believes he is a real angel, scares a family when he tries to bring their dead dog back to life. Iceman takes him back to school and decides to enroll him as a student to help him, completely unaware that the dog did indeed come to life. Meanwhile, Kitty still suffers from bouts of nausea and suddenly she finds herself highly pregnant.

Full Summary: 

By day, he is Professor Logan, Wolverine tells his two friends, Kitty Pryde and Hank McCoy. But by night he is still Wolverine. He’s still the guy who goes out and stabs the people who need stabbing. Having a school to look after hasn’t changed that. This is what he does. This is X-Force, he introduces the rest of his secret team (Psylocke, Deadpool, Fantomex and the Nightcrawler from the Age of Apocalypse reality). They save the day by any means necessary. He doesn’t expect Kitty and Hank to like it, but he doesn’t want there to be any secrets between them.

Hank announces that he doesn’t like it one bit, but he isn’t exactly surprised. Kitty warns Logan that this sort of thing can never be allowed to affect what happens at school. Actually, it’s about to do exactly that, Wolverine replies, pointing to two people who have kept to the shadows so far.

Another day at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. The senior staff meets.

Attached to a dartboard is a portrait of Cyclops, which apparently serves as target practice to Wolverine and Beast.

They’ve been up and running for a full week now, Logan announces. What’s the damage? Iceman reveals the coffers are already precariously dry. He hopes somebody plans on winning the lottery some time soon.

Rachel Grey announces the Shi’ar do not want to take back Kid Gladiator. In fact, their supreme chancellor laughed at her for a full minute and a half when she brought it up. It’s wrong to want to lobotomize children, right? She needs them to occasionally remind her of that.

Wearing a hoodie to hide her flaking skin, Husk begins that she may not be cut out for this. The kids just aren’t listening to h— Neither apparently are her colleagues, as Beast interrupts her that he may have made his espresso machine a tad too advanced. Last night it became sentient and attempted to choke him with its cords. Either that or he should perhaps be looking into getting more than 3 hours sleep a week.

Kitty informs them that while she was busy throwing up this morning she found a grey hair. The whole day she’s been pretending it was an illusion and they are secretly under attack by Mysterio. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll play along.

On the plus side, the only injuries reported this week were minor ones, mostly from Bamf attacks. They apparently found their way into Logan’s stash of martial arts instructional videos. She thinks she speaks for all of them when she says she hopes his other video stash is a bit more secure.

Fiddling with some device, Hank remarks that Krakoa seems to be settling in nicely, as evidenced by their recent drop in tremors, sinkholes and spontaneous volcanic eruptions. Although three days ago Hellion did complain of being assaulted by a bed of petunias. He eventually confessed to having first urinated on them. Might he suggest an amendment to the student handbook: do not disrespect the flowers!

Rachel announces Idie is proving to be an exceptional student. As is the Brood boy. Quentin Quire, on the other hand, remains a challenge. In one week, he’s attempted no less than fourteen militant uprisings, including just this afternoon when he sparked a small riot in the lunchroom over what he referred to as the staff’s “draconian dietary restriction regarding the tater-tots.”

One problem at a time, Logan decides. He may have solved their money woes at last, thanks to Worthington Industries. Bobby is exited to hear Warren’s on board. He hasn’t heard from him these last weeks. Kitty and Hank shoot Logan meaningful looks. Choosing to ignore them, he adds that it’s not just Warren. They’ve got a couple of new additions…

And so, soon in Kitty Pryde’s class “Future History 101,” she introduces new student Evan aka Genesis, a shy young boy, who the other kids find bears a rather startling resemblance to the arch-villain Apocalypse.

Broo pipes up he’d like to personally welcome Genesis and hopes he will find the surroundings as intellectually stimulating as he has. Quentin Quire sighs they knew Brood were good at eating people’s asses, he didn’t realize they were so good at kissing them too! Broo considers this good humorous ribbing and assures Quentin he appreciates the sentiment. When the revolution comes, he will be the first against the wall, Quentin threatens him. Broo consider this an enormous honor.

