X-Men: First Class (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
A Life of the Mind

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

Brief Description: 

As Jean comes down for breakfast, she feels something is wrong what with their new cook and butler, the Blob, being a houseguest and Cyclops having control over his powers. When she and Scott find out that he should actually be wearing a visor, his powers come back with a vengeance, turning the Blob against them. Finding more madness, the X-Men eventually realizes they are caught in the Professor’s mind and he himself is caught in a feedback loop with Cerebro. Using Xavier’s fear of his brother, the Juggernaut, they manage to break Xavier out of it and he realizes there still lay a lot of work ahead with Cerebro.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops’ yearbook:

Professor Xavier: Why did I let the prof pick my name? I do kind of like it when the guys call me Cyke though.

Cyclops: Boy, I haven’t called Alex in a while – wonder if he’s taking care of my car.

Marvel Girl: I see everything as red. Jean has red hair. Coincidence? Fate?

Beast: Got to thank Hank for lending Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” Finally, he recommends something I understand.

Angel: If I could fly like Warren, I could target threats so much better… Of course, I might barf on them too. I don’t know how he can maneuver like that without losing it.

Iceman: Thermostat in room not broken, Bobby is just pranking me again. Little #&^!@

When is that jet going to be finished? Vertical take-off and landing, speed of sound… now that’s a proper superhero ride.

An idyllic morning at Xavier’s School. Getting to the bathroom, Warren asks Bobby whether he used all the hot water. He never uses any, Bobby replies and tells him he’ll see him at breakfast. In the kitchen, something smells great. Ms. LaFitte is making waffles, Jean, who is the first at the table, explains. Awesome, Bobby states. The day is going to be all downhill from there, as their housekeeper, Ms. LaFitte, is presenting him a stack of waffles.

Scott Summers enters without any glasses, smelling the waffles. Fresh cream and blueberries too, he marvels, he bets the students at Metro don’t get this in the morning. They’re all pouring condensed milk into those tiny cereal boxes that come in a pack, Bobby agrees. Hank and Professor X walk in, discussing the connections between superpowers and high fructose corn syrup. Xavier greets all his students.

Jean is somewhat suspicious. Something about him looks different, she addresses Scott. Did he get a haircut? Maybe he should and get a pro to do it, Warren suggests. The door bell is ringing. “I shall get that,” their butler Jarvis announces. Jean is startled. Jarvis?

Jarvis announces that they have a guest for breakfast. It’s the Blob. Instead of treating him like an enemy, the X-Men seem pleased to see him. “What’s up, Blobster?” Bobby greets him.

“The Blizzob,” Warren high-fives him. Wait, wait! Jean shouts. She doesn’t mean to be rude, but aren’t they like at war with him? Well, they’ve argued some, he guesses, the Blob ventures. Receiving a huge stack of waffles, he asks if that’s real maple syrup. Something isn’t right, Jean insists, trying to remember. Out of the corner of her eye she sees the Juggernaut rushing past the kitchen.

She drags Scott out, telling him they need to talk. Blob will finish his food if he leaves the table, he protests and warns him not to touch that bacon.

Outside the kitchen, they see Xavier and Magneto peacefully playing chess. Scott holds Jean back, telling her he will look into this. After studying the situation, he informs Jean that the professor will be okay. He’s seen him beat Hank with this tactic. Magneto politely asks them to carry on elsewhere. All right, Magnus, the Professor states. This one’s for the helmet.

Holding her head, Jean strides off. What’s wrong? Scott asks. Something isn’t right, she insists and uses her telekinesis on a clock just to make sure her power works. Isn’t she feeling very “Marvel Girl” today? She feels completely normal, Jean replies. That’s what’s bugging her. Everything seems normal yet she knows in the back of her mind it’s not right. Scott looks normal, just like himself, but she knows she shouldn’t see him this way. Maybe… if he looked at himself… she asks him to follow her.

As she shoves him ahead, he suggests shyly that, if she wants to go somewhere private, there are lots of other rooms in the mansion. She orders him to look into a mirror. What does he see? Is anything off? Scott replies that he told her he didn’t get a haircut. He could probably use one though. What is he looking for? Jean doesn’t know. But she feels he will. What does he see?

He sees… Scott Summers. College student. Majoring in “liberal arts” or whatever the professor is going to end up calling their degree. Team leader of the secret group known as the X-Men. His red eyes begin to glow. Mutant. His optic blasts shatter the mirror and the wall.

Panicked, he asks Jean for his glasses and Jean finally recalls what’s wrong. He wears glasses all the time to hold in his power. Jean telekinetically gets them while he keeps his eyes shut. Why wasn’t he using them? he wonders. Is anyone hurt? Is everyone ok? Jean tells him to calm down and put the glasses on. He opens his eyes to find the world all red again. He guesses that’s the way it’s supposed to look. For him at least, she states apologetically. They’ve got to see the others.

They walk into the kitchen through the hole in the wall. Everyone is annoyed. What was that about? Angel asks. They almost hit Jarvis! Bobby shouts. And they hit the stove where Ms. LaFitte was making him more waffles, the Blob remarks. Scott apologizes. He didn’t have his glasses on.

Jean is realizing more about what’s out of place, like Ms. LaFitte. Why is she there? Jean asks the other woman. Where else would she be? she snaps back. Her job is to feed Charles Xavier. Hank intervenes, recalling that she cooked for Xavier when he was a boy. He would tell them about the delicious meals she prepared. Merci, she thanks him. But that came up last year, Hank continues. Xavier had been thinking about her, .because he attended her funeral!

Before their eyes Ms. LaFitte turns zombielike. Angrily, she asks him if he’s saying that she’s dead. She points an accusing finger at Jean. She has given very loyal service for years. Now that girl is changing all that. And that means he’s getting no more waffles! the Blob shouts furiously. Bobby amends that Jean might be on to something. Blob throws Hank into Bobby as he shouts that Marvel Girl is right. They are at war.

That’s enough! Angel decides and dives at the Blob. To no avail, as his mass simply seems to swallow the young man. He told them, the Blob threatens, they should have made him more waffles! He ate Warren, Bobby shouts while Jarvis orders them to run. He’ll summon Iron Man.

Cyclops orders everybody to fall back and Bobby to wall the Blob off. A moment later, Hank shouts that Bobby walled off Jarvis with the Blob. It’s ok, Jean states, She doesn’t think Jarvis is supposed to be there. Telekinetically, she gets them their uniforms, figuring that putting them on will help.

As they run, Hank admits that Jean is right. Something about the way they perceive themselves is different. They have to focus on each other… as X-Men. Bobby complains if their original uniforms are ever going to be fixed. Cyclops remarks that he knows that look Hank has. The McCoy 5000 is processing data. Yes, he orders them to follow him up the stairs.

Bobby remarks that he doesn’t remember the staircase being so long. They head to Hank’s room. Inside, they see Hank sleeping. An evil clone! Bobby shouts. No, just him, Hank states. So it’s all just a dream? Bobby wonders. No, they wouldn’t be sharing a dream, Jean points out. They are in some kind of trap. Behind them, the Juggernaut runs past.

Bobby finds himself in another corner of the same room (dreaming of Ice-cream). Trying to shake himself awake, he announces that this is messed up. He doesn’t share a room with Hank. What’s going on? Hey! Wake up, me! Drake! Rise and shine!

Jean tells him it’s no use. This is some kind of virtual reality. If they could get themselves out of it, she would have been able to do so by now. Cyclops recalls that they saw Magneto earlier. Could he be behind this? Jean doesn’t think so. There’s only one mutant who can alter the mental landscape like this. The professor, Hank agrees. Where is he? Cyclops asks Jean. Jean concentrates for a moment before replying that he’s nowhere… and everywhere. This is bizarre. Cyclops orders the team to find him. That’s where the answers are.

That will be difficult if they can’t even make it down the hall, Beast observes, for outside the room, they seem to have shrunk and a giant hallways is stretching in front of them. It’s like a hundred miles to the east wing, Bobby states. They’ve been contained for some reason, Jean ventures and suggests Scott shoot something. Anything, Anywhere. Blast through the floor. He does so, but blasts too hard.

As the ground beneath them shatters, he calls out Bobby’s name and Iceman instantly complies by creating an iceslide for them to glide down all the stories. However, after they have passed the different levels of the house, they seem to be sliding towards a sun or something. Bobby shouts that he can’t find another way. Instead, they stop before it. It looks more like a window than a sun. Is the professor in there? Bobby wonders. Cyclops suddenly realizes what they are looking at and shouts at the others to get off the iceslide now!

They obey at the last moment. What they saw was the visor of a huge Cyclops who is now firing at them. When did they put Scott on Mount Rushmore? Bobby asks. He creates another iceslide to catch them. That was really easy, he cries. It should be for him, Cyclops replies, before pointing out that unlike him Bobby’s power isn’t destructive, it’s creative. He may have a lot of power here.

