X-Men Unlimited (2nd series) #11

Issue Date: 
December 2005
Story Title: 
Brother’s Keeper (1st story), So this Guy Walks up to a Fruit Whipz Counter…(2nd story)

(1st Story) Chris Yost (writer), Billy Dallas Patton (pencils), Cam Smith & Derek Friddles (inks), Avalon’s Tony Avina (colors)

(2nd Story) David Hawn (writer), David Aja (artist), Dave Sharpe (letterer)
Michael O’Connor (asst. editor), Warren Simons (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

Marvel Girl approaches Havok while he trains in the Danger Room. Rachel needs someone to talk to, so she and Alex head to a diner for dinner. Rachel is distraught over Cyclops’ relationship with the White Queen and his lack of respect for the memory of her mother, Jean Grey. Alex tries to defend Scott’s behavior because of all the trauma he has been through over the past few years, but Rachel wants no part of it. She reacts quite violently and one point and the police arrive. Rachel quickly uses her telepathy to clear the officers’ memories and cloak her and Alex. With Rachel’s feelings still unresolved, she and Alex return to the Institute. Scott tries to thank Alex for talking with Rachel, but Alex really doesn’t want Scott’s gratitude.

Second Story:

Sunspot and Cannonball are at the mall and Bobby tries to convince Sam to ask out a girl. Sam is hesitant, but Bobby assures him it’s easy and even offers to go ask out the girl at the Fruit Whipz counter to prove his point. Bobby bets Sam twenty dollars that the girl will accept his invitation to the party, but she turns him down. Bobby is convinced he can get her to go with him and Sam ups the bet to fifty dollars that she won’t accept. After not getting the advice he wanted to hear from Rahne, Bobby talks to Arty, the groundskeeper. Arty tells him that women love suave, smooth-talking men who drive fast cars. Armed with this information, Bobby creates an elaborate, James Bond-like sequence in the Danger Room and sweeps the holographic Cheryl off her feet. Sam interrupts his fantasy, but Bobby heads off to ask the real Cheryl out once more. She turns him down again and Bobby pays Sam the fifty dollars for losing the bet. Later, Bobby is surprised when Cheryl shows up at the same party he’s at and again tries to woo her with his smooth talking ways. Sam interjects and apologizes for his friend’s behavior and Cheryl wishes that Sam had asked her out instead.

Full Summary: 

First Story:
In the Danger Room, Havok battles a Sentinel in a training sequence. Marvel Girl stands at the entrance, waiting to talk to him, and offers to come back later. Alex tells her he is almost done and completes the sequence.

Rachel nervously stammers that she needs someone to talk to. That’s what alternative timeline uncles are for, Alex tells her, and offers to take her to dinner. As they exit the Danger Room, a voice reminds Alex that the best time for Sentinel destruction is still held by Cyclops, causing Alex to curse.

At a local diner, Rachel tells her uncle how much she misses her mother, Jean Grey. As Rachel creates a small Phoenix raptor out of the candle on the table, Alex says they all miss Jean.

Not him, Rachel cries. Alex starts to defend his brother, but stops himself as he had promised Rachel he would not come to Scott’s defense.

Alex feels like he has let Rachel down, as he has hardly talk to her since she appeared from her alternate timeline. He quips that the Alex from her timeline was probably a lot older and wiser.

When Alex questions if her relationship with his counterpart was a good one, Rachel remembers a scene from her future timeline.

As Sentinels tower overhead, a limp Havok is tethered to a beam from a destroyed building. Brainwashed as a mutant hound and bound by a leash to her keeper, a tear runs down Rachel’s face at her uncle’s demise.

Rachel avoids the truth and tells Alex that he was the best uncle. Alex understands that the current situation is difficult, but she really should cut Scott some slack.

Rachel is astounded that Alex is defending his brother, especially about this. Alex quick backpedals, stammering that he’s not protecting Scott, but part of him can empathize with his sibling.

Rachel starts to think talking with Alex was a mistake, but Alex tries to explain his point of view. Their family members are like poster children for having their lives jerked around. Alex, Rachel, Scott, and Nathan have all had their lives and loved one stolen away from them at some point, but they pick up the pieces and move on.

Rachel explodes that two seconds after her mother’s death, Scott moved right on to Emma Frost. She fumes that going through a rough time does not excuse Scott from hooking up with the White Queen of the Hellfire Club.

Alex tries to interject, but there is no stopping Rachel’s tirade. She can’t believe Scott made Emma the Headmistress (emphasis on the mistress part) of the Xavier institute.

Alex thinks she is over-simplifying things but Rachel slams back that here are a few “simple” concepts. Grief, mourning, respect…where were those? Did Scott even love her mom?

Scott would have given his life for Jean’s in a heartbeat, Alex replies. He’s not defending Scott, but he thinks they can be a little more understanding. Rachel cries that nothing can justify what Scott did.