Kitty orders them to keep it down and open their books. Sitting behind Evan, Kid Gladiator asks him what his powers are. Evan replies his uncle tells him he can do anything he sets his mind to. His uncle sounds like an idiot, Kid Gladiator decides. The standards at this school are abysmal. At a Shi’ar academy, someone this weak and puny would have never been permitted through the door, let alone allowed to consort with a person such as himself. Genesis’ parents, if they were honorable, would have set him adrift on an asteroid and left him to rot among the stars!

Confused, Evan asks if he did something wrong. Idie tries to comfort him by pointing out they are all monsters here, same as him. Evan decides he doesn’t like this place.

Outside, Logan and Iceman watch Angel frolicking in sky. He looks different, Bobby worries, but happy. Logan states Warren’s been through an ordeal the past few weeks. What sort of ordeal? Bobby wants to know. Logan tells him he trusts Bobby, but isn’t sure he really wants to know the answer to that. Is Warren all right, Bobby presses. Logan suggests he talk to him. Iceman intends to, but Angel has flown away.

Angel lands in the backyard of a family that has just buried the family dog. Angel announces the sound of the children’s tears have called him. Who is he? the little girl asks. Does she not know an Angel when she sees one? He asks. He kneels down and asks the kids why they are crying. The girl replies their dog got hit by a car and died. Death is part of life, Angel announces, but then so are miracles. He lifts the box with the dead dog, planning to lay hands on it. The kids scream and their father tells him that’s enough. The father takes the box away. Angel explains he wants to bring the pet back to life. Would he deny an Angel his duty? He isn’t an Angel! the man snarls, just a freak with wings! That moment, Iceman joins them and asks if Warren has lost his mind.

In the future history class, Kitty introduces a special guest lecturer, Mr. Deathlok. The cyborg from the year 2030 introduces himself and announces he has come to talk about the future. The future is a violent and terrible place. They should know that at least 43.897% of them will die before reaching adulthood.

Kitty interrupts that’s an awfully specific percentage, but obviously the future is filled with endless possibilities that no one can predict, so…

Deathlok corrects her that he is equipped with tachyon probability generators and can calculate exact statistical forecasts for all possible future timelines. For example… Kitty tries to cut him off. He ignores her and turns to Idie Okonkwo, informing her there is a 34.7% chance she will live and become leader of the X-Men. And a 39.7% chance she will die in the next six weeks at the hands of the Hellfire Club. Can he tell if she goes to hell or not? Idie worries.

Deathlok turns to Quentin Quire, informing him there is a 38.9% chance he is expelled within the year. A 67.3% chance he first burns this entire school to the ground. Sounds about right to him, Quentin happily agrees.

Next is Kubark, son of Gladiator. A 45.4% chance he will one day fight alongside the Avengers. A 46.8 % chance he will one day fight against them. Kid Gladiator doesn’t care either way, as long as he gets to fight!

Broodling, son of Brood: A 22.3% chance that in the next three years he will discover a cure for cancer. A 34.7 % chance that during the same time he will murder and consume at least four of his classmates. This is rather… fascinating, Broo replies politely.

Finally, a class worth staying awake for, Quentin decides. Who’s next? Deathlok takes a long hard look at Evan, then announces the lecture is concluded. Evan looks at him nervously.

Elsewhere, Iceman drags the oblivious Angel out of the garden. What has happened to him? Is he feeling all right? Angel assures him he is fine, but asks who is that “Warren” he speaks of. He doesn’t remember who he is? Iceman asks. Of course, he is Angel. And who might he be?

Evan runs after Deathlok who is leaving the school. Deathlok repeats the lecture is over and tells him to go back to his studies. Evan apologizes, but everything about his life has been so strange. He always gets the feeling there is something people aren’t telling him. At times, he feels like he doesn’t even know who he is. He has to ask. What does Deathlok see when he looks at him? What does his future hold? Deathlok looks at him and remembers…

The future.
Deathlok is dead, his body lying in the burning ruins of a city. Finding his corpse are four X-Men of that time, grown-up versions of Oya, Quentin Quire (with a Phoenix symbol on his chest), Broo and (no longer Kid) Gladiator.

