X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #7

Issue Date: 
February 2008
Story Title: 
The Catalyst – part two

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

Brief Description: 

The depowered X-Men stand helpless as dozens of Sentinels land on the mansion grounds. However, they are in for a surprise: due to their depowered status, the Sentinels don’t recognize them as mutants and decide to proceed to the next mutant cell – the Maximoff twins, Marvel Girl realizes. Despite their depowered status, the X-Men decide to fly to the Maximoffs to help. En route, they discover that not only they are getting their powers back but that they are far more powerful than before. With their added abilities they quickly make short work of the Sentinels who have attacked Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Xavier decides they have to reset their DNA and send away the space probe that caused this before they lose their humanity. Later, the team watches as a rocket from Cape Canaveral carries the probe into outer space.

Full Summary: 

Xavier’s School:

The X-Men are staring through the hole in the wall left by a Sentinel. They’ve woken up powerless and, through sheer bravery and creativity, beat one Sentinel. Problem being what to do with the other 99 or so that are currently hovering around the school.

But they destroyed the base that made them, Jean points out. Not everything, Xavier everything. Scott suggests he get back down to safety. If they insist on facing the Sentinels without powers, then so shall he, Xavier retorts before explaining that Cerebro has scanned the Sentinel that Scott destroyed. It comes from a production chamber that the Master Mold built separately, unknown to the government. The remote facility has continued building a separate series of the mutant hunters. They were to resume their search and destroy mission once their garrison reached a certain number. A very large number.

This is it, isn’t it? Bobby panics. Xavier tries to calm him. Scott has proven that they still have their minds. And Cerebro’s. Cerebro attempts a viral infiltration of the Sentinel, but they easily fend it off and take over Cerebro in the process. Using Cerebro the Sentinels scan the X-Men, who are expecting the worst, but not that the Sentinels turn around and leave. Of course, Xavier realizes. They’re not Homo superior anymore. No longer part of their objective. Proceeding to next mutant cell, one of the Sentinels announces.

Jean suddenly gets agitated. They’re safe, Scott tries to calm her. But Wanda’s not! she exclaims. The Sentinels pulled out Cerebro’s data, right? Then they know where Wanda and Pietro are. They’re going after them next! Jean runs to the phone to warn them while the others get the van ready to head for the jet (wondering if it can beat the Sentinels in speed). While they are busy, a strange green fluid amasses outside the mansion.

Elsewhere, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are back at their small shack after shopping for groceries. Wanda teasingly tells her brother he should have asked that clerk for her number. Dismissively, he replies that she was just being nice because the American store forces her to be so. Or does she think…

As he stores away the groceries, Wanda wonders why there are twelve messages. She listens to Jean’s warning. The next moment, the Sentinels already attack.

Wanda! Jean shouts in their plane. The line is dead. At the helm, Cyclops suddenly feels weird. His eyes begin to glow and despite his visor he lets loose an optic blast that thrashes right through the plane.

They are in a downward spiral. Warren is in pain as he gets out of his seat. He jumps outside as his wings regrow. As he flaps them at high speed, he holds on to the plane and slows their descent. While he’s being Super-Angel, can he put them down? Jean asks. Because Wanda needs them now. Wanda is holding her unconscious brother. They are surrounded by Sentinels.

Hank smashes right into a Sentinel with newfound superstrength, while Angel steers the plane through another one cutting through it. Jean too senses her powers returning as she holds the entire plane afloat, thus allowing Angel to let go of it. How could they all do that? Bobby asks and where’s his sweet power?

Wanda asks them for help as more Sentinels land. Jean telekinetically opens a rift beneath them and throws them in. Wanda follows up with a hexblast, taking them apart. Just her regular power is pretty awesome sometimes, Jean admits. Yeah, that’s giving him serious chills one of the others remarks. No, Bobby points out, icing up. That’s him. Creating a huge iceshield, he exults that they are not getting through the great wall of Bobby.

Beast asks if Xavier has a theory on what’s happening. Cyclops replies that Xavier hasn’t responded in the last two minutes. He thinks he’s changing too, like he has. Look. He wears no visor. Beast orders him to aim away but Scott explains he can actually control his powers now.

Let’s go finish the Sentinels, he tells Jean. Marvel Girl easily deflects the Sentinels’ blasts, remarking it’s not even trying. She’s crazy powerful. He too, Scott replies with a grin and blasts the robots apart.

While Bobby goes to help Scott and Jean, Wanda asks Beast for help for her brother. He needs a doctor. Angel lands and tells them to hang on. He can’t explain it, but he feels like he can help here. Angel touches Pietro’s chest wound and, just like that, it closes and Pietro becomes conscious.

The three other X-Men quickly destroy the Sentinels as Xavier telepathically urges them to hurry. They have little time to waste. They must act quickly or lose their humanity. He orders Bobby to place another wall between the shore and the road. Local police are trying to investigate and they need time.

That was worthy of myth, team, Hank tells them afterwards. Jean orders him away from the edge and telekinetically reconstructs the Maximoff cabin. Then Xavier telepathically gives her the specifications of the jet and, using the Sentinel parts as material, Jean rebuilds the jet well.

Wanda asks what’s going on and Xavier explains that they have been affected by an extraterrestrial force. It pulled their power back to premanifestation and began them again with no limits. They must return to the mansion and confront the force. Good-bye. They X-Men leave and the twins give each other weird looks.

The Mansion has almost been overgrown by shrubbery. Thanks to Xavier, they find the alien, a green globe. Xavier admits he cannot tell whether it is sentient or a sophisticated machine, but his scan through the comet attracted it to them. From what he discerned it travels the galaxy, unlocking potential in those it encounters. It will cease to function if not moved off-planet. By then they will be irrevocably changed and so would the world, They must undo its work and send it away.

Bobby protests. Look how they wiped out those Sentinels. They could completely crush evil… period. Which is more power than anyone should have. Look at what they are becoming. Soon they’d be able to change nearly everything on the planet they wished and they wouldn’t be able to consider the views of humanity. He already feels speaking to communicate is unnatural. They must reject this power now while they are still human. Scott glumly agrees.

Xavier tells Jean that it will takes their minds in conjunction to compel the catalyst to restore them. She’s following his lead, she replies. Together they’re pulling back, limiting their genetic potential to before they were altered, pulling back, getting through, and they are returned to normal.

A little later, a rocket leaves Cape Canaveral to return the catalyst to space. Being free of Earth’s gravity is all it needs, Xavier explains. Before the change, she could have just sent it home by herself, Jean muses. She wasn’t getting used to becoming all powerful, was she? Scott asks. Well, she wouldn’t have cried if it had left her able to fly…

Characters Involved: 

Professor Xavier

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

Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch


Space probe

Story Notes: 

Angel’s healing power is a nod of the head to the healing power he develops far later around Uncanny X-men #419-420.

Issue Information: 

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