Alex quotes that “the Devil doesn’t change, the Devil changes you”. Apocalypse’s possession of Scott changed him and ripped apart his soul. Scott was possessed for months and didn’t know who he was. Everything that Jean went through with the Phoenix Force, Mastermind and her clone, Madelyne Pryor, Scott went through it right by her side.

Alex believes that Scott has never stopped grieving for her mom, not for a minute. He reminds Rachel that she knows what it’s like to have your body and soul taken over by evil and to have the power to destroy the universe. Was she able to look at anything the same after that?

Alex himself was gone a long time and when he came home, things had changed. People change and being mutants, they should know that better than anyone. He starts to tell Rachel that he understands that it can’t be easy to see her dad with someone else, but she promptly cuts him off.

Rachel yells that if Alex thinks Scott had a hard time, what about her mom? After everything she went through, Jean still came back to Scott. Glowing with rage, she wants Alex to explain to her why Scott couldn’t come back to Jean.

Noticing the shining Phoenix symbol over Rachel’s eye, Alex warns her to turn it down a bit as other restaurant patrons look on. Rachel starts to cry, wondering how everyone can just be letting this all happen.

Alex gently tells her that for as long as he knew Jean, all she wanted was for Scott to be happy. Maybe being with Emma is what makes him happy. “NO!”, Rachel cries out as she takes on her shadow form and energy crackles around her.

Returning to her normal form and sitting back down, Alex asks her if that made her feel any better. Rachel just can’t understand why he would pick Emma and if people can really change that much.

Suddenly, a group of police burst in and tell the “muties” to freeze. Rachel uses her telepathy to wipe the officers’ memories and cloak them from sight. Thoroughly confused, the police report back to dispatch and leave.

Wrapping up their conversation, Alex says Scott always does the right thing and it often causes him nothing but trouble, but maybe being with Emma is the right thing for him, right now.

Rachel sighs and says that when she asked Alex to talk to her, she really only wanted him to listen while she complained about his brother. Alex quips that he’s starting to think he’s kind of a crappy uncle.

Back at the Institute that night, Emma makes a flippant remark about a cozy family reunion as Alex and Rachel walk in. Scott chastises her as Rachel tells Alex she’ll think about what they talked about. Thanking Alex for dinner, she stalks right past Scott and Emma.

Scott tries to thank Alex for trying to talk to Rachel, but after thinking about the evening, Alex thinks it’s best if Scott doesn’t thank him.

Second Story:
Sunspot and Cannonball sit on a bench in the mall. Bobby is trying to convince Sam to just walk up and ask a girl out, but Sam tries varying excuses to avoid having to approach a girl.

Bobby points out the girl at the Fruit Whipz counter and Sam supposes she’s okay. Bobby thinks the girl is “choice” and orders Sam to go talk to her. Sam is not in the mood, but Bobby insists it will be easy for a smart, good-looking guy like Sam to ask her out.

If it’s so easy to ask girls out, Sam replies, Bobby should go ask her out. Startled by how the tables have turned, Bobby quickly recovers and says he will. Sam bets his friend ten bucks that the girl will say no. Bobby counters with a wager of twenty dollars that she will accept and sets off for the Fruit Whipz stand.

Nervous and shaking, Bobby orders a large drink and strikes up a conversation with the attendant, Cheryl. After some light banter, Bobby introduces himself and asks Cheryl if she would go to a party on Saturday night with him. Cheryl thinks it was cool of Bobby to ask, but she can’t go.

Returning to the waiting Sam, Bobby proudly says Cheryl didn’t say no. Sam quips that she didn’t say yes, either but Bobby assures him that she will be going to the party with him. Sam raises the stakes to fifty dollars and Bobby agrees, thinking he knows just what to do.

Back at Xavier’s, Bobby whines to Rahne that he doesn’t know what to do. She tells him he just has to accept that Cheryl said no, but Bobby feels everything went really well with Cheryl.

Rahne can’t believe that he gleaned that much of an impression from a thirty-second conversation while the girl made him a milkshake. Trying to read in a chair nearby, Doug Ramsey tells the two of them to shush.

Bobby knows it was a short conversation, but he really felt Cheryl was into him. Rahne points out that he only talked to her to prove a point to Sam. It started out that way, Bobby replies, but he really thought this chick was cool.

Rahne thinks he should forget about it and not pester Cheryl, as she might already have a boyfriend or find Bobby creepy for asking her out again. Bobby can’t believe she would find him creepy and Doug shushes the two of them again.

Bobby sets off, determined to ask Cheryl out again, because at the very least he doesn’t want to lose fifty bucks. The wager disgusts Rahne, and Doug sighs that Bobby didn’t even ask his opinion.

Bobby heads to his room and pulls out a Playtoy magazine from under his bed. Amazed at himself for actually reading an article in the magazine, he read about how to sweep a woman off her feet.

A sudden knock on the door by Professor Xavier startles Bobby and he stuffs the magazine back under his bed. The professor has come by to tell Bobby his geology lab will be starting an hour earlier today.

