Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #42

Issue Date: 
April 2014
Story Title: 

Jason Aaron (writer), Nick Bradshaw, Pepe Larraz Ramon Perez, Shawn Crystal, Steve Sanders, Nung Alves, Tim Townsend & Chris Bachalo (artists), Matt Mila & Lee Loughride (colorists), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Nick Bradshaw and Israel Silva (cover artists), Frankie Johnson (assistant editor), Tom Brennan (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

It’s graduation day at the Jean Grey School and the kids’ parents or guardians are visiting. Only Quentin Quire is sullen, even though (or because) Wolverine has invited Captain America for him. Quentin is in for another shock when he finds he is among the students who have graduated successfully, something he cannot really accept as part of his rebel self-image. Wolverine gives him a pep talk and muses they both have some growing up to do. He finds the teacher role suits him better than he thought. The next day, Master Pandemonium and Swarm try to attack the school while everybody is still asleep but they are taken out by Doop. In the future, an old Logan is about to close up the Jean Grey School, despite Oya’s protests. He feels their school isn’t needed anymore. An adult Quentin Quire visits, makes some fun of him and reveals that he talked the Future Foundation into transferring a large number of mutant students to the Jean Grey School. Logan outwardly swears at him but is actually grateful and immediately begins processing the new students.

Full Summary: 

1407 Graymalkin Lane:
Many days after:

An old Logan and an adult Idie Okonkwo discuss matters. Logan admits he is tired. He’s actually starting to feel his age. Idie tells him it’s okay to take it easy now and then. The world won’t go up in flames if he closes his eyes for five minutes. He just needs a break, is all. When was the last time he had a vacation? And no, the Savage Land does not count. Maybe not, Logan counters, but when he opens them again he wonders where the years went.

They walk through the empty school, him using a cane. Just look at her. Sweet little Idie, all grown up. When did that happen? She accuses him of being maudlin. She wasn’t that sweet even when she was little. He reminds her none of this would have been there if it wasn’t for her. As far as he is concerned, she was the school’s first student. Which makes it fitting, he guesses, that she’s here now. To see it all end.

They walk outside and she asks if he is serious this time. Is he really going to close it down? He tells her to look around. He doesn’t have to close it down. There is nothing here but memories! Damn if they weren’t some good ones though. Whole place is empty. Hard to see it like this. Best to just get it over with. Welcome to the last day of the Jean Grey School. Let’s hope they… he begins to cough. Survive the experience? Idie suggests. He tells her not to be dramatic. Let’s hope they can find all the light switches. Some Bamfs have joined them.

The present:
Guests arrive for the end of term festivities, parents and other visitors. Quentin Quire sulks and considers burning the grounds down. Idie Okonkwo hugs him and reminds him if she doesn’t get to brood anymore, neither does he. They are going to be sophomores now. They are too old for brooding. It’s probably not too late for him to start a fire, he muses. Leaning against him, Idie accuses him of mumbling. That’s why he got a C in public speaking. Quentin wonders aloud if he should rig a bucket of Bamf blood to be dumped on the Valedictorian. How many Bamfs would he need to squeeze to fill a bucket.

She tells him to stop that and come see which of their friends are about to graduate. He was brought into this school in chains a wanted criminal! Quentin rants, an international terrorist. And what is he now? Class president and the most popular kid in school, she grins. When did it all go so wrong? he sighs.

Genesis and Broo proudly walk in their graduation robes with their guardians. Her child appears to be a flesh-eating alien, Fanotmex informs Abigail Brand, who retorts his appears to be Apocalypse. Fanotmex suggests she join him for dinner some time to swap parenting advice. Perhaps he’d like to get deported to Mars, she offers.

Quentin sees other friends with their parents and sighs this is disgusting. Her family are dead, right? he asks Idie. However, Hope Summers comes to be with Idie on this day. Idie wants to introduce them but Quentin has already walked on, mumbling he’s definitely going to go with the Bamf blood idea.

On a stage, the graduates are given their diplomas. Pixie graduates and becomes an officially active X-Man. Finally! she shouts. Armor becomes a graduate and enrollee in a Masters program. Anole becomes a graduate and chairman of the board of Worthington Enterprises.

Sitting at the back, Quentin mutters that he hopes it won’t take him as long to get out of here as it did those losers. He doesn’t need to be a telepath to know what he’s thinking right now, a voice announces behind him. It’s Captain America. He’s seen the same look in the mirror too many times but Quentin needn’t worry. He won’t have to be alone today. He’s not family, but Logan figured Quentin should have somebody here.

