X-Men: First Class (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 2006
Story Title: 
X-Men 101

Jeff Parker (writer), Roger Cruz (penciler), Victor Olazaba (inker), Val Staples (colorist), VC’s Blambot’ Snatepiekos (letterer), Marko Djurojevic (cover), Rich Ginter (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Iceman writes a letter to his mother at home, giving his impressions of his teammates and writing of an ordinary day in the X-Men’s lives. They were attacked by a strange creature in the botanic gardens. They followed the traces of that creature to the Antarctic, where they learned that it was an entirely unknown sentient species that was in danger due to scientific experiments conducted there. Thanks to the X-Men’s help, the creature is left alone.

Full Summary: 

Bobby Drake’s letter to his mother:

Dear Mrs Drake,

Please send Bobby more money, so he can take part in the trip to Europe.

Chuck Xavier.

Just a joke, he apologizes and adds that he would have written sooner, but they have much to do at school. Today, they were at the botanic garden and it was more exciting than he thought.

Telepathically led by Xavier, the X-Men are looking for the source of trouble and are ordered to take care of the crowd before they attack.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby complains about not being used to writing with his hand, but the Professor doesn’t want them to use emails. He’s funny that way.


The X-Men see living, huge plants capturing humans with tendrils with tendrils. It’s only an Azalea, Beast tries to calm one man as he frees him. Cyclops fires at the bush and all the tatters come flying down. Scott apologizes that he’s never fought flowers before. Pretty, remarks Marvel Girl, but now she’s going to clean up, and she proceeds to do so with her telekinesis.

However, new thorned tentacles attack, getting Iceman and Beast. As Cyclops fires at the plant to free his friends, Iceman forms iceclaws from his hands. Though Iceman boasts of them, Jean remarks that she finds them ridiculous.

When Beast is attacked again, Angel whoops in and tries to tear the tentacles off them. Cyclops orders Iceman to freeze the whole plant including, Beast. Reluctantly, Bobby obeys. Cyclops fires at the plant which now breaks into hundreds of pieces. Though now fee, Beast just moans he is cold, to which Angel tries to comfort him that he will heal soon. It’s not his body, Beast complains, it’s in his mind. He was hearing voices, things worse than the thorns.

With the attack now over, the X-Men wonder what that was. However, Xavier suddenly contacts them again and admits that the creature has a strange consciousness. He could see through its eyes, nothing more. He commends them on their job.

Bobby’s letter:

Iceman remarks in his letter that they had fun. Apart from Hank. Actually, Hank has been his pal since he’s been here.


Later, Hank remarks to Bobby that he will put his torn uniform into the x-box. They have an x-box? Bobby asks excited. Excitement gives way to disappointment as he sees Hank putting the uniform into a chest with an X-symbol on it. If his uniform needs mending, just put it in there, Beast informs him and jumps down bothering Angel.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby explains in his letter that Hank isn’t like his friend, Jeremy (whom his mom hates). He is the best student and a great athlete. He never had a friend like that. At first, he thought Hank only wanted to brownnose but then he realized it must be hard for Hank to be that smart. None of them can talk with him about the books or movies he likes. That’s why he enjoys the lessons at Xavier’s.

She’ll be happy to hear that he isn’t the worst student at Xavier’s. That would be Warren.


Lessons start as Hank and Xavier discuss Amazons. While Warren stares outside the window, Bobby wonders whether that’s because he’s rich and never had to listen to anybody. Nice guy but constantly has his mind elsewhere.

Xavier interrupts Warren’s reverie, sarcastically hoping he’s enjoying the view. Startled awake, Warren stutters that mutations usually show up during puberty. They talked about that 20 minutes ago, Xavier sighs. Now they are discussing extraordinary historical figures and their influence on today. Warren gets up, angrily. He understands that they have to learn strategy and self-defense but what’s some guy from the Middle Ages supposed to teach him?

Any moment now, he’ll be out of the window, Bobby whispers to Jean. Why does nobody shut that thing? she replies. And Warren proves Bobby right, flying outside with an ecstatic look on his face, while the others wonder whether he will get detention. Scott begins to defend Warren, but Hank tells him that’s not necessary, you don’t outfly Professor Xavier that fast.

Xavier telepathically contacts Warren, reminding him that they were in a history lesson. Warren apologizes. He didn’t want to be disrespectful, but sometime he needs to fly or he’d burst.

Xavier observes that Warren feels like a bird in a cage. He was born to fly but Xavier’s lessons fetter him to the ground. Nevertheless, he thinks their studies are essential. May he demonstrate something to Warren? Warren agrees.

The Professor suggests they assume that mutants existed 4000 years ago. Perhaps even one like Warren. What speculations would the sight of a flying man have caused? Such a man would have been the stuff of legends or religion. These impressions carry on for centuries. And religion and legends guide man’s thinking. They connect expectations and hopes with someone like him.

Warren lands on a mountain top. That’s not fair, he protests quietly. Fair or not, it is fact, Xavier continues. Not all mutants can be paragons. Some are just what they are. But the world looks on them and they are the standard all mutants are measured by. Xavier didn’t just choose them because of their powers, but because he thinks they can handle that responsibility. Thanks to them the world will accept mutants. Now he asks Warren to return and tell the others that Xavier was very, very strict with him.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby writes that the professor may often seem strange. In other words: The school computer has more personality.


Cerebro addresses Bobby, remarking that it’d asks Bobby to pay attention. There’s still a lot to learn.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby writes that Cerebro is a powerful artificial intelligence and often teaches them.


Bobby apologizes and Cerebro tells them the lesson is over. The professor is expecting them in the main chamber.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby describes the chamber like an Imax cinema. The professor often works there because Cerebro enhances his mental powers. Like that’s necessary!


The X-Men walk inside on the dais and Xavier informs them that this is a mystery. While they were fighting that being today Cerebro identified its signature. A mutant? Hank asks. Xavier doesn’t believe so, although there are similarities. But it’ hard to locate as it changes position all the time.

Hank reminds the professor that he was able to see through its eyes. Shouldn’t he focus on that? Xavier agrees and suddenly they see things from the creature’s view, namely they see the school from outside. The creature is watching them from the forest. No time for uniforms, Cyclops decides and orders them to come.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby writes to his mother that Scott Summers is hard to judge. At first he didn’t like him. He thought Scott was just trying to be cool with his sunglasses: Then Bobby realized that Scott had to wear them to control his powers. The way he found out was rather embarrassing.


Bobby was tossing snowballs at a flying Warren in the hall, whose wings inadvertently hit Scott in the face, making his glasses slide down. Warren shouted a warning and Bobby was barely able to erect an iceshield to fend off the optic blast. Blind, a frightened Scott asked Bobby if he was all right, until Jean calmed him that everything was ok.

Later, Bobby cleaned up the mess and passed the professor’s study. Inside, he heard Scott berating himself, feeling he wasn’t capable of being leader. Each of the other controls their powers better. Xavier pointed only out that it seemed that way. Scott is aware of the destructive potential of his powers and of his limits. That’s what makes him special. He never stops thinking about it and also scrutinizes others. Only because of him the team works. Most great leaders didn’t ask for the job. They got it because they could do it.

Bobby mused that Xavier probably knew he was eavesdropping. That day he probably learned more than the rest of the school year.


The team runs into the forest to hear noise when suddenly a flock of birds attacks them. Bobby shouts at Warren to do something. Warren tries to create some wind with his wing. But the birds react as thought they are one mind. They change their formation, creating an X, before flying away. Warren squawks before coming to himself again.

Xavier contacts the X-Men, ordering them to get their uniforms and warm clothes. They’ll meet at the car.

A little later they drive to Xavier’s private jet. Inside, Xavier tells them that they can follow the creature’s signature. At the northern polar circle, they will charter a ship. Xavier stresses that they want to help the creature. He is convinced it didn’t want to attack. Very shortly, they are at the coast of Greenland (where it isn’t at all green).

While all the others are dressed in anoraks, Bobby is wearing only his uniform, he isn’t cold at all. Hank offers Jean some hot chocolate and she suggests next time he shouldn’t do it with his foot.

Bobby’s letter:

He’s saved the best for last. He thinks his mom would like Jean Grey as well. The way he sees it, Jean’s number one there. When she’s around everybody pays attention. Even the professor is normal when he talks to her. He thinks she’s most like him because her power is also based on her rain.

Jean tells Bobby he’s finally at a place where he needn’t use his powers. The Skipper has bad news for them. The ship can’t go on. The route he wanted to take is blocked by ice.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby writes that Jean helps him with the homework. She tells him lots of things. More than she tells the other boys, he’s sure. But she isn’t his girlfriend. It’s because he’s the youngest and nobody considers him serious competition. If only she had a younger sister…


Cyclops suggests he break the ice. Good joke, Bobby remarks as Cyclops’ optic blast breaks the blocking ice. Joke? Scott asks confused. Jean now focuses and moves the ice shards aside to create a clear passage.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby remarks that her codename Marvel Girl really fits. He guesses she’s their strongest member. He’d never start a fight with her, but then why should he?


The last part of the way they walk. Flying ahead, Angel finds some scientists with technical devices. Suddenly, their drill is iced up because of Iceman and Angel tells hem to stop.

The scientist explains that his drill probes here to prove the rapid global warming. His studies are already proving that, Beast replies. Xavier tells the men that they can’t continue and telepathically contacts them. Through Xavier, the beings speak. They need a host body to communicate with them. It asks them to touch hands and shows them a tentacled being. It explains that their species is older than humanity. They are in their last lifecycle that only takes another 75,000 years. The drill threatens their lives.

The scientists agree to stop their work and Xavier tells them that the being thanked them and the scientists for understanding. He let it know that there is no dominating species and there is enough room on this world for everyone.

Bobby’s letter:

Bobby states that the Professor even manages to turn an adventure into a lesson.
He has decided he has written too much, freezes the letter up and throws it down to shatter before he starts a new letter.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X (all X-Men)


Antarctic creature



Panicked bystanders

Story Notes: 

The stories from X-Men: First Class are meant to be in continuity though they are sometimes stretching it, e.g. with using Cerebro as a teacher.

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