X-Men Unlimited (2nd series) #6

Issue Date: 
February 2005
Story Title: 
Tempest in a Teapot (1st story), Contact (2nd story)

First story: Tony Bedard (writer), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Dave Meikis (inks), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Sean Ryan (editor), Mike Marts & Stephanie Moore (consulting editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (editor)

Second story: Paul Benson (writer), Alex Sanchez (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Sean Ryan (editor), Mike Marts & Stephanie Moore (consulting editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (editor)

Brief Description: 

First Story:
Shadowcat, Sage, Storm and Emma Frost have been attacked by A.I.M. agents. A.I.M. has hit the X-Plane and made it sink to the bottom of the ocean. The X-women try to find a way out, but realize that A.I.M. will be waiting to finish them off on the surface. So they’ll have to have a good idea. With being so low under water, Storm has trouble with her claustrophobia and fears that she might loose it this time if they don’t get out quick. While the others try to find a solution, Kitty wants to talk about past relationships. She remembers her second date with Colossus, after the first one turned out as a disaster. The second date wasn’t so good either, because everyone treated Kitty like the thirteen-year old kid she was. But after a visit to the ice saloon, where Kitty and Peter both ate an ice cream together, the date turned out to be the best one Kitty ever had. Emma goes next, and remembers a lot of bad dates she had. Emma concludes that all men are the same, even the ones at the Hellfire Club, despite what they believed. But that all changed when Emma met Scott Summers. Emma wants Sage to go next, but she doesn’t want to tell. Storm begs Sage to keep talking, because the conversation keeps Storm’s thoughts away from her claustrophobia. Sage says that’s there’s really nothing to tell, since most of her life she has been a double agent in the Hellfire Club, working together side by side with Sebastian Shaw. And Sage found it too dangerous to fall in love, because she feared that she would so easily be detected. Storm recovers and manipulates the ocean currents to get the X-Plane back up the surface. Storm goes at full speed and destroys the A.I.M.’s weapons and planes at the same time.

Second story:
Rogue and Marvel Girl rescue a badly injured man, who had crashed with his car. They bring the man to the nearest hospital, where the two X-Men aren’t happily welcomed. One of the doctors, Dr. Laughlin, even threatens to call security if they don’t leave quickly. But at least one of the doctors isn’t a mutant hater, and thanks Rogue and Rachel for their good dead. He even takes care of their wounds. Rogue asks the doctor why Laughlin hates mutants so much. The doctor isn’t sure. Suddenly, Rachel walks out of the room and starts attacking the hospital staff and the security guards with her powers. Rogue attacks Rachel, and realizes that she has been possessed. Rogue tries to absorb Rachel’s powers, but something weird happens this time. Rogue lands into the head of a young boy named Connor. Connor doesn’t know how he got out of his body and possessed Rachel and doesn’t know how to get back in. Rogue calms the boy down, and he gets back into his own body and Rachel is brought back to normal. Rogue runs to Connor’s room, where she finds out that Connor is a mutant and Dr. Laughlin’s son. Rogue tells them a little bit about her past, and how the X-Men gave her a chance of a better life. Rogue asks Laughlin to give them a chance, so that they might find a way to help Connor learn to control his powers. Laughlin agrees, and the X-Men bring Connor to the school.

Full Summary: 

First Story:
Kitty Pryde remembers that she was only thirteen when she first joined the X-Men. And she remembers how it only took two whole seconds to fall for Peter Rasputin. And she laughs at the fact when she remembers that it took the poor guy a whole year to ask her out. Kitty thinks back at the time they were dating. She recalls that how their first date was disturbed by killer robots, so the second couldn’t go any worse. At least, that’s what Kitty thought at the time. Now she knows better and looks back at that certain date…

(flashback/interwoven with narration from the present)
Colossus compliments Kitty on the beautiful white dress she is wearing. Peter asks Kitty if she has borrowed it from Storm. Kitty is a little offended by that, because Peter thinks a nice dress like this one couldn’t be hanging in her wardrobe. Kitty trips over her high heels, and Peter jokes that he thinks that walking on high heeled shoes needs practice first. Kitty angrily replies that she knows how to walk on high heels. Peter apologizes and they continue the date.

Kitty remembers how she wore the dress to make Peter look at her as not just a kid. A little while later, Peter has taken Kitty to a Russian restaurant. Peter gallantly opens the door for her and they go sit on a reserved table. Kitty is amazed at the beautiful interior of the restaurant. She was a little upset at Peter for not introducing her to his parents yet, but he has made it up by this. Peter confesses that he took Kitty to this place because it reminds him about his birthplace in Lake Baikal, and Peter is a little homesick.

The female waitress overhears Peter’s Russian accent and hits on him. The waitress asks Peter if he truly is from Siberia, and why his “little sister” sounds more American than he does. Kitty angrily gets upset and shouts at the woman to leave Peter alone and spills the food all over her dress. Kitty angrily leaves and Peter quickly follows her.

But that wasn’t the only worse thing that happened that night, Kitty now recalls. It got even worse when Peter took her to the movies…

The ticket seller refuses to let Kitty go inside the movie theatre, because for the movie they are showing, you had to be older than 17. Kitty gets even more upset than she already was and leaves and heads to a disco. The doorman notices Kitty’s young age and refuses to let her indoors, though he winks at Peter and says he can come back any time. Kitty takes Peter away and he wants to make up to her. They next go to the ice saloon, where they eat a big ice cream together. Kitty’s worst date ever turned out to be her best one.

Now, Kitty finds that a little pathetic. She remembers the next date she had with Colossus, and how they ran into Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and how Peter almost got killed that day. When Kitty looks back now, she recalls that she and Peter didn’t go out afterwards. The timing simply wasn’t good enough. Kitty also wonders what would have happened if she didn’t spill the food on her dress, or had worn high heels.

This was Kitty’s worst date story, and now she wants to know what Sage’s one is. Sage doesn’t want to talk about it, because she nearly managed to stabilize the pressure seals in the fuselage of the X-Plane. Sage hopes that it will hold, but it will fail once the A.I.M. Kill Team that shot them down to the bottom of the ocean manages to locate them and terminate them for good. So Kitty will have to forgive Sage for not wanting to talk about boys right now.

Emma telepathically warns Sage to watch her tongue, and reminds her of the little air supply they all have. If Sage doesn’t do that, Storm will completely go catatonic. Emma explains that without weather down here for Storm to manipulate, and A.I.M. waiting on the surface in case Kitty phases them out of the plane, neither of them can do such a thing at the moment, so Emma suggests that a little chit-chat might keep Storm’s mind from all of this. Sage understands, and now realizes the good use of her brain being capable of parallel processing. Emma thanks Sage for that, and suggests that she will go first if that will make Sage feel better.

(flashback/interwoven with narration from the present)
But Emma wonders how she can hold onto one date, since she has had so many terrible ones in her younger years. Emma reveals that every date, even every relationship has its disappointments. Every single one, Emma says, because when you look down to it: men are all the same. Emma remembers men flirting with her back in high school, college, at the office and, even when she was in the Hellfire Club, she could easily resist Mastermind’s attempts, despite his manipulating powers. Emma recalls the costume that Sebastian Shaw wanted even his “White Queen” to wear. Emma knows that Shaw believed it to be necessary, but Emma knew in herself that Shaw was as just of a slime-dog like all men are.

Emma also remembers a time when she was first with the X-Men, sitting in the cafeteria, and how she thought that all men were boring. But then Scott Summer stepped up, and convinced her to not to judge a book by its cover and to take a chance now and than. Scott believed that Emma might like what would happen afterwards.

Emma stops talking and wants Sage to take it over. Sage claims that she has hardly been in any relationship and doesn’t really want to talk. Storm gets up, and begs Sage to say something, because the talking actually helps her to keep courage. Sage says that there’s really nothing to tell, since she has spend the past decade or so undercover in the Hellfire Club, spying on them, pretending to be one of them, and she always had to keep her guard up in the hope not to be discovered by their members. Sage never allowed herself an honest emotion there. Sage couldn’t allow it in such a hostile atmosphere. And unless keeping Sebastian Shaw from pinching as her posterior counts as a date, which it did for Emma, Sage is afraid that she has no dating stories.

Storm knows a thing or two about hostile atmospheres and tries to stand on her legs. Kitty compliments Ororo on that. Storm was just realizing something. At first, sinking beneath the waves, watching the light dim to nothing, Storm felt like she was being buried alive. But Storm came to the conclusion that there isn’t any stone or earth out there, just liquid atmosphere.

Of course, Sage concludes. Ocean currents and wind currents aren’t so much different from each other. They are both driven by convection patterns and pressure differentials, which means that the jet stream and the Mid-Atlantic current are practically the same thing! And if such winds are in Storm’s commands, she can do anything with them! Storm manipulates the ocean patterns and succeeds to levitate the X-Plane up. Storm wants her lady friends to promise her that they will give her something in return when they make it pass to the A.I.M. agents.

As Storm gets the plane pass the A.I.M. agents, she makes Sage promise to date any man, but one man, to make up for past losses. And Storm makes Emma promise to never again compare Cyclops to the legion of losers she had just described. Emma says that’s entirely up to Scott. That’s good enough to Ororo. The X-Men destroy the A.I.M.-agents weapons and airplanes, and Storm goes next to Kitty’s promise. Kitty asks Ororo what she wants from her. Storm simply says that she always wanted to know what happened to her white dress…

Second Story:
Rogue and Marvel Girl rush into a hospital with Rachel carrying a heavy wounded man in her arms. A doctor gets to them and recognizes the two mutants and asks what happened. Rogue says that they found the man three miles down the road. Rogue explains that the man was in a bad car accident, and she and Rachel barely got him out.

Another doctor shows up, and asks Rogue and Rachel what they think they are doing here. Rogue tries to explain that they are from the X-Men, but the doctor knows who they are: he watches the news. While other doctors operate on the wounded man, the other doctor keeps complaining. He suspects both Rogue and Marvel Girl to be responsible for the wounded man’s condition. The two X-Men try to defend themselves that they have saved him, but the doctor wonders why the super-heroes are so “good” into “saving” people, why they always end up sewing them back together? The doctor commands his helpers to get the wounded man to an operating room and to call security. The doctor suggests Rogue and Rachel to have better left once the guards get here.

Another doctor tries to apologize for Dr. Laughlin’s manners, but Rogue tells him not to worry about it because they are used to the hatred. The doctor asks Rogue to at least let him take care of her cuts. Rogue lets him, and the doctor takes out some bandages. Rachel asks why Laughlin hates mutants so much. The doctor jokes that Laughlin simply has severe combined immunodeficiency. He asks Rogue if she ever saw the movie “The Boy In The Plastic Bubble?” Rogue thinks she has, asking if it’s the one in which germs could kill the boy. Exactly, the doctor adds.

Rogue asks the doctor if he shouldn’t be kicking them out by now. The doctor says that he would never do that, since this is a hospital. He only kicks people out when they don’t have health insurance. Rogue isn’t sure if the Xavier Institute has heath insurance, but the good doctor was only joking. He wants to check on Rachel now, but… she is gone! Rachel has walked out of the room, and meets the security guards. They want to arrest her, but Rachel fights back, using her powers to keep the guards away from her. Dr. Laughlin begs Rachel to stay away from him. Rachel is confused why her “dad” acts this way.

Rogue hears the noise and walks out and tries to stop Rachel. Rachel’s eyes turn weird, and she telekinetically pushes Rogue against a wall. Rachel keeps calling Dr. Laughlin “dad.” Rogue is angry and attacks Rachel. Rogue thinks that she knows what’s going on: Rachel’s mind has been taken over! Rogue pushes Rachel against a wall and touches her, in the hope to find out who’s behind the attack. The world around Rogue turns black. Rogue is confused, since her absorption powers have never done this before.

Rogue notices a kid and asks who he is. The kid says that they told him that he would die if he went outside, but he wonders why, because he is fine. Rogue tells the kid that they are in his head now, but he doesn’t know what Rogue is talking about. Rogue asks the kid if he remembers what happened to him. He remembers being in a room, and wishing to get out of it.

Suddenly, the kid was suddenly somewhere else in the hospital. So he decided to look his dad. And that’s when Rogue attacked him! Rogue tells the kid to hold on, explaining to him that she only attacked him because he took over her friend’s mind. The kid asks Rogue who her friend is. Suddenly, he realizes who. Rogue and the kid both look up, and see a gigantic Rachel standing next to them.

The kid asks Rogue what they are going to do now. Rogue suggests that he better goes back into his own body now, but the kid doesn’t even know how he got out in the first place. Rogue asks the boy to think real hard, so that he might remember it. The plan works and Rogue lands back into the real world.