He’s come to take him to jail? Quentin asks hopefully. Please tell him he’s a wanted terrorist again! He never thought it would last, truth be told, Cap replies. The “Wolverine school for gifted youngsters.” Sounded like a disaster in the making. But look at this place now! Look at Quentin! Yes, look at him! Quentin snaps. Big scary mutant terrorist with pink hair. He’s trouble! He’s going to be trouble for many years to come! Yes, he suspects he is, Cap grins.

Quentin is called telepathically. What is it now?! he asks annoyed. Everybody stares at Quentin as Wolverine on the stage tells him to come and get his damn diploma before Logan comes to his senses. Cap congratulates Quentin on successfully growing up. Oh no, Quentin groans. What has he done to deserve this?

Many years in the future:
Idie waits in the hallway until Logan returns and the Danger Room starts shutting down. Henry must have already been half mad when he designed the place, he sighs. It’s a wonder it didn’t kill them all years ago. He’s got to go back to the lower levels and block off all the tunnels. Place has been a mess down there ever since Krakoa moved out. He hears he’s got a family now. Pretty little chain of islands in the Caribbean.

What about the Bamfs? Idie asks. Is he going to find them a good home? Wolverine snorts. Half of them got jobs on Wall Street now. He thinks one of them owns the moon. After today he’ll probably ask them for a loan. Whiskey? the Bamf agrees.

Idie continues Broo is sorry he can’t be here but Mars is invading Venus again. Your work is never done when you re the head of SWORD, Logan commiserates. Super-Guardian Kubark is apparently busy punching Thanos, Idie continues. He sent pictures. Sprite and Rockslide can’t get away from their duties in Subterranea.

She shouldn’t be bothering everyone like that, he tells her. He doesn’t need anybody here. He’s been down here on his own for a good long while. Ever since Henry lost what few marbles he still had. Bobby hardly ever comes down from that icecastle of his. And Ororo… well, the whole world knows how that ended up.

Idie insists it doesn’t seem right to close this place without anyone here. After all the lives the school changed! They walk past a picture of Genesis as Logan grumbles it might be they changed a few too many. Probably shoulda done this a long time ago. Time was they were the only weird school on the block, but these days… didn’t he hear the Future Foundation just opened a branch in the Negative Zone? School enrolment was around four billion she heard, Idie agrees.

The world won’t even notice they are gone, Logan repeats. Don’t matter either way. He’s old and tired and can’t do this anymore. Maybe he never could. How can he say that after all the fun they had in this place, Idie asks. It’s a damn school! he replies. It was never meant to be fun! Idie insists it was, and she still doesn’t see why he’s shutting it down.

She is interrupted by an X-Men priority alert. Eye-Man informs her that Thunderbird sent a distress call. X-Men Mountain is under attack. Shark-Woman and he are en route. Who is it this time? Idie asks. Frankenstein Inc.? Wilhelmina and her Hellfire Unlimited? Please tell her it’s not another Kilgore! The new Brotherhood led by she-knows-who, Trevor replies.

“You know who” turns out to be a megalomaniac Snot. Idie tells them not to tackle him without her and asks the Bamf how fast he can get her to Africa. ‘Bamf,’ he replies. Sounds good, let’s go, she states.

She apologizes to Logan. He tells her it’s what they trained them for. She grins, after this place protecting a world that hates and fears them is a walk in the park. She loves him. She gives him a peck on the cheek and the Bamf teleports her away. C’mon fellas, he orders the other Bamfs. They got one last thing to do.

In his office, they all raise a glass to the Jean Grey School. Suddenly, there is a booming noise. Wolverine heads out, telling the Bamfs he needs a few moments these days to pop the claws. Who the hell’s out here? Who does he think? comes a familiar voice. He heard he was closing shop and figured that he had to see for himself an adult, Phoenix-powered Quentin Quire grins.

The present:
This must be some sort of sick joke, Quentin groans after the ceremony looking sadly at his diploma. Logan joins him and tells him the diploma aint gonna bite. Why should it? It’s already done enough damage, Quentin sighs. Logan tells him not to be ridiculous. He’s earned it. Now he’s just being cruel, Quentin accuses him. Logan tells him it ain’t easy growing up, he knows. He only put it off for a whole damn century. But now that he’s here, can’t say that he’d ever want to go back. He puts his hand on Quentin’s shoulder. And they both still got a long way to go. But maybe together they can go there or somewhere nearabouts.