Bobby considers that for a moment and creates a funfair car for them to glide down the slide in. Hold on, passengers, he shouts, they’ve just entered Bobbyland. Their first stop is to find the Blob and avenge Warren. Avenge… that’s it! The Avengers, Beast cries. He was watching a TV special on them the other day and it showed they had this butler named Jarvis.

Jean agrees that she knew that Jarvis guy was out of place! The mansion’s services are all either automated or by delivery. What about Ms. LaFitte? Bobby wonders. They glide past a scene where they see her feeding a young Charles his favorite custard pudding. Jean thinks that they are inside the professor’s head. It’s Xavier’s subconscious but they are in it, somehow helping shape it, like Hank remembering the butler.

The torrents drag them along and suddenly like in a carny attraction they are passing by threatening versions of the Vanisher, Namor, Unus and Toad. This is like the most screwed up theme park ever, Bobby sums it up. If the professor’s mind can simulate their enemies that well, Hank fears (and it can, Jean interjects), they’d better step on it, Hank finishes his thought.

Bobby steers them towards a tunnel, which turns out to be the Blob’s mouth. It’s too late to steer back as the mouth is closing. They’ve been swallowed.

Darkness surrounds them until they see a light. Hank mutters that he doesn’t know if they want to exit that way. This isn’t a literal body, Jean corrects him. They see a landmass and the ocean beneath them. It’s nice to know that the professor has a peaceful place in his head, Cyclops observes. Jean tells him to take a closer look as they land. What seemed to be rocks from above are actually Sentinel heads. It’s all representational, she explains. Do they see how large the Sentinels are looming in his mind?

They are greeted by Angel, who tells them he’s been trying to get back inside but couldn’t. He shows them the mansion while Hank lectures that by going through the Blob they seem to have found a way out to the edge of the professor’s consciousness. Before they go back in they need to have a goal, Scott decides. A very Cyclops thing to say, Beast agrees. He knows he’s not exactly the thinker of the group, because he isn’t all old like them, but are they saying they need to know how the professor’s brain is laid out, Bobby asks? Is that possible?

Before Scott replies, they reach the Cerebro chamber. Jean announces that Xavier must be in there. It amplifies his ability, but the chamber is still a prototype… That somehow sucked their minds into it as well, Beast, finishes her thought. The next moment, they see the Juggernaut racing around and Jean recalls she subconsciously picked him up running through the mansion. The professor’s mind seems to contain chaotic elements that would either harm him or them, Beast realizes. Like a problem he’s constantly working on, Cyclops suggests.

Cerebro greets them. Warren asks if Xavier is with Cerebro. Cerebro explains that it and Xavier located an extremely powerful mutant mind. Please wait. We are contacting—Warning: target is an echo reading: Charles Xavier disengage –

Jean suggests it reboot its software system, but instead Cerebro repeats itself and Jean cannot override the commands. Cerebro and Xavier are stuck in a feedback loop, Bobby announces. Like a microphone aimed into a speaker. Everybody looks at him in surprise. Oh is it so shocking he understands something? Bobby sulks.

Scott tries to break the loop with his optic blasts, to no avail. Jean tells them she’s been trying mentally since they landed. She thinks the only thing that can break Xavier out is the Juggernaut. He can go anywhere here, just like in the physical world. Cyclops agrees. Xavier sees all the other menaces as something he can contain, but not his brother.

How do they…? Warren wonders, while Bobby simply shouts: Hey Cain! Cain Marko! Hey, idiot wit the mushroom head! Over here, you big wuss! Furious, the Juggernaut runs towards them.

Suddenly, a child version of the professor appears. It’s Cain. Is he coming for him? he asks frightened… Please don’t let Cain hurt him. Jean holds him and tries to comfort him while the others get ready. Cyclops orders the others to wait, then tells Bobby “now.” Iceman creates an iceslide under Juggernaut’s feet; he slips and smashes into the Cerebro shield. The system override works, Cerebro is shut down, and the X-Men find themselves in the real world, in the Cerebro chamber where they help Xavier out of the machine.

He thanks them. He admits the chamber is going to need much work before it can be used reliably. Jean suggests next time he wake them before trying that again. Does anybody beside him really, really want some waffles now? Bobby wonders.

Characters Involved: 

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

Professor X

in Xavier’s mindscape:

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

Professor X

Young Charles Xavier

Ms. LaFitte





Story Notes: 

While the series usually remembers that Jean is telekinetic only, at this time this issue seems to hint that Jean already displays telepathy.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: