Young X-Men #1

Issue Date: 
May 2008
Story Title: 
Final Genesis

Marc Guggenheim (writers), Yanick Paquette (penciller) Ray Snyder (inkers), Rob Schwager (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (asst. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Terry & Rachel Dodson (cover art)

Dedicated to Stéphane Peru.

Brief Description: 

Precognitive mutant Ruth Aldine AKA Blindfold has a dream in which she foresees a battle between a new team of young X-Men and the X-Men’s old foe Donald Pierce. She is among those present and witnesses the death of one of her teammates at Pierce’s hands. She awakes from the dream before she can fully see which of her teammates is killed. She realizes she must leave her home once again and returns to the ruins of the Xavier Institute. Nicholas Gleason AKA Wolf Cub has hunted down Maximus Lobo, a fellow mutant who attacked the Institute in an effort to recruit Wolf Cub. Lobo and his lupine mutant clan lost their powers as a result of M-Day. Wolf Cub has sought him out to get revenge from his previous attack. He is stopped from killing Lobo by the timely arrival of Cyclops who offers him a chance to vent his anger on worthier targets. Cyclops continues his recruitment of young mutants. He finds Sooraya Qadir AKA Dust in Afghanistan where she is protecting a village from the Taliban. After demonstrating her power by stripping the flesh from a Taliban leader’s hand, she accepts Cyclops’s invitation to return to the X-Men. Cyclops then recruits Eric Gitter, a young mutant who is empowered by tattoos on his body. Cyclops finds Gitter shortly after being arrested for stealing a car, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer with his latest tattoo: a biohazard symbol on the palm of his hand that makes those he touches violently sick. Finally, Cyclops seeks out Santo Vacarro AKA Rockslide and finds him having coffee with Blindfold. Santo is excited that Ruth’s vision indicates they will join a new team of X-Men. Cyclops offers Santo the chance to join his new team but makes it clear that Blindfold is not part of his plan. Santo agrees to join but only if Blindfold comes as well. Cyclops reluctantly agrees. He gathers the new team to train in the Danger Cave beneath the Xavier Institute. He reminds them that they are the last generation of mutants and identifies their first targets: a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Sunspot and comprised of his former teammates from the New Mutants!

Full Summary: 

Donald Pierce smiles sinisterly as he threatens to use the skulls of the Young X-Men as latrines. The confrontation appears to take place in a cavern of some sort. Rockslide tells him that’s gross and Ink asks what a “latrine” is anyway. Wolf Cub points out to Pierce that he’s outnumbered and Pierce says that they are just children. “Children who outnumber you” is Wolf Cub’s reply.
As Pierce lunges at Wolf Cub, Santo makes a snide remark about Pierce and calls Wolf Cub “Nicky”. As Rockslide and Wolf Cub engage Pierce, they continue their banter. Wolf Cub reminds Santo that he doesn’t like to be called “Nicky” and Rockslide replies “Like ‘Wolf Cub’ is better.” Nicholas says that “Wolverine was taken” and Santo notes that “Sabretooth” is up for grabs.
Wolf Cub slashes Pierce and calls on Dust to join the fray. She points out that Pierce is only half-flesh and Nick responds “Then that’s the half to rip off.” Wolf Cub leaps out of the way as Dust rips through Pierce in her dust form. She also passes by Rockslide who is unharmed. Pierce cries out in pain as his organic components are stripped away. Santo tells Sooraya that that feels nice… almost sexual. She cuts him off mid-sentence and tells him threateningly “Do not finish that sentence.”
Elsewhere, Greymalkin is leading Blindfold to the site of the battle. She urges him on but he says that he should be getting her out of there. She tells him he’s not alone and shouldn’t worry. She insists on seeing what’s happening and he reminds her that she can’t see. She replies in her typically obtuse manner “No. Yes, but it’s just like before…”. Greymalkin is confused and asks “Before?”
They enter the cavern where Pierce is fighting their teammates. Blindfold says “I’ve seen this before. Pierce is going to kill – NO…” At that moment, Pierce slashes through one of the Young X-Men, but it does not reveal who he killed. He is splattered with blood and Blindfold cries out “NO!” as she sees her teammate fall once again.
Ruth Aldine AKA Blindfold wakes up screaming from this precognitive dream in her aunt’s house in Prospect Plains, New Jersey. Her heart is racing as she sits bolt upright and clutches at the blankets. She knows her aunt will be up to check on her in a moment. She gets up and begins to dress. She realizes that what she saw in her dream --- a new team of X-Men, the battle with Pierce, the death of a friend --- has not happened yet. The idea that it has yet to happen fills her with hope as it presents the opportunity to change what she has seen. She knows that she must leave her home once again as she gets dressed.
Meanwhile in Erfurt, Germany, former Xavier Institute student Nicholas Gleason AKA Wolf Cub has sought out Maximus Lobo, the former leader of a “pack” of lupine mutants who tried to recruit Nicholas months earlier.
Wolf Cub taunts the now-human Lobo telling him “Looks like M-Day wasn’t so kind to you, bub.” He goes on to say that “bub” seems a lot more appropriate than either “Maximus” or “Lobo” now that he has been stripped of his wolf-like mutations.
Lobo is clearly frightened by Wolf Cub’s sudden appearance and asks what it is that he wants from him. Nicholas tells him it should be obvious that he’s there for revenge. He grabs Lobo by the throat and lifts him easily off the ground. He accuses Lobo of attacking “me and mine” and just because he lost his powers doesn’t mean he isn’t due some payback. Lobo argues that it was for his own good and that he belonged with his own kind.
Nicholas tells him that it was “his kind” that he attacked at the Xavier Institute and now there aren’t a whole lot of them left! Maximus points out that that is what he is really angry about. He says that fear turns to hatred far too easily and that Wolf Cub is becoming no better than the humans who are ruled by their fear and hatred.
Nicholas suggests they test his theory. After he guts Lobo he’ll decide whether he feels better or not. At that moment, Cyclops enters the room and says “Don’t.” He tells Wolf Cub that if he’s truly angry and wants to hurt somebody then he should come with him and he will point him at the right targets.
In Bakwa, Afghanistan a pair of Taliban convoys roars into town. They are greeted by unusual silence and think that the town is deserted. A voice from the air warns them to “Turn back” and inform their masters that this village is off-limits. The leader asks who is addressing them…”The wind?” He demands that “the wind” order these people to come out of hiding now. He threatens to burn the town to the ground. There is no response. He angrily demands to know if “the wind” has heard him and asks “What does Bakwa decide?!” “Nothing. It decides nothing because it is under my protection” the wind replies and demands that the soldiers leave before she must demonstrate what her “protection” truly means.
The Taliban leader asks what will happen if her refuses. The wind replies “I’ll rip the skin from your bones.” The arrogant Taliban leader says boldly “I would truly like to see that” to which the wind replies “All right, then.”
Suddenly, a cloud of dust rises from the desert floor and surrounds the leader’s outstretched left arm. He cries out and pulls it back as he drops to his knees. All that remains of his hand are the bones. Dust resumes her human form and orders them to leave before she rips the skin from his face.
As the Taliban quickly speed away, the villagers of Bakwa emerge and cheer for Dust. A police officer comes forward to thank her. She warns that more of them will return in a few days and the officer assures her that they will be ready. He asks where she is headed now. She tells him that she is considering Zabul but is not sure yet. Cyclops appears and says “In that case, can I make a suggestion? Westchester’s lovely this time of year.”
Back at the Xavier Institute, Blindfold pays a visit to the ruins of her former school. She finds it strange that she still thinks of this place as home, despite the fact that there is no one there to greet her. But the demolished mansion is not as deserted as she thinks. In the shadows, someone is watching as Ruth Aldine decides on an alternative means of connecting with her old friends.
In La Jolla, California a young man is getting a tattoo. The tattoo artist is working on the guy’s hand and tells him that he shouldn’t be doing this. The guy tries to reassure the tattoo artist that it’s fine. The tattoo artist explains that he could lose his license for inking a tattoo on someone’s hands or above their neck. The guy in the chair getting the tattoo argues that he’s seen lots of people with tattoos on their hands, even on their faces! Again, the proprietor of the tattoo parlor explains that he isn’t supposed to. The young man smiles and replies “We do lots we’re not supposed to. S’called livin’ fast and dying young, cuzin.” The tattoo artist asks him not to call him “cuzin” and asks if he’s even sure that this tattoo will work. The young man pulls up his shirt to reveal a larger tattoo on his bicep. He says “Last tat did” and that he was able to punch through a brick wall thanks to that tattoo.
Two uniformed police officers walk into the place. The young man curses as one of the officers ask if one of them is Eric Gitter. The young man getting the tattoo points to the owner who replies “Thanks for nothing, Eric.” Eric smiles and says “I try to have a sense of humor.” The officer asks if he is indeed Eric Gitter and Eric asks if there is a problem. The officer says that he stole a woman’s car and Eric asks if he’s sure about that. The officer tells him that the car is parked outside and has a Lojack. Eric repeats the word “Lojack” and asks if that’s one of the Inhumans. The officer simply replies that he is under arrest.
Eric turns to the tattoo artist and asks if he’s done yet. The man replies “Just about” as the police officer reads Eric his rights. The tattoo parlor owner tells Eric that he doesn’t want any problems in his place and Eric assures him that there won’t be any. Eric stands up and tells the cop reading him his rights to “Step off, cuz.”
The officer continues until Eric reaches for his face with the hand that was just inked. The tattoo is of a biohazard symbol. As he touches the officer’s face, the man gasps. His partner is shocked to see this and pulls his gun. He orders Eric to put his hands up. The officer that Eric grabbed with the biohazard symbol falls to his knees and vomits. The tattoo artist reminds Eric that he said no trouble. Eric cheerfully replies that he just wanted to try out the new tattoo and that it works great! The second officer clocks Eric across the back of the head with his gun. He then pins Eric to the ground and cuffs him. He tells him, “Now you’re under arrest.”
A short while later, Eric Gitter is sitting in a holding cell in a local jail. A balding officer in red shades approaches and asks if he’s Eric Gitter. Eric asks if “Hector made bail for him or something.” The officer replies “Something” as he unlocks the door to the cell. The officer tells him that he’s getting him out of there and that he’s coming with him. Eric asks, “Coming with you where, cuzin?” and the officer replies “Westchester, New York.” As he says this, his form shimmers as the image inducer he is using activates. The “officer” is revealed to be Cyclops.
Blindfold finds Rockslide in Naples, Florida and the two enjoy some coffee. Ruth tells Santo about her precognitive vision and he is excited that her dream shows him as an X-Man again. Despite the dark portents of her dream, Santo can’t see past his excitement for fighting bad guys.
She tells him again that she saw someone die and is frustrated that she can’t make it clear to him. She admits that it is not all clear to her yet. Santo asks her how they manage to hook up with this new team and she replies “You look to your right.”
Neither of them had noticed that Cyclops was sitting at the table next to them until now. Blindfold comments “It looks like him but I can’t see past the music” as Cyclops approaches them. He tells them he’s been sitting there for over fifteen minutes and reprimands Rockslide for not being more aware of his surroundings. He excuses Ruth since she has no eyes and asks what might have happened had he been an enemy.
Santo rises and says “What if? I’m, like, indestructible, bro.” Cyclops smiles before unleashing his optic blast on Santo. This launches him through the window of the café. Scott and Ruth emerge from the café and Cyclops is uncharacteristically glib. He tells Santo that teaching him that little lesson will cost him five thousand dollars.
Santo tells him that he has got to stop “eye-blasting” him through things. Rockslide rises and Cyclops says they only have a couple of minutes before the police arrive. He tells Santo that he’s reforming the X-Men and wants him to be on the team. Santo asks if he means just him and if so, why not Blindfold as well. Cyclops apologizes to Ruth but explains that she isn’t part of the plan. Santo replies “She’s on the team or I’m not”. Cyclops is taken aback by this answer and Santo explains that Ruth saw them both together on a team, so why debate it. He repeats that it’s both of them or he won’t join up. Cyclops looks a bit miffed by this response.
Cyclops brings this new team of X-Men together in the subterranean areas under the destroyed Xavier Institute. They dress in their new black and yellow training uniforms. Cyclops tells them that they are at war and they need to start acting like warriors and not to be fooled by the training costumes. He reminds them that the baby is gone and they are the last generation of mutants, as well as mutantkind’s last line of defense. They are going to start here in the Danger Cave.
Santo asks if all they plan to do is train and Cyclops makes it clear that they are going to be going after their enemies proactively. He tells them that those enemies aren’t the Purifiers but other mutants, in this case a newly formed Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Nicholas asks if this means Magneto is back. Rockslide comments that Magneto has more lives than five cats. Cyclops reminds them that no Brotherhood since the first has been led by Magneto and that this new group was formed by a very powerful mutant who is also the Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club. He then activates one of the Danger Cave’s imaging devices to display a hologram of this new Brotherhood.
The image consists of Cannonball, Sunspot, Magma and Danielle Moonstar… all members of the first team of New Mutants. As the image flickers to life, Cyclops adds “And he’s joined by his former teammates.”

