X-Men: First Class (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
December 2006
Story Title: 
The Bird, the Beast and the Lizard

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: 

Xavier is taking the X-Men to Florida for an impromptu vacation at the beach house of Warren’s family. He also intends to look up an old friend, Curt Connors. However, they learn that Connors has turned into the Lizard again and is hiding out in the Everglades. Beast and Angel go to look for him in the swamps while the others relax at Warren’s beachhouse. With the help of Xavier and Iceman, the two finally manage to lure Connors back and hold him long enough to give him the antidote. In the meantime, Jean manages to get Scott to relax a bit.

Full Summary: 

A house near the Everglades. On the porch, a woman sees how another lady lets her dog to its business on the first woman’s lawn. Angrily, she orders the other woman to pick that up. It’s fertilizer, the older woman replies. Not on her shoe, the first woman retorts. The woman wants to tear away her dog, which has been sniffing some bushes. But there no longer is a dog on the leash and, in the vegetation, the Lizard waits.

In a helicopter, the X-Men are wondering why they aren’t home yet. Professor Xavier, who is at the controls with Warren, explains that he promised them a vacation some time ago and Warren’s family happens to have a beach house in southern Florida, which they barely use. In the meantime, he would like to look up a friend from his college days, Dr. Curtis Connors.

A little later, Xavier and his students are at the Connors’ home near the Everglades. Mrs. Connors is hesitant to open the door and ready to blow them off, claiming her husband is away on business. Xavier hints that maybe he can help her husband. Mrs. Connors finally opens the door and ventures to show them Connor’s lab which is a mess.

There was a video, Mrs. Connors explains. Has Xavier met Curt since the loss of his arm? He hasn’t, Xavier admits. They look at the video where Connors has two arms. An excellent prosthesis, Hank remarks. Mrs. Connors explains that the arm is real. He gained the Lizard’s power to regenerate human limbs.

On the video, Connors describes that the last injection was 72 hours ago. Six hours gained thanks to the dosage. Suddenly, he can’t think anymore and turns into the insane Lizard and flees.

Mrs. Connors explains that sometimes he turns reasonable again and takes the antidote. Does that happen often? Hank asks. The last time it was so bad, Spider-Man followed him into the swamp and gave him the anti-dote, she admits. Does she have relatives? Xavier asks and suggests she and her son stay with them for a while, it would make matters easier.

Mrs. Connors protests. For all she knows, Xavier is working for a pharma- company wanting to kidnap Curt. They are too much like her husband for that, Warren retorts and displays his wings. She asks him not to hurt Curt. They just want to turn him normal again, Warren assures her.

Xavier decides not to start now as it is turning dark. He apologizes for spoiling their vacation. Beast suggests that they needn’t all go into the swamp looking for Connors. He can track him and give him the antidote. As a biologist, he feels duty-bound. Warren agrees and decides to join him because he gained Mrs. Connors’ trust. She wonders why… Jean jokes. Scott decides to come along as well. Bobby chides that Scott needs some relaxation most of all. As impossible as it may sound, sometimes they don’t need Scott leading them, Hank remarks. He’s right, Warren confides. This morning he went alone to the bathroom. What, without Scott? Hank asks wide-eyed.

Xavier tells them it’s enough and orders Scott, Jean and Bobby to go to the beach house. The others are staying there and will begin the search tomorrow. If there is trouble, he will call them.

In the morning, Warren and Beast, in their uniforms, complain about the damp air as they get ready to paddle into the Everglades. In the meantime, the others are enjoying the beachhouse’s comforts and the private beach.

Punting, Beast at the same time gives a very bored Warren a lesson about the Everglades. Warren pouts that everyone else is having fun. He smirks, though, as he decides that Scott is probably forcing the others to train at the beach.

Actually, practice couldn’t be further from their mind. Scott and Bobby are having iced drinks in the deckchairs while Jean is tanning.

Beast discusses the proliferation of alligators in the swamp. Very interesting, Warren states, in actuality bored. That’s why he suggests Warren stop trailing his hand in the water, Hank concludes. Which is full of gators. Both fascinated and scared, Warren ogles them. What do they eat? Can they enter the boat? Beast doubts it. Gators wait for their food to come to them. With their weight, they pull their prey down and wait for it to drown. Warren? he asks as there is neither hair nor hide of his friend, but only a lone feather floating on the water.

Bobby tries to freeze the ocean water. Xavier contacts him warning him that his physiology makes him particularly vulnerable to sunlight. He should be careful. Bobby decides to head for the house for a bit. Xavier then contacts Scott and, with a wink, tells him he hopes Scott is happy with that. Alone with Jean, he asks her if se wants to swim for a bit.

Angel is swimming, as the Lizard has dragged him downward. Beast dives to help and manage to wrestle Angel loose. Warren dives up for air, thanking Hank, who now has trouble of his own, as the Lizard is stomping on him, not allowing him to come up.

The Lizard is hit by an oar courtesy of Angel, who has swum down again. Beast comes up for air, while the Lizard makes short work of the oar. The two X-Men quickly reach for the boat. While Warren flaps his wings to dry them he states the Lizard now knows who’s the boss. Yes, he, Beast dryly states. He is at an advantage in this environment.

Warren flies Beast to a tree where he intends to play bait, wishing Scott was there, as this kind of plan is more his thing. Warren points out that Scott is probably in a bad mood again. They can’t use that here.

Instead Scott is having fun in the water with Jean. During their horseplay Jean accidentally knocks off his glasses and Scott instantly panics. Guiltily, he suggests they head back out of the water. Jean chastises him, telling to stop always worrying about others. She tells him to look at the ocean. Compared to that both their powers are nothing. She orders him to take off his stupid glasses. He hesitates… she tells him to fire at the water with all his strength. The ocean can handle it. He does so and feels powered out in a good way. Jean tells him that sometimes he just has let his powers go.

In the swamps, Angel is flying and Beast jumps from tree to tree on their search. Xavier mentally contacts them, telling them he has trouble finding Connors as he has adapted to the local fauna. But he has a trace. He is hanging on Hank’s right leg. Angel quickly drags him off Beast by his tail and into the air. To free himself, the Lizard gnaws off his own tail and falls into the water again. Brilliant, Hank comments.

At the beach house Bobby drives off, explaining that the professor told him the others would need them. Scott wonders why he didn’t call him and Jean as well. Jean tells him he shouldn’t mind.

Angel is disgusted. Hank orders him to pass over the tail. He wants to lay a blood trail. Angel is even more disgusted as Hank explains he has to drip down some blood in regular distances. The Lizard will follow them to his home.

The Lizard gains ground and even manages to bite off some of Warren’s feathers. Warren comments they don’t need the tail anymore. He’s mad enough to follow them anywhere. They reach the house, where the professor and Iceman are awaiting them.

On Xavier’s command, Bobby ices up the swamp. Immedialte, the Lizard’s metabolism slows him down, stops him even to the point where Hank can feed him the antidote.

Later, Curt Connors has changed back and Xavier tells him his family wasn’t harmed. Only his leg, Hank mutters. Xavier offers to explain everything at a more relaxing place, while Jean and Scott are having drinks in the sun.

Characters Involved: 

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

Professor Xavier

Curt Connors / Lizard

Mrs. Connors


Story Notes: 
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