X-Men Children of the Atom #2

Issue Date: 
December 1999
Story Title: 
All Children Wear The Sign

Joe Casey (writer), Steve Rude (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Paul Mounts (color) Jim Novak, Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Wes Abbott (letters), Matty Ryan (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Xavier tries to talk to Scott Summers. Summers doesn’t want to talk to him and walks out of his office to go home. His foster parent, Jack Winters, is planning a robbery and plans to use Summers as a weapon. Bobby drake is being beaten by Ruben and Chad in the school bathroom until Henry McCoy steps in and thrashes the two bullies. John and Elaine Grey are woken up by noises in Jean’s room. When they enter her bed and all her things are floating violently around the room. John finally wakes her from her nightmare and everything stops floating. Chad and Ruben are telling Arthur what happened with McCoy at school. He gives them a case with a sniper rifle in it and tells them it’s time for their initiation. Starkey has not been to school in weeks. At his house the night of the football game he hides in his room because his skin is changing, he is becoming a mutant. At the football game Henry McCoy is leading the Red Devils to victory. Chad and Ruben climb to the top of the bleachers on top of the announcer’s booth and aim the sniper rifle at McCoy. McCoy notices the laser light on his face and jumps from the field to the top of the booth. He fights with Chad and Ruben and during the struggle Ruben loses his balance and falls to his death. Chad runs to Starkey’s house and bursts into his room. Chad finds out that Starkey is a mutant and threatens to kill him as Starkey goes through the window and runs away. The TV show Empty Minutes talks more about William Metzger and mutants. Agent Duncan visits Xavier at his mansion to talk about Trask’s robots and what Xavier is planning for his school. Everyone from the football coach to his friends turns on Henry McCoy. While he is cleaning out his locker Xavier approaches him and asks how long he planned to hide in plain sight. At Summers’ home, Jack is planning the robbery of a power plant with his gang.

Full Summary: 