The hospital hall is completely empty, except Rogue, Rachel and the doctor are there. The doctor asks Rogue if she’s okay. Rogue hasn’t got the time for that now and asks the room of Dr. Laughlin’s kid. The doctor doesn’t understand why Rogue wants to know that, but he says that the kid is in room 1124. Rogue asks the doctor to look after Rachel, and she herself runs to the room.

After a short time, Rogue finds it and opens the door. She finds the kid locked inside a plastic chamber. The kid introduces himself as Connor. Rogue says “hi” and tells Connor that she is a mutant and suspects that Connor is one too. Dr. Laughlin angrily enters the room and shouts that his son is not a mutant! Rogue defends the boy, but Connor cuts in, telling his dad that Rogue might be able to help him. Laughlin calms down and decides to give it a shot.

Rogue comforts Connor not to be afraid. She just wants to talk to him. Rogue explains to Connor what her absorbing powers are. Rogue says that in case of mutants, she can absorb their powers. For example, Rogue has once absorbed Rachel’s telepathic powers and thinks that’s how they both got into Connor’s head. But Rogue continues, and says that when she touches someone too long, the absorption becomes permanent. For a long time, Rogue was afraid. She didn’t want to hurt, so instead she hurt others. But then one man believed in her: Professor Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men. The X-Men gave Rogue a chance on a happy life and to understand her powers. Rogue thinks that maybe, the X-Men can help Connor too.

Some time later, Beast arrives in the X-Plane. While some hospital staff members load Connor’s chamber on the plane, Dr. Laughlin congratulates Beast on the fine paper on immunodefiency he has read from him. Beast thanks him for the compliment and was glad that he could help out at least a little bit. The other doctor shakes hands with Rogue and asks if she thinks that Beast could help Connor solve his problem. Rogue has no doubt at that at all. Rachel says that, in the least, the X-Men can help Connor learn to control his powers.

Rogue asks Rachel how she is doing. Rachel smiles and tells Rogue that this one is not too loose. Rogue apologizes for her punches. They walk together to the X-Plane, and Rogue and Rachel keep joking about being possessed.

Characters Involved: 

First story:
Emma Frost, Sage, Shadowcat, Storm (all X-Men)

several A.I.M. agents (unnamed)

(In Shadowcat’s flash-back)
Ariel, Colossus (both X-Men)

Avalanche, Blob, Pyro (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants II)

several people, waiters and bodyguard (unnamed)

(In Emma Frost’s flash-back)
Emma Frost, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Donald Pierce, Harry Leland, Mastermind I, Sebastian Shaw, Tessa (all Hellfire Club)

several other unnamed students and teachers at Emma’s high school

Second Story:
Beast, Marvel Girl III, Rogue (all X-Men)

Conner Lauglin (a mutant)
Dr. Laughlin (Conner’s father)

several other hospital patients and staff (unnamed)
wounded man (unnamed)

(in Rogue’s flash-back)
Cody Robbins
Ms. Marvel I/Carol Danvers
Blob, Destiny, Rogue, Mystique, Pyro (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants II)
Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

First story:
Kitty and Colossus’ first date indeed turned out to be a disaster, as they got attacked and kidnapped by robots employed by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the man who leads Hydra. [X-Men/Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1-2]

Kitty and Colossus' second date took place in Uncanny X-Men #178, where they indeed were attacked by the Brotherhood. Pyro heated Colossus’ body up to the point where he would nearly melt, and Avalanche shattered five tanks filled with liquid, absolute near-zero nitrogen on top of him. The temperature shock caused the metal to crack and blister and the agony of Piotr was all too visible from the expression on his frozen body. It took the combined powers of Rogue and the Morlock Healer to save the life of Colossus (Uncanny X-Men #177-179).

Second story:
The seen flashbacks of Rogue’s past can be found in the following issues:
Rogue kissing and absorbing Cody, her first boyfriend ever: Classic X-Men #44.
Rogue permanently absorbing Ms. Marvel’s powers: Marvel Super-Heroes (2nd series) #11.
Rogue as a member of Mystique’s Brotherhood: Avengers (1st series) Annual #10.
Rogue joining the X-Men: Uncanny X-Men #171.

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