X-Men Legacy (1st series) #242

Issue Date: 
January 2011
Story Title: 
Fables of the Reconstruction, part one

Mike Carey (writer), Paul Davidson (penciler & inker), Brian Reber (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Lenil Francis Yu (cover artist), Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

On Utopia, Dr Rao fits Hellion with his new cybernetic hands, but Hellion is upset because while others have been brought back from the dead, he cannot have his hands back. Some of the X-kids are playing baseball, and an awkward moment between Hope and Bling ensues. Cyclops assembles Magneto, Psylocke, Colossus, Rogue, Danger, Omega Sentinel and Random to go to San Francisco and help with the repairs after the damage caused during the battle with Bastion. Rogue enlists Hellion to help, and Hope announces she wants to go. Cyclops is reluctant to let her, but Colossus promises to look out for her. On the boat ride over to the city, Omega Sentinel reveals she is having some problems with her systems, while Colossus tries to build a rapport with Hellion. At the construction site, the lead constriction worker is unsure that they can help him - before being amazed by their power and ability to get the jobs done at a very fast pace. Hope, however, does not use her powers, instead she begins to dig a hole for fence posts, while arguing with Hellion, who is annoyed that someone with Hope’s power cannot even give him his hands back. Omega Sentinel’s armor unexpectedly fires a blast at Colossus, so she takes herself away from the others to find out what is wrong with her suit. Hope befriends a little girl who is at the construction site for some reason, while Hellion takes his frustrations out on some walls which need to be taken down - though he causes debris to land in the area Hope is working at. Hope goes to confront Hellion, and the little girl accompanies her - while Omega Sentinel’s armor begins scanning the mutants in the vicinity - and she uncontrollably goes over to Hope - and unleashes a blast of energy at close range, engulfing Hope and the girl.

Full Summary: 


Utopia, where Dr Kavita Rao sits with Scott “Cyclops” Summers. ‘I know, I was a catalyst for some of this. I’d been thinking about the hands Madison designed for Hellion’ Kavita remarks. Scott tells her to go on, to which Kavita explains that she had wanted to improve the neural interface…


In a lab, Kavita holds up one of the mechanical hands and tells Julian “Hellion” Keller that the contacts have to touch exposed skin at every point, and asks him to hold still as she prepares to make the connection….


Kavita informs Cyclops that Hellion had bee quiet since the second day - very quiet. ‘I thought he’d started to come to terms with his condition. I thought he was helping’ she remarks….


Kavita tells Julian to flex from the elbow and from the wrist. ‘Let the arm tell the hand what to do’ she tells him, before asking him to try it again….


Dr Rao admits to Cyclops that, in retrospect, she laid the groundwork for what happened later. ‘But right then, I didn’t know he’d had…’


‘ENOUGH!’, Hellion booms, using his telekinesis to send shockwaves through the lab, shattering all sorts of equipment and knocking Kavita over. ‘My - my lab!’ Kavita exclaimed. ‘And my work! All that work!’ She gets up and goes over to Hellion: ‘You juvenile - selfish - I was trying to help you!’ she declares, but Hellion covers his ears, telling Kavita that he did not ask for her help. ‘And I don’t want to wear robot claws on the end of my arms!’ he adds. ‘Seriously, we bring people back from the dead. From the dead! So how hard can a pair of hands be?’ Hellion asks.

Rogue enters, and asks if she is interrupting anything, explaining that she came to collect Julian. ‘Take him. Take him far, far away, please!’ Kavita declares, holding a hand out. ‘What is it, Rogue? Do you want to “help” me, too?’ Julian asks. ‘No. Ah want to put you to work. Come on’ Rogue replies.


‘Hey, it’s not like anyone saw this coming, right?’ Bling asks Cyclops. ‘We…obviously tried to talk to Julian. But he didn’t want to talk. He just kept walking away. And that was the day of the game, so we were thinking about -’ she begins.


Outside, on one of the building rooftops, several of the X-Men students - Anole, Loa, Surge, Mercury, Rockslide, Bling and Prodigy - are playing baseball. ’Come one on, Victor! Give her the demon fastball!’ Surge encourages Anole, who readies his serve. Prodigy announces that he actually recommends a curve, to which Rockslide tells Anole to just put it over the plate. Anole smiles as he throws the baseball - which catches fire! ’Oh dear’ Loa mutters as she prepares to swing the bat - but she misses, and the ball lands in Rockslide’s mitt. ’Damn it, Victor. They get a single from that!’ Rockslide tells Anole, while Mercury adds that they are down to the last ball. ‘Alani, why d’you phase every time you swing?’ Mercury asks Loa.

Suddenly, Bling grins as Hope walks past. ‘Oh. Hey, Hope. You - uh - you wanna play?’ Bling asks, pointing out that the teams are even, ‘But we could…we could probably…’ she mutters, but Hope tells her that she is fine. ‘I’m better at dead man’s razor, anyway’ Hope explains. ‘Riiiight. That sounds like a fun game’ Bling replies. ‘It is if you play the touch-it-lose-it rule’ Hope tells her, before announcing that she will just take a stroll.


Rogue tells Cyclops that she thought that the reconstruction project of his was a really good idea. ‘And a real good fit for Hellion. Something to take him out of himself for a little while. Ah just wish - well, wishing isn’t gonna do any good now, is it?’ Rogue remarks.


Cyclops and Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen stand before a group of X-Men and other residents of Utopia - Magneto, Psylocke, Colossus, Random, Omega Sentinel, Danger, as well as Rogue, and Hellion, who lingers at the back of the room. Cyclops informs the group that San Francisco took a titanic hit during Bastion’s attack, and while they have done a lot to restore essential services, the satellite images on the monitor behind him should show everyone the scale of the task. Arms folded, Magneto points out that Utopia is also extensively damaged. ‘And we’ll deal with that. We are dealing with it. That isn’t my point’ Cyclops replies.

Cyclops declares that San Francisco got caught up in their war, and that rebuilding will run into hundreds of millions of dollars, so he wants the X-Men to help with that, to play their part and be seen to play it. Hands on hips, Psylocke points out that the ones who want to blame them will still blame them. Scott tells Betsy Braddock that he knows that, but that it is others they are speaking to - the ones who just want to get their lives back. ‘Sounds good. I’m in!’ Hope exclaims. Scott turns to Hope and tells her that her did not have her in mind for this, to which Hope replies that she can see that, so she’s volunteering.

Arms folded, Scott tells Hope that her powers are still largely undefined and unpredictable, so he doesn’t want to put her at risk. Hope claims that she can still push a wheelbarrow or swing a hammer. ‘Do I need to pass an audition or something? What is this?’ she asks. Colossus tells Cyclops to take a look around at the people in this room. ‘You can’t doubt that Hope will be safe with us’ Piotr Rasputin tells his friend, adding that if Hope wants to come, he sees no harm in it. Scott asks Piotr if he will watch over Hope. ‘Vouch for her safety?’ he asks. ‘I’ll look after myself’ Hope boasts. Scott tells her that this will not be a picnic, to which Hope tells him that it will, and she is going to pack a basket.

Scott informs everyone that there is a police launch waiting at the dock, and that they will report at the construction site on Market and Fremont. ‘They’ll tell you what they need’ he adds.


Colossus reminds Cyclops that Hope grew up in a war zone - in many war zones. ‘I thought about my sister, and how her childhood was stolen from her’ Colossus explains, adding that he believes Hope wanted to see something of a world that was healing itself, rather than tearing itself to pieces. ‘I would give a lot to relive that moment. And tell her to stay away’.


On the police launch, Danger and Hope stand at the rear of the small vessel, while Betsy stands with Omega Sentinel, Rogue and Magnus stand together, and Hellion, Colossus and Random all stand by themselves. Betsy asks Karima Shapandar if she is okay, to which Omega Sentinel replies that she is experiencing some system glitches, small, but troublesome, so it will be useful to test her sub-assemblies in field conditions. ‘Yeah, I know what you mean’ Betsy replies.

Nearby, ‘You’re not enjoying this, are you, Magnus?’ Rogue asks. Magneto replies that he thinks they have higher priorities, that is all. ‘But I agreed to follow Cyclops’ orders, and I’ll do so’ he declares. ‘Under protest’ Rogue points out. ‘Did you hear me protest?’ Magneto asks. Colossus goes over to Julian and puts a hand on his shoulder, remarking that it is not so often they get to use their powers to build, rather than to break. ‘I suppose’ Hellion mutters as he leans on the banister and stares out over the water. ‘Trust me. This will be a day to remember’ Colossus tells Julian. Danger informs Hope that this city is strongly associated with rebellions against social repression. ‘Uh - really?’ Hope asks. ‘Yes. I have audio-visual files, if you wish to access them’ Danger informs her. ‘Maybe later’ Hope replies.