He imagined “rustbucket” would outlive them all, Quentin muses. Idie wonders what could do that to him. The same thing that torched the sky, no doubt, remarks Broo, who looks at a scanner. The power readings are off the charts. They are also disturbingly familiar. Though he is hoping he is wrong, Gladiator announces, they all know who did this and they know what has to be done. He’s going to tear his blasted head off!

Quentin agrees. Telepathically, he senses that their foe just killed Krakoa. He’s coming for them now and is determined to finish this. Holding her love, Idie is sure he would never go that far. They have to face the truth, Quentin replies. It’s who he is. This is who he’s always been. He’s Apocalypse.

Evan, now Apocalypse, torches Krakoa and the school grounds before getting ready to turn to his next foes…

The present:
Please just tell him, who is he? Evan pleads. That is what he is here to discover, Deathlok tells him.

Evan leaves, and Deathlok turns to Wolverine who is sitting on the steps. The boy knows nothing of his origins, correct? Deathlok states. Does he know he was grown in a high tech incubator from the DNA of Apocalypse, one of the world’s greatest supervillains? Logan summarizes. No, he hasn’t mentioned it. And doesn’t plan to.

Does he feel that’s wise? Deathlok wonders. Wolverine points out Deathlok has the brain of a soft-hearted super-computer inside the body of a bloodthirsty psychopath, so he ought to know better than anyone that DNA don’t exactly make the man. The kid deserves a chance to chart his own course. He’s gonna see that he gets it.

Deathlok announces Evan’s potential for greatness is immeasurable. He will either be their most magnificent savior or he will trod upon all their graves! Either way, his fate now rests entirely in Wolverine’s hands. This unit hopes he knows what he is doing, for all their sakes!

As he leaves, Iceman comes running, demanding to know what the hell happened to Warren. Logan offers to tell him if he really wants to know and begins the same explanation he gave Kitty and Hank. Iceman tells him to stop. He can guess where this is going and he’d rather not be an accessory any more than he already is. Anything Wolverine does outside school, Bobby doesn’t want any damn part of. All he wants to do now is help his friend.

Logan summarizes that Warren’s memories were burned away in a battle against Apocalypse. He hoped bringing him here might spark something, start to bring him back. Bobby points out he thinks he is a real Angel. Whatever Wolverine is doing, Warren is not a part of it anymore, not until he can make that decision for himself! He’s taking responsibility for him now. And so Angel is enrolled as another student.

Wolverine tells himself this is going to work. He can’t afford to screw it up. There’s too much at stake. They’ll get by, just as long as there aren’t any more surprises…

In a backyard, a dog suddenly comes back to life…

After another class, Kitty throws up again and hurries to the bathroom. As she passes Deathlok in the hall, he warns her there is a 99.999% chance she will be requiring serious medical attention in the most immediate future.

After another bout of nausea, Kitty looks at herself in shock. Suddenly, she seems to be nine months pregnant…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Husk, Iceman, Marvel Girl III. Shadowcat, Wolverine (all X-Men / staff members)
Angel, Anole, Blindfold, Bling!, Broo, Ernst, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Graymalkin, Hellion, Indra, Kid Gladiator, Kid Omega, Match, Mercury, Oya, Rockslide (all students)
Doop, Toad (additional staff)

Deadpool, Fantomex, Nightcrawler (from the Age of Apocalypse), Psylocke (all X-Force)
Deathlok (X-Force ally)

Unnamed family

in Deathlok’s vision of the future:
grownup versions of Broo, Gladiator II, Kid Omega, Oya (all X-Men)
Genesis II / Apocalypse

Story Notes: 

The other part of the scene with X-Force is seen in Uncanny X-Force # 19.

Angel died and was reborn due to the lifeseed (which may also explain his bringing back the dog to life) as seen in Uncanny X-Force #18-19.

Evan Sabahnur aka Genesis was grown in the artificial environment of the World, but believes he grew up in an ordinary family in Kansas, occasionally visited by his “Uncle Cluster” (really Fantomex).

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