X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
May 2008
Story Title: 

Jeff Parker (writer), Craig Rousseau (artist), Emily Warren (colors), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), John Romita jr, Klaus Janson, Dean White (cover), Anthony Dial (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

While the rest of the X-Men are fighting with an infection they picked-up on a mission in South America, Cyclops is on a solo mission, trying to find a group of missing people and a possible connection with an unclear mutant signal Xavier received. He quickly runs into an odd mutant named Frederick, who is mentally unhinged and whose powers seem odd. After Cyclops manages to stun him and gets into his mind with Xavier, they learn that Frederick’s mutation was caused by his father being irradiated from working in the local mine. He lost both parents and was ridiculed by his peers. The people who have disappeared are all either connected with the mine or in some other way to Frederick. Cyclops searches for the people in the mine and, though mentally separated from Xavier, finds them. In order to save them, though, he has to confront Frederick again, who gets buried in a cave-in as a result. Scott has saved a life but must learn to live with the results of having caused a death.

Full Summary: 

Bobby Snaps!

What happened to the piece of wood when Cyclops talked to it?

It got board.



Hey, what’s the difference between Cyclops and a recreation of Cyclops’ body made out of wax?

I don’t know.



What’s got four arms, twenty toes, and one personality?

Cyclops and ANYbody else.





Who’s there?


Cyclops who?

No. seriously. It’s just Cyclops.

Oh, please make it stop! Warren moans, flushing the toilet. Peering outside into the hallway, he sees an equally ill-looking Jean in a dressing gown, cradling a cup of tea. What’s she doing out of her room, he asks anxiously. Made some calming tea, she explains. Gotta go! Warren shouts and runs back into to the bathroom. Bobby runs past them also needing the bathroom, shouting that tea won’t work, nothing works!

Looking a bit healthier than the others, Hank gloats that it’s over for him. Obviously his more robust physique has dealt with the unwanted bacteria. Spoke too soon! he moans a moment later and runs.

Warren peers out of his room again, asking where Scott is. Is he totally wiped out? The Professor sent him on a mission, Jean explains. A mission! Warren exclaims. He was on the field trip just like they were. How come he’s okay?

Jean’s memory:

Jean recalls them having some drinks in a South-American country after their quest for a mutant turned out a bust; they didn’t even find a chupacabra. All of them were drinking the local beverages, save for Scott who drunk only the bottled water he’d brought along.


He’s okay because he’s Scott, she explains, and he never lets his guard down.

A shivering Bobby joins them, moaning he wants to eat, but eating always ends badly. Can’t imagine ever going on a mission again, Warren groans. Is he molting more than usual? They begin discussing Scott’s assignment when Jean moans that she’s got to go… while one of the others explains that Scott has to hunt down a killer-mutant.

Blue Ridge Mountains, West Virginia:

In his uniform and equipped with a backpack somewhere in the wilderness, Cyclops telepathically contacts Professor X, asking him to show that image that he picked up on again. The formation. Xavier concentrates and shares with Scott the place he saw through the recent victim. Okay, Scott reveals, that’s what he thought. He’s about one mile away. Then they should review what they know of their quarry, Xavier suggests. Scott walks at a brisk pace as they recall what led him here.

Like most of the nation, they noticed the news coming out oft his area in recent weeks. Several disappearances, often with signs of struggle. All residents or former residents of the depressed town of Weirton. Xavier remembered once picking up a faint signal from the region that he could never find again. He decided to revisit his scan, but found nothing, requiring Cyclops to come down and do the footwork personally. Which he did a horrible job of, Cyclops decides.


Scott parked the car outside the police line and addressed the local sheriff, who asked him if he’s one of those serial killer fans. Taken aback, Scott stutters that he’s reporting… The sheriff replies that he’s got no energy for a bad liar right now. He hasn’t seen a reporter use a notebook in thirty years. He points towards the two dead guard dogs and remarks that they don’t know if any people are dead but whoever’s behind this doesn’t have a problem with killing things in his way. So get out of it. He just waned to help, Scott ventures. The sheriff suggests he then go back to New York and watch it on TV where it’s safe. They’ve got feds and troopers and his men with bloodhounds scouring the state.


If it makes him feel better, he still gets such treatment from government authorities, Xavier points out. Few law enforcers are comfortable with citizen involvement. At least before he left he overheard the latest abductee was a city councilman, Scott remarks. Xavier has managed to uncover the identities of some of the abducted and shares them with Scott. There are also local officials… yet some are young people around Scott’s age.

On the ground, Scott finds remnants of a former dirt road that’s grown over. It looks like it’s leading up to a certain area. Xavier informs him that he’s going to call Fred Duncan to see if the FBI will let them work directly with them. He’ll contact Scott in thirty minutes.

Twenty-five minutes later, Scott has reached the spot and waits for Xavier to call. Suddenly, someone swings from a tree above him and kicks him to the ground. A large being, half-naked, with combat boots. Hello Scott, he croons. It’s Scott, right? He’s Frederick, he remarks as he drags Scott up and lets him fall again. He didn’t break him, did he? the man with the monstrous face asks and grabs him by the throat.

Cyclops involuntarily lets loose an optic blast against a piece of timber. A mutant, Frederick remarks. He could tell it. He always knew there were other mutants out there. He could sense them. But he though they’d look like him!

Scott fires his optic blast to no avail, as Frederick moves him aside and informs him he can tell when he’s going to fire. Cyclops orders him to stop calling him “Scott.” He’s not impressed that Frederick reads minds. Guess not, with his power, Frederick admits. It works when he wants it to, huh? His eyes hurt everything but him. See, this is how it should be with him.

He’s got a friend… really strong too… Cyclops wheezes. He kicks Frederick in the shin and throws him over his shoulder with a judo move, as he continues that said friend helps him figure out how to fight guys like Frederick.

He’d like to meet his friends, Frederick sneers. He sees a red-haired friend. What’s she like? She’d kill him, Scott replies grimly and fires at him a full-strength optic-blast. Frederick goes down and Scott is horrified. He didn’t mean to…

Xavier contacts him at that moment, asking what happened. Scott tries to explain, then blurts out he’s sorry. He didn’t mean to. Xavier gleans what happened from Scott’s mind and tells him it’s inevitable in their work that they may at times face death. Even cause it. Yet Frederick still clings to life and they need to find out where his captives are. He will take them into his mind to search.

Frederick’s mindscape:

Scott (in ordinary clothes) and Xavier (walking) stand before Frederick’s house. This used to be his home, Xavier ventures. He doesn’t think he’s lived in a house for years. He tells Scott to look.

A small Frederick greets his father who’s wearing a helmet with a lamp on it. Frederick tells him he’s still wearing his lamp. His father replies he forgot. He’s feeling dizzy. Frederick’s mother is concerned.

Later. Frederick is a teenager. His father is lying in bed, wasting away. On TV there’s a new report. The EPA say the Weirton mine should have been closed down years earlier when reports of high radiation levels came out.

Later again, his father is dead, his mother committed. Frederick at school is made fun of by the others for being a freak. Then his mutation manifested and the doctors couldn’t help him as he burned them accidentally. And Frederick, looking less and less human, sought shelter in the closed down mine.

Xavier explains that his father was irradiated for years before Frederick’s birth. Not unlike Henry or Xavier himself. Frederick actually needs the radiation to be stronger. But living underground so long… his mind is collapsing in on itself. Being far down through the ore made it so difficult for Xavier…


Scott notes that contact is breaking up. Behind him, Frederick gets up and hits Scott.

Xavier mentally shouts at Scott and wakes him. Xavier explains that, once Frederick woke up, he was able to kick Xavier out if his mind. He has some mental power, Scott agrees. He has a little bit of everything. Xavier adds that he obviously has a high healing factor, but only internally. And he’ll want to get back to the mine to heal more. Everything about him’s messed up, Scott decides as he starts running. The abductees have to be in there… if they’re still alive!

Xavier couldn’t tell from Frederick’s shattered mind. And he and Scott will have no connection once he’s inside. Scott has nearly reached the entrance of the mine. Xavier remarks that Henry has nearly recovered. He could send him down to assist Scott. No, Scott replies. There’s no time and they have no idea what state the captives are in. He has to go in now!

Xavier reluctantly agrees and promises to contact Agent Duncan and let him know to send agents there. And Scott? If he could have sent only one of them to face this he still would have chosen him. He can handle this. Scott thanks him and enters the mine.

He marks his path with glowing sticks to find his way back, hoping he has enough of them. He walks further and further down until he hears voices. Following them, he finds the tied up prisoners, who ask him to turn off the light, as it is too bright.

Scott apologizes but he can only dim the light of his eyes. He’ll aim it away until their eyes adjust. The people mutter that they haven’t seen light in weeks and ask if it’s night-vision. Is he police? Something like that, Cyclops replies evasively. He’s here to get them out.

The prisoners thank him and one of them says they’ve been tied up with cable. They become panicked as they see that Scott doesn’t have any wire cutters. Scott asks them to calm down. He can handle this. He asks them to cover their eyes and fires at the cable tying them together. The mine around them rumbles.

One of the men remarks that these shafts haven’t been reinforced in a long time. Listen to the expert, another one scoffs. He, referring to the first man, was part of the bunch who kept the mine running, burying reports of radiation. The first man tells him he was part of it too. He said to close the place but they wouldn’t listen. A woman infers that it was the only job source in town. What were they supposed to do? It’s not their fault that boy grew up like that, another woman adds. His pa was contaminated before he was born, that’s how it works.

Yeah, but he was mad about his daddy dying too, another one adds. A man remarks that the kids teasing them didn’t help. A young woman asks them all to stop, while Scott continues taking off their ties. They agreed they wouldn’t blame each other anymore. He was just a stupid kid, another man defends himself. How was he supposed to know Frederick was a mutant freak? He is a mutant freak, Cyclops tells him.

Cyclops turns to the last body lying still. One man tells him it won’t do any good to untie Roy. He died two days ago. Did Frederick… burn him? Scott asks. A woman explain that Frederick hasn’t tortured them. She thinks Roy missed his medication. The younger man remarks that Frederick kept them down there, sitting in filth, going all over how they all ruined his life. Like this ain’t torture, a woman agrees. He feeds them the garbage he finds.

Cyclops supports the weakest man and orders the stronger ones to help the weak. With that, they try to make their way towards the exit but Cyclops’ man is too weak. Scott has found a solution though. Railtracks that go up all the way to the entrance. The weaker ones are loaded into the cars and the stronger ones push.

“Don’t worry, everyone, you’re all saved,” suddenly comes Frederick’s voice. He stands between them and the exit. Everything’s okay. Look! He’s an X-Man. He has drawn a burning X on his chest.

Scott orders him to step out of the way, but Frederick hesitates. With the light coming from Cyclops’ visor, he is reminded of his father. He reaches out. Scott misunderstands the gesture and fires at him.

Behind them the mine starts to crumble and cave in and Scott and the prisoners barely make it outside where the FBI men are already waiting for them.

A little later, Xavier contacts Scott, asking him if he is sure he’s okay to drive back. Sure, he’s just swallowed a lot of dust, Scott replies. That’s not what he meant, Xavier points out. Yeah, well, it’s like he said about this work, isn’t it? Scott replies. Sometimes they have to face death. Yes, but they don’t have to like it, Xavier replies. “Good” is Scott’s final word in the matter.

Characters Involved: 

Professor Xavier

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

Story Notes: 

The Chupacabra – the goat sucker – is a mythical being rumored to inhabit parts of South America.

Xavier’s father worked in Alamogordo, where the first atomic bomb was tested and Beast’s father worked in a nuclear plant.

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