A constriction worker informs Cyclops that, to be honest, the first thing he was thinking when he saw the mutants was “what I was supposed to do with them”. He explains that they have a schedule to keep to, so finding stuff for volunteers to do is not really his hob. ‘You see what I’m saying?’


The odd assemblage arrives at a construction site, where various cranes and other machinery are in operation. ‘I mean, no offense, but we’ve just got eight months to get this done. And the budget can’t stretch past that, y’know’ the construction worker tells Magneto, who replies that he understands, and asks if he can see the plans. Magneto examines the blueprints, and informs Psylocke and Hellion that they should be responsible for clearing the ground, while Omega Sentinel and Danger can begin excavation in the cleared areas, while he, Colossus and Random will bring in the steel and timber. Magnus hands the blueprints back to the construction worker, who exclaims ‘You don’t get it. We’re not gonna need the steel and timber until the foundations are dug’. ‘Exactly’ Magneto replies. ‘Which is weeks four through -’ the construction worker begins, but Magneto informs him that they should get to it a little after 11:00 am. ‘Son of a…’ the construction worker utters.

The mutants, Karima and Danger begin their assigned tasks with ease, while Hope approaches the construction worker and asks if she can borrow a shovel. ‘Huh?’ the constriction worker asks without looking at her. ‘I said -’ Hope begins, to which the construction worker tells her to take what she needs, his eyes fixated on the work being carried out on the construction site. Hope picks up a shovel and some wooden poles, ‘Well okay, then. Thank you kindly’ Hope smiles as she walks away.


Magneto tells Cyclops that he believes the idea of Hope Summers’ existence is easier to deal with if you have a religious frame of mind to begin with. ‘She embodies a miracle. For some, that needs no explanation and no context. Others, however, will always cry, like Thomas the Apostle… “show me the wounds”’.


‘Tuh’ Hellion mutters, standing with his arms folded. ‘Something bother you, Hellion?’ Hope asks as she walks past. ‘Why don’t you just use your powers? Our powers, I mean. Breathe it in, spit it out. That’s what you do, right?’ Julian asks. Holding the shovel, Hope tells Hellion that, the truth is, she doesn’t exactly know what it is she does. ‘That’s why I’m sticking with a shovel today. A shovel is nice and predictable’ she remarks. ‘You think I’m joking? You think we’re sharing a joke here?’ Julian asks. Hope replies that she doesn’t think that, to which Hellion tells her that is good, ‘Because you don’t see me smiling’.

Holding his handless arms up, Hellion tells Hope that people talk about her like she is Jesus. ‘But you’re not. You only pull out the miracles to save yourself’ he exclaims, telling Hope that kind of makes her the opposite of Jesus. ‘Julian, if I could give you back what you’ve lost, don’t you think I’d do it?’ Hope asks. Julian tells her that he doesn’t know, ‘I don’t know anything about you’ he points out, before exclaiming ‘So I guess it is a joke after all’. Julian turns and walks away from Hope, adding ‘And it’s on me’.


Danger tells Cyclops that he already has her analysis. ‘I was focused mainly on completing my assigned tasks, but I was aware of the boy’s anger’ she explains. ‘And of the machine. The other machine, I should say: The Omega Sentinel. She was suffering from some sort of interference. And it seemed to get worse as the day went on’.


Holding up a large steel beam while Omega Sentinel uses her laser on it, Colossus tells her that the laser is having no effect at all. Karima replies that it is only functioning at scanning intensity, and tells Colossus that she is sorry, that she doesn’t understand what is happening. Piotr asks her if she needs a pit stop, to which Karima replies that she doesn’t know what she needs. ‘Sentinel tech is self-repairing. It shouldn’t require any -’ she begins, holding an arm up - she suddenly, unleashes a blast of energy, which throws Colossus backwards, knocking him through several beams.

His chest smouldering, Colossus exclaims that he thinks that was one up from the scanning intensity. Karima goes over and helps Piotr up. Telling him that she is so sorry. ‘The emitter was offline. That should have been impossible!’ she declares. Colossus tells her that it is nothing, really. ‘But perhaps -’ he begins, but Omega Sentinel interrupts him: ‘Not perhaps. I’m putting myself on the bench until I’ve fixed this. I can’t risk hurting someone with a lower melting point than you’ Karima points out. Karima walks past the construction worker, who asks her if she is clocking off already. ’For the moment, yes. Some of my systems are malfunctioning’ Karima tells him. ’Okay. I’ve got some machine tools in the shed, if you need - uh - spare parts or anything’ the construction worker offers, while nearby, a little girl in a blue dress approaches Hope, who is a couple of feet into the ground from digging her hole.

The little girl holds up a piece of paper - a drawing of her standing over Hope. ‘I drawed a picture. Look. This is the pretty woman, digging with the shovel. And this is me, watching. And she said -’.


Hope looks up at the girl and tells her that whatever it is she wants to ask, she has had it on the tip of her tongue for the last five minutes. ‘Want to spit it out?’ Hope asks her. Referring to some of the others, the little girl exclaims ‘He can float. And she can shoot fire. And he’s all made out of tin’. ‘So?’ Hope asks. ‘So how come all you do is dig with a shovel?’ the little girl asks, pointing out that a shovel isn’t super. Grabbing one of the wooden poles, Hope tells the girl that she is right. ‘It’s the fence post that’s super’ Hope tells her, asking the little girl if she wants to hold it steady while she knocks it in.


Betsy remarks that the truth is, her psi-powers come and go, especially if she is pushing all-out with her telekinesis. ‘For some people, jut watching us at work was scary. So there was a lot of strong emotion washing around. That made it hard to focus in on any one point’ Betsy adds.


Hellion approaches a half-demolished wall - and raises an arm, using his telekinesis to knock the wall to the ground. Some of it falls towards him, however - so Julian raises his hands, and a telekinetic field washes over him, to protect him from the rubble.

‘Well, one of them is super’ Hope remarks while she continues to dig. ‘I think it’s this one!’ the little girl exclaims, holding the wooden pole. ‘Okay, let’s try it’ Hope suggests. ‘Nope. Not that one, either. Ask the floaty man!’ the little girl exclaims, to which Hope tells her that the floaty man does not know anything.

Julian goes over to another half-demolished wall - and knocks it down with his telekinesis - causing the rubble to land near Hope and the girl. Dust flies all around them, and Hope frowns at Julian.


Random declares that he is not big on the thinking, mainly good for punching and ripping things apart. ‘Maybe I should have seen it coming. I could see Karima standing way over the on the edge of the site. Trying to sort out those bugs in her system, I guess…’.


‘Test nerve pathways A45E to X17F and relevant memory locations’ Karima tells her armor, which replies that pathways non-viable, and memory locations are locked. ‘Diagnose error’ Karima orders. ‘Unauthorized code in neural hub 16’ the armor replies. ‘Reroute to hub 20’ Karima orders, but the armor states ‘Unauthorized code in neural hub 20’. ‘Reroute to -’ Karima begins, while her armor declares ‘Mutants detected in immediate vicinity’. Karima’s armor locks in on Magneto, Colossus and Psylocke, ‘Threat level: High’ her armor informs her. ‘What?’ Karima gasps.

Nearby, Hope asks the girl if this isn’t meant to be a school day or something, to which the girl explains that they have a vacation as the school fell down. ‘Oh. Okay’ Hope replies. ‘Where do you go to school?’ the girl asks. Hope replies that she learned all she needed to learn. ‘That’s what my teacher said, anyway. Before he - before I graduated’.

Another wall falls down near Hope and the girl. ‘Hey, Hellion! Julian! Getting a little close there!’ Hope exclaims, getting out of the hole. Hope asks the little girl if she thinks they should go and chew him out, to which the girl exclaims ‘Yes!’, to which Hope exclaims that nobody messes with the fence post girls.

But Karima’s sensors are watching Hope and Hellion, while Hope calls out to Julian: ‘I said you’re - you’re getting too - HEY!’ she shouts, interrupted by more and more walls falling down. ‘Did you want something?’ Julian asks, dust and debris around him. ‘Yeah, I did. We’re working right there. I wanted to not have a wall fall on me, if that’s not too -’ Hope begins, when suddenly, ‘Please -!’ Karima exclaims as she punches Hellion in the face, knocking him over. ‘Karima!’ Hope gasps, while the little girl hides behind her.

Karima extends an arm to Hope’s face: ‘Please, just run. Run away’ Hope exclaims. ‘Come on, you’re scaring the -’ Hope begins. ‘Too late’ Omega Sentinel exclaims as close range energy pours from her fists - engulfing Hope and the girl….

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Rogue, Psylocke, White Queen (all X-Men)

Anole, Bling, Hellion, Loa, Mercury V, Prodigy IV, Rockslide, Surge IV (all X-Men students)




Omega Sentinel

Dr Kavita Rao

Hope Summers II

Little girl

Construction workers

Story Notes: 

Hellion sadly lost his hands during “Second Coming”.

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