New X-Men #134-138 (2003): Riot at Xaviers

Ever since Grant Morrison started his run on X-Men, he’s been slowly simmering a Phoenix storyline. Despite the cover of issue #134 featuring Jean Grey in flames, this issue is really about setting the stage for something else. We do get to see how Cyclops’ affair with Emma Frost is affecting him…

Anyway, as noted, these issues are not about the return of Phoenix. These issues are best known for someone completely different: Quentin Quire, aka Kid Omega.

He’s a pissed off young mutant who forms a gang of other X-students, all under the influence of the new drug called “Kick.” They are also all part of a new “special” class.

It looks like an ad for super-S&M. Anyway, the one-eyed kid is Basilisk. The guy in the green bodysuit is called Dummy. The “old” little girl with the leashed brain is Martha Johansson. There’s also Beak and some other familiar characters.

Morrison introduced so many characters that became fan favorites. Like this guy: A fat, gay, mutant fashion designer dying from the drug.

That’s Jumbo Carnation. Believe it or not, he gets resurrected many, many years later.

Quire is a bully.

Quire ultimately stages a riot at the school.

I love how Logan–the big bad-ass–is appropriately vulnerable in the hands of Grant Morrison.

He takes out Wolverine.

The day is saved by the Stepford Cuckoos–Emma Frost’s telepathic disciples–and in the end Quire says he did all of his misdeeds because he had a crush on one of them.

The run-in with Emma breaks Quire’s brain. When Xorn tries to tend to him, we get a little foreshadowing that Xorn is not what we believe him to be…

“What if the real enemy was inside…All along?”

I very much enjoy all of Morrison’s new X-Men, but it is here that he really pulls out. the stops. X-Men was created as a “realistic” teen hero book, but THIS is who teens act: Horny, irresponsible, immortal, irreverent…

Great story.

Oh, and remember how the first issue of this arc had Jean on the cover? Well, the arc ends with her finally interrupting Scott and Emma’s ongoing telepathic sex romps where Frost cosplays as Phoenix.

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