Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
April 2012
Story Title: 
Mutatis Mutandis – Part one: Congratulations! It’s a Brood!

Jason Aaron (writer), Nick Bradshaw (penciler), Nick Bradshaw & Walden Wong (inkers), Justin Ponsor (colors), Rob Steen (letterer), Nick 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: 

The school’s money troubles aren’t solved after all, as the board of Worthington Industries – thanks to a little prodding by the Hellfire Club – freezes Angel’s assets. In the meantime, Beast holds a biology class with microscopically shrunk students experiencing a mutant body from the inside. Getting a bit too fresh, Kid Gladiator is humiliated by white blood cells. Afterwards, Wolverine recruits Quentin Quire and takes him on a trip into space, with the intention of solving their money problems. Meanwhile, the highly pregnant Kitty finds herself unable to call the supposed father Colossus and finally reveals her state to her friends. Beast examines her and is horrified to find that she isn’t pregnant at all but infested by tiny Brood, which are devouring her from the inside. The students are evacuated but Broo refuses, hearing familiar voices of his kind. Kid Gladiator wants to prove himself against the white bloodcells and allows himself to be shrunk again and enters Kitty’s body. In space, a mysterious alien along with his Brood soldiers kills several SWORD agents and then begins heading towards Earth, the Jean Grey Institute, to be exact…

Full Summary: 

The global headquarters of Worthington Industries, where the board of directors announces to Logan, Bobby Drake and the currently amnesiac Warren Worthington that it has come to a decision. Would Mr. Worthington like to make a statement before they render their judgment?

Are they talking to him? Angel asks. This is exactly the problem at hand, isn’t it? the speaker sighs. Given the events that have come recently to light regarding Mr. Worthington’s increasingly… erratic behavior, it is painfully obvious to the board of directors that their longtime CEO has suffered a mental breakdown and thus at present must be considered mentally unfit to run this company. They have no choice but to strip Mr. Worthington of all authority in regards to this company and to implore him to seek the medical attention he so desperately needs.

While Angel plays with a globe, Bobby checks his computer to inform Logan Warren’s personal accounts are already frozen. He is being called before a judge to demonstrate mental competence. How in the world is this all happening so fast? Grimly, Logan announces he has got a pretty good idea.

Once they have left, a representative of Kilgore Industries congratulates the board on the decision. Mr. Kilgore’s private island resort is theirs for the weekend. They’ll find the accommodations most agreeable. There are 10 swimming pools, two dozen hot tubs, one private zoo, 24 bedrooms and 38 obedient staff members, and all are theirs to do with as they please. The Hellfire Club knows how to treat its friends…

Outside, the press is waiting for Angel. No comment! Logan mutters. Flying above them, Angel asks if he is fabulously wealthy. He used to be, Bobby replies. Nobody told him this, Angel continues. Or else he could have been giving it away.

Logan tells Bobby to juggle the numbers however he can. There are no numbers left to juggle! Bobby informs him. They burned through every bit of their start-up cash (Most of which was old and crinkled and splattered with dried blood). The school’s operating expenses are way beyond his primary estimates. They were already grossly over-budget on construction before Krakoa’s redecorating! And don’t get him stated on the Bamf-related repair costs! If they don’t get money in the very near future, there is no way they can keep the doors open.

Logan glares at the smirking Hellfire Club operative who is making his way out of the building. He tells Bobby they aren’t closing the school. He’ll be back in a few days with all the money they’ll ever need. Kitty’s in charge till he gets back. Bobby points out nobody’s seen Kitty in two days. Then he’s in charge, Logan decides over Bobby’s protests and hurries away.

Meanwhile, back at the school, Beast is leading a group of students through a special class of Biology 101. Today they’ll be exploring the many majestic wonders of the mutant body! Quire, stop laughing! he orders. If this was an ordinary school, they’d be sitting at their desks right now, looking at poorly rendered diagrams in ratty old textbooks. Or perhaps watch an educational video that was produced before any of them were born. Obviously this isn’t an ordinary school. Here they prefer their learning to be a bit more… grandiose.

The entire group has been shrunk down and is wearing lifesuits to see a mutant body from within. While Quire is spraying “Quire was here” and other tags on the veins, Beast tries to point out the X-gene. Idie marvels that something so evil can be so beautiful, while Broo asks if someone could take a photo of him with the nucleotides. Kid Gladiator complains that this DNA is weak and flabby. Shi’ar DNA is vastly superior!

