Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #417

Issue Date: 
March 2003
Story Title: 
Dominant Species - part 1

Chuck Austen (Writer), Kia Asamiya (Artist), JD Smith (Colorist), Paul Tutrone (Letterer), Mike Raicht & Nova Ren Suma (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Bill Jemas (President). All Unaccredited.

Brief Description: 

A teenage couple, a boy who is a normal human and a girl, who is a mutant with an obvious mutation, are hassled by some bullies, who warn the boy that he will end up a mutant too if he has one for a girlfriend. Suddenly, the bullies are attacked and killed by what appears to be a group of mutant werewolves. The couple thank the strange creatures and attempt to leave, but the werewolves tell Mandy, the girl, that they do not approve of mutants mating beneath them, and kill her boyfriend David.
At the X-Mansion Archangel and Husk both try to deal with personal issues regarding their lovelives. Juggernaut bonds with Sammy Pare and Carter Ghazikhanian. Stacy X makes an unsuccessful pass at Nightcrawler.
Only Archangel, Northstar, Wolverine and Husk make it to the assignment Xavier had for them, where they are joined by Charlotte Jones, who tells them it appears as if mutant werewolves have killed four human boys. They follow a trail to Lobo Tech, an industry owned by Warren?s company, Worthington Industries, where Wolverine is attacked and badly injured, and Maximus Lobo makes his presence known.

Full Summary: 

The White Plains, New York. Two teenagers are walking down a deserted street, and appear to be having a disagreement. The boy tells the girl, who is called Mandy, that he doesn't care what anyone else says, as their opinions do not matter to him. Mandy tells David that it will, and should matter to him, and that he should just go home and forget about her. David grabs Mandy by the arm, and the subject of their discussion can be seen clearly now; Mandy is a mutant, with an obvious mutation - horns. David assures Mandy that he cannot and won't forget about her. He loves her.

Mandy turns back to David, and smiles slightly. David tells her he does, and he has always loved her. As they embrace he tells her that doesn't care about the X-Gene or mutantism- Mandy interrupts him, and tells him just to hold her, and to never let go.

Suddenly someone yells "Hey freak," and grabbing Mandy by the shoulder tells her to get off him and stick to her own kind. Mandy lets out a little cry, and David tells the thugs to leave her alone, as she is his girlfriend. One of the bullies warns another not to let her touch his skin, and another calls her a skank and tells her to get lost. David cries out to the bully Peroski, telling him to leave him alone.

The bully holding David back tells him that they are doing him a favor, as mutants are contagious. Peroski asks David if he wants fins or more eyes, or scales on his "thing?"
David tells Peroski that it is all crap, and he knows it, as mutantism is not a disease, its like an eye color, a gene. Peroski tells David that that is what they say, just to keep people calm.

The third bully walks over to Mandy, who is on the ground, and tells her to get lost, as they don't want "her kind" around here.
Suddenly, strange, eerie voices are heard, "Get lost", "Get lost", "Get lost mutant."
Peroski asks the other bullies if they heard that, and calls out to whoever said it. More voices are heard, again repeating things that the bullies or David said. When no one replies, and more voices are heard, one of the other bullies suggests that they leave.
Peroski raises his voice, and begins to make a threat, when suddenly, repeating Peroski's words, a giant lupine-like creature steps out of the shadows and tells Peroski that he is going to eat his bones.

One of the bullies tells Peroski that it is just another mutant, and to kick its butt.
David makes his way over to Mandy, telling her they are gonna get out of here while they can. Suddenly, devastating sounds are heard, followed by a cry and a plea to God. Frightened, Mandy tells David that it is killing them. David tells Mandy to run, before more ripping noises are heard, as the creature kills the other bullies.
David pleads with Mandy for her to run, as he wants her to be safe. Mandy tells David she is scared to leave him. Resigned to their fate, the couple cowers on the pavement, David says that he doubts they would get very far anyway, and tells Mandy he loves her. She tells him the same.

