Wolverine and the X-Men (2nd series) #1

Issue Date: 
May 2014
Story Title: 
Tomorrow Never Learns

Jason Latour (writer), Mahmud Asrar (artist), Israel Silva (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Mahmud Asrar & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Mark Brooks, David Mack and Jenny Park (variant covers), Frankie Johnson (assistant editor), Tom Brennan (editor), Mike Marts and Nick Lowe (group editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

It’s summer term at the Jean Grey School and things are chaotic, as most teachers are on personal leave or have taken a group of students on a field trip to the Shi’ar. Due to the lack of teachers, graduate students are asked to teach classes, something Armor relishes and that makes Quentin Quire believe the X-Men have lost their minds. When in his class unrest erupts into a fight between Rockslide and the Bamf, Quentin does nothing to stop it, not even when the fight almost injures new student Nature Girl. Quentin gets into an argument with Storm and claims they have only become interested in him since they’ve learned he’ll grow up to be the Phoenix. In the meantime, Wolverine with the help of Genesis tries to recruit Fantomex, who is hiding in the World as a teacher. However, Fantomex feels he has done too many horrible things and doesn’t deserve redemption. Finally, everyone at the school becomes agitated when every computer, cell phone and TV suddenly displays the Phoenix symbol.

Full Summary: 

The future:
The Jean Grey School lies in ruins, flames are everywhere.

Is there a moment that tortures you? A choice you can’t live down? A mistake you’ll never forget? What would you give to erase it? To see the damage undone?

An adult Idie Okonkwo kneels in a graveyard.

Is there a risk to great? A cost too steep? Is there anyone who’d you let stand in the way?

Close to her in the air, Phoenix Quentin Quire and Evan Sabahnur, now the Apocalypse, are fighting.

Idie runs away from Wolverine’s grave towards the battle.

The present:
Standing in the ruins of the Xavier School and looking as himself critically in a mirror as he wears a suit, Quentin Quire announces they have to be stopped. Somebody has to stop the X-Men. They can’t seriously want him to be a teaching assistant. Seriously, he’d run screaming, if these pants weren’t so tight.

Sitting on a sofa nearby and playing with her cell phone, his girlfriend Idie Okonkwo mocks he’s thinking about running away from school again. Must they still play that silly game? She takes a picture of him and teases he’s a sellout. And anyone who didn’t already know it will when she posts that photo.

He accuses her of setting him up. Idie draws him closer by his tie. Is Mr. “rebel-without-applause” really scared of what the others think? If that mattered, is there any way she’d be caught alone with the likes of him in the creepy ruins of mansions past?

He asks her not to post that. So maybe he’s not who he thought he was, she continues. That doesn’t make him a sell-out. Where would they be if not for change? Certainly not here, together now. He’s a mutant. Don’t be scared to evolve.

Things don’t look good when Quentin stands in front of a class that runs wild and ignores him.

Outside, a petite young girl with antlers stands in front of a huge tree with a face. Eye-Boy aka Trevor Hawkins informs her that is Krakoa, one of their more valued students, and also their yard. She must be their new student, Lin Li. Instead of replying, the girl kneels down and studies the tree’s roots. Fact check: she bonds with and controls animals, correct? So it’s safe to call her Nature Girl? Eye-Boy ventures.

Krakoa offers the silent girl a flower. Trevor apologizes for headmistress Storm missing the orientation. She has a lot on her plate these days. And as for their other headmaster, Wolverine? Well, there’s no telling where in the world he has run off to today.

The Block:
(interdimensional prison):
To the cheers of the inmates, Wolverine (in his Patch outfit and with a Bamf on his shoulder) gets ready to trounce even more guards. He announces it doesn’t have to be this way. They know why he’s here. Bring him out! He’ll cut down every bozo in here till they do. Krak attacks and Logan takes him in a headlock. Now the inmates cheer him. He dispatches of him and on a balcony the man he is looking for steps from the shadows and watches.

The grounds of the Jean Grey School:
Trevor has taken Nature Girl on a tour of the grounds. Currently, they watch Armor somewhat sadistically firing at student to make an obstacle course even harder.

Storm rushes past them, muttering she’s going to skin him alive, referring to Wolverine who signed off on Beast and Warbird taking a large group of students to Shi’ar space without telling her.

Communicating with her from space, Beast apologizes but, after the trouble with old him and older him, he needed the space. He tries to calm her. Alex Summers has made it clear that if she needs them his Avengers team is at her call.

Exasperated, she retorts this is not a military school. The last thing they need is Captain America stomping through the halls. These children are here for the summer because they need guidance. Because most of them have nowhere else to go. They have graduate students teaching classes because Logan has, without her knowledge or consent, allowed nearly every instructor to take personal leave. Or worse, run off and play action hero. Beast apologizes and offers to return. She tells him to stay with the students. Their welfare must come first.

A classroom:
While Quentin stands there helplessly, the room has been transformed into an impromptu arena where Rockslide tries to catch the Bamfs. Hellion and Manuel Enduque take bets on how likely it is he’ll kill a Bamf. Twenty to one, he makes one explode like a piñata, Manuel ventures. That’s all? Hellion asks amused. Big bad Rockslide here has been nothing but a whiny mess since all of his friends graduated without him. The big baby has gone full-blown McFly. He’ll smash the entire school before he gives up. Instead of interfering, Quentin ignores them all.

