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Wolverine and the X-Men #14

Issue Date: September 2012

Story Title: My Dinner with the Phoenix

Staff: Jason Aaron (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Morry Hollowell (color art), Chris Eliopolous (letterer), Nick Bradshaw & Justin Ponsor (cover), 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:
The few staff members left at the Jean Grey School discuss their circumstances when a Phoenix-empowered Colossus invites Kitty Pryde to dinner and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Colossus is intent on wooing Kitty and rekindling their relationship, whereas she is hesitant, unwilling to accept the Phoenix Five’s treatment of the Avengers. Finally, she makes it clear that she wants to return to the school. Infuriated, Colossus takes there there but makes it clear he wants to destroy the school. He is even more angered by the X-Men’s resistance and Kitty’s willingness to lay down her life for the school. However, when he sees the statue of Jean Grey he has destroyed, he realizes what he has done and leaves. In the meantime, Iceman, Rachel and Angel are also getting disenchanted with the Phoenix Five’s way of doing things and return to the Jean Grey school.

Full Synopsis:
A fine seafood dinner table: Sitting at one end Colossus assures his guest Kitty Pryde, in a formal dress, how good it is to see her again and thanks her for accepting his invitation. He was quite… persuasive, Kitty replies. He compliments her.

He begins talking about the accomplishments the Phoenix Five have wrought. Making gardens of the deserts, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked. They have eradicated warfare from Earth. Anything they dream, they accomplish. Anything they desire… they soon have.

Yet even in the midst of remaking the world a paradise, there is one thing he has found himself missing. One thing from the old world for which he still longs. Her. Even if he makes the world perfect, it is nothing for him without her in his life.

Peter goes on talking to muse that these last few weeks have been so filled with change. Yet here they are again. Colossus and Kitty Pryde. Just like old times.

Right, Kitty replies hesitatingly as they sit in the middle of the ocean, the water held back on both sides by the Phoenix power. Just like old times …

How is her fish? he asks. Looking at the flapping fish on the grounds, she replies very fresh before insisting they have to talk. Happily, he interrupts. He’d been hoping she’d say that. There is so much he has to say, starting with the most important question a man can ever ask a woman. Will she— Kitty gently suggests maybe she should talk first.

flashback:
Earlier in the Jean Grey Shool’s teacher’s lounge: A staff meeting that consists only of Kitty, Lockheed, Warbird, Husk, Toad, Doop and Deathlok. They’ve been operating without the bulk of the senior staff for weeks now, Kitty summarizes and asks for the damage.

Warbird explains Gladiator is still in the med bay, barely conscious most day. She is tending to his wounds as well as she can.

Husk continues they are sticking to class schedules as much as possible, though it’s been difficult, considering they are missing so many teachers. She finds herself teaching a lot of subjects she doesn’t feel qualified for. Does anyone know what the “art of fighting without fighting” is supposed to be? When do they think the other X-Men will come home?

Deathlok announces there is a 68.37% chance they will not return at all, except for remains in need of burial. But it is far more statistically likely that this school itself will cease to exist along with the entirety of Earth sometime in the next—

That’s quite enough from their substitute teacher, Kitty interrupts and asks Doop next who replies he doesn’t know what he is doing here. Ktity announces she didn’t understand one word and is probably glad to.

She turns to Toad, who doesn’t know what he is doing at this meeting. Is he supposed to teach classes now? He supposes he could teach tongue-based fighting techniques.

Kitty sighs. Why does fighting Avengers or Phoenix-powered X-Men sound like the easier job right now? Suddenly she wonder if they are all here, who is teaching fourth period?

Nobody, it turns out as the Bamfs are terrorizing the classroom. Kitty asks Paige to go there, mistakenly addressing an empty husk of hers. The real Paige sits a few chairs to the left.

Toad volunteers to clean the old skin up. He fantasizes about a tea party with Paige’s empty husk.

Kitty tries a pep talk. They have X-Men handling the crises. They need to stay focused on these kids. Suddenly, she trails off as a beautiful flower bouquet has appeared in front of her. Floating outside, the Phoenix-empowered Colossus invites her to dinner.

Warbird announces Colossus was present when Gladiator was broken. She offers to fight him. Deathlok points out that there is a 95.834 % chance the dinner invitation will lead to the complete destruction of—

As always, Kitty cuts him off. She orders everyone to get to their classes. The dragon is in charge until she comes back. And if she doesn’t, somebody call the Avengers!

Elsewhere:
Fantastic Four member and sometime Avenger Thing is getting a beating courtesy of a Phoenix-powered Magik. Iceman would like to get the two of them to talk but is summarily ignored by both. When Ben is about to attack, Iceman he freezes him. Another Avenger off the street, Magik announces satisfied, while Bobby is disgusted with himself.

Later he tries to talk to Cyclops, who is busy sealing the San Andreas fault. Realizing he won’t be able to talk to them, Bobby leaves.

