X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #15

Issue Date: 
October 2008
Story Title: 
<BR>Bad Hair Day (1st story)<BR>Angel’s Back (2nd story)

1st storyJeff Parker (writer), Karl Kesel (artist), Val Staples (colors)

2nd story Jeff Parker (writer), Colleen Coover (artist)

Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Cruz & Guru (cover), Irene Lee (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

1st story:
On their way back from their adventure with X-50, the X-Men pick up a distress call from an airport seemingly under attack from an UFO. The vessel actually belongs to the Frightful Four and is flown by their renegade member, Madame Medusa. After a brief fight, Medusa reveals that she is not truly evil but has amnesia. As she might be a mutant, the X-men bring her back to the mansion to see if Xavier can help her. While the X-men each react in their own way to the newcomer, with Beast being smitten, Xavier cannot truly help her. They are attacked by the Wizard, who wants her back and incapacitates Marvel Girl, Beast and Iceman, having them levitate high up. Finally, Xavier and Cyclops take him out and reveal that Medusa was under his control via some device. Medusa flees and Angel saves his teammates.

2nd story:

While he tells his teammates that he missed them, Angel truly returned because the locals expected him to marry Bera.

Full Summary: 

The X-Men are on their flight back from Washington State after their adventure with X-50. They wonder how Doctor Stack feels after Aaron’s “death.” Beast is optimistic that Stack will work out the bugs on X-51. Jean is looking out of the window and Bobby is snoozing. Only Cyclops notices that Xavier is changing course. The professor explains he picked up distress calls from an airports seventy miles east. It sounds like they are under attack from a flying saucer!

Very quickly they see that strange craft. Xavier tries to probe the pilot’s mind and comes to the conclusion it is human, though he is not totally sure. The person’s mind is hard to read but they seem to have trouble controlling the vessel.

Cyclops puts on his visor and orders the others to wake Bobby. Scott tells Hank to grab a couple of chutes for the two of them. The three of them are going to stop that craft. Bobby awakes hearing that. Wouldn’t they need three chutes?

A little later, the three of them jump with Hank holding Bobby with his feet. Panicked, Bobby screams at him not to let him go and Hank suggests he stop icing up then. Holding his hand before his eyes, Bobby moans, Not like! Want Warren back!

Cyclops uses his optic blast to send the saucer towards Hank and Bobby. Scott’s trying to kill them, Bobby decides and suggests they get out of there. This is why he didn’t give Bobby a chute. He’d have flown the coop, Hank explains. He lands on the vessel’s hull, depositing Bobby there as well and tells him to ice the craft down. Make it heavy!

Oh gotcha! Bobby replies. Then they jump off at the last second, before it hits, right? Yes, Hank replies impatiently, because physics works just like Bobby’s favorite cartoons!

In the meantime, Xavier steers the plane as close as possible while Jean concentrates and telekinetically slows the vessel. It crashlands in the treetops, allowing the two boys to leave it.

Cyclops lands, praising their work. Suddenly, a masked beautiful woman with incredibly long living hair emerges. They have sabotaged the anti-grav vehicle, she announces and warns them that they will suffer the wrath of Madame Medusa!

As she uses her hair as a battering ram, almost striking Beast, Cyclops announces she’s one of the Wizard’s gang, the Frightful Four. Medusa grabs Beast with her hair, dangling him from his foot. Haughtily, she informs them that she is her on own now, and calls them saboteurs. Hank corrects her that they were bringing her down before she crashed. She lets him drop as she assures them she was in complete control of that craft and now it’s ruined!

Bobby shouts that’s enough and ices up her hair. It’s bad enough when women drivers won’t admit their badness, but the crazy hair is too much! Have a free perm, chick! So glad, Jean isn’t here to hear him, Hank mutters.

Is he the negative version of the Human Torch? Medusa asks. Striking a victor pose, Bobby retorts that the Torch is the loser version of him, ‘cause she has got taken down by the Iceman.

Cyclops suggests turning her over to the police. And what is she guilty of? she asks. She was just fighting the Fantastic Four the other day, Bobby retorts. Is fighting them a crime? Medusa asks. Beast reminds them than they are guilty of the same charges. Medusa points out that she has no criminal history like the Wizard’s teammates. She joined them to find answers about herself because they were unique like her… and the X-Men.

Hank suggests she could be a mutant. Cyclops agrees, deciding it’s the professor’s call. Very well, Medusa states and breaks her hair free of the ice. She could have broken free sooner she remarks, but she wanted to better judge their character. Well, he hopes they passed her test, Scott remarks. More or less, she states. She has heard of the X-Men. They are not embraced by the public like the FF. Nor are they villains. Perhaps they have something in common. Perhaps she is… a mutant. She walks ahead to the aircraft and the three young men share uncertain looks.

Later, the male X-Men, Medusa and Xavier are in the living room, with Hank serving Medusa tea. Jean enters confused, asking why the others aren’t wearing their masks. Xavier explains his first mental scan shows that their guest is not the villain the media have painted her to be. She attaches no importance to dual identity and is sadly unaware of her own.

Medusa asks if Xavier can help her with this. While Jean telekinetically tries to manipulate her hair like Medusa does, Medusa describes what she remembers. Her clearest memories are of someone chasing her. Recently, she has had a strong sense of danger attached to this. So she joined with the Wizard and his Frightful Four that she would have allies. The Wizard himself could be responsible for her memory loss, but she doubts it.

Xavier admits that his first pass at fathoming her mindscape gave him very little. He has a sense of her character, but no details. She could be a mutant or not. Certainly more than human. Whatever clouds his scan is no mere amnesia. He asks her to relax and clear her thoughts. He is going back in.

Medusa’s mindscape:

There’s a whole life, shadowed figures, but they are in the dark. Her life picks up again when she meets the Wizard’s group and faces the FF. They break the Wizard’s mind control of the Thing and defeat the other members of the Frightful Four but Medusa escapes in the Wizard’s anti-grav ship.


Xavier breaks off contact. He cannot reach anything substantial. Perhaps he’s ill today. He apologizes to Medusa. Madame Medusa, Bobby corrects. Stop correcting everyone, Scott tells him.

Medusa explains that the “Madame” moniker was her gang name. She thinks she wants to be simply Medusa now. Hank quickly remarks that he approves of the mythic lineage of the name, even if it does conjure images of the Gorgon sisters. What did he say? Medusa asks surprised. The name Gorgon feels familiar. Hank suggests that he could recite the entire Greek Pantheon if she’d like.

Xavier suggests that perhaps under more comfortable surroundings and people she can trust, her mental doors are beginning to unlock. She is welcome to stay here for as long as she needs to. Medusa thanks him and Jean looks very surprised, while Hank can’t help grinning like a loon.

Elsewhere, two locals have found Medusa’s craft, believing it to belong to Aliens. Wondering what to do if the aliens have rayguns, they are unprepared for the being behind them who uses anti-grav gadgets to take them out. Quickly, he uses the ship’s technology to trace Medusa.

The next morning in the kitchen, Medusa taps Jean’s shoulder with a lock of hair, asking to speak to her. At the breakfast table, Bobby fears Medusa’s going to tell Jean the things he said about women drivers.

Medusa points to a picture of the X-Men and asking who the winged one is. Warren, codename Angel, Jean tells her. Medusa assumes he fells tragically in battle and feels sorry. With a smile, Jean tells her that he just found this lost city where everyone accepts him and his wings and decided to stay. Who could blame him? Medusa muses. A refuge where one different as they can walk undisturbed.

Jean agrees that Warren hates strapping his wings under his clothes to appear normal. Medusa could always just cut her hair. Never! she shouts and strokes her locks protectively. It would be as if Jean were to amputate all her limbs. Eww, Jean replies.

Hank jumps next to them and quickly offers that Jean didn’t mean to conjure such an image. Her mutation is completely internal, so she can’t sympathize. Jean angrily points out she can apologize by herself.

Hank offers to Medusa around the grounds. She was hoping to ask Professor Xavier to scan her mind gain. Hank informs her that the Professor and Scott have gone into town for supplies. Again, he prods her to go out with him.

Hearing the bell ring, he figures it’s a delivery and goes to answer it. Medusa whispers to Jean that Hank is very charming, bur she prefers the strong silent type. Well, he’s strong, Jean concedes…

The man outside points a gun at Hank and asks where Medusa is. He wants her. Hank begins that he frowns on guns being pointed at him, but can’t finish the sentence as the Wizard, Medusa’s former leader, fires his anti-grav gun. He introduces himself belatedly.

Iceman slides up to him on an iceslide and kicks him in the kidney, telling him to hightail it back to Oz. He’s just found one of the many pads of the uncanny X-Men. Many.

Uninterested, the Wizard tosses one of his anti-grav discs at Iceman. When it connects, Iceman is carried up in the air. Quickly, the Wizard tosses two more discs at Beast and Marvel Girl and they too fly up. This is what she usually does to people, Jean protests.

The Wizard turns away, only interested in retrieving Medusa. She steps out, dressed in one of Jean’s uniforms (which, Jean has to admit, actually looks good on her). Forcefully, Medusa announces that she is not coming with him. She is an X-Man now. Oh, please, the diminutive villain laughs. She knows where she belongs… with him.

Medusa sends out strands of her hair to destroy the discs he is holding in his hand and remarks she thought he was imprisoned with Sandman and the Trapster after the Fantastic Four’s victory. He explains that he claimed the Thing broke his clavicle and they took him to the hospital. Escaping from his guards was ridiculously easy.

Suddenly, a snowball hits him courtesy of Iceman, still flailing in the air. It seems he didn’t negate gravity enough for the three X-Men, he decides and presses a button on his chest. The three X-Men rise up fast and he shouts after them to enjoy the ionosphere.

In the car, Xavier ponders the mysteries of a Rubik’s cube, while Scott announces that he thinks something is up at the mansion. Seeing his three teammates rise up, Scott adds either that or everyone but him just developed a new mutant flying ability. They’d better hurry, Xavier decides.

Medusa envelopes the Wizard with her hair and orders him to bring the X-Men back or she’ll snap his back. Would she? he asks. He often wondered. While strands of hair tighten on his throat he chokes out that she knows she must come back. She always does this. She knows where she has to return. Medusa’s gaze turns empty and her hair releases him.

Cyclops comes running, ordering the Wizard to surrender. The Wizard informs him that Medusa will come with him while Cyclops will join his friends. Scott however blasts the disc coming at him. He warns the Wizard he isn’t kidding.

Medusa traps him with her hair and calmly announces she is accompanying the Wizard and suggests Cyclops retrieve his team. Cyclops reminds her she said she wanted to be free of that guy yesterday. Xavier mentally contacts Scott, telling him to remove the Wizard’s helmet.

“Yes sir,” Cyclops replies and fires an optic blast at the upper part of the Wizard’s helmet, smashing it without causing more than a severe headache for the villain.

Medusa immediately turns normal again and apologizes to Scott. Hardly her fault, Xavier replies and asks her to move her hair away from her neck. He orders Scott to look. He finds a small device there, a relay feeding her mind suggestions, Xavier explains. And blocking her from being aware of its presence. The Wizard has been exploiting her memory loss and urging her towards his own ends. It seems he recently used such technology on Ben Grimm.

Furious, Medusa snatches the Wizard with her locks demanding answers. He’s been keeping her from getting her life back, she rages. Scott warns her not to kill him. They need him to bring the others back down. He cannot. They destroyed his remote, the Wizard whines, pleading he has a concussion. He can go to hospital for real this time, Xavier decides, and then to prison as he was meant to.

Scott looks upward. He can’t even see the others anymore. Xavier asks him not to worry. He’s already sent a message on their behalf. To whom? Scott asks. He wanted it to be a surprise. He suspects it will be an even better one this way.

The three X-Men are so far up it is getting hard to breathe. They can rip the disks off their clothes, Hank muses, but there is no surviving this fall. Well, that’s easy. Hank, comes another voice, don’t fall. And a smiling Angel catches the three of them.

2nd story:

While the others welcome Warren back, Bobby announces that Medusa stole one of their cars. Xavier explains that she’s going back to the Fantastic Four for some answers.

Jean snatches Warren’s ear. He stayed in a hotel in town for a whole week? He admits he was embarrassed after saying he was gone for good. So what brought him back? Hank asks.
Warren recalls…


… that the natives meant for him to get married to Bera.


Lamely, he tells his friends that, after a few weeks, he just realized where his real home is. The others are touched. Only Xavier smirks with a raised eyebrow.

Characters Involved: 

1st story:

Professor Xavier

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


The Wizard

2nd story:

Professor Xavier

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





Story Notes: 

An amnesiac Medusa first joined the Frightful Four in Fantastic Four (1st series) #36. This issue should take place between Fantastic Four (1st series) #43 when Medusa leaves the Frightful Four and #44 when her cousin Gorgon catches up with her.

Medusa refers to the X-Men having fought the Fantastic Four when Xavier was under the Puppet Master’s control in Fantastic Four (1st series) #28.

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