The huge creature, joined by more of his kind, tells them in his frightening voice mutant kind will not be preyed upon, as they are the inheritors of the Earth. David says "thank you" to the creature, and Mandy tells the creature that David is her boyfriend and didn't prey on anything. The lupine creature tells Mandy that he does not approve of mutants mating beneath them, and with that picks David up, saying he does not approve at all, and kills him, while poor Mandy, unable to do anything, cries on the ground.

The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning: Warren Worthington III lies in his bed, feathered wings outstretched, and thinks to himself that certain phrases used to make him laugh, and that most of them originated in California. "I have issues" was one, and "I feel your pain" too. "I need closure" used to make him laugh hardest of all. He thinks it is because he has been through a lot lately, or perhaps it is just because he is growing up. Warren starts crying, and the name "Betsy" slips through his lips. But those phrases do not make him laugh anymore. And as his tear-filled eyes open, he thinks that they are truly open for the first time.

In the room of Paige Guthrie, she sits at her desk, and ponders her issues. Lying, one of the biggest, not her, of course, but her ex boyfriend, Jonothan Starsmore, a.k.a. Chamber. Stuck to a photo of him at her desk are the words "Men don't need a mouth to lie!"
Paige thinks that for some reason, lying, and hypocrisy, really anger her. She also has issues with corporations, hypocritical ones in particular. She is not sure why the lying makes her so angry, she guesses it is because with the access to knowledge and awareness at an all-time high, and with a growing understanding of the environment, and relationships with it becoming more obvious, that there is no excuse for humanity not to be more evolved as a species. Especially mutants. Suddenly Paige comes across a web-site on the Internet about Worthington Industries, and Warren labeled a "Mutant environmental menace". Paige does not believe it is true, but suddenly feels as though her eyes are opening for the first time.

The following day, at the Institute cafeteria. Samuel "Squidboy" Pare asks Cain Marko, the unstoppable Juggernaut, how long he is going to stay at the school. Juggernaut replies that he doesn't know, and is not trying to think about it too much. Sammy tells Cain he thinks it is an interesting place, the Institute, and he bets that Xavier would let Cain stay on as long as he wanted. Cain mumbles "Maybe," before asking Sammy and Carter Ghazikhanian if they like baseball, and says that they could play some catch, and even go to a game maybe. Sammy gets excited and tells Cain that it would be great, as his dad used to take him sometimes, until his nose fell off.

Carter says that he doesn't have a dad, because his dad tried to kill his mom, and now they are hiding from him. Sammy's excitement stops and he sadly looks at the other boy. Carter just says "What?" Cain tells the kids that Xavier probably has some baseball gloves around the mansion, and once they finish their food, they can go and find some. Sammy asks Carter what he thinks, and Carter replies "I say yeah!" Cain tells the boys they can "yeah" all they want, but they have to eat something first or they are not going anywhere.

At another table, Warren Worthington is deep in thought. He thinks about how he has never been left by a woman, that it was always he who did the leaving. He remembers that when he saw Betsy falling for someone else, he did the first thing a lover could do to "save face", and he dumped her, fast. Unfortunately for Warren, he had not stopped loving her. Warren kept secretly hoping that she would realize, someday, that she still loved him. But instead Betsy died loving someone else. Tears begin to form in his eyes.

Bobby "Iceman" Drake brings his tray of food over to the table, and asks Warren if he is trying to levitate his food, or is he just so in love with it that he cannot take his eyes off it? Bobby cuts the jokes when he realizes Warren is crying. Warren wipes away his tears as Bobby whispers across the table for him to get a grip of himself, as there are undergraduates around. Iceman tells Archangel he can understand that he is not physically blue anymore, and so probably wants to make up for it emotionally.

Warren tells Bobby that he doesn't need his jokes at the moment. Bobby apologizes, and asks Warren if this has something to do with Betsy? Warren asks Bobby how he knew, and Bobby tells him that everyone has been wondering when he was going to open up about it. Bobby asks why now, and what brought it on?
Warren explains that it is not just "all of a sudden", that it started a few weeks ago on the mission in Scotland. He asks Bobby if he remembers when they crashed and his heart stopped beating? Bobby tells him that he does, and it scared the hell out of everybody. Warren tells his friend that he saw Betsy, she came to him, came to say "goodbye". Bobby frowns.

