X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
December 2007
Story Title: 
Road Trip

Jeff Parker (writer), Julia Bax (penciler), Kris Justice (inker) Val Staples (colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Eric Nguyen (cover), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men are due for a break and leave, save for Hank and Bobby (who refuses both Warren’s and Scott’s invitations). At Xavier’s urging, the two take a road trip together. Having several adventures, among them winning at and being thrown out of an Atlantic City casino, camping and finally saving several Florida tourists from a hurricane the two have cemented their friendship.

Full Summary: 

The students at Xavier’s are busy packing for their holidays. Her folks are there, Bobby who is standing at the window informs an excited Jean, who telekinetically levitates her luggage down and announces that she’s going to Switzerland. “Bring me back a clock!” Warren shouts.

Bobby turns to Scott, telling him his brother is out there as well. Are there Kayaks on his jeep? and excited Scott asks. The answer is yes and the two Summers brothers greet each other while Xavier exchanges pleasantries with the Greys.

Scott tells Xavier good-bye and then asks Bobby if he’s sure he doesn’t want to come along. He has to visit his cousins, Bobby claims. Warren suggests he blow that off and come to Maine with him. He can’t get out of it, Bobby replies. Then forget driving, Warren decides and puts down his bags. He’ll just buy new clothes when he gets there. As he flies off, he asks Bobby to put that stuff back in his room.

With everyone else gone, Xavier remarks that he doesn’t recall Bobby having any cousins. Bobby reminds Xavier that he knows where he’s from. Sure he misses his folks, but he doesn’t miss the rednecks who hate anyone different from them. If it weren’t for Xavier and Scott getting him out of that place, he doesn’t think he’d have lived to see college. Xavier understands but warns him from isolating himself. He can stay at the school during break, but the cleaning staff won’t be coming until class is back in session.

So it’s just Bobby and Hank (with a stack of books). Excited, Hank suggests that the texts for the next quarter have already arrived. They can get a jump on their course work. Whee! Bobby replies sarcastically, definitely not excited.

Xavier telepathically addresses Hank and orders him not to let Bobby know. He thinks the two of them would benefit from some time away from academics. Hank again points out that getting a jump on their studies would be useful. Understanding his teammates is invaluable, Xavier points out. Hank concedes this.

Hank turns to Bobby announcing that there will be plenty of time for studies during session. They should use the break and go somewhere. Now Bobby is excited. Of course they need transportation, Hank muses. He could check the train and bus schedules. Dragging out Warren’s car keys, Bobby has a better idea.

And so very soon they are on the road in Warren’s convertible. Is Bobby sure Warren said it was ok to use his car? Hank asks suspiciously. Yeah, well, he thinks he did. Or he might have been talking about his bike. Either way. So where are they going first? Hank begins a sentence containing the science museum in Connecticut. Boring! Bobby interrupts. The Aquarium? Pssh. Old Ironsides in Boston? Uh… no. There’s a Civil War re-enactment. Nope. An architectural tour of – Nyet. The – Uh-uh.

One hundred miles later, a sign points towards the “Devils’s Vortex. See the laws of physics destroyed.” Finally both of them agree that they want to go there. As they walk through the forest, a loudspeaker announces: As you enter the Devil’s Vortex you will notice a powerful repelling force. Do not be afraid. Push on further. Wow. It’s right, Bobby marvels. What is this? A mysterious phenomenon called gravity, Hank retorts wryly.

They reach a small wooden house and Hank explains that this just takes advantage of the overall grade of the area. They’re actually on a steep incline, but their surroundings don’t reveal that.

A guide leads an impressed family around the house. Up is a relative term when you’re in the vortex, the guide explains and shows a marble moving on a seemingly straight surface. Wow! the boy exclaims and the guide continues that there are different theories about this place. Some say it’s a buried meteorite; others attribute its properties to a curse.

Inside the house, Hank still isn’t impressed by the phenomenon. The house is carefully built to cheat the horizon line, he explains. Then it’s tilted and placed on this deceptive incline. There is no vortex affecting this differently, he pontificates to Bobby. The boy has been eavesdropping and looks disappointed. Bobby orders Hank to shut up; he just took all the fun out of it! “Oops,” Hank suddenly shouts and hangs from the ceiling head down. Gravity is out of control here. The boy is happy and the guide flabbergasted.

Later back in the car, Bobby nervously asks if Hank noticed any gas station? They passed seven in the last thirty minutes comes the reply. But now the tank is empty. Hank has to push the car and complains it’s like being in the Devil’s Vortex again. Oops, Drake apologizes, he had the emergency brake on all this time. There’s a station around the corner he quickly changes the subject. While they have their tank filled for a worth of six Dollars and 70 cents, they find that neither of them has brought an ATM card or has much more money. Why didn’t he grab some money from Warren’s dresser? Bobby moans, before deciding on a change of course to get some gas money.

A little later, they are at a Blackjack table in an Atlantic City casino, much to Hank’s displeasure. He disagrees with gambling on principle. That’s why they’re not going to gamble, Bobby points out. Hank’s going to use that big brain of his to keep track of the deck. Hank tries it out and wins repeatedly. After some time, he asks Bobby to cash in those chips or get them out of the way.

