Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #19

Issue Date: 
December 2012
Story Title: 
More Pencils, More Books, More Teachers’ Dirty Looks

Jason Aaron (writer), Nick Bradshaw (penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Laura Martin (letterer), Nick Bradshaw & EFX (cover artists), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Kitty is trying to hire a new teacher and gets more and more exasperated with every job interview, until Storm shows up and Kitty practically begs her to join. In the meantime, Husk, who has been fired, says goodbye to Toad and decides to strike out on her own. Toad is angry at Wolverine because of Husk. Meanwhile, Iceman and some students are trying to help the displaced aliens who suffered under the Phoenix’s rampage. Beast is trying to save Broo but the boy doesn’t awake from his coma. Beast discusses the case with other geniuses but none can help. Wolverine and Rachel try to find Broo’s attackers, but the Hellfire kids lead them on a merry chase, which ends at a specially prepared graveyard full of open graves with the headstones displaying the names of the Jean Grey students. With the help of Matt Murdock, Angel gets his company back, however he intends to let his economics class run the place. He has found a different calling… New students Sprite and Eye-Boy introduce themselves.

Full Summary: 

Outside the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, Swarm, a super-villain armed with Nazi bees, attacks only to be quickly taken out by the Bamfs and Doop.

Inside, headmistress Kitty Pryde is trying to impress on the hopeful candidates for the position as a new teacher that this is a school unlike any other, with challenges unparalleled in the education community. Sentient school grounds, interdimensional gremlins, alien invaders, a seemingly endless stream of supervillains, assassins, a headmaster with big metal claws. Their students are beyond extraordinary, one and all and they expect nothing less from their instructors.

She continues to explain that they are expecting a dramatic increase in enrolment. Unfortunately, they also recently had to part ways with one of their staff members. That’s why she’ll be interviewing possible candidates for a teaching position.

Deathlok adds that he is serving as administrative assistant. Kitty reminds him she ordered him to record. At no point did she give him permission to speak.

So why doesn’t he start by telling them who he is and why he thinks he might be qualified to teach here?

Clad in black leather and armed to the teeth, Blade announces he would teach the children to hunt and kill the denizens of the night. In his hands, they will become vampire stalkers of the highest order! Those that survive, at least. Doop is carrying a mannequin looking like Edward Cullen, impaled and shot at.

Deathlok suggests that vampire encounters are quite common in this era. Much like mindcontrol, resurrection and the phenomenon of heroes fighting other heroes. This unit votes affirmation- Next! Kitty shouts.

Deep space, the moon of what was once Andromeda 9, a SWORD-sponsored relief center for victims of Phoenix-related displacement:
Iceman and some students are helping by giving out ice, water or coffee.

Less enthusiastic, Quentin Quire tells the aliens to step up and get their gruel. More politely Genesis tries to amend. He’s going to make a terrible super villain with that attitude, Quentin warns him. Evan shoots back he hears Quentin is running for class president. He has Evan’s vote.

A depressed Idie announces it’s the same everywhere. Earth or in space, the suffering never ends. These poor creatures are all doomed, just as Professor X… as Broo. Iceman assures her everyone can be helped. The whole point of the school is to teach them that anything is possible. There is always the chance of change for the better. If that’s true, Idie replies glumly, they are doing a terrible job.

Shrunk to microscopic size, Beast is in Broo’s body cleaning away skull fragments. He finds no further damage and leaves and grows back to normal size. Any change? he asks Abigail Brand. He can’t expect him to suddenly-- she begins. Any change at all? he snaps. There isn’t.

Beast muses that the patient suffered severe cranial trauma. When he was found his heart had been stopped for several minutes. First responders were able to resuscitate him but since then Broo’s shown no activity. He’s done his best to repair the damage to the brain, restarting it, but there must be something he is missing.

He asks other brilliant scientists via video conference – Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Peter Parker – to help. But as it turns out he has tried anything. Peter suggests whether there is an expert in Brood medicine. There is no such thing as “Brood medicine.” Their culture prohibits it, Henry lectures, before recalling there is someone who is highly versed in their physiology. But he is reluctant to asks for his assistance.

The other scientists assure him they are doing what they can. Peter asks about Broo’s attackers. Do they need help in tracking them down? Beast assures them that that is being taken care of.

Rachel Grey walks through Salem Center, telepathically alerting Wolverine that she is not comfortable doing this. She wants to find Broo’s attacker too, but she isn’t comfortable reading the minds of everyone in Westchester.

Logan doesn’t care. Just a few weeks ago, she was hunting him with those powers. So let’s just say she owes him one.

What exactly is he doing? She asks. What he does best, he replies, following his nose (in this case through a diner).