In her room still, sucking on a lollipop, Paige Guthrie looks at the picture of Chamber, her first love, her first broken heart, her first everything. Paige thinks she was such a girl about it, just taking what little he gave her in return as a sign of deeper feelings he was holding back. And Jono was such a boy about it. He gave her just enough to keep her interested without making an actual commitment. They parted with loving words, and vague understandings.
Paige throws the photo onto her bed, as she thinks they were her loving words, and his vague understandings. Paige thinks that Jono would be the first to tell anyone that it was no one's fault, as he never made any actual promises and she never any real demands.
Paige thinks that because they are part of the genus "Homo-Superior" that they would be above that sort of thing. But they are not. She is not.
As she looks out her window, she cracks on her lollipop when she sees Warren walking with Bobby and Kurt. Paige still has "unevolved" opinions about Jono's behavior. Not to mention men like him. Which basically means all men.

Sitting on his bed in his bedroom, Kurt Wagner, priest and X-Men leader asks Bobby what he wants him to tell Warren? That there is no heaven or afterlife? Bobby says no, that he just wants Warren to know there is no such thing as ghosts, spirits or visits from the dead. Just that you die and hopefully go to heaven, and that whatever happened to Warren in Scotland was just lack of oxygen to the brain or something.
Frowning, Nightcrawler tells Iceman that Professor X leaves his body all the time, and wanders around the universe. So why couldn't Psylocke come back to talk to Archangel after she left her body? Kurt reminds Bobby that they know consciousness exists as a separate entity to the body, and asks why can't it exist post-mortem?

Iceman insists it just can't, and Professor X wanders the universe without a body because his powers allow him to, Betsy couldn't because she was dead. Bobby continues saying that dead people talking to the living is for "candle burners and incense sniffers", and what Xavier does is science. Kurt tells him that in the strictest sense it actually isn't, as there is no scientific basis for telepathy or astral projection. Getting quite frustrated, yet determined to win this argument, Bobby says that he cannot remember what it is called, but it is unique to Xavier, and that it is not astral projection, but something more scientific.

As if on-cue, Professor X's astral image appears and asks the X-Men to collect Paige and Stacy and meet him in fifteen minutes.
Bobby complains and asks why they have to get Stacy? Kurt tells the others he will get Stacy if they get Paige.

Bobby states that if Stacy is going on a mission, then he isn't. He is sick to death of that skank. Silent through an entire conversation based around him, Warren tells Bobby that he is just full of opinions today, isn't he?

In Stacy X's room, Kurt is sprawled across her bed, and reading a book. He tells her that he doesn't mean to rush her, but that they had to meet Professor Xavier about five minutes ago. Stacy appears, fully naked, telling Kurt she heard him the first five times. Looking extremely stunned Kurt mumbles "Hello, Apple, call me Adam" in German, and Stacy tells him she hoped that was German for "You're incredibly hot, take me right now". Kurt says it basically is. Stacy asks him if that is because he happened to notice her clothes fell off, and as she leans into him, Kurt reminds Stacy he is a priest. Stacy says not the type who likes little boys thankfully, and asks Kurt if he forgot she can read his pheromones? Stacy presses Kurt against the back of the bed and kisses him on the lips, her body on top of his.
Kurt manages to pull away, and Stacy asks him what's wrong. He looks away from her, and begins to leave her bedroom. Stacy calls out to him that it is real, and she is not using her powers on him, and that they both want it. She curls up on her bed and after cursing, asks why she always screws up everything good in her life.

