X-23 (2nd series) #17

Issue Date: 
January 2012
Story Title: 
Misadventures in Babysitting – part 1

Marjorie Liu (writer), Sana Takeda (artist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kalman Andrasofszky (cover art), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody Leheup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

X-23 has an awkward reunion with Hellion, who is depressed and angry over his lost hands. The meeting goes badly and Gambit threatens Hellion if he should hurt Laura. Sue Richards asks Laura to babysit Franklin and Valeria. While Laura is on the phone with Hellion, Val activates a time machine she invented and a dragon comes through.

Full Summary: 

He doesn’t really want to be here, Julian Keller aka Hellion tells Wolverine, headmaster of the Jean Grey school. No one twisted his arm, Wolverine replies. They all say that, Julian scoffs. Tell him he has a choice. But he knows what happens if he walks away. Some will call him a threat. Someone will come after him. Cyclops said as much. Cyke ain’t here, Logan points out. But maybe he wasn’t wrong. Maybe Julian is a threat. Or maybe he’s just a jerk.

Call him that again, Julian tells him calmly. Or what? Wolverine sneers. He doesn’t leave this room, he doesn’t talk to anyone. He wouldn’t give a damn, except there are some folks who seem to think Hellion is a bomb waiting to go off. So why did he come to Westchester, if he hates it so bad?

That moment, the door opens and X-23 enters. Julian didn’t know she was here. Laura and Logan exchange a silent look and he leaves. She looks great, Julian admits and tries to telekinetically clean up somewhat. He looks worse, she points out. He suggests she shut the door. The room smells, she tells him. No, it doesn’t! he protests. She looks at him silently. Whatever, he sighs and then telekinetically destroys the window and shutters. Is that better? he demands Laura stays calm as the shards surround her. Julian drops them telekinetically and apologizes.

He is angry, she observes. He is always angry, he admits. But that’s not her fault. It’s good to see her. He isn’t seeing her, Laura points out, he is not looking at her. Julian turns around, then tells her she was gone a long time. She didn’t’ say goodbye… He sits down on his unmade bed. It’s okay, no big deal. She was going through a rough time. So was he. He looks at his prostethic hands. He did… some bad things after she left.

He doesn’t think they are bad, he counters. He was just the only one with any guts. She’d understand that. Cyclops always preaching peace and then pulling the trigger when it suits him. Julian told him he had to protect himself, right? He was protecting everyone else when he killed… when he… He guesses that’s why she’s here. Did Wolverine call her back to talk to him?

No, X replies and turns around to leave. He telekinetically grabs her am. She can’t just walk away! Hellion protests. Is she staying in Westchester for good? Is she back with the X-Men? Laura calmly orders him to release her. He complies.

Gambit joins them. What does he want? Julian snarls. He doesn’t want to know, Remy retorts. He hands Laura a cell phone. The FF just called. Sue Richards needs a favor. She can call her back and keep the phone.

While Laura takes the call Remy tells Julian to stay put. Julian calls him a Cajun redneck and orders him to mind his own business. Laura is his business, Remy replies, and if Julian ever touches her again in anger, his arms and legs are going to join his hands, wherever they’re rotting. He’ll kill him first! Julian snarls back. He can’t kill Death, Remy smirks. But go ahead and try…

Later, Gambit drives Laura into the city. He point out she looks unsettled. Is it because of that boy? Laura denies it but points out he smells nervous. He has never smelled nervous. Not since Miss Sinister. He’s going on a date, he admits. Nothing dangerous about it, he hopes. He promises to pick her up at the Baxter Building at midnight.

Laura looks up. Sue appears next to her and asks if she is changing her mind. Was Sue waiting for her? Just taking a walk, Sue replies. She doesn’t always like being noticed. She takes Laura’s hand and ushers her towards the building. Franklin and Valeria are waiting for her. She knows nothing about babysitting, Laura admits. What if they get hurt? Sue reminds her she protected them recently and they like her. More importantly, they trust her. Also, everyone else refused.

And so, a little later, Laura is in the Baxter Building where the Richardses are getting ready and Reed lectures his children. Remember what he told her about the thermo-nuclear reactor? he asks Val. It’s not a toy, she replies dutifully. But if she siphons off precisely the right amount of—“No,” she is told and, sulking, she acquiesces.

Sue tells her not to be afraid. She will be fine. Reed remarks he’d tell her to have fun with them, but it might be dangerous. Laura promises there will be no fun. Sue drags Reed away and tells Laura she left a number. They will be back by midnight. Ben took the other children on a camping trip, so it should be just the three of them. “Remember, young lady, no bomb,” is Reed’s final goodbye to his daughter.

Laura and the kids stare at each other. Does she want to see her new inter-dimensional temporal window? Val suggests. Okay, Laura agrees.

Soon Laura watches some dinosaurs frolicking in said window while behind her the kids argue. He didn’t even look at the equations! Val whines about their dad. Franklin reminds her she promised. If she could just show him… No! he tells her.

Laura finally turns around and sharply asks what they are doing. Both kids are wearing gas masks and are fighting over some kind of device. Nothing! they chorus. Valeria! Laura warns her. Exasperated, the girl sighs and explains it’s all very simple. She contends that the explosive output from a nuclear fission reaction, if concentrated enough in a small enough space, could be used in conjunction with the proper instruments to open a temporary hole in the fabric of spacetime, thus allowing passage along a straight temporal line to the past or future.

She wants to use a nuclear bomb to travel in time, Laura finally translates. It’s only five hundred kilotons, Val complains. Franklin wants to pet a dinosaur! So does she! her brother shoots back.

They are not petting a dinosaur tonight, Laura decides and leaves them in front of the screen, as she takes a call on her cell from Julian. He apologizes for acting like a jerk earlier.

Val decides to use the opportunity. The time window is locked down, but she can choose a different place where the T-Rex didn’t roam.

Julian asks Laura if he could come up. He’s just outside. She refuses.

While they argue, Valeria behind Laura activates the machine. Suddenly, something explodes. Purple light emits from the machine and a dragon comes forth. She is so in trouble, Franklin tells his sister, who orders him to shut up.

Laura grabs both of them and runs to the roof with them. The dragon follows. When it is about to attack, Laura unsheathes her claws.

Elsewhere, Reed and Sue are mingling at the reception. Reed wonders if they should call. She doesn’t want Laura to think they don’t trust her, Sue replies and drags him to the dance floor. Reed fears they’ll probably get home and find the kids have tied that poor girl up and locked her in the closet. Sue is sure everyone is behaving. Anyway, what’s the worst that could happen? She asks.

Elsewhere, the dragon flies holding the kids in its claws and Laura’s grabbing onto its tail…

Characters Involved: 


Gambit, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Hellion (X-Men student)
Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic (both Future Foundation)

Franklin and Valeria Richards

Story Notes: 

The title and the cover are a nod to the 1987 movie “Adventures in Babysitting.”

Laura leaving Hellion without saying goodbye occurred in issue #3.

Hellion lost his hands during the Second Coming crossover.

Hellion going out of control occurred during X-Men Legacy #242-243.

Remy became Apocalypse’s horseman Death during X-Men (2nd series) #183-186. The Death persona still resurfaces every now and then.

The answer to who Gambit has a date with can probably be found in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #48.

Issue Information: 
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