Scott Summers is sitting in Charles “Alexander’s” office. Alexander tells him “I know what you’re thinking.” and then tells him he is not in trouble. Alexander says that he wants to get to know Scott. He asks about Scott’s parents dying in a plane crash. Scott doesn’t answer at first but when Alexander asks again he says yes. Alexander says he knows Scott doesn’t trust him and then asks about his sunglasses. Scott explains his eyes are sensitive to light and that he gets headaches. Alexander points out he thinks there is more and Scott says he doesn’t want to talk anymore and leaves.
Scott takes the city bus to rough part of town. He gets off at place called Joe’s Joint. When he enters his apartment his foster father, Jack Winters, is on the phone with someone talking about hacking a computer. He says he will be brining Scott to take care of the guards. When Jack hangs up he asks Scott why he is late. Scott says the bus was late and Jack yells at him saying he better not be talking to anybody. He says he owns Scott and throws a chair at him. Scott goes to his room and slowly takes off his sunglasses, Jack hears a boom and there is a new hole in Scott’s wall.
In the school men’s restroom Chad and Ruben are beating on Bobby Drake for being a mutant. Chad is about to hit Bobby with a baseball bat until Henry McCoy walks in, grabs the bat, then throws both it and Chad against the wall. He kicks Ruben back and Chad takes a swing at McCoy. He misses and sees McCoy hanging from the pipes on the ceiling. Ruben runs out but McCoy throws Chad out onto him. McCoy tells Bobby to watch out for guys like that and not to be caught in the restroom alone.
John and Elaine are woken up by crashing noises from Jean’s room. They go to find out what it is and find all the furniture and things in Jeans room violently floating around. John wakes Jen up, saying she is having a nightmare. When she wakes she cries and apologizes for what happened.
Chad and Ruben are at Arthur’s place telling him what happened at school. They tell him McCoy is a mutant but nobody says anything because he is such a great football player. Arthur tells them to get the case out from under his weight bench. There is a sniper rifle in it. Arthur tells them it is time for their initiation. He wants to know if they got what it takes and while pointing at them says “Scrubs…The Anti-Mutant Militia Needs You.”
Arthur asked about Starkey. The boys said they hadn’t seen him in a while. At Starkey’s house his mom is in the living room watching TV. She yells at Starkey to get her another beer. He doesn’t answer. He is hiding in his room because his skin is changing. “No…No…No…No…No..” he says as he realizes he is a mutant.
At the homecoming game the Red Devils are beating the Conquistadors. Henry McCoy, the Devils’ quarterback, is leading the team to victory. In the stands Bobby Drake’s mom asks him if he knows McCoy. No one notices two people climbing the back of the stands. Chad and Ruben set the sniper rifle up on top of the announcer’s booth. After McCoy runs in a touchdown the other team fumbles the return and he goes back out onto the field.
Ruben says he is going to take the shot. “Gimme a big smile, freak…” Ruben says as he aims. The laser sight catches McCoy in the eye and he sees the two assassins. He tells everyone to get sown and jumps from the field to the top of the booth. McCoy kicks Ruben down. Chad hits McCoy with a big piece of wood but it doesn’t faze McCoy and he kicks Chad down. Ruben and McCoy both grab the gun and struggle back and forth. Ruben knees McCoy in the stomach to get him to let go. When McCoy lets go Ruben loses his balance and falls to his death.
The news covers the story at the football game. McCoy was taken into custody even though he was not charged with anything. Chad runs to Starkey’s to tell him what happened. When Chad sees Starkey he is horrified. He tries to attack Starkey saying “Stinkin’ mutie--! Yer dead!” Starkey jumps out of his window and runs away.
Empty Minutes does a piece over the incident at the football game. It also shows Metzger giving a speech saying it is time that the government did something about mutants.
Agent Duncan is talking with Xavier while Xavier is swimming. Duncan tells Xavier about the program that Trask is offering. He also tells him there was an unauthorized field test involving a winged man. Duncan asks Xavier what he is planning. Xavier tells him he plans to make a place where mutants can train their powers. Duncan says it sounds militant.
The football coach kicks McCoy off the team. The principal says he can’t officially expel him but due to parent’s complaints it would be best if he stayed away. His friends call him a freak and “Die Mutie” is spray painted on his locker. As McCoy is emptying his locker Xavier asks “How long did you think you could hide?” Xavier says he had a good plan being the big football star to hide in plain sight, until now. Xavier tells McCoy that he now knows what the rest of mutants feel like. He knows McCoy is smarter than he ever let on. He can’t hide anymore. “Welcome to the real world, Hank.” Xavier says as McCoy walks out the door.
Jack Winters is with his gang planning the robbery of Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. He says the plant was never brought online but it is still used for bio-weaponry. They are planning on stealing formulas for chemical weapons. Jack says they got an ace-in-the-hole when it comes to the guards. “Ain’t that right, Scotty?” he addresses Scott Summers.

Characters Involved: 

Professor Charles Xavier

Warren Worthington III/Avenging Angel

Jean Grey

Henry “Hank”McCoy

Scott Summers

Robert “ Bobby” Drake
John Grey, Elaine Grey (Jeans’ parents)
Agent Duncan, Agent Cain
William Metzger (Founder of the Anti Mutant Militia)

Arthur (Member of the AMM)

Chad, Starkey, Ruben, Mickey, Liza (mutant-hating students)
Jack Winters

Story Notes: 

This is another retelling of the original X-Men’s origin though it takes several liberties:

Jean’s parents originally didn’t know about her powers.

Bobby, Hank and Scott didn’t attend the same high school.

There was no man named Metzger involved.

In Cyclops first origin story, Jack Winters was a mutant with a diamond hand.

Bolivar Trask only became involved later.
During the football game the opposing team was named the Conquistadors. In Beast’s real origin story his parents were kidnapped by a villain called The Conquistador.

Issue Information: 

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