Young Allies #6

Issue Date: 
January 2011
Story Title: 
A Change of Mind

Sean McKeever (writer), David Baldeon (penciler), Sotocolor's N. Bowling (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), VC's Joe Sabino (letterer), Takeshi Miyazawa & Morry Hollowell (cover art), Art Adams & Morry Hollowell (variant cover), Lauren Sankovitch (editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Angelica has a meeting with journalist Kate Farrell, who wishes to interview Angelica as she feels she is an interesting subject, especially following a recent televised battle in New York City. Angelica isn't interested, but Kat gives her a business card, just in case. Angelica has a busy day as usual, but sometime later she is at a coffee shop when Emma Frost of the X-Men arrives to have a chat. Angelica doesn't have fond memories of Emma and, when Emma offers her the opportunity to join her team on Utopia, Angelica isn't interested. Emma informs her that she's in town for a while so she can find her if she wishes. Meanwhile, Nomad is having a problem with Benny. He just doesn't seem to want to leave the house. She calls Spider-Girl for help. Later, Firestar goes on patrol with Gravity. They have some food and Greg talks about his reticence at receiving plaudits for something he didn't do. As they chat, they spot a couple in the street below. They think a guy is chasing a woman and Greg intercepts him. However, as Angelica looks after the woman, she is attacked by her using a powerful gauntlet. Gravity comes to Firestar's aid and manages to stop the woman from hurting herself or anyone else by destroying the gauntlet. Angelica decides to head over to see Emma again. She confronts her in a hotel room, but is taken aback when Emma actually says something nice about her. Despite this, Angelica is adamant that she is happier with the life she leads than the one she would have in California. She departs and later meets up with Kat Farrell, giving her the interview she desires. The young allies have to resign themselves to the fact that although they've given the team thing a try, it isn't going to work and they go their separate ways, only after they manage to get Benny out of the house for a vigil at Ground Zero.

Full Summary: 

Firestar looks at the Front Line paper's headline. 'New NYC Super Team?' it asks. Angelica Jones hands the paper back and asks journalist Kat Farrell why she's showing her it. Kat explains that it's because practically everyone in Manhattan witnessed their fight against the Bastards of Evil and they wanted to know how the other half went. They still want to know what it was all about. She adds that Front Line sold huge on the back of the headline. They'd be stupid not to do a follow-up.

Kat understands Angelica's hesitance, but reckons that selling papers and telling a compelling story don't have to be mutually exclusive. She's checked her references, right? She's not some ambulance chaser. Angelica tells 'Miss Farrell' that she knows she isn’t. Kat isn't keen on being called Miss Farrell. They're the same age. Angelica asks why she's interviewing her. Kat is surprised. How can she not see why? Everyone wants to know. Heck, she admits, she wants to know. "Who are you?"

Kat lists her CV. Angelica has been a New Warrior, an Avenger and now she's a member of this new team. Angelica replies that they're not a team. There is no team. Kat asks her to forget about that part and continues. Mutant. Cancer survivor. Daughter. A mother, maybe? A wife? She knows that the rags had Angelica paired with Justice for a while. Angelica asks her to hang on a moment. Is this an interview? They haven't agreed anything! Kat says she's just pitching her and getting her to see why she's such a compelling subject. Angelica replies that there's a reason why she wears a mask. The cancer blog? she adds. Sure, she agreed to that but she needed it to help her... to help other survivors. She really doesn't need her life to be up to public consumption.

Kat hands her a business card and says she doesn't have to decide right this second. They'd love to have something to print, but having her agree later is better than having her declining now. She asks Angelica to think about it. As she departs, she reminds Angelica that the thing about her life is that it's already up for public consumption whether she wants it or not.

It's food for thought for Angelica, like she doesn't already have an eleven course meal in that department.

(Angelica's day)
She leaves the meeting and heads to college where she has four grad-level classes towards her masters in Medieval Art Studies. After that, her three gal pals who don't know the meaning of the words 'absolutely not, no way, no how' drag her to a club. Following a two hour commute home, Gravity takes her out on patrol. It's a busy life that she leads.

Since her talk with Kat Farrell, progressively older memories take turn playing pinball inside her head. Quitting the hero game and then coming back. She and Vance growing apart. Joining the New Warriors. Attending the Massachusetts Academy and attacking the freaking X-Men at the behest of her manipulative psychopathic headmistress... As she thinks about this, a voice appears inside her head. "Telepathic, dear," it says. She turns and sees Emma Frost standing there, adding that it's nice to be remembered.