Kitty’s job interviews continue. He’s always wanted to be a teacher, Daimon Hellstrom (aka Son of Satan) announces, so that he could pass on some of those tough lessons learned over the years. Those tough lessons are as follows: Lesson 1: never trust the devil, even if he is your father. Lesson 2: Never perform exorcisms while intoxicated. Lesson 3: never marry anyone who’s not a Satanist.

Next! is Kitty’s response.

Next up are Puck and Sasquatch from Alpha Flight. Regarding their qualifications, Sasquatch points out that they are both Canadian. In his spare time, he is actually a rather renowned physicist. Though in all fairness he supposes he’s mostly renowned for having accidentally turned himself into a giant talking Bigfoot. He can do somersaults really fast, Puck announces his qualifications.

Next! Kitty shouts.

X-Factor member Longshot announces he was quite the entertainment star his home dimension, the Mojoverse, so he should be more than qualified to run their theater department. His credits include Mojo Games, Run or Mojo will kill you, Mojo’s Death and Dismemberment Variety Hour, Mondo Mmojo IV: Mojo Boogaloo, Dancing with the Spineless Ones, Sing or Die, Face Swap

Next! Kitty shouts.

Wait a second, so Wolverine actually is running a school? Doctor Nemesis inquires. He could have sworn Fantomex was joking. And she expects Dr. Nemesis to teach here? Okay, fine, just tell him one thing: how liberal is their policy on shooting children in the face with hypodermic needles?

Next! Kitty shouts. Yes, he thought she might say that.

Outside the grounds, Mortimer Toynbee aka Toad moans this isn’t fair. They can’t let them get away with that! It was her decision, Paige Guthrie aka Husk replies gently, her outré looks, several different- powered husks at the same time, belying her calm. But they fired her, Toad protests. They said she’d have to undergo psychiatric evaluation before she could continue to teach, Paige corrects him, She chose to resign. After all, does she look like someone in need of psychiatric help? Mortimer is too polite to answer.

She’s leaving now but that doesn’t mean things have to end between them. The last few weeks have been so precious to her. He asks if he can come with her. She tells him his place is here. She must find her own place. Once she’s found it, she promises he will be back for him.

Angrily, Toad returns to his work. He passes a portrait of headmasters former and current and smashes Wolverine’s picture.

At Worthington Industries headquarters, the board want to call security when Angel comes walking in. They remind him he was removed as head of the company due to his… serious mental shortcomings. They ask him to leave.

He’s not going anywhere, Matt Murdock announces. He explains he is representing Mr. Worthington. He has here transcripts from telepathic wiretap showing his board’s involvement in a conspiracy to discredit Mr. Worthington and illegally gain control of his company. He also has detailed psychiatric evaluation validating Mr. Worthington’s mental competence. In other words - they are all fired!

Angel cheerfully (and redundantly) explains that Matt is his legal advisor. He thinks he is also Daredevil. Though they are not supposed to talk about that part.

What Mr. Worthington is trying to say, Matt grins, please make this more difficult than it has to be. He begs them.

Very soon, the board members are gone. Matt congratulates Angel and hopes he has someone in mind to run his company for him. Already taken care of, Angel explains. Moments later, the students from his A.P. economics class (Armor, Anole, Blindfold and Bling!) arrive. “Let’s buy Disney!” Anole shouts. Blindfold complains she doesn’t like the color this office is going to be painted next year.

Concerned, Matt suggests Angel keep his number on file. Something tells him he will need it. And where does that leave Warren? Matt asks. Insisting on being called “Angel,” he replies he’s ill not interested in running his own company. He believes he has found another calling.

The Jean Grey School, classroom 314:
Two new students introduce themselves. One is Jia Jing from China, a girl with wings and rock skin. The other is a sullen looking boy named Trevor, who has the misfortune of being covered in eyes from head to toe. Miserably, he announces they can call him Eye-Boy. He knows everyone will anyways.

The teacher Warbird orders them to open their art history books to chapter three. Today they will be examining famous paintings of people being tortured and executed.

One chair is free in the class, the one where Kid Gladiator used to sit.

More candidates:
Gorilla Man, who introduces himself as wrestling coach, professor of firearms, head of the department of good times, isn’t hired, nor is Ghost Rider, whose interests include penance, motor cycles and burning. Deadpool doesn’t even get to introduce himself before Kitty throws him out. Werewolf by Night gets to say little more.

Firestar has been hearing great things about what they are doing here. Also she’s always sort of had a thing for Iceman and— Next! Kitty shouts.

He once assassinated a Nobel Prize winner, Deadpool who is back again suggests. Does that count as qualification?