The Present:
Kitty admits the Phoenix X-Men have done amazing things, but she worries that they lose themselves, that the power is too much for them. That it will ultimately consume them…

Colossus laughs. He is the same man he always was. Who grew up in the wheat fields of the Ust-Ordinsky Collective. Who came of age at Xavier’s school. The same man for whom she once professed love. That love still burns within her, he announces as he grasps her hand. He can see it.

Kitty withdraws her hand. The man she loved would never lock up the Avengers like common criminals. That is their fault, Piotr insists. They are too stubborn to see the truth. That what the Phoenix Five are doing is good for the world. Is it? Kitty asks pointedly.

Trying to rein himself in, Piotr explains he could destroy the Avengers, the world, everything, if he wished. He would barely have to lift a finger and it would all go away. In one big ball of fire. He smiles again. He hasn’t done that, has he? And he does not plan to. The Avengers refuse to accept the new order of things. The world no longer need them to save it. It has already been saved. The X-Men have won. If need be, they will hunt every Avenger down if that is what it takes. A small price for paradise. Cheers!

Kitty asks him to stop this. He chides her not to be rude. She tells him to open his eyes. Look at what he’s become. He retorts that Jean Grey was the Phoenix for years. And after her, Rachel Summers. He doesn’t recall Kitty speaking to either of them that way. And she doesn’t remember Jean or Rachel locking up anyone who dared disagree with them! She decides she wants to go back to school.

Furious, he slams the table. Wolverine’s ridiculous daycare - Is that all she cares about anymore? Afraid, she tries to calm him. He’s not the one who has changed, he decides. She has. The place has warped her mind! She suggest they finish their dinner and talk. Sulking, he announces she wants to go back to school. Let them go!

Meanwhile, Toad tries to teach somewhat unsuccessfully the Art of Fighting without Fighting by demonstrating how to decapitate a mannequin with his tongue. The kids are somewhat disgusted.

Colossus teleports himself and Kitty there with a booming noise. She would choose this place over him? Over everything he had to offer? What if he was to take it away? What would she have left to choose from then? He supposes they shall see… He strides towards the school aflame and towards its defenders, Husk, Lockheed and Deathlok.

In mid-sentence, Kitty grabs him and phases both of them into the ground. She reappears soon, explaining she left him two miles down. She gives orders to seal the doors.

Colossus flies upward a moment later, announcing she disappoints him. Good, this date was already awful, she retorts and suggests he leave. Not until he gets his goodnight kiss, he raves.

He’ll have to get past the X-Men first! Husk shouts as all of them, including Krakoa, rally around Kitty. Colossus swats them aside. They are not X-Men! he states.

He stops in front of Kitty, who phases her hand into his chest and warns him not to make her. How fitting, he mocks. But make her do what exactly. Burn? He didn’t. She withdraws her burning hand. She did that to herself. Tell the children to run, he orders. This school is closed for business.

He’ll have to kill her first! she snarls. He could! he shouts, and bring her back in the blink of an eye. He could make he do whatever he desires. Does she not see? He is life and fire incarnate! Now and forever he is Phoenix! He strides toward the school, then sees the ruined statue of Jean Grey. He hesitates, then flies away.

Later Iceman, Angel and Rachel return to see the clean-up work. Bobby tells Kitty they were on the wrong side. Cyclops and the others are not the people they knew anymore. They think they are gods now. What happened here? he asks. Who broke Jean’s statue? And why is Kitty dressed like that?

She tells him curtly their welcome back party will have to wait. Either grab a broom or go teach a class. Rogue’s gym class and Beast’s advanced biology are still open. She taught both of them at the same time yesterday. Surely he can do at least one. Assuming he isn’t too tired from beating up Avengers. Tell Rachel to get a hairnet and help Doop with lunch, she orders. And Angel’s got midterms to study for.

And assuming he ever works up the guts to ask her on a date… if he takes her to a seafood restaurant, she will kill him. ‘Yes, ma’am,’ he replies.

Cleaning up a heap of rubble, Kitty shouts at Quentin to get to class before she phases his desk into his butt.

And elsewhere, Colossus thinks about what he has done.

Characters:
Husk, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey (all X-Men and staff at the Jean grey school)
Warbird II
Colossus, Cyclops, Magik (Phoenix Five)
Lockheed
Toad
Doop
Deathlok
Angel, Anole, Blindfold, Hellion, Kid Gladiator, Kid Omega, Oya (All students at the Jean Grey school)

Bamfs

Thing (Avenger)

Notes:
This is part of the Avengers versus X-Men crossover.

This story takes place between issues #7 and 9.

Actually, Kitty wasn’t an X-Man when Jean was Phoenix and Colossus wasn’t around Excalibur to see how Kitty handled a Phoenix-powered Rachel either.

Issue Summary written by: Ruth


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