Emma asks the waiter to bring her a latte to go and takes a seat. Angelica asks her what she's doing. Emma replies that she's just sat down and ordered coffee. Now she intends to visit her former pupil. Emma gestures to the empty space across the table. She's welcome to take a seat. She admits that she thought Angelica had been depowered on M-Day or died during all that Civil War business. She can imagine her surprise when she stopped by New York for a spell of hoping and found her freckled face all over the media. "So?" asks Angelica.

Emma continues that Angelica is a mutant, and while they may no longer be an endangered species, that doesn't mean they're not in danger. They have a home now, unironically named Utopia. Angelica knows all about that, and guesses that this means she still has her hooks in Scott Summers. The White Queen of the X-Men whispering her underhanded instructions into the ear of their fearless leader.

Emma wishes Angelica would come to accept her current position within the mutant community. Angelica replies that she wishes Emma would get a clue! She was fourteen, scared, confused and in need of guidance. Emma used all that to try and groom her into becoming an assassin. She doesn't know why she doesn't trust her, she adds, sarcastically.

They both stand, and Emma sees her point. Her emotions are a smidge raw over the matter. She tells Angelica that she's in town for a couple of days. She can get herself together and look her up so they can discuss her future plans. Before Angelica can respond, Emma informs her that she can find her at the Carlyle or at Neiman's. As she heads for the door, the waiter appears with her latte. "Ma'am?" he asks. Emma asks if he's joking. She would never actually consume anything from this place, and certainly not coming from the hand connected to a mind filled with such filth! She adds that if he calls her ma'am again, his new best friend will likely be a colostomy bag.

Entering the coffee shop as soon as Emma leaves is Greg Willis, otherwise known as Gravity. One of his friend's, Frog, is star struck after seeing Emma Frost, but Greg is nonplussed. Lauren tells Greg that he keeps surprising her lately. "I do?" he replies. Lauren says he used to go nuts over the super hero stuff, but now it's like... Lauren pauses. "Greg?" she asks. Greg is looking over at Angelica, still sitting at the table. He turns back to Lauren, with no idea what she's been saying. She tells him she'll add flirting with random girls to the list, adding that she's not jealous. It's not like they're still... you know. Greg asks what she's talking about. What list? Lauren tells him she has Frog's A.D.D. now. It's like she doesn't know who he is anymore.

Anya is wearing a silver and black costume and checking herself out in the mirror. She practices introducing herself as Spider-Girl, but just can't seem to get it right. She receives a phone call. "Yeah. It's Aran... Spid... Anya here."

Rikki Barnes, aka. Nomad, is on the other end of the line. She begins with a cryptic question. "Would you please explain to him what disrespecting one's boundaries means?" Anya asks if that's like calling someone and just launching into your own personal problems without even a hello. Rikki replies not exactly, but yeah. She gave him his own room but he keeps wandering into hers. She could, y'know, not be dressed! Anya asks if they're talking about Benito Serrano here. Hasn't he already seen everything? Rikki tells her that it was Benny from another world, but that's not the point. She's trying to help him out, but he's driving her nuts. "Maybe if he spoke more than an ounce of English! Geez!"

Anya's never known Rikki to spaz out like this. Anya says that since she's already packed, maybe she could move in with them and become their full-time interpreter. "Yes! barks Rikki. "Would you do that?" Anya replies that she's kidding, but Rikki isn't. She looks into Benny's room and sees him sitting there reading. She tells Anya that he won't even leave. He hasn't gone outside since he moved in. She gets that all the videos and news coverage freaked him out, but what's that got to do with him being in public in his civilian identity? Anya thinks that's an excellent question.

Gravity and Firestar are out on patrol, flying over some houses. Gravity tells Angelica that she didn't answer his excellent question. Angelica is distracted and asks what it was. Greg asks if she wants some food. He just discovered a street truck that makes some amazing pork gringas. He might marry one. He understands if her appetite doesn't quite yet cover greasy cheesy goodness. Angelica says no. That does actually sound great. After swooping down and grabbing one each, they sit on a rooftop and chat.

Gravity voices his concerns that when he started superheroing, he wanted approval and recognition. Now he has it, he feels it's undeserved. He didn't stop Warhead. The guy killed himself and a bunch of innocent folks, and he's there getting all this great coverage like he actually did something. Angelica reminds him that he helped save the girls and everyone in New York saw that. He also helped her dump all that radiation she soaked up from fighting the Bastards of Evil into space. He shouldn't forget that. He asks if she's still feeling okay. No shakes or nausea or anything? Angelica says she's fine.

Down below, they hear a raised voice. "You are a dead woman!" A man named Carl chases a woman, Lani, down the street. She tells him to let it go, but he asks if she didn't think he'd find out what she's been up to. She replies that she was going to tell him, but Carl swings her around and shoves her against a wall, violently. He warns her that if she goes through with this she'll regret it!

Gravity drops down and grabs his arm. "No she won't Carl," he says. Carl asks him to wait, but Gravity says he’s right. He should totally let him beat her up. He uses his power to raise Carl from the ground whilst Firestar checks on Lani. She asks if she is okay, but Lani reaches into her purse and whispers that it wasn't supposed to come to this.

Suddenly, Emma Frost speaks to Angelica telepathically, asking if this is how she prefers to spend her time. Angelica warns her not to interrupt now, but Emma tells her that she should be enjoying a fine Sambuca with her right now, discussing her future. Instead, she's about to let herself get shot. "What?" wonders Angelica.

From nowhere, she is grabbed by Gravity who shoves her out the way as Lani blasts with some kind of gauntlet. "Watch it!" he shouts. Angelica turns to see what's happening and Greg informs her that Lani's the dangerous one, not her boyfriend. He explains that Carl said that it's some kind of experimental weapon she stole from her work. She wants to sell it to some very dangerous people.

Lani blasts at Gravity, calling Carl a blabbermouth. Gravity gets in close and grabs hold of Lani. He asks if she can feel anything. It's 500 pounds of pressure. She can pull her hand out of the gauntlet or lose it. Lani realizes that she's outmatched as she feels the pressure building and gives up. Gravity takes the gauntlet and crushes it with his power... problem solved. Carl thinks Greg has broken her hand and calls him a jerk. Greg thanks him for the comment and says he's welcome for him stopping her. He asks Angelica if she can believe that, but she's struggling a little, telling Greg that she's just had the wind knocked out of her a little. Greg asks if she's sure. She didn't soak any of that energy up or anything? She assure him that she's fine.

Greg apologizes. It's just that he's read some of her cancer blog. He just wants to be supportive. Angelica reminds him that she doesn't have cancer. She had it. She appreciates the sentiment but she's a big girl and doesn't need to be coddled. Emma butts in telepathically, reckoning that she would like to coddle Greg out of his ridiculous tights. She warns Emma to stay out of her head, but Emma asks or what? She'll cry about it some more?

A guy Greg had spoken to earlier walks up to him and says that what he did was “awesomesauce.” He knew that if he hung around he'd see him in action. Greg tells him he doesn't need his praise. He doesn't deserve it. The guy points up into the sky behind him. Greg turns to see Angelica flying away without a word. "That is not awesomesauce," he groans.

Flying across town, Angelica's jaw tenses and her brain aches all over. She doesn't really know what she's about to do. She is interrupted in her thoughts by Nomad who calls out to her from below. Nomad says she was hoping to run into her. She's sent Angelica some e-mails but she never responded. Angelica knows all about them. They're about Nomad's little team. She's explains that she read them but she isn't interested. Nomad tells her that she goes through all the reasons Angelica would be perfect: her leadership, her teamwork experience, her...

Angelica cuts her off and asks what her problem is. Did the Superior give her a concussion or is she naturally dim? She doesn't want to be part of any team. "Got it?" She takes off without another word and instantly feels like the world's biggest butt. She figures she can apologize to Rikki later. Her first priority is to exorcise the demon from her head.

She flies through a window and confronts Emma Frost. Emma thinks that she's finally decided to come listen, but Angelica asks what is it with her. Why is she so content to muck with her life? Emma replies that this isn't her life. They're distractions. This drama with her superfriends, maintaining a social circle with those club-hopping cougars in training, her pointless graduate studies... what could any of that possibly do for her? She switches to telepathy and asks Angelica if she's formulating an answer in her mind or is she simply beside herself? Angelica unleashes a blast of energy at Emma, but Emma switches to her diamond form immediately and says Angelica knows she can become diamond. It's not like she's a killer. She guesses it feels nice to have a proper tantrum now and then.

As she stands amidst smoking furniture, she tells Firestar that she might not believe it, but her intention has not been to infuriate her. She takes a seat and adds that truthfully, she's always seen her as a young woman of grand potential. Timid, certainly, and far too trusting, especially for a mutant. But, she has an undeniable inner strength. They both know that she can't have a normal life here, and she would never promise any such thing on Utopia either. But, she could have a great life there - a life among her peers. Her people. A life where she could live up to her potential, a place where she could belong.

Angelica is gobsmacked. That was probably the most sincere and flattering thing she's ever heard from Emma. But, she thinks, for someone who can read minds as a specialty, she doesn't think Emma listens to anyone's thoughts but her own. Emma decides to sit back and listen. Angelica tells her that everyone's got a role for her. Team leader, cancer survivor, cover story mutant. She's all those things and then some. But what about how she defines herself? About what she wants her life to be about and allowing herself the chance to succeed or fail at it. Maybe, she thinks, she should just throw all that away so other people can slap their labels on her. She asks what Emma thinks. Emma is kinda speechless, so Angelica stands and says she's glad they had this talk. It was a good idea. She flies out the window as the hotel manager appears. "My ambassador suite! It's... it's been set ablaze!" Emma tells him to place the damages on her tab.

The next few days are the usual cacophony of craziness. She has a little school-friend drama, more school, gym time, a bank robbery and the daily commute. She even has a job interview. Unfortunately, textbooks don't pay for themselves. There are good parts and bad parts. The bad is that she misses some sleep, but she also gets to teach Benny a little English. She enjoys hitting the books with Benny, helping those in need and having a laugh with Gravity. Emma made a great point. If she left all this behind then he could probably lead a much simpler mind, but why on Earth would she want to?

Later, she meets up with Kat Farrell again and Kat says she's glad Angelica called. It'll be a great piece. But, she has one more question. She knows that she was dead set against this from the start, so what made her change her mind?

Anya walks through the school corridors with Rikki. Anya reads part of the interview which says 'The unintentional advice of someone whose advice I would never take.' She wonders who she's talking about. Rikki doesn't care. Anya asks her not to be like that. None of them wants to form a super-team. Angelica is someone they could learn a lot from, but she has to respect her social boundaries. Rikki says that, speaking of social boundaries, is she now okay with Benny seeing her civilian ID? Anya isn't sure, and asks why. Rikki replies that he's actually venturing outside now, not that he had any choice once she told him what today is.

A memorial is held for the people who died in the twin towers and all the Young Allies are in attendance.

Characters Involved: 

Arana (Anya Corazon), Firestar (Angelica Jones), Gravity (Greg Willis), Nomad (Rikki Barnes), Toro (Benito Serrano)

Kat Farrell

Angelica's classmates and friends - Black Cat, Hellcat and Photon
Coffee shop customers

Emma Frost

Coffee shop waiter and customers
Greg's friends including Frog and Lauren

Carl and Lani
Hotel manager
Bank robbers
Bus passengers
Memorial attendees

Story Notes: 

Firestar first appeared in comic books in Uncanny X-Men #193. She joined the Massachusetts Academy in Firestar #1 and had a few run-ins with Emma Frost, its headmistress. She later became a founding member of the New Warriors, first seeing battle in Thor (1st series) #411 - 412 alongside Night Thrasher. After many adventures she left the team and joined the Avengers as a reserve member in Avengers (3rd series) #4. After leaving the team she went solo and was diagnosed with cancer by Doctor Strange in Marvel Divas #2.

Kat Farrell works for the Daily Bugle newspaper and is partly responsible for its magazine, the Pulse. She first appeared in Deadline #1 in 2002.

Vance Astrovik is Justice, Firestar’s former boyfriend.

The Young Allies came together as an unofficial team in Young Allies #1 when a group named the Bastards of Evil attacked New York City. They believed themselves to be the offspring of several super-villains. In reality, a villain known as the Superior, who claims to be the son of Hulk villain, the Leader, put the group together. When the Bastards discovered that the Superior had fooled them, they weren’t very happy and the Superior was ultimately defeated and jailed along with the other team members.

Carlyle’s probably refers to the Caryle Spa at 35 East 76th St, New York City, where Emma could receive a little pampering.

Neiman's is probably Neiman Marcus, an upscale market clothing accessories store in New York City.

A.D.D. stands for Attention Deficit Disorder.

A “cougar” is a woman, usually into her thirties who actively pursues younger men.

This is the final issue of Young Allies. Sean McKeever writes a farewell message at the end of this issue. Anya takes up her new role in Spider-Girl #1.

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