Characters Involved: 

Blindfold, Dust, Ink, Rockslide, Wolf Cub (all Young X-Men)

“Cyclops” / Donald Pierce

Maximus Lobo

Shadowy figure amidst the ruins of the Xavier Institute

Unnamed Taliban soldiers

Unnamed police officer and citizens of Bakwa, Afghanistan

Unnamed tattoo artist

Unnamed police officers in La Jolla, California

Unnamed citizens in Naples, Florida

In Blindfold’s precognitive visions:

Blindfold, Dust, Greymalkin, Ink, Rockslide, Wolf Cub (all Young X-Men)
Donald Pierce

In a holographic projection:

Cannonball, Magma, Dani Moonstar, Sunspot (all former New Mutants)

Story Notes: 

This issue featured two variant covers: one by Brandon Peterson featuring Cyclops in an homage to the classic “Uncle Sam Wants You” military recruitment poster and a second known as the “Skrull variant” in which Cyclops’ face on the standard cover is colored partially green. This issue was released during the early part of the SECRET INVASION mega-crossover and was one of several comics given a limited variant cover with one of the primary characters turning into a Skrull.
Due to the impending SECRET INVASION crossover and the fact that Cyclops was simultaneously appearing in the Savage Land and then San Francisco in UNCANNY X-MEN #495-496, there was rampant speculation that the Cyclops who appears in this issue is an impostor.
The issue’s title “Final Genesis” is a reference to the story title of GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 “Second Genesis” in which the second generation of X-Men was recruited by Charles Xavier. The story structure of this issue is also a direct homage to Xavier’s recruitment of Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, Banshee, Sunfire, Colossus and Thunderbird. The story title of GENERATION X #1 was “Third Genesis”. Given the effects of M-Day, this could be the final time a new team of X-Men is gathered in this fashion.
The dedication of this issue is to French colorist Stéphane Peru who died suddenly on February 11, 2007 at the age of 26. Peru had done work on several Marvel titles in the months prior to his death and was scheduled to be the regular colorist on YOUNG X-MEN. Announcements at the time of Peru’s untimely passing indicated that his work would be seen on YOUNG X-MEN. Early full-color, preview images released before his death were distinctly different than those printed in the final edition. This suggests that an editorial decision was made to not use the limited amount of work Peru completed before his passing and use the same colorist throughout the first issue of the series.
Eric Gitter’s code-name Ink was not revealed in this issue but has been mentioned in numerous previews and interviews.
LoJack is a trademarked vehicle recovery system that utilizes a radio signal which is activated when a vehicle equipped with a LoJack system is reported as stolen. Police nationwide are able to home in on active LoJack signals to assist in recovering stolen vehicles. The Inhuman link refers to is probably Lockjaw.
The mysterious Greymalkin is not actually named in this issue. His codename was revealed in previews and interviews about this new series. Several hints have been given that he is not an entirely new character and there is a significant reason why he has taken the name Greymalkin. Greymalkin is the name of the street that the Xavier Institute is on and was also the name of Cable’s orbital space station. This space station was incorporated into Magneto’s headquarters Avalon and eventually served as the foundation for Cable’s island nation, Providence.
Maximus Lobo was the leader of a pack of lupine mutants known as the Dominant Species. He and his pack first appeared in UNCANNY X-MEN #417-420. They later came after Wolf Cub in EXILES #28-30.
The Danger Cave was created by David Alleyne AKA Prodigy using skills and knowledge absorbed from the Beast and Kitty Pryde. It debuted in NEW X-MEN (2nd series) #21.
Cyclops’s comment that Magneto hasn’t led a Brotherhood since its first incarnation is not entirely accurate. Magneto led a second derivation of the Brotherhood that included Mastermind (the only original member) along with Lorelei, Unus and the Blob. He then recruited an entirely different team of mutants that would later operate under the name Mutant Force. This short-lived Brotherhood included Burner, Lifter, Peeper, Shocker and Slither. A recent team calling itself the Brotherhood of Mutants was formed by Kuan-Yin Xorn when he assumed the form and persona of Magneto. This team included several students from the Xavier Institute and is the one that both Rockslide and Wolf Cub are most familiar with.
Roberto DaCosta AKA Sunspot assumed the mantle of Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club in UNCANNY X-MEN #454.
The final image of the former New Mutants is an homage to the cover of NEW MUTANTS (1st series) #1.

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