Noticing Bobby’s squirming, Xavier asks him if everything is all right. Bobby starts to ask Xavier if he has ever…then changes his mind and tells him everything is fine.

That night, Bobby wanders the grounds and runs into Arty, the groundskeeper. Bobby tells him about Cheryl turning him down and Arty says that Bobby merely lost control of the situation.

Arty thinks Cheryl was playing hard to get and Bobby fell for it. Women like men who are in command, Arty explains, and that Bobby needs to be a suave, smooth-talking man of action—a tiger! If Bobby doubts his expertise, Arty assures him, all he needs to do is talk to Arty’s ex-wives.

Later, Bobby approaches the Fruit Whipz counter once again. Dressed in a dashing suit and re-introducing himself as DaCosta, Roberto DaCosta, he asks Cheryl to accompany him to a tropical island party that evening. Cheryl sounds unsure, but Bobby takes control and tells her if she declines, she will miss out on the most exciting time of her life.

Cheryl stammers that she’s not dressed for a party, but Bobby tells her she looks smashing and drags her off. They approach a stunning, sleek blue sports car and Bobby informs Cheryl this is just one of his cars.

As they take off, Bobby notices helicopters following them in the rear view mirror. He expertly speeds up as Cheryl looks on adoringly. The helicopters start to shoot at the car and Bobby pushes a red button that launches two missiles that take out the helicopters.

They come to a screeching halt in front of the Tropical Island Paradise club and Bobby and Cheryl hit the dance floor. Cheryl remarks that it’s kind of loud and Bobby takes that to mean she wants to go somewhere more private.

They head upstairs to one of the lofts Bobby owns and Cheryl admires the artwork Bobby has painted. She notices a guitar hanging on the wall and can’t believe that he plays the guitar, too.

Bobby tells her he wrote a song about her right after she turned him down and he starts to warble the song to her. Just when Cheryl asks Bobby to kiss her, a voice booms out, asking him what in tarnation he’s doing.

Cheryl, the guitar and the loft fade away, revealing Bobby alone in the Danger Room. Sam has shut down the sequence and again asks Bobby what he is doing.

Bobby stammers that he has it all figured out now and Cheryl will never know what hit her. Sam reminds Bobby that it was just a simulation in the Danger Room, but Bobby is confident that Cheryl will accept when he takes control of the situation. Sam wonders who told him such nonsense, but Bobby tells Sam to have his fifty bucks ready.

Dressed in a suit, Bobby approaches Cheryl again at the Fruit Whipz counter, but she barely remembers him. He asks her a second time to go to the party with him but she refuses. When Bobby says he won’t take no for an answer and that she’ll miss out on the most exciting time of her life, Cheryl yells that she said NO!

Later at the party, Bobby gives Sam his fifty-dollar winnings. Sam tells Bobby he shouldn’t have tried to whitewash her with all that manly-man garbage and can’t believe this whole thing started because Bobby was trying to give him advice on meeting women.

Bobby looks towards the door and can’t believe his eyes, as Cheryl has just come in. Cheryl isn’t thrilled that this is the same party Bobby had asked her to. When Bobby starts going on about her missing out on having the time of her life, Sam interrupts him.

Sam apologizes for Bobby’s antics and tells Cheryl he really is a nice guy, that he just got some bad advice about how to treat a lady. Cheryl smiles at Sam and asks why it couldn’t have been Sam that asked her out, because he is adorable.

A stunned Bobby can’t believe Cheryl saw through his act and decides she must be a mutant who can detect lies. Rahne laughs and tells him it is women’s intuition - women don’t need a special mutant power to see through a guy’s bull%#@!!

Characters Involved: 

First Story:
Cyclops, Havok, Marvel Girl III, White Queen (all X-Men)

Restaurant Patrons
Police Officers

In flashbacks:
Havok (from Rachel’s timeline)
Goblyn Queen
Mr. Sinister

Second Story:
Cannonball, Cypher, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Professor Xavier (headmaster)

Cheryl (Fruit Whipz attendant)

Arty (groundskeeper)

Story Notes: 

First Story:
Rachel is the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from the Days of Future Past alternate timeline. In her future, Rachel was brainwashed into a mutant Hound, using her telepathy to track down other mutants.

Cyclops was possessed by Apocalypse during the Twelve saga. Apocalypse’s spirit was eventually separated from Scott by Jean and seemingly destroyed, but the experience left Scott a very changed man (X-Men: the Search for Cyclops).

Havok’s mind was transported to another reality after an explosion in X-Factor (1st series) #149, where he lived the life of his counterpart in that reality for a time (Mutant X Series).

Second Story:
Sunspot’s fantasy in the Danger Room is heavily influenced by Ian Fleming’s character James Bond.

The car Bobby drives during the sequence is a Jaguar E-Type, 3.8 model (1961-1964).

Wolfsbane might be assertive these days, but for shy, prudish “New Mutants” era Rahne to be giving love advice and use swearwords seems to be rather out of character.

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