In the Infirmary, the school nurse, Annie Ghazikhanian tends to the comatose former X-Man, Alexander Summers, the man she loves, yet has never spoken to.
Sitting on one of the empty beds, Paige remarks she would have to really love someone before she could do what she does for Havok.
Annie tells Husk that Alex cannot help being in a coma, and she is trained to help him, it is her job. Paige tells Annie not to minimize what she does, and that she is more evolved than a lot of Homo-Superiors that she has met, that she deserves the credit for what she does, as it takes genuine love for your fellow man to do what she does. Annie says "Maybe", and adds that natural selection has very little to with the healing arts.Looking down at Havok, Annie tells Husk that if it came down to Darwin and Wallace's "Struggle for Existence", all she knows is that she wouldn't have much of a chance against... "Against who?" Paige asks. Annie doesn't say anything, and when Paige asks Annie who scared her into fearing mutants, Professor X's astral projection appears. He apologizes for interrupting, and asks Husk if she could join Warren and the others in bay nine. Paige salutes Xavier, and Annie freaks out, after just seeing Xavier's head floating. Paige tells Annie that the Professor must be in a hurry, as he is usually more specific about who he contacts telepathically.

Husk tells Annie that she has to go as she has a mission with Warren. In a mocking tone of voice, Annie asks if that is "mister Hunky-Wings." Running out of the infirmary, Husk tells Annie to shut up and that she will tell her about it later. Annie tells Paige she better.

White Plains. A once deserted street is now filled with police, all who are centered around one building, with the words "Homo-Superior is rising" spray-painted on to it.
Northstar asks Archangel what happened to the other X-Men, as he said Nightcrawler and "that trampy ex-prostitute" would be joining them. Warren asks if there is anybody who just calls her "Stacy" and tells Jean-Paul that it is not a requirement for them to be here, as the X-Men are a voluntary organization.

Northstar says "Whatever" and asks why are they skulking around in the shadows, he is not ashamed of his mutant heritage. Warren tells Northstar that it is not a mutant issue, but a legal issue, that the X-Men are not licensed criminal investigations, and really they have no business wandering through a crime scene.
Northstar asks why are they here, to which the reply comes "Because you were invited." Detective Charlotte Jones steps out and joins the three X-Men, introducing herself.

Charlotte asks Northstar and Husk if they have met. Northstar says that they have not, and introduces himself. Paige does the same, saluting Charlotte. Detective Jones tells Husk to relax, as she is not in the military. Charlotte thanks them all for coming, and Warren asks her if all of the murders were really done by a mutant. Charlotte says that she hopes not, but it certainly looks that way. She tells the X-Men that there are four dead, and one girl traumatized beyond belief. That the girl, the only survivor is a mutant, and she says that the murders were done by werewolves calling themselves "Homo-Superior". Archangel sarcastically comments on how wonderful it is to be dealing with werewolves.

Northstar tells Charlotte that she should wipe the slogan on the wall off, as it is just going to incite people. Charlotte asks Jean-Paul who he thinks he is, and calling him "Frenchie" tells him that it is evidence and they need to take photographs of it. Jean-Paul tells the Detective that he is not French, but from Quebec. Mocking him, Charlotte tells him that his accent and demanding arrogance made her believe he was French, and that he should understand her mistake. Northstar does not look at all impressed.

Archangel asks Charlotte what the X-Men can do to help. Lowering her protective barriers, Charlotte tells Warren he could have dinner with her and tell her why his skin is not blue anymore. First, Charlotte tells them, they have to find these "werewolves", as they told the girl that they were not going to wait around for Homo-Sapiens to go extinct anymore. Warren says that it gets better by the minute.

Wolverine makes one of his usual dramatic appearances, and tells Archangel that he has found a scent, and a direction, and asks the others if they want to go hunting?
Paige thinks to herself people probably wonder what she is doing here with these guys, a young blond girl at the end of her teens, hanging out with the three of the premier mutants of the Earth. Is she the secretary? Research Girl? T & A? Comic relief? Pulling away her skin, she thinks hardly, as she is a mutant too. One with the unique ability to change the molecular structure of her skin, and then "husk" off her outer layer like a cocoon. Paige offers to scout ahead with Wolverine, and drops her skin on the ground, revealing a new skin of her choice beneath, in this case rubber. Northstar, shocked, says that that is completely disgusting, and asks Warren if she is just going to leave it there?