The croupier, in the meantime, hits a hidden button to alert security that Hank is counting cards. A little later, security asks them how they’d like a nice steak dinner and a free hotel room compliments of the casino. Dragging Hank and Bobby away, they ask if he is figuring the cards out in his head? Of course he is, Hank replies. There’s no law against that. Law? One of the security men laughs and Bobby protests they aren’t hungry. The security man points a gun at his back. He’s hungry.

They are led outside the back entrance and Bobby insists they get the money. Suddenly, he ices up the gun. Hank evades a blow, informing them that they will no longer frequent their establishment and then somersaults him into the garbage container.

A little later, they drive to a camp ground. Bobby protests that they’ve got all this money. They can stay at some swank hotel with pools and robes. To this, Hank points out that he bought a posh tent. A little later a frustrated Bobby gives up on building a campfire and heads for the “bathroom,” a Dixie toilet and storms out again disgusted.

Later at their camping fire roasting marshmallows, Hank insists this isn’t so bad. And much safer than their last camping trip on Monster Island. He didn’t get into the pit toilet, Bobby mutters. He’ll recover through therapy one day. But for now s’mores are helping him cope. Irritated, Hank slaps his neck. Mosquitoes! Aren’t they biting Bobby? Yes, they are Bobby replies and lowers the temperature of his skin to freeze the mosquitoes, but they’re not enjoying him, he states satisfied.

One the next day, they drive on to stop at a stand that offers boiled peanuts. One shouldn’t boil peanuts, Hank states disgusted. It’s great Appalachian caviar Bobby insists. During their snack, Bobby suggests they head down towards Florida next and that Hank drive for once. Hank makes excuses, stating he’s better suited for navigation, but Bobby won’t have it. He’s tired of driving. He tosses Hank the keys. Okay, Hank mutters as he takes his seat and stares at the steering wheel. It’s an internal combustion engine, so some kind of spark must trigger that combustion, he reasons. Ah, of course, that’s what the ignition switch must do.

Annoyed and disturbed, Bobby asks if he doesn’t know how to drive. He had excellent public transportation where he grew up, Hank defends himself. And he rode his bike. Okay, so that’s the honk. D is drive, right. Yeah, now push the gas, Bobby orders him. No, that’s the brake! Brake, brake! He screams as they near a rock wall.

Two stressful hours later, Hank has gotten the hang of it, strangely enough by steering with his feet.

In Dilling, South Carolina under a gorilla statue Bobby tells Hank about a spoiled cinema date between Angel and the Scarlet Witch. Wanda clapped when everyone bowed to the hobbits and as a result Warren’s wings popped out of his shirt and they had to leave the cinema.

In Savannah, Georgia during a thunderstorm, Bobby states that one could really put Cyclops’s ruby lenses into some styling frames. That’s not the point. They need to be functional, Hank retorts.

During lunch in Orlando, Florida Hank informs Bobby that the professor does not shave his head to look cool. His hair fell out when he was younger.

Riding the waves in Miami, Florida, they argue whether Jean likes Warren or Scott better.

Finally, they visit Hemingway House in Key West. While the tour guide informs the tourists that Hemingway wrote much of For whom the Bell Tolls over there by the pool Bobby and Hank examine some six-toed cats. They’re polydactyls, Hank explains. Essentially, they’re … mutants.

The guide suddenly cuts the tour short, having heard that a tropical storm off Cuba has changed direction and is coming their way. Oh and it has been upgraded to a hurricane. And the storm already starts.

Hank and Bobby drive away over a flooded street trying to get to the mainland with Hank attempting in vain to get the convertible’s top up. Around them they see chaos with the island being flooded. The roads will wash out, Hank realizes. It will be impossible for the Keys to be evacuated. Bobby orders him to take the wheel as he ices up. This is a job for the two coolest X-Men (literally in his case). Hank grabs a mask from the glove compartment. He alerts the people to get back to the road as Iceman creates an express icetunnel to protect the road from the flood.

Hank orders him to leave some entrances for cars. He’s on the job, Bobby replies and tells him to keep his foot on the wheel. With the tunnel finished, the people now are able to get out of the danger zone, but the hurricane is still coming and Bobby creates an icedome around them and the car as shelter.

Looking up, Hank tells him thanks for making him take a vacation which wouldn’t occur naturally to him. He heard from his window how Scott and Warren invited Bobby along and he gave them excuses. He still feels like the tagalong of the team, doesn’t he? Just because he’s a little younger than everyone.

Bobby admits that’s the case. It’s dumb. He’s trying to get over it. Hank tells him he considers it a privilege then. Usually, he’s the one everyone feels uncomfortable around. Bobby knocks his fist together with Hank’s. He’s his main nerd. Is this what the cool kids do? Hank asks. He has no idea what cool kids do, Bobby replies and they fall asleep in their sleeping bags.

The next morning, Hank creates a hole in the dome. Oh my, he mutters a moment later. Warren calls them on the cell remarking that his car is missing. Do they have it? Yeah it’s fine, Bobby replies. But getting back with it is going to be a problem. Everything around them is flooded.

Characters Involved: 

Professor Xavier

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

Alex Summers

John and Elaine Grey



Casion security


Story Notes: 

Artist mistake, as John Grey looks completely different from his usual self.

When iceman remembers Cyclops saving him from a mob, there’s another art mistake as Cyclops is wearing his “First Class uniform” and not his original one.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: