Young X-Men #2

Issue Date: 
June 2008
Story Title: 
New Mutants

Marc Guggenheim (writers), Yanick Paquette (penciller) Ray Snyder (inkers), Rob Schwager (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Daniel Ketchum & Will Panzo (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: 

The Young X-Men train for their mission against the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by running a Danger Cave scenario against the original New Mutants. They fail miserably and realize that they need to start acting as a team. Cyclops chides them on their poor performance and asks if they’re ready to kill their enemies. This causes discomfort among the team who question Cyclops’ new ruthlessness. He tells them that since M-Day, they can’t afford not to be merciless to ensure their survival. Blindfold warns Dust that there’s a traitor among them. Cyclops decides to take the members of the Brotherhood down individually since the Young X-Men have little chance against them as a team. He equips them for their first missions. Ink and Blindfold go after Dani Moonstar while Wolf Cub, Dust and Rockslide attack Magma. Magma is not pleased with being attacked in LA and doesn’t hold back against the young mutants. Moonstar proves to be a formidable foe even without her powers and has the upper hand until some unseen force knocks her out. Ink asks Blindfold how her powers work and concludes that they don’t work very well. He knocks her out and snidely comments that she obviously didn’t see that coming.

Full Summary: 

Three weeks after the formation of the Young X-Men team, the group is training in the Danger Cave in preparation for their mission against the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. This new Brotherhood consists of several members of the original New Mutants team.
As the team circles the Xavier mansion, Santo comments that it’s a nice house. Via radio, Wolf Cub chides him for breaking radio silence but Santo rambles on about what a bummer it is that it had to get blown up so many times. He’s reprimanded again and sheepishly apologizes. Dust has made her way to the south wall and is looking in a window. Inside, Cannonball, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Karma and Dani Moonstar are watching Magnum PI. Dust reports that she has the targets in view and they appear to be peaceful.
The New Mutants are enjoying the show and the girls comment on how handsome the star is. Dust adds that the man in the TV show is wearing shorts that “seem too short to be biologically possible”.
Ink is in position on the roof and complains that his latest tattoo is scabbing over painfully. This tattoo is on his left hand and is a series of bands reminiscent of Colossus’ armored look. Wolf Cub confirms that Ink is ready though and he replies that he is.
Wolf Cub gives the order “…let’s do this.” He bursts into the mansion’s living room at the same moment that Ink breaks in through the roof, Rockslide crashes through a wall and Dust shatters the window. Despite their surprise, the New Mutants react quickly.
Cannonball ignites his power and orders the others to “Pick youah targets, people!” He flies straight at Rockslide. Dust is attacked by Moonstar who uses her fear-based illusions to conjure a vision of an angry mob of rednecks. Dust cries out in surprise and is knocked out by a punch from Karma. Wolfsbane changes into her transitional wolf form and declares that she has “the werewolf”. She lunges at Wolf Cub who catches her mid-air and slams her into the stair rail. He goads her a bit, telling her that if she wants to call out for help or something she should feel free to do so. Rahne replies that she doesn’t need to since help is already here. At that moment, Wolf Cub is attacked from behind by Sunspot. Nick calls to Ink for some help but he has already been subdued by Sunspot. Roberto punches Wolf Cub, sending him smashing through the staircase where Ink lies unconscious.
At that moment, Cyclops freezes the program and asks what they’ve learned. Rockslide promptly answers “How to get our butts handed to us” to which Cyclops replies that they clearly didn’t need any training in that. Wolf Cub echoes this sentiment bitterly. Ink starts to argue that Wolfsbane isn’t part of the group they’re targeting and Moonstar has lost her powers. Dust tells him that this comment didn’t come out quite as comforting as he intended.
Cyclops asks again what they have learned. Blindfold says “I am not alone” and Ink says that they played this man-to-man and they should have played “the zone”. Cyclops concurs that he wanted them to work as a team. He points out that this scenario was taken from a period just a month or two after the New Mutants formed and they have since had years of training. He tells Ink that the New Mutants wouldn’t just beat them today, they’d kill them. He asks if after three weeks of intense training they have what it takes to kill them.
Santo asks about that, specifically since when are Cannonball and the others bad guys and since when did the X-Men kill? Cyclops replies that the answer to those two questions is the same: since Genosha, M-Day and the birth of the first mutant baby. “Times have changed” he states and points out that now they face extinction. As a result, some have become more ruthless and that has forced them to do so as well. “Is it easy?” he asks “No. Survival never is.”
A short while later, Sooraya and Ruth are in the room they share. Dust asks Blindfold if everything is okay and Ruth cryptically replies “No. There’s too much in everything”. Dust clarifies and asks Ruth if she is all right. She adds that they are all uncomfortable with the mission and it helps to talk about it. Blindfold replies “One wolf in the fold…” Dust asks what she means and she explains that when she thinks of the picture of the future that she saw there is a memory of betrayal. Sooraya asks her if by “wolf in the fold” she means that one of the team is going to betray them. Unbeknownst to them both, Wolf Cub is standing nearby and listening to their conversation.
The next day, Cyclops informs the team that he has changed their tactics based on their dismal performance in the Danger Cave. Now they are going to take the members of the new Brotherhood down one by one, starting with their weakest members: Magma and Dani Moonstar. Santo asks how the girl who turns into a human volcano rates as one of the “weakest members”. Cyclops points out that this is only in comparison to the remaining two members, Cannonball and Sunspot.
He assigns Rockslide, Wolf Cub and Dust to take out Magma while Ink and Blindfold tackle Moonstar. Ink makes a snide remark about how that means that he’ll be taking down Moonstar since Blindfold is blind. He gives Rockslide and Ink a handheld Cerebrex unit made from Sentinel tech that will allow them to detect mutants within a 3 mile range. Santo looks at his and points out that only five mutants are currently registering on his, which makes them one shy. Cyclops brushes off this comment and points the crew to two jets that he says are “Stark-experimental intra-continental jets” with artificial intelligence pilots. The entire group is unaware that their actions are being watched by a figure in the shadows.
A short time later, Ink and Blindfold are flying west towards Colorado. Ink says “So this is a little uncomfortable. You and me. By ourselves.” He adds that he’s new to all this and she’s blind and all. He waves his hand in front of her face. She tells him to stop and lets him know that she can see without eyes. He replies “Sure, why not, right?” She tells him “You’re not what you think you are.” He asks what she means and she tells him that she can see without eyes and sees that he is not what he thinks he is. He folds his arms, sinks into his seat and says, “Yeah, this is gonna be fun…”
Cyclops coordinates the efforts of the other assault team from inside the Danger Cave. He tells the team that once upon a time, one of the X-Men’s telepaths would have telepathically transmitted information directly into their minds but the good old days are gone. He gives them some background information on Magma, emphasizing that she’s always flirted with the dark side and was even a member of the Hellions for a time. He tells the team that M-Day pushed her over the edge after her new boyfriend died when he lost his powers. She then went a bit crazy and caused a volcano near La Cumbre to erupt. He informs them that DaCosta’s new Brotherhood has been operating out of the Manhattan Hellfire Club but that Amara visits her home in Los Angeles during the team’s down time.
He shares with Blindfold and Ink that they are heading to Boulder, Colorado where Dani Moonstar spends her weekends off from the Brotherhood. Their jet lands near the one-room cabin where Moonstar is staying and the two Young X-Men sneak closer to the cabin. Blindfold warns Ink that “She uses a fire stick”
. Ink asks if Blindfold can sense where she is and she makes a typically cryptic reply that she knows it is a one-room cabin and why doesn’t he. Ink grumbles about being stuck with a crazy mutant with no eyes. He tells her “Perimeter breach in three” and she replies “We’ll be right behind you.”
On three, he punches his way through the wall of the cabin. Moonstar is startled as the wall shatters and is even more surprised to see that Blindfold is among her attackers. Ink tells her “Take a seat, Pocahontas” as he moves to punch her. Dani easily blocks his punch and asks if the X-Men are still teaching hand-to-hand. She grabs a shotgun from the wall as she asks who he is and why they’re there. She makes it clear that despite her lack of powers, she can take care of herself as she fires the shotgun at Ink. Blindfold says “Fire stick” and Ink says that he’s got it now as he dodges the shotgun blast.
As the team comprised of Wolf Cub, Rockslide and Dust get closer to LA, Nick and Santo argue over how things are likely to go down. Rockslide insists that this is not going to be easy but Wolf Cub isn’t convinced. Dust calls their attention to the target, Amara Aquilla who is jogging towards her apartment building. Santo says “Well, would’ja look at that.” Wolf Cub says that they’ll “just scoop her up easy-peasy.” Rockslide clarifies that he was trying to point out that “she’s got the tightest…” but Dust cuts him off before he can say anything lewd.
The team confirms their plan of attack and the jet maneuvers closer to Magma. Wolf Cub says that he doubts things were this easy in the “good old days” and Santo says that he thinks he’ll enjoy this. Despite having headphones on, Amara hears the approach of the jet. She immediately assumes her magma form and sends a column of fiery lava at the jet from a fissure that erupts in the ground before her. The jet crashes spectacularly onto the street below. Bystanders wonder if there was an earthquake but soon realize it’s the start of a superhuman battle as they flee the scene.
The Young X-Men emerge from the jet unscathed and Santo declares that that wasn’t “easy or peasy”. As they see Magma glaring at them, Rockslide says that he starting to wish that Cyclops had joined them. Wolf Cub is confident that they can handle her and orders them to attack just as Cyclops taught them. He lunges at Magma who says “So this is how it’s going to be. Fine. I’ll melt the flesh from your bones.”
Back in Colorado, Moonstar grabs Blindfold in a choke hold and points the gun at her face. She tells Ink that if he takes another step closer she’ll empty out his girlfriend’s head. She asks him for a reason why she shouldn’t do the same to him. She warns him that she isn’t bluffing. At that moment, Blindfold says “Now.”
Something happens and Moonstar falls unconscious as if she was struck down by some unseen force. Ink picks up the shotgun and asks Blindfold exactly how her powers work. She replies “I see fore when I am meant to.” Ink concludes that she means she has “lousy eyesight when it comes to seeing the future.” She tells him he doesn’t understand. He gets closer and tells her that if she were any good at seeing the future she would have seen this coming. As he says this, he hits her across the head with the rifle and knocks her unconscious.

Characters Involved: 

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

“Cyclops” / Donald Pierce

Dani Moonstar, Magma (both former New Mutants)

Unnamed bystander in Los Angeles

In a holographic projection:

Cannonball, Karma, Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all former New Mutants)

In Blindfold’s visions:

Donald Pierce

Story Notes: 

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.
The combat scenario in the Danger Cave is modeled after the events of UNCANNY X-MEN #167. In this issue, the X-Men return from space and fight the New Mutants who were recruited during their absence. The New Mutants are watching their favorite TV show “Magnum, PI” starring Tom Selleck.
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.
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 comments regarding the number of mutants registering on the mutant-detecting unit in this issue only flamed the fires of speculation.
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.
Magma was a member of two incarnations of the Hellions. She joined the original team of Hellions in NEW MUTANTS (1st series) #57. She later joined a new team calling itself the Hellions that was led by King Bedlam as shown in X-FORCE (1st series) #87.
The tragedy that befell Magma on M-Day was revealed in X-MEN: THE 198 #1.
While jogging, Magma is listening to the song “Last to Die” by Bruce Springsteen.
A sticker on a street post reads “Colbert ‘08”. Stephen Colbert is a comedian who hosts the show “The Colbert Report” which is a satire of politically charged talk shows like “The O’Reilly Factor”. Colbert launched a faux presidential campaign as a running joke on the show coinciding with the 2008 Presidential Primaries.

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