Joining the X-Men has been Paige's dream ever since before she discovered she was a mutant. Though Paige doesn't think she is even close to being a member of the X-Men yet. Paige considers the X-Men the pinnacle of achievement for mutantkind. The next level of evolution for all mankind, most mutants consider them the same. The X-Men are believed to be giving, caring, proactive and evolved. Noble goals that everyone should strive for. Paige thinks that they are noble goals everyone should be so lucky to achieve. When she catches up to Wolverine, she is as shocked as he is. The building Wolverine tracked the scent to is that of Lobo Technologies, a division of Worthington Enterprises.

So Paige thinks that it hurts more deeply when one's steely-eyed-heroes reveal their feet of clay. Especially the ones that you are not-so-secretly hot for. Paige says to Wolverine that she takes it the "baddies" are in this building? Wolverine tells her that according to his nose they are. Husk grabs Wolverine by the wrist and asks him if he is really going in? When he tells her that he is, she asks him if they shouldn't wait for the others first. Popping his claws out he tells her that he will save some for them.
Minutes later, Northstar and Archangel arrive. Warren asks Paige where Wolverine is, and she tells him that Logan went in. Looking a little desperate for the right words, Paige tells Warren that she isn't quite sure how to say it properly, but that these killers work for him! Warren tells her that she is kidding, right? Paige tells him that she wishes she was, but that this is Lobo Tech, one of his subsidiaries. Warren seems also at a loss for words, and doesn't think it could be right.

Northstar asks Warren if this is his company, and Paige believes Warren when he tells her that he honestly didn't know. Northstar points over at a sign with Worthington Industries on it, and tells Warren that there is the proof. Jean-Paul tells Warren that while he only owns a few thousand shares, he still knew it belonged to him, and asked Warren what his excuse for not knowing is. Warren tells the speedster that his father owned a lot of companies, and it is easy to miss one... Northstar interrupts, and tells Warren that Lobo Tech representsten percent of his holdings. Is he aware that the overall stock price has dropped eight percent in the last year? Northstar tells Warren that he has cost him money.

Northstar tells Archangel that he never imagined him as the reckless heir the press always talked about. The one who lets a vital company flounder while... Northstar asks Warren what it exactly is he does with his father's business? Archangel tells Jean-Paul that he doesn't want to push this discussion, when suddenly, Wolverine falls through the glass ceiling, and lands on the tiled floor below. Standing around the injured X-Man, Northstar says it looks like he has been through a Cuisinart.
A figure stands behind the X-Men, and says "Cuisinart, garbage disposal, blender," before introducing himself as Maximus Lobo...

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Professor Xavier, Stacy X, Wolverine (All X-Men)

Husk, Juggernaut (Residents at Xavier Institute)

Havok (Comatose former X-Man)

Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian

Carter Ghazikhanian


Detective Charlotte Jones, Archangel's ex-girlfriend

Mandy, teenage mutant girl

David, her teenage human boyfriend

Peroski and other bullies

Maximus Lobo

OtherWerewolf mutants

In photo:

Chamber (former X-Man)

Story Notes: 

Betsy "Psylocke" Braddock died in X-Treme X-Men #2. At the time she was dating fellow X-Man Neal Shaara, a.k.a. Thunderbird III, whom she had started a relationship with in X-Men [second series] #109, shortly after she and Warren had broken up.

Warren's life-altering mission in Scotland occurred in Uncanny X-Men #410-412. It was on that mission where his skin returned to its natural color for, as of yet, unexplained reasons.

Husk and Chamber parted ways in Generation X #75, and only saw each other once since, as she was a member of Banshee's X-Corps before hanging around the institute, while Chamber left before she arrived, to attend a "regular" college.
All throughout the Generation X series they had an on-again-off-again relationship. To make matters more complicated, Chamber had a very public affair with popstar Sugar Kane shortly after they parted ways. [Uncanny X-Men #395-398.

Nightcrawler has not been celibate all his life, but has had two serious relationships, one with long-time X-Men ally, his adopted sister Amanda Sefton, and later with Excalibur teammate Cerise, among several flings.

Charlotte Jones and Archangel had a rather steady relationship during his tenure as a member of the original X-Factor, and thereafter as well. The last time Charlotte appeared was in a battle with the Neo [X-Men (second series) #106].

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