In the cafeteria, Trevor assures Nature Girl the mystery meat is probably not from Chef Doop. That moment, Rockslide breaks through the wall, chasing the Bamf. Trevor grabs Lin and tries to get her to safety with her. However, Lin remains standing and the Bamfs looks for protection from her. Rockslide finds her too cute and hesitates until Doop hits him so hard he is sent through the roof, to land at Storm’s feet. Quire! she seethes.

After all parties have been dragged in, Quentin protests after being told this is his fault. She was the one dumb enough to put him in charge. That’s his defense? Storm asks dumbfounded. That they are to blame for putting some belief in him? Belief? She believes way too much in her hairdresser, that’s for sure! he shouts. But, since when have they ever believed in him? Oh right, since those future X-Men popped up and they learned he grows up to be the Phoenix. He doesn’t have to be able to read minds to know how everyone is trying hard not to think about what it all means. What it changes. ‘Cause if the future’s mapped out, then how do you hold anyone responsible for their actions? They can’t or they won’t, because then they’d have to lock up half of the maniacs here!

Rockslide interrupts that he might never graduate now and Quire is whining about the future? He could die tomorrow, Hellion scoffs and a ‘my little Brony’ like him gets to be the Phoenix? To live forever? He makes him sick! He lashes out at Quentin with his telekinesis.

Storm admonishes him and warns Quentin to not even think about it. Not if he has any hope for a future here. Idie asks him to let it go. Quentin glares and then stalks outside.

Elsewhere, the guards threaten Wolverine. The mystery man, Fantomex enters the ring, warning them this one tends to scratch. Jean-Philippe, is that really him? Wolverine asks. Yes, the one and only, he agrees. Though back here in the World, here among the failed dregs of Weapon Plus, he is just another killer.

He lays Logan low with a blow on the back of the neck. So tell him, has he really braved the hellish prison pit, faced hundreds of artificially evolved super psychos, just for dear old Fantomex?

He is about to hit him again but a Bamf teleports Logan away. They reappear behind Fantomex. Logan tells him that a blind man could have seen that move coming. He threatens him with his claws and demands what his real move here is. This how he play out his death wish? Or is he finally ready to listen to what Wolverine has to say?

Fantomex reminds him the last time he listened to him he ended up with a child’s blood on his hands. Logan figures this hellhole is penance. Rotting away with these monsters is gonna atone for his sins? Look at him! His tank’s running low, his powers are dying. And just like Fantomex, he accepts whatever hell he’s got coming. But the school… the kids! He lifts his eyepatch to reveal a blackened eye. Chuck Xavier once looked a stone-cold killer like him in the eye and didn’t blink. Offered him the chance to try and do right. Gave him purpose. These kids need folks who lived the wars. Know the real cost. They need Jean-Philippe. And he needs them.

One of the guard bots hits him from behind and the others rush to join him. Fantomex orders them back. On his knees, Logan gasps, asking what is really going on.

Suddenly, the guards are blown away by an explosion caused by the diminutive statue of Genesis. To the rescue, Uncle Cluster, he tells Fantomex. While Evan focuses on the guard, Fantomex tells Logan he is a piece of work. He is angry at him for bringing Evan here.

Evan suggests they should get out of here. Fantomex orders the Ultimaton guards to sleep. He assures Evan it is good to see him. Even here. But he can’t come with him. He’s here— He built this place for a reason. Evan doesn’t understand why he built this awful place. Fantomex explains Evan doesn’t know the things he’s done. But people like him, like the others in here, all they’ve ever done is hurt good people. People like Evan. It’s what they were made to do. Maybe it’s all they can do. But he won’t do it anymore. He doesn’t belong out there. He knows that now. He belongs in here. He’s right where he deserves to be.

At the Jean Grey School, outside in the ruins, Quentin complains to Idie they don’t understand. They just keep trying to decide for him who he is. Make him the hero or villain of some hack story. All he ever wanted was the right to wake up every day and be who he wants to be. But he looked into the mind of his future self - the Phoenix - and now the future scares the hell out of him.

She reminds him when everyone thought she had lost her way, when she thought even God had turned his back on her, Quentin didn’t. She doesn’t care what the future holds. What good is tomorrow when you forget about today?

In the park, Storm finds Nature Girl sleeping under the Jean Grey statue. An agitated Armor comes running to show Storm her cell phone, which displays a Phoenix symbol. She explains it’s on every station, every screen. The Phoenix is everywhere!

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Storm, Warbird II, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Armor, Kid Omega (graduate students)
Bling!, Broo, Ernst, Eye Boy, Face, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Graymalkin, Hellion, Kid Gladiator, Manuel Enduque, Match, Nature Girl, No-Girl, Rockslide (students at the Jean Grey School)
Krakoa II

In the future:
Phoenix (Quentin Quire)

Apocalypse / Genesis

Story Notes: 

Plenty of hints of that future were given in Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series).

Quentin graduated along with Armor, Anole and a few others in Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #42.

‘Old Beast and older Beast’ refers to the Battle of the Atom crossover.

Wolverine has currently lost his healing factor due to events in Wolverine (5th series).

Fantomex murdered the young Apocalypse clone in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #5.

Considering his very different personality compared to X-Force (4th series), it makes one wonder if this Fantomex is actually one of his two alter-egos, Weapon XIII.

Doopspeak: page 11, panel 3: Ahem

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