All he ever wanted was for the whole world to live in fear of his name, Quentin sighs. Why was that so hard? A grown-up Quentin Quire? Logan muses. Trust him, they’ll fear him more than ever. Hell, he does. Now he’s just trying to be nice, Quentin sulks.

The celebrations continue. Idie joins Quentin. He really graduated? She asks carefully. Is he sure they didn’t just kick him out? They gave him a diploma with his name on it, he shudders. They made him take it! People applauded. He thinks he’s going to be sick. Can she see it? she asks excited. He burned it and they must never speak of this again.

The rest of their gang joins them. Trevor tells him to smile for the school paper. The others congratulate Quentin. Iara states if they let him graduate, there’s hope for all of them. Kubark demands to graduate as well. Who must he punch to graduate? Broo is so touched he tears up.

Wolverine tries to slink off. Where does he think he’s going? Storm asks. Figured he’d go check the SHIELD alerts, he begins. She tells him they have X-Men on stand-by, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy and any number of qualified personnel to handle that sort of thing for the evening. He belongs right here. No more hiding behind claws. This is who he is now. Weapon X is dead. Long live Professor Logan!

The future:
He had no idea things had gotten so bad here, Quentin remarks. Then he guesses even the Phoenix doesn’t know everything, Logan snarks. They had a good run. Ain’t no shame in moving on to something else. Even if he ain’t got no idea what that something might be.

And her he always thought it’d be him that would shut this place down, Quentin muses. He never figured it would run out of steam. He comes just to gloat? Logan asks. Ain’t there a planet of Broccoli people somewhere he has to blow up? He got things to do? Like what? Quentin mocks. He never pictured him as a riding into the sunset kinda guy.

Logan tells him to leave him in peace. Don’t make him regret giving him that diploma. Whatever he says, Quentin agrees. He guesses the old girl has earned her rest. He walks towards the exit then turns around. Almost forgot: There’s one last thing before he goes. He grins and snaps his fingers.

A horde of alien kids appears. He explains he ran into FF earlier. They asked if he knew someone who could maybe take some transfers from their Negative Zone School. He told them he might be able to arrange something for the mutants. They only had about two millions of those.

Logan begins to swear. Just promise him that he’ll make their lives as miserable as he made his, is Quentin’s parting shot before he teleports away. Logan grins and thanks him then gives orders for everyone to line up for registration. Danger Room exams begin in five minutes.

Everything is still calm the next morning. Looks like they missed the party, the two villains, Master Pandemonium and Swarm remark as they sneak onto the school grounds, figuring the morning after is the perfect time to attack. They are all still asleep. Next thing they know, they’ll be waking up dead. Swarm suggests they start with Wolverine. Let’s see if he really is the best at what he does.

He is! a strange voice tells them and then they are faced by Doop playing bass guitar at its loudest, destroying them with the power of Funk. Doop is extremely pleased.

Quentin awakes with a scream and finds his diploma wasn’t a bad dream. What the hell does he do now? he wonders.

In his room, Logan looks out of the window. He unsheathes his claws and realizes he went a whole day without doing that. Ain’t that something, he chuckles.

And outside, the day begins as the Bamfs steal his whiskey.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Iceman, Rachel Grey, Storm, Warbird II,Wolverine

Anole, Armor, Broo, Eye-Boy, Genesis II, Kid Gladiator, Kid Omega, Pixie III, Shark-Girl, Sprite III
Krakoa II
Commander Abigail Brand

Captain America

Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins
Other parents and guardians

Master Pandemonium

in the future:
Eye-Man, Oya, Phoenix / Quentin Quire, Shark-Woman


Story Notes: 

This is the last issue of the series, which is continued in a short-lived second volume by another creative team.

Two pin-ups hint at things to come in the new series.

The cover is an homage to the cover of X-Men (1st series) #141.

Quentin and Captain America bonded somewhat in A+X #4.

“Broccoli people” refers to the D’bari, who Dark Phoenix killed in X-Men (1st series) #135.

Page 25, panel 4: He is. But more importantly am I and what I do …

Page 26, panel 1: …Is really really weird.
              panel 3: Well, this has certainly been fun. Thanks for dropping by. Y’all come back now ya hear?

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