Genesis marvels that this is what makes a man …decides what he is and what he will become. Beast carefully points out they are more than just the sum of their genes.

Quentin cosies up to Idie with a lame line. She announces matter-of-fact that if he wants to be her boyfriend he should know up front that she is not interested in having very many children. Five ought to be plenty. This quickly cools Quentin’s ardor. After Idie swims away, Broo curiously asks Quentin whether he and Idie aren’t far too emotionally immature to be engaging in any sort of intimate physical activity? Remind him to never be his wingman, Quentin sighs. Not having wings for another few years, Broo doesn’t understand.

Beast orders Kid Gladiator to stop punching the DNA and asks the whole group to follow him. They take a look at the brain and the blood vessels. Kid Gladiator has managed to annoy the antibodies who attack him. The group falls into the stomach. Beast tells them not to panic. This is only hydrochloric acid.

Finally, they make their way to the tongue. A tour of the mutant body in only five and a half hours! Who says learning can’t be fun? Glob Herman throws up on the tongue.

With the group outside, Hank activates the size-altering Pym particles and they are back. Homework assignments are in their email boxes, he tells them. A telepathic pop quiz is scheduled for some time tonight and tomorrow they begin studying the reproduction organs. Quentin decides to count him out for that trip.

As the kids leave, Beast thanks their hapless victim, custodian Toad, and adds that some of the children may have left their tablets behind. He’s sure he’ll pass them in a day or two. Hopefully before they enlarge.

Did somebody throw up inside his mouth? Toad asks weakly. Damn kids! he mutters. No respect, he was in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! That moment, he is paged to clean the kitchens. The Bamfs got into the grease trap again. He’s gonna kill everybody in their sleep, he mutters.

Rachel with Lockheed asks Hank if he has a minute and tells him there is a problem with Kitty. She heard her throwing up in the teacher’s lounge a few day ago and she hasn’t come out of her room since. She won’t talk to anybody, not even Lockheed. Won’t answer telepathic calls and has been skipping her classes. Luckily she has found a substitute.

And so “Introduction to Religion” is taught by Doop. “Teaching” in this case meaning he sleeps at the desk while the kids are to watch the movies Monthy Python’s Life of Brian, The Exorcist III and Ghostbusters.

Anole deciphers his instructions: ‘Watch these movies, you little snots, and don’t any of you dare wake me up or else I’… Anole decides it’s probably not even legal to say this.

Beast muses this behavior is most unlike Kitty. Is their headmaster away? Who knows where he is on any given day? Rachel shrugs and asks Hank to talk to Kitty. Hank knocks on Kitty’s door, asking if she would like to talk o someone. No, Kitty figures, but she probably has to. She calls Colossus on Utopia, but when he answers the phone she breaks off the call without saying anything.

Beast asks her to open the door or Lockheed is going to burn it down. A highly pregnant Kitty finally answers the door, telling them she probably could use help.

Quentin, Angel, Idie, Broo and Evan are sitting in the hall. The Bamfs are running rampant, bothering several students. Some of them write “Wolverine eats booger” onto an arch. Another Bamf has stolen one of Wolverine’s masks.

Wasn’t today’s biology class the most amazing experience? Broo exclaims. He can’t wait to detail his thoughts in the form of an essay! Quentin informs him they just took a vote. It’s official. They all hate him.

Idie asks Genesis if he is all right. Evan admits he is troubled by today’s lesson… by many things in fact. He feels his life was much simpler before he ever came to this school. Something tells him he is wrong about that, Quentin remarks. Angel proudly announces he was declared mentally unsound today.

Kid Gladiator angrily informs his guardian Warbird he did not get bested by white blood cells today! He doesn’t care what she hears!

Quentin suggests to the others they skip class and tie firecrackers to the tails of Bamfs. Some stuff he bought off the internet is supposed to be illegal in 13 different galaxies. That moment, Wolverine calls him and orders him to come with him.

Quentin expects another punishment and asks what he did this time. Did he dare express an honest opinion or generate an original thought? Such things are not permitted in the fascist state of Wolverine, right? He thinks he’s pretty damn smart, huh? Wolverine asks as he leads him towards a space ship. He was smart when he was in diapers, Quentin boasts. Now he is more in unparalleled genius range. He’ll get the chance to prove it, Wolverine announces and takes him aboard the ship. He hopes he doesn’t get spacesick. With that, they fly off.

In the medlab, Kitty confides she has no idea how this happened. Hank suggests they enroll her in one of Gambit’s health classes then. He knows what she means, Kitty replies. Two days ago, she wasn’t pregnant. Now here she is, about to pop!

Examining her, he tells her to hold still. Kitty continues that she tried to call Peter but didn’t know what to say. How could she let this happen? She is supposed to be the responsible one! Supposed to set a good example! She’s going toe a horrible mother! Hank assures her she will be an amazing mother and he will be the absolutely greatest uncle who ever lived, but let’s not get ahead of themselves.

He sets up the screen, then goes silent in shock. Is it a Sally or Peter Jr.? Kitty asks. Hank sounds the alarm and asks her to stay calm. He’ll get them out, he swears it! He shows her the screen - she isn’t pregnant… she’s under attack! Within her body, Kitty sees thousands of microscopic Brood attacking her body.

The alert sounds, telling the students to go to their panic rooms. Hellion shoves Broo aside, announcing real mutants coming through. Idie tells Broo to go with the others. He mutters he hears them in his head!

While Husk and Doop help with the evacuation, Warbird is looking for Kid Gladiator, who is still feeling humiliated about getting beaten up by white blood cells.

Iceman and Rachel have joined Beast in the lab. They can fight this, right? Iceman asks. Hank explains they have never seen a Brood infection like this. They are microscopic and aren’t trying to take her over. They aren’t even trying to get out. They are simply killing her. Spreading inside Kitty like a virus. Feeding on her at a cellular level and multiplying like mad. At this rate, they’ve got a matter of hours before they eat her to death from the inside.

He ran a check on the school’s air filters and found three Brood, each the size of a dust mite, small enough to infiltrate their security and for Kitty to have simply breathed in. Rachel points out that they could all be infected. Hank explains the egg sac bonded with Kitty’s cellular structure. That doesn’t simply happen. These Brood were specifically engineered with her in mind.

Iceman calls it an assassination attempt and asks where Logan is. Out of Earth’s orbit, it would appear, Hank replies. He has contacted SWORD who is sending its best team of xenobiological paramedics. Rachel announces they can’t just wait. Hank points out Kitty is sedated and currently being pumped full of every antibiotic. He is doing all he can.

Suddenly, Kid Gladiator comes rushing in and shrinks on the Pym platform and then is breathed in by Kitty after announcing he is not afraid of anything!

Inside, Kitty’s body he happily begins to blast Brood. Kitty mutters it feels like someone’s inside her, punching things. Hank and Rachel get dressed up in special suits as he tells her to relax and not move around too much.

While the students move to lockdown Idie still can’t find Broo.

Elsewhere, Broo reasons with somebody that these people are his friends. Please don’t kill them!

In space, Quentin asks Wolverine where they are headed. To save the school, is the reply. Again? Didn’t they just do this? Qentin scoffs. Don’t make him regret this, Logan warns. He should, Quentin retorts. He knows he does.

Barely out of Earth orbit, they pass an alien space ship that is currently boarded by agents of SWORD, who arrest the aliens aboard for attempting to illegally enter earth orbit. They intend to transfer them to a SWORD containment center to await deportation to their homeworlds.

One of the aliens dressed in rags cowers in a corner. When the SWORD agent addresses him, the alien orders “Eat him!” and immediately Brood appear from the shadows and kill the agent. The mysterious large being kills the other SWORD agents. Soon, other aliens nervously ask what he has done - the ship is shot to hell. They’ll never make it to Earth now! That’s all right, he replies. He’ll walk from here. He proceeds to do so with his Brood after the ship has exploded.

From his tracking device, he learns that the virus has been activated. Homing in on the signal: Earth, western hemisphere, North America, United States, New York, Westchester County. Jean Grey School for Higher Learning…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Husk, Iceman, Marvel Girl III, Shadowcat, Wolverine (all X-Men / staff)
Angel, Anole, Broo, Ernst, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Graymalkin,Hellion, Kid Gladiator, Kid Omega, Match, Mercury, Oya, Rockslide (students)
Warbird II

Colossus (X-Man on Utopia)

Agents of SWORD

Worthington Industries Board members
Agent of the Hellfire Club

Professor Xanto Starblood (unnamed)
Brood (normal-sized and microscopic
Other aliens

Written By: