X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #16

Issue Date: 
November 2008
Story Title: 

Jeff Parker (writer), Roger Cruz (artist), Val Staples (colors), 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: 

After Iceman is chastised by his teammates for icing up the Danger Room, he leaves annoyed. Something similar happens at the Baxter Building with the Human Torch. Soon after, the two youngsters run into each other and find they have much in common, so much that they decide to make their own cooler hipper team. Superteams need arch-enemies, so they beg Spider-Man to give them a tip. He allows them to take over his stakeout, happy that this frees him for Gwen Stacy’s beach party. The harmless criminals they are expecting turn out to be the Scorpion and the Beetle, who had meant to trap Spidey. After some trouble in the beginning, the two heroes manage to nab the overconfident villains. With their faces in newspapers everywhere, they become even more insufferable. The problem quickly solves itself, though, when Johnny Storm makes a play for the barista of Bobby’s dreams, Zelda, and so, very soon, Bobby is back with the X-Men.

Full Summary: 

Bobby! one of Iceman’s teammates calls out annoyed, as the X-Men find he iced up the Danger Room into an ice rink right at training time. He didn’t think they had a session today, Bobby shrugs.

A similar scene takes place in the Fantastic Four’s Baxter Buildings, as the Human Torch flies through the building to catch his favorite show, causing the fire systems to spray the Thing instead.

In Westchester, Beast points out annoyed that it will take Cerebro two hours to melt this and remove the vapor, while in Manhattan Reed Richards sighs that he supposes he should be grateful Johnny found a weakness in his fireproofing. The weakness is in his head, Sue Storm declares regarding her younger brother.

Why don’t you grow up?! Marvel Girl and the Thing tell their younger teammate respectively and Iceman and the Torch both decide they have had enough. They quit.

Sitting in a train bound for Manhattan, Bobby sulks. He is tired of them. Everybody else can goof around, but let the Bobster, King Drake act up and we hate, you Bobby! We hope you lose your mutation! He’ll just go hang with Zelda in the big city. She understands him.

Flying around, Johnny feels the same. He is fed up. He hopes he finds some crime to vent his frustrations.

Bobby reaches the Cafe a Gogo to learn that Zelda isn’t on until the next day. He notices a commotion outside as armored goons are attacking a van.

The Torch is there first. Johnny recognizes the designs of the construction suits they stole as Reed designed them for the city. He knows where the weak spots are. However, he forgot that they have fire extinguishers, which the villains use on him.

While they decide what to do with him, Iceman attacks, icing over their equipment. They use their drill to attack. Johnny uses his finger not covered by goo to melt all the ice, causing all the water to flow into the equipment, in turn causing electric backlash.

Satisfied, the two teen heroes look at their work. A young woman remarks they make a good team and asks if they mind if she shares her cell phone pic of the battle with the local news. Predictably, they don’t.

Later in the Cafe a Gogo, they find they have a lot in common, namely their teams being mean to them. It’s ‘cus they are old, Bobby assumes. When you get over twenty, you just start to lose it, or something. Johnny suggests Bobby hang out in the city a while. They could show the codgers how it’s done. Iceman is all for it, but he can’t afford a place in Manhattan. No problem, Johnny informs him and flames on, asking him to follow. Iceman does so, on an iceslide.

While their two teams catch the news about the new dynamic duo, Johnny shows Bobby a warehouse with an empty apartment above. Johnny explains Reed lets him have this place when they are having some problems. So he’s there about once a week.

Bobby ices down and announces his secret identity of Bobby Drake. Having no idea who he is, the Torch is not overly impressed. Sitting down on the couch, the Torch shows Iceman a police scanner they can use to monitor for emergencies and crimes.

Monitor duty begins and… nothing happens. Bored, they decide to get something to eat.

In a diner (in their superhero identities), they check out girls and decide they should build their rep. The whole city should be talking about them. They need cool villains too, Johnny decides. If they get lame ones, everyone thinks they are lame. Where do they find good ones? Bobby wonders.

Elsewhere in a warehouse, Spider-Man is being mocked by a few thugs. He tells them to move along. Nothing he’d rather be doing than a stake-out he mutters, when Gwen Stacy wants Peter Parker at her pool party.

Suddenly, his Spider-sense tingles and he avoids… a snowball? Iceman and the Torch face him with the Torch gloating that he told Iceman he couldn’t hit Spidey. They tell Spidey the are the baddest new crimefighting team in New York. Spidey can retire now.

Later on the roof, Spidey asks why they aren’t out busting head instead of razzing him. Slow crime day, Bobby complains. Wait ‘til they go into action, Johnny adds, they’ll make the other heroes here look sick.

Spidey guesses they could use some real villains to work out the team dynamic. Does he know where any are? they ask eagerly.

Spidey explains that a henchman gave him a tip on some super-creeps meeting here later… but they might be heavy-hitters. He doesn’t want to drag them into this. But they practically beg to take this case off him, and so happily Spidey leaves, itching for that pool party.

The two wait. Bobby complains about Cyclops always being angsty about his power. Ben is just as bad, Johnny tells him with his “I can’t change the station without breaking things, boohoo me, wah wah!” And they only have one girl on their team, Bobby complains. How should he feel? Johnny tells him, they only have one too and she’s his sister!

Suddenly, they notice someone coming. Shouldn’t they wait until they commit some crimes? Johnny asks. They are wearing trenchcoats, comes Bobby’s reply. Guilty! And so, they threaten the trenchcoat men, who reveal themselves as Scorpion and the Beetle.

Angrily, Beetle announces that their information “leak” was supposed to bring them a spider. Instead, they’ve netted two completely different superpunks. Don’t matter none, Scorpion decides.

Oh yeah, the Torch exclaims. Supercreeps. They got their own bad guys now! Bobby cries happily. None of these Juggernuts and Blobboes. We ain’t “your” bad guys” the Scorpion scoffs. Yes they are, Iceman shoots back before he is hit by the Scorpion’s tail. Beetle flies at the Torch, remarking that they have fought before, but this time his stone ugly friend isn’t here to help him.

The Torch falls. Scorpion hits Iceman again with the tail, then uses it to bat the Torch into the ceiling. Calling him a hero-hog, Beetle orders him to leave some for him. He drags Iceman up the roof and tosses him down. The Beetle is un-beetle-ble he quips.

Meanwhile at a certain pool party. Sitting at the edge of the pool, Gwen asks Peter why he isn’t enjoying her fabulous party. She knows this crazy idea of having “fun” puzzles and confuses him… Peter apologizes, he was just thinking. He gets out of the pool. That’s always the problem, Gwen observes. It’s just… he has to do something. “Peter, don’t you…” Gwen begins to warn him while he replies he has to do this. A moment later, Gwen begins to giggle as Peter cannonballs into the water.

In the warehouse, the beaten heroes hear a booming noise. Some band practice here, Bobby remarks. Naw, this building is abandoned, Johnny replies. He saw as he fell though it.

The noise is courtesy of the villains, who are destroying the building around them and on top of them.

Yeah, who’s the man now? they high-five each other. The insidious insects, the Beetle exclaims. What insects? Scorpion asks suspiciously. Or infernal insects, Beetle amends, or evil insects, he adds. It doesn’t have to be alliterative.

Litter-tive? Scopion asks, What’s he talking about?

Their team name, Beetle stresses. That will strike fear in the heart of the city. He knows.

Why can’t just be Scorpion and Beetle? It could, it could, Beetle agrees, it would be Beetle and Scorpion though.

While Iceman and the Torch, who were safe under Iceman’s iceshield, slowly emerge, the villains are still arguing.

Why his name first? the Scorpion demands. Alphabetical order, the Beetle replies. Whuzzat? the other villain asks.

Freeze! Bobby orders and freezes up the Beetle, while the Torch burns off the Scorpion’s tail.

That was great! comes a cry, as some young reporter crew has watched this. A young woman explains that her last picture of them got her a job at the paper. Mind if they get some quotes from the hottest and coolest new team in years?

And so, a little later, not again the X-Men moan. Incredulous, Scott Summers quotes from the newspaper article. We’ve got new ways of fighting evil, because we’re not hung up on old school ideas? We’re building up a rogue gallery of cooler villains? Jean continues. This is getting out of control!

Xavier smirks as he tells them not to worry. He thinks Robert’s new endeavor will wrap up soon.

On the next day, Bobby awakes on the couch at 11:30. It was Johnny’s turn to get them breakfast at a café, but he isn’t there. While reading the newspaper, Bobby heads for the Café a Gogo. In there, he sees Johnny heavily flirting with the barista Zelda. Seeing this, he grows furious.

And so, that afternoon, the X-Men happily watch how Bobby and Hank are training in the Danger Room, with Hank commending Bobby on the way he disabled his attacker. Things are back to usual.

Characters Involved: 

Professor Xavier

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

Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)


Scorpion, Beetle


Gwen Stacy


Story Notes: 

This is the last issue of the regular series. It is continued in Giant-Size X-Men: First Class & the 4-part LS X-Men: First Class – Finals in February.

Issue Information: 

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