X-Cellent (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
May 2022
Story Title: 
New Blood, New World – part 2

Peter Milligan (writer), Michael “Doc” Allred (artist) Laura Allred (colorist), Nate Piekos of BlamBot Studios (letterer), Michael & Laura Allred (cover artists), Geoff Shaw and frank D’Amata(variant cover), Lauren Amaro & Kat Gregorowiecz (assistant editors), Darren Shan (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

During the two teams’ battle, Vivisector gets hurt badly because of The A’s carelessness. Zeitgeist offers Gone