X-Men: First Class Special #1

Issue Date: 
July 2006
Story Title: 
The Museum of Oddities (1st story), The Key (2nd story), The Soul of a Poet (3rd story), Men fear the Blob (4th story) , A Girl and her Dragon (5th story), The Mental Might of Marvel Girl (6th Story)

(1st story) Kevin Nowlan (art & lettering)
(2nd story) Colleen Coover (art & lettering)
(3rd story) Nick Dragotta (pencils), Mike Allred (inks), Laura Allred (colors). Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letters)
(4th Story) Colleen Coover (art & lettering)
(5th story) Paul Smith (art), Pete Pantazis (colors), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letters)
(6th story) Colleen Coover (art & lettering)
Jeff Parker (writer), Kevin Nowlan (cover) Brad Johansen (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor)
Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
Beast and Iceman search for a mutant on a Museum of Oddities, which is supposed to be haunted. They eventually find the mutant is a “gargoyle,” who wanted to help the owner Mr. Vayle by making the museum more famous with the haunting. Mr. Vayle decides to keep him on and pay him.

(2nd story)
Magneto looks for the X-Men at the Café-a-Gogo – in vain. However, he at least scores a victory over the bathroom key.

(3rd story)
The X-Men visit the Café-a-gogo, where he Bernard the Poet is holding a poetry jam. The effect he has is striking as the X-Men’s powers seem to go wild. Once outside, Xavier can contact Marvel Girl and explain that Bernard seems to be a neo mutant. He mentally influences Bernard never to read out poetry again.

(4th story)
The Blob terrorizes a town but is tricked by a clever cop.

(5th story)
Cyclops tells Kitty about the time when Jean also had a dragon of sorts. During the time of the old team, they ran into the Dragon Man, who instantly adored Marvel girl and was adopted by her as a pet. He proved useful in some missions but was also unpredictable, causing Xavier to decide he had to leave. The X-Men left him at Monster Island, which they figured would be a good home for him.

(6th story)
Xavier orders Marvel Girl to stud some ducklings. As they almost drive her wild with constantly endangering themselves, she decides to take them to the mansion.

Full Summary: 

1st story
Hank and Bobby stand outside an old-fashioned spooky house called the Museum of Oddities. The equally spooky owner, Mr. Vayle, welcomes them, asking if they are the investigators from Xavier’s school. Hank replies that they are students, but they are highly qualified in their chosen field of paranormal studies. Then they are lucky, Vayle replies, for he assures them this curious museum is quite haunted.

He leads them inside as he adds that he doesn’t mind a ghost or two. In fact, it helps their attendance even more. He rather hopes they can confirm it in an official capacity.

Have they always had occurrences? Hank asks. Curious, he looks around at a mummy and the statue of a gargoyle while Bobby plays with a carnivore plant. Moments later, it bites his fingertip.

Vayle explains that the hauntings began earlier this year. Objects are often moved, food disappears, the wireless comes on a night. Yet no one has ever died on the premises to his knowledge.

Did they receive any new attractions around then? Hank wonders. Possibly, Vayle concedes. They constantly import curiosities from around the world. It’s not unheard of for a presence to attach itself to a special object, Hank explains. They’ll take some readings. Vayle offers to leave them to their work and wishes them a good evening. Bobby in retaliation has secretly frozen the plant.

Can he talk now? Bobby asks. Since they don’t have any ghost finding equipment, what did Hank really bring in this suitcase? His dinner, Hank replies. A moment later, he is hit in the head by an eightball and evil laughter rings in their ears. The ghost! Bobby exclaims. One can’t smell a ghost, Hank retorts and follows the scent up the stairs.

Bobby mutters the ghost is in for it now as he stands next to a seer doll in a glass case. Suddenly, it speaks, saying, “I hold the key to your future.” Bobby cries out. Alerted, Hank returns to his side. Ask the swami a question, the doll asks. Where’s the ghost? Bobby shouts. Han reminds him that Cerebro does not detect disembodied ectoplasm. The professor sent them here to look for a possibly class one mutant…

Angrily, he exclaims as his suitcase is suddenly empty. His dinner is gone? Now does he believe? Bobby asks. Why would a spirit want his food? Hank asks. No, he’s through with this. He orders Bobby to lower the temperature of the room to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Bobby complies.

Now doesn’t he find it odd, even in a museum of oddities, that you can see a gargoyle’s breath? Hank asks. Found out, the gargoyle runs panicked, shouting he is not a monster. They know, Bobby replies and ices up. He’s a mutant like them. The gargoyle stops, intrigued.

He realizes they are the X-Men he has heard of. He’s spent much of his life at a castle in Wales, living off the tourists, but the place was crumbling and he was “sold” to this museum. He rather likes it here among the other oddities. Attendance was low, so he began the poltergeist activities to increase the museum’s reputation. He wanted to help Mr. Vayle.

Bobby suggests he – Alistair – come back to school with them. It’s a training ground for mutants, so they can use their abilities for noble purposes. A worthy goal, Alistair agrees, but he fears his ability to look like a gargoyle and stand extremely still would rarely come in handy. Unless their missions often take them to gothic castles.

And he won’t hear of it, Vayle who has eavesdropped, announces. If he plans to skulk about and frighten visitors, then he shall have to put him on the payroll.

He predicts prosperity, comes the voice of the automatic seer.

second story:
Magneto, in full costume, enters the Cafe a Gogo bar, hoping to find the X-Men here and persuade them to join his select group of mutants, the Brotherhood. Chalk it up to the joys of Greenwich Village that nobody bats an eye at him.

However, after hours with no sign of the X-Men, he fears they must be out doing “good.” Now, even he, as Homo superior, must bow to the whims of nature. The bathroom, however, is locked. A man before him complains he knows but fat chance getting these snotty hipster baristas to give ya the key.

Zelda is, after all, too busy phoning a friend and telling her she believes the college guy is into her. Gives her the chills sometimes though.

Suddenly, the restroom key flies by itself into Magneto’s hands. How…? the other man asks astonished. Simplicity itself, Magneto announces triumphantly, when you’re the lord of magnetism.

third story:
It’s evening and the X-Men are out in Greenwich village. Scott complains that they could have gone to the Café-a-go-go near their school instead of coming to the one in the Village. And why drink coffee at night? It’ll keep them up. Is he afraid fun might be had? Jean teases him. They are here to make Bobby look good in front of his favorite barista.

Hank and Warren have grabbed Bobby, dragging him into the coffee shop and sing-songing Zeldaaa… Bobby shouts a greeting at her, remarking that nobody at the other place can make the mochas right.

Zelda tells them to take a seat. They are in for a show. They’ve got Bernard on tonight.

Bernard the poet on stage looks at them and remarks he sees college kids in the house. Ready for a real education, are they? Get ready to expand your mind!

Hank mutters that Bobby owes them for that. Suddenly they all hear a high-pitched noise, similar to the noise they hear before the professor telepathically speaks to them, Jean points out.

Bernard has starte slamming:
on the streets – they ain’t hearin’ Keats – they livin’ hard – only hearing Bernard…

“Don’t call me professor,” Bernard tells them. A professor professes to know. Bernard knows.

Speak of the devil, Warren mutters as his cell rings. It’s the prof telling them he’s been trying to reach them mentally, but there’s interference. He’s detected a neo-mutant and Cerebro registers their signals… at the same place.

That moment, Zelda takes away Warren’s cell phone. No cells during performance, she tells him strictly.

It’s the information age. We don’t talk… we inform. Bernard continues.

Jean admonishes Warren that cells are rude but suddenly sinks down dizzy.

Next stop: secret fears. Doors to your left

Bobby too feels woozy. He thought coffee was supposed to make you perky, he mutters dreamily.

Banana Sunday. Chicken in the bread pan. Pickin’ out. Doors

Also affected, Scott asks Warren what the professor said. Warren repeats Xavier’s words. Suddenly, Jean shouts: Warren’s hands have turned to bird talons!

Identical cousins all the way

Hank, who is turning all furry, dimly recalls Neo-Mutants were a hypothesis of Xavier’s. Iceman is making it snow around them whereas things around Jean seem wiggly.

The ghost is a gargoyle

Turning more monster-like, Hank continues that Xavier theorized about a type of mutants with latent powers whose abilities only kick in around other X-genes.

Rock over London, rock on Chicago… see the world for what it is

The other patrons cry out in shock as they recognize the X-Men as mutants. Warren has turned into a bird, Bobby a snowman, Scott has a huge red eye, Beast looks like a werewolf and Jean seems to be made of energy. What did those monster do to Bobby? Zelda demands.

It’s that awful poet, Hank shouts and orders Jean to plug her ears. His hearing is too good to shut it out. When Jean does that, she returns to normal and can hear Xavier’s mental voice. He explains that the neo-mutant is altering their perceptions. They are to get away from him and the effect will stop.

Jean orders them away, while Bernard shouts after them that she listen to the man. They fear the truth!

With the X-Men outside, Xavier manages to get inside through Jean’s perceptions, calming everyone and telling them the last hour was a dream. Nothing abnormal happened. And certainly nothing concerning mutants. Then, he turns to Bernard, instructing him that performance is not his future. Poetry is better written.

What’s going on? Scott asks. Jean remarks that Bernard just got poetry-slammed.

The X-Men leave, Warren remarking that’s the last time Bobby plans their night for them. He can impress Zelda on his own, Jean agrees. Fine, fine Bobby agrees. He wouldn’t put them through that again either. Hidden in his hand is a CD by Bernard.

fourth story:
The Blob has robbed a bank and makes short work of the cops trying to stop him.