Next is a normal human teacher, who asks if any of them are actually qualified to be teaching children? Predictably, with that attitude she’s out.

Kitty is on such a roll that she cries next when she sees Chamber, even though as he tries to point out he already works at the school.

Back again, Deadpool begs on his knees that he wants a little bit of tenure.

In the woods outside Salem Center, Manuel Enduque complains about sleeping rough. Not exactly what he had in mind when Kade asked him if he wanted to rule the world. Patience, Kade Kilgore tells him: Rome wasn’t burned in a day. Besides, their White Queen seem to be enjoying herself. Wilhelmina shot a horse and now gleefully roasts it.

Manuel points out that since Cyclops and his Phoenix friends destroyed every Sentinel, they got fresh orders pouring in from everywhere. They need factory space, he might buy all of Madripoor!

The Sentinels can wait, Kade announces. Their business is here. He asks Max if they have eyes on Wolverine. Are they sure he is not tracking them?

Max explains the air is constantly being scrubbed clean of their scent by swarms of nano mites. Their thoughts are psychically camouflaged. Wolverine couldn’t track them with a hundred bloodhounds and a thousand psychics. He is still following their false trail. Right now he is coming to the end of it. Splendid, Kade grins. Let’s hope he enjoys the little present they left him.

Wolverine orders Rachel to look through his eyes. To take in the horrifying sight, a row of empty graves with the names of their students on the gravestones, always with the epitaph ‘killed by the Hellfire Club’. Logan asks Rachel to do him a favor. When they find them, she must do whatever it takes to make sure he doesn’t go too far. Nobody gets to kill kids around here. Not even him.

Kitty’s job interviews:
Deadpool again, pointing out he’s never killed any children. Or is that a negative? He is always willing to learn.

Fat Cobra asks why there aren’t any classes devoted to wine, carnal intimacy and the fine art of human skull stomping. Kitty groans.

Longshot again, rattling down more movies he’s starred in.

Spider-Man takes pictures, telling her he just had to see for himself. Can she show him where Wolverine sits when he grades papers? Kitty is screaming by now.

You’re hired!” she tells the next candidate. Is she sure? she asks. They haven’t even talked about her qualifications. Kitty begs her to do it. Just don’t make her talk to any more of these people!

Any chance she can get her old room back? Storm asks. She’ll make the kids grow Mohawks if that’s what it takes, Kitty promise as she hugs her and welcomes her to the school. “Hope you survive the experience!” Seriously, the place is kind of a deathtrap, she mumbles.

Elsewhere, a circus owner kills an innocent man. Was that the best he could do, he asks the clown who apologizes for the slim picking in the last town. He decides to keep the leg. Feed the rest to the zebras!

He turns to a witch asking if she has found what he seeks. Every night, he has her perform the same spell, she complains, and every night they get no result. However, a moment later she is surprised, for the first time ever there’s something there, something close.

He asks the conductor where they are. Closest town’s a speck of nowhere, he is told. Called Salem Center. They’ll set up shop there, the boss decides. Wake up all the rousties and the freaks! Sober up the clowns! As soon as they pull into that rat trap, he wants every grinder and candy butcher ready for work. The big top better be raised by the witching hour! And come first light, every building in town better be papered with their fliers. They’ll give them a circus they won’t forget as long as they live. Which won’t be long. Finally, after all these years the legacy of Frankenstein ends now! Frankenstein’s monster vows.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Chamber, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men and teachers at the Jean Grey school)
Anole, Armor, Blindfold, Bling!, Broo, Ernst, Eye-Boy, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Hellion, Jia Jing, Kid Omega, Match, Oya (all students at the Jean Grey school)
Warbird II

Abigail Brand, commander of SWORD

Blade, Deadpool, Dr Nemesis, Fat Cobra, Firestar, Ghost Rider, Gorilla-Man, Hellstorm, Jennifer Sloan, Longshot, Puck, Sasquatch, Werewolf by Night

Kade Kilgore, Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Manuel Enduqe, Wilhelmina Kensington (all Hellfire Club)


On screens:
Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man

Story Notes: 

Edward Cullen is the romantic hero from Stephenie Meyers’ twilight vampire series.
Rachel hunted Wolverine when she’d sided with the Phoenix Five in issue #12.
The expert on Brood physiology is probably Professor Xanto Starblood.
Angel’s new calling is shown next issue.
“Let’s buy Disney” is probably an in-joke as in the real world Disney bought Marvel.
Matt Murdock being Daredevil is probably the worst kept secret identity ever.
Jian Jin (aka Sprite) first appeared in Avengers versus X-Men #12.
Firestar having a thing for Iceman is a shout out to her origin as a character on the “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” cartoon where she and Iceman were a couple.

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