X-Men: First Class Finals #2

Issue Date: 
May 2009
Story Title: 
<BR><em>1st story</em>Beginning of the End<BR><em>2nd story</em> X-Date part 2

Jeff Parker (writer), Amilcar Pinna (breakdowns), Roger Cruz (finishes) Val Staples (colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Cruz & Staples (cover), Paul Acerios (production), Mark Paniccia & Ralf Macchio (consulting), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Jeff Parker (writer, Colleen Coover (artist)

Brief Description: 

1st story

The X-Men barely hold their own against Frederick until suddenly, after Jean is injured, Frederick is stopped mysteriously by rampaging Juggernaut, who runs by without stopping. After Frederick is in FBI custody, the puzzled X-Men try to find Xavier with Cerebro’s help. They don’t find Xavier but do detect some mutant activity in an old quarry and decide to check it out. Soon thereafter, they face an animated pile of metal looking very much like Magneto.

2nd story

After seeing the news conference with the Scarlet Witch becoming an Avenger, Scott is inspired to take Jean for a night on the town. On the way, however, they run into a problem.

Full Summary: 

1st story:

Cyclops is surprised at the return of the murderous Frederick. Holding Cyke by the arm (and thus burning him), Frederick gloats it took him so long to find Scott again. And here are all the friends he saw in Scott’s head. Scott screams.

Beast kicks Frederick in the head, ordering him to let Cyclops go. Frederick swats him away, remarking he’s the strong one Scott talked about, the smart one too. How nice. Jean holds him telekinetically and orders Bobby to ice him up. He complies.

Frederick continues he almost thought Scott dreamed them up. Iceman can really pull out vapor out of the air to form ice? It must be fun. No fun for him, Bobby announces strictly. Who is he?

Scott should have remembered, comes the reply. He met him a few years ago. He guesses he drops so many mutants down mineshafts, it all runs together after a while. He’s Frederick.

He lived through all that? Scott asks astonished. Yes, thanks, comes the reply. He didn’t know he could live off pure radiation. But he guesses he can. He thought he’d gotten knocked out for a few hours in the fall. Does he know how long he was out? Later when he finally reached the surface again and saw a date on a motel sign he figured out he’d been in a coma for a year and a half. The radiation that changed him… kept him going. It made up for everything he didn’t have. He doesn’t even need air anymore. He thinks he was breathing gases from the earth itself.

Couldn’t dig up. The mine system caved in on him. He thinks Scott’s friends in the FBI sealed off the tunnels with TNT. He had to go where he could and just went deeper. He found a whole other system of tunnels underground. There’s a whole other world there, did they know that? He though of just staying down there forever, but he wanted to see all of his friends again. He even found some native creatures and was able to eat again. Build up his strength.

Jean realizes horrified that he means the Moloids. Frederick wasn’t a killer when he met him, Scott recalls as Hank helps him up. He’s not a killer Frederick corrects him. He’s a survivor. When he finally got back to the surface, it was weeks before he could stand sunlight again. He heard about how the government chased them down with robots. He read the reports and moved in closer to their battles. He got close enough that he could start hearing Scott’s mind. Congratulations on finally dating Jean. He hopes they are happy.

Shut up! Scott orders agitated. Hank warns him that Frederick is trying to goad him into freeing him. Good, Frederick commends him. He can’t even read minds like him. But he doesn’t need to trick them. His hands burn everything, even himself. It ain’t just chemicals or whatever Hank is imagining in his head.

The ice around his hand cracks as it too melts. And Jean is hit on the head by one of the ice shards. Cyclops fires an optic blast at Frederick and misses. He’s always gonna miss, Frederick announces. He can see when and where he’s going to shoot, remember?

Hank tries to get Jean to get up. Anxious, Bobby and Scott pay more attention to them than to Frederick who swats them with a tree. How did those robots not kill them all? he goads. They can’t pay attention for a whole minute.

Hank grabs Jean and runs with Frederick following. Frederick tosses a stone at Hank’s head and he stops. There is no need to run. Why would he do that? Frederick asks. He just wants to touch her. He’s just trying to be like Scott, a good X-Man.

Hank orders him away. Frederick shoves him aside. Cyclops and Iceman catch up to them while Frederick kneels down, intent on touching Jean’s face with his radioactive hands.

That moment, there is a rumbling noise and the Juggernaut is running toward them. Surprised, Frederick muses that he can’t read his mind.

Juggernaut slugs Frederick who lands hard. Juggernaut disappears, leaving the others to wonder what that was. The groggy Jean slowly gets up. Having no idea what just happened, Angel joins them with the mail. He thinks he just saw Juggernaut, he tells them.

Soon, FBI agents take away Frederick. Cyclops thanks Agent Duncan for bringing his team so fast. Duncan thanks him in return for turning in Frederick. That re-opens and closes the case that Agent Baker was working on with Cyclops way back when. He’ll be interested to hear it. Cyclops warns him to be careful with Frederick, even in confinement. He has some mind-reading ability. Duncan remarks he doesn’t think that will be a concern. Attempts to revive Frederick have failed. One of the medics suspects the radiation is finally consuming him. Tell Xavier to give him a call when he’s back in the States. He’ll let him know what he finds.

When the X-Men are alone ,again Bobby marvels that Scott managed to take the guy out alone in the past. Jean, holding an icepack to her aching head apologizes for being out of commission. She can’t believe the Juggernaut showed up to help. They’re not sure it was him, Hank remarks, but it certainly looked like him on one of his charges. Yeah, that’s Cain Marko, Angel remarks, always checking in, making sure they’re okay, seeing if they need anything…

Dude, who else could have flattened out that creep like that? Didn’t Warren see him when he was flying back? He replies no. Scott muses he wishes the professor told them where he went. If Juggernaut is back out, he needs to know. He could even be looking for Xavier, Jean points out. Maybe that’s why he didn’t stop. Don’t they have any way to get in touch with him? Bobby asks. Cerebro they all realize at the same time.

A little later in the Cerebro chamber, Jean doesn’t manage to get anything. Hank, in the meantime, curiously reads the letter Angel gave him. It’s a headhunter from the Brand Corporation. They have a position for a research scientist… and it’s quite an offer. At least he thinks it is. He has no idea what to expect in a salary. He asks Angel who tells him no one would make fun of him for making that much in a year. Health insurance… it’s a good package.

Hank wonders if they would mind him using the labs for non-company work after hours. Wow, he already has a job lined up, Bobby marvels. Not that he’s surprised. He hasn’t accepted yet, Hank replies, and it won’t take Drake long to become certified and be out in the work world. If, of course, he sill feels he has to go that route. He promised his dad, Bobby sighs.

What is Warren going to do? Gotta start figuring out how Worthington Enterprises works. His father is going to be mad he didn’t take any business classes here. But he does know they use like whole teams of accountants. After Bobby gets certified, he can come work for him. Sweet, Bobby replies. Maybe they can set up a schedule that will still let them go crack thug heads. Cyclops agrees it would be great if the two of them could still work together.

What about him? Warren asks. Scott doesn’t know. He can’t imagine many employers are cool with him wearing sunglasses all the time. At least not at a job that pays enough to live on. Lifeguard, Bobby suggests. Yeah, he guesses there’s options. He just doesn’t think he’s really good at anything other than fighting supercreeps and going into battle.

But he’s very good at that, Hank points out, Scott is the best and if he’s saying he doesn’t want to leave this school, he must admit he shares this sentiment. This is the first place he truly ever felt at home.

Warren suggests Scott could stay and teach here. Isn’t that what the place is for? Won’t there be any more classes? Maybe if every new mutant they find wouldn’t go “darkside” so fast, Bobby points out. Well, they were the test run, and it turned out well for them, hasn’t it? Hank asks. He means, they are still alive…

Maybe the Professor meant for some of them to stay on and teach, Cyclops muses. It was hard on him taking the five of them through all those courses, even with his brain and Cerebro helping…

Speaking of Cerebro, Jean states, he’s found something. Not the professor, but a mutant signal coming from a few miles north of New York City. Should they investigate?

If X were here, he’d just send them up anyway, Warren points out. Right, Cyclops agrees. And like Bobby says, too many mutants are falling under a bad influence. Like he-who-cannot-be-named—neto, Bobby agrees dramatically.

Soon they are in the Blackbird and on the way. Using the Cerebro unit aboard, Jean informs them the signal is coming from the west end of that rock quarry.

Okay, no new students, Iceman announces. Kids who live in rock quarries do not like living in sweet mansions. Fact!

Scott brings the plane down. The five exit, finding the place familiar somehow. Jean telepathically reaches out, but finds nothing. Maybe Cerebro is malfunctioning, she wonders. Maybe that’s where X went. To get more parts for Cerebro, Angel suggests.

Jean suddenly realizes why the place is familiar. This is where she came with Sue Storm, back when the Professor asked her to mentor Jean. Warren recalls they were afraid Jean would leave the X-Men to be in the chart-topping band. As if, Jean scoffs. She points at some shack. That was the Mad Thinker’s hideout where they fought some animated mud men. And then they came and saved the day. Fact! Bobby states. That was so sweet of them, Jean recalls.

Inside the ruins, Hank remarks this is a waste of a probably very well stocked lab. He imagines Dr. Richards stripped it of the useful technology before demolishing it. He had to, Jean explains. It was booby-trapped. Maybe the mutant has been living in the cave left by the lab hideout, Scott suggests. Then may he suggest forgetting that one, Bobby interjects. Going into caves almost never works out well for them. He’ll just wall it off with some nice thick ice.

He used to be a lot more fun when he was a freshman, Warren remarks, as he flies past him. They all said he annoyed them, Bobby retorts. He still does, Cyclops replies as they all walk ahead and Bobby reluctantly follows. They do not notice that the metal trash behind them begins to move.

Ahead, Cyclops uses his visor to light things up. Get ready, he warns them, he thinks they are coming to… the end. Nothing exciting there. Okay, he resc – re… takes back what he says about caves, Bobby admits. Rescind was the word he was going for, Hank remarks.

All of them agree this was a bust. Warren jokes most people think superheroes live exciting lives. They never see those times when they just walk into an empty cave. They turn back. What other secrets of superhero life can he share wit them? Jean jokes. Lots, Warren replies. He’s thinking of writing a book. With Hank’s help.

Having reached the entrance, Bobby notes that junk pile seemed bigger when they walked in. Oh it’s still big, Warren remarks, looking up. It just moved around… a lot. Facing them is an animated pile of rubble looking very much like… Magneto!

2nd story:

At the Coffee-a-Gogo Scott and Jean watch a report about the Avengers. The reporter especially mentions the Avengers second female member, the Scarlet Witch. The journalist asks her that she heard Wanda’s powers are completely natural. Another report starts about costumed mutants who terrorize the cities.

How come you’re a dirty mutant if you’re an X-Man and just have natural ability if you are an Avenger? Scott wonders. Wanda’s lost her accent, Jean muses, but admits she’s glad she’s doing well. She’s had a hard enough life without being stigmatized for her powers. Helping her into her jacket, Scott remarks that’s their job. They head outside.

Suddenly, Scott stops. Is something wrong? Jean asks. No! he decides. Scott Summers is going to stop being lame! Phone please! Jean hands him her cell. Scott calls Warren, asking if he may use his car to drive down to Manhattan. Jean thinks of him as a boy scout always asking permission.

So what’s the plan? Jean asks. It’s the city that never sleeps, right? Scott tells her. So they are going to find somewhere to eat and something fun to do if takes all night!

They drive, but suddenly Jean shouts to look out, as she sees something in front of them.

Characters Involved: 

1st story:

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

FBI agents
2nd story:

Cyclops, Marvel Girl (both X-Men)
on TV

Scarlet Witch

Story Notes: 

Cyclops fought Frederick in X-Men: First Class #10.

The Moloids are a subterranean species that serve the Mole Man.

Agent Duncan looks wrong here.

Beast’s Job at the Brand Corporation leads to his furry incarnation as told in Amazing Adventures (2nd series) #11-17.

Actually, Angel’s father should already be dead at this point. He died during the time when the X-Men shortly disbanded following Xavier’s “death.”

Jean was mentored by the Invisible Girl in X-Men: First Class (2nd series) #1.

Issue Information: 

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