Where are those X-Men when you need them? the mayor complains. He told them to keep their mutant selves out of their wholesome town, a cop reminds him. Doesn’t anyone censor him? the mayor moans.

A female cop takes off her jacket. She has an idea to end this. Is Terri a mutant too? a colleague asks her.

Cops shoot at Blob, causing him to state this is the best massage he ever got. He thinks he’ll stay a while. This town is great! Suddenly, he hears a ripping noise behind him and fears it’s his pants. Just remembered something, gotta go! he shouts and leaves.

Everybody celebrates Terri, who simply tore her jacket.

fifth story
Kitty Pryde runs after her pet dragon Lockheed. As she catches him, the two of them fall over Scott, who was just trimming the shrubbery outside. Looking at the dragon, Scott reveals that Kitty wasn’t the first mutant girl with a dragon… This goes back to his school days during the first class…

Scott’s tale:
The five original X-Men were walking through a cavernous system, mentally guided by Xavier as Cerebro had gotten some erratic readings from there. The lifeform in this cavern could be a mutant needing help, or something else altogether.

Angel scouts ahead with Iceman following on an iceslide, both of them ignoring Cyclops’ orders. Suddenly, Angel returns, followed by a gust of flames. Hot don’t impress the Bobby, Iceman decides and sends icestreams back to create an icewall.

Just as he boasts that the six inch wall isn’t going to break anytime soon, break it does at the hands of a huge dragon-like monster.

Cyclops instantly attacks it with an optic blast, exhausting him, but the creature is down… briefly. Cyclops orders Beast and Angel to start the playground maneuver. They all run in different directions. Iceman protects himself and Cyclops with an iceshield. He tells the others to hurry. Angel and Beast attack from different directions, making the dragon creature lose his equilibrium, unfortunately almost dropping him on Marvel Girl who falls.

The Dragon becomes interested in her. It follows her. When Angel tries to help, he is swatted aside by the beast’s tail. Cyclops urges the others to run after Jean and the monster. The thing must have a weakness, he decides. He is right, Iceman who is ahead of him agrees, and that weakness is… redheads. The monster has lain down in front of Jean and allows her to tickle his ears.

Once the danger is over, they describe the creature to the professor who finds out it is known as Dragon Man, a synthetic creature built by a scientist and given life by the evil alchemist Diablo.

Xavier critically looks outside where Jean is treating Dragon Man like a pet and feeds him. He doesn’t want to keep him around forever…

Suddenly Xavier announces that he’s reading several minds in distress. He tells them it’s the Westchester overpass. A train has derailed. One of the cars is close to falling off the bridge completely. It could go within minutes. Only Warren flying alone can make it in time, but that won’t be enough. No, Jean cries, she can make it!

And at the overpass, just as the car is about to fall, it is saved by the kick-butt team of Marvel Girl and Dragon Man.

After that, the X-Men had an unofficial mascot for a while. All that raw power did come in handy though. Good thing, because Dragon Man wasn’t interested in leaving Jean’s side anytime soon. He could deal with things that still gave them trouble, chasing away Juggernaut and the Blob or tearing apart Sentinels. But even with Jean around he wasn’t always easy to control, attacking good guys as well as bad. For example, he attacked cops, which made the X-Men look bad.

The professor finally put his foot down. Hank suggested the next best thing to taking Dragon Man to a farm upstate.

On their way to Monster Island, they watch him play with dolphins, being extra cute and breaking Jean’s heart.

From their boat, she flies with him to Monster Island, where she leaves him, hoping he will like it there. She confides she knows he is more than a monster. He’s been the best friend a girl could have. And he won’t tell anyone the things she said about Scott, will he? She smacks him a kiss, tells him he is the best dragon ever and lets him go.

Scott gets back to work. Kitty thanks him for talking to her about Jean. She knows it’s not easy for him. Scott leaves and Kitty hugs Lockheed.

Sixth story:
Professor X orders Jean to find and observe some ducklings. Cerebro has calculated that they are 40% more lovable than any other species. If Homo superior can adopt some of their traits, they could be accepted by mankind.

Jean’s attempts to study them are troublesome. First, she has to save the ducklings from a motorboat, then from a car as they cross the road. Exasperated, she decides to take them home where she can study them at her leisure.

Hank, in the meantime, reveals that his calculations refute Cerebro’s: Otters are cuter!

Characters Involved: 

1st story:
Beast, Iceman (both X-men)
Professor Vayle

2nd story:

3rd story:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl
Professor X
Bernard the Poet

4th story:
Teri (a cop)
Other cops

5th story:
Cyclops, Shadowcat (both X-Men)
in Cyclops’ story
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl
Professor X
Dragon Man

6th story:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl

Story Notes: 

3rd story:
Bernard the poet (a staple in the old X-Men stories) was actually mentioned to make a comeback in X-Men vs. ClanDestine #1.

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: