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

Issue Date: 
October 2007
Story Title: 
Island X

Jeff Parker (writer), Roger Cruz (artist), Val Staples (colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Eric Nguyen (cover), Irene Lee (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

While the Professor is in Washington with his FBI contact, the X-Men are relaxing. Suddenly, Xavier contacts them mentally, informing them he has an important mission. He gives them the coordinates of an island and they manage to get there on a merchant vessel. Their mission is to reach a certain volcano. However, they soon find that everything on this island seems to be dangerous. The whole place is full of monsters and Xavier’s brief projections are less than helpful. Cyclops finally decides that something doesn’t make sense about the Professor’s behavior. Back at the Xavier’s School, Xavier returns from Washington with no idea where his students are.

Full Summary: 

Scott Summers muses that he never stops being surprised how fast a day can change since he came to live at Professor’s Xavier’s house. The Professor has taken a flight down to Washington D.C. He is checking in with his friend, Agent Duncan of the FBI. The X-Men are having some downtime, avoiding studies for a change. The creepy petrified Mastermind is by now being used as a coat rack. Hank is trying to pass off wearing a utility-kilt like it is perfectly normal. In fact, he tries to convince the others it’s more than fully functional and, in ten years, everybody will be… Dude, Angel tells him disgustedly. He knows what’s cool and that is not cool. Hey, he can wash all these colors together, right? comes Bobby’s question.

Suddenly, out of the blue, the Professor telepathically calls them about a mission that has to be handled at once. Xavier informs them that a terrible threat is coming on an island in the Pacific. He gives them the coordinates and orders them to get there at once. He will contact them again on the island.

The X-Men charter a merchant vessel to get them as close to the restricted area as possible and with a small boat they travel the rest to land on a bleak foggy island.

He thought islands in the Pacific were supposed to be tropical paradises, Angel complains. Right, Bobby remarks, still sitting in the boat that Beast is dragging ashore. When’s the last time the Professor said: My X-Men, I need you to go to a tropical paradise full of beautiful native girls? Well, he seems to think that servants are supposed to carry him around, Beast remarks, That’s not dissimilar. They’ll just have to wait until the Professor has further instructions, Jean suggests.

That very moment, Xavier contacts them telepathically again, informing them that now they must make their way to the north side of the island. There is a secret base where a deadly weapon is being made. It could change their entire world if they implement it. Who are they? Beast asks. Xavier shows them images of an alien as he replies that they are a secret cult bent on overthrowing their whole society. There is speculation in the FBI and at the Pentagon that they are aliens. He will be able to give them more intelligence soon. He wishes them good luck on traversing the terrain.

Are you still alive, my X-Men? Bobby mimics Xavier. Cool, gotta go. Cyclops agrees that his transmissions are a little brief, but it must be something big that’s demanding all his focus. Angel flies ahead to find them a path.

Cyclops finds the whole thing weird but the Professor hasn’t steered them wrong yet, so he decides to trust him. While they are waiting Bobby creates an iceflag with his initials. Since this place doesn’t seem to have a name, he hereby declares this the Republic of Bobbyland. Hah, the best section will be Hankville, Beast retorts.

Suddenly Angel comes flying back in a panic. Nevermindstayingherethefogistheplacetobe he rattles. They are all just trying to creep out the girl, Jean decides, and it’s not going to work! Telekinetically, she dissolves the fog…

And in front of them, they see huge dinosaur-like creatures. She takes it back, Jean states. The five start running as the monsters give chase. What is this place? Bobby asks panicked. Proof that the Professor hates them and always has! Warren shouts back equally panicked.

Hank suggests that they head down the ravine. Oh, like they can’t just step down there, Bobby shouts. It was the only way open, Beast shouts back. Cyclops sees a possibility and orders Jean to put all the force she can muster over that monster’s foot. She does so. Cyclops blasts it and it stumbles to fall down. Excellent use of the fulcrum principle, Beast commends them.

With the one monster down, the other gets busy trying to eat him. Not just trying, Warren remarks. Jean orders then to come on and they walk through jungle-like territory. Jean hopes the walking building stay out. The bats she can live with. Those bats look kind of chubby, Warren worries. Perhaps they are fruit bats, Beast hopes. Does fruit make you chubby? Warren wonders. The bats come closer. As they attack they reveal themselves to be not bats but flying bloodthirsty monkeys.

Not in her hair! is Jean’s first reaction as the X-Men run away. This is like the part of Wizard of Oz he had nightmares about! Bobby rambles. Cyclops shouts at Bobby who is still in human form: doesn’t he have a power or is his memory going? Bobby ices up and shoots ice at them, adding they should tell the wicked witch he as a water bucket with her name on it.

The monkeys flee. Bobby shouts after them: that’s right, childhood trauma. This is not little Bobby in his underoos. You’re dealing with Iceman now! At least it’s cathartic for him, Beast whispers to Cyclops. Has he ever read of animals like that? Scott asks him. Not the closest, the X-Men’s resident genius admits

Xavier contacts them, suddenly, asking if they have reached the volcano yet. He rushes them to stay on schedule and blinks out again. Can’t he just stay a minute and tell them what going on? Warren protests unnerved, but he’s gone already. Beast gets suspicious. Cyclops reminds them there is no telling what the Professor might be up against. Whatever the threat is he’s probably attacking it on multiple fronts counting on them to be one of the fronts.

-eetim nau… unsider ink yohnna comes a voice from far off. Hank is the first to hear it. Yor bleefs ank. There it is again, he shouts. Are there other people? Warren wonders. Kana pee. Mon guize! Cyclops decides to follow the voices, Jean believes one sounds like a woman.. Bobby gets nervous… somehow they sound familiar.

zisway thing. Lika wummin! They’re so close now, Warren wonders as they fight their way through the jungle. Why can’t they see anyone? Perhaps there’s some odd echo property to the forest, Beast marvels. Bizarre, it sounds like right here… He touches what looks like wood underground. It’s a hole full of teeth which seems to project the echo voices. Tentacles come alive, trying to pull the youngsters inside. The tree is going to eat me, Warren screams. Cyclops frees him with an optic blast.

As they run for their lives away from the trees, Bobby shouts that the Oz nightmare is replaced now, thanks. This is insane Scott shouts. Fascinating though, Beast marvels. A tree that regurgitates voices it heard to lure in prey. He’s never seen anything like that.

They reach the edge of the forest. He’s ready to just face the giant monsters again, Warren states. He liked them better. Her too, Jean agrees. As they sit down exhausted, she shouts unnerved that they’ve been over this before but Where! Are! They!? Scott admits he doesn’t know but if there is some big danger to the world, this is a perfect place for it to be from.

Beast is the only one who hasn’t lost his backpack and he finds some sandwiches which the others happily devour. Warren points up to some flying monsters which are quite similar to dinosaurs. As one of them throws flames at the other, Bobby assumes that they aren’t a couple, after all. Hank suggests it’s part of a mating ritual. They would mate like that here, Warren agrees. Jean wonders if this place is like another Savage Land. Cyclops corrects her that the Savage Land is mostly full of animals from history. He doesn’t know where these things came from.

From right here, he would think, Hank states. This is a very secluded island after all. Consider the Galapagos Islands. Cut off from any influx of new predators, the archipelago allowed tortoises to grow to massive size, and otherwise helpless birds like the flightless cormorant to prosper. Evolution was allowed to take a very specific diversion there.

Jean points out that everything on this island seems to be a predator. What could cause all this to grow so specialized? Maybe an indigenous food source, Scott speculates. Or maybe the cause is something they are completely unfamiliar with, Hank muses. They mean all those things could be mutants? Warren asks, looking suspiciously at some butterflies. Hank agrees. What if a charged meteorite landed here millions of years ago, influencing the gene pool? Or if even that volcano brought up some radioactive ore?

Or, hey man, what if an atom in his hand is a tiny planet and the Earth is just an atom in an even bigger guy’s hands? Bobby trails off. He means, whoa… Annoyed, Jean orders him to shut up. Impatiently, Bobby explains that they are all missing the point. The monsters were created by whomever they were sent here to stop. Duh.

Actually, that’s not a bad guess, Scott muses. And all they can do is guess because the Professor isn’t going to stop lunching it up with his pals in Washington to clue them in, Warren sulks. Enough, Scott orders sternly. Marveling at a butterfly that landed on her hand, Jean remarks that at least these evil villains made humongous butterflies and that’s cool. It’s like nature loves them again, Bobby adds. Ok, he likes this part of the island.

However, more and more butterflies are coming up till the air is thick with them and they begin to turn nasty and sting. Warren has had enough and beats them off by flapping his wings.

Butterflies that want blood? Scott asks. Iceman ices up hoping that they don’t like the snow. She’s so over this island, Jean shouts annoyed. Warren suggests Bobby make them an ice raft or something and they clear out. Scott tells him to knock off that talk. He knows they are here to do a job. What job? Warren shouts. What’s this mission that’s so secret it’s a secret to them? He shouts into the air, hoping the Professor will hear him. Is this some big nutty mutant test? He demands answers.

He demands his presence? Xavier’s mental projection asks. Uh, Warren replies eloquently. Xavier scathingly remarks that he’s sorry world security ranks well behind their other needs. He’s been devoting all of his mind to assessing the proper attack on this threat so his young team can walk away alive after the operation. Except for those moments when he contacted them which at this distance requires a tremendous artificial boost from technology. Yet with each visit, he sees they are barely any closer to the north end of the island.

Jean defends them, explaining that the place is swarming with monsters and deadly plants. They couldn’t… The whole United States will be the same way if they don’t succeed, he interrupts her coolly. He was totally right about the evil plan, Bobby states smugly, ignoring the others’ glares. He wouldn’t have sent them here if he didn’t believe they could handle this place, Xavier continues. They are supposed to set an example for a whole race of mutants. He suggests they start living up to that. He will speak with them again when they reach that volcano. With that he disappears again.

Scott angrily fires his optic blast at the ground calling himself an idiot. He’s a blind soldier. He doesn’t question anything the Professor says. He just automatically starts figuring out how to make it happen. So he tells them the Pentagon has a problem he’d like them to deal with. So they have to catch a ride on a merchant vessel? They can’t be dropped off by a destroyer?

Yeah, that would have been cooler, Bobby agrees. Hank suggests that perhaps because this is an international quarantined section like the Captain said. No Cyclops replies. Hank is rationalizing, trying to make sense when it doesn’t. The only think they know is that they are trapped on this island. It not like the Professor is going to forget they’re out there, Bobby asks nervously. He’ll send someone for them. Won’t he?

And in Westchester, Xavier has just arrived, shouting that he is back with interesting news. But his students are gone. Only the Mastermind coat rack has remained behind…

Characters Involved: 

Professor Xavier

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

Petrified Mastermind

Story Notes: 

Mastermind was petrified by the Stranger in X-Men (1st series) #11. The X-Men referred to being creeped out by having his statue around in X-Men: First Class (1st series) #7.

The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands west of continental Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. They are famous because of their vast number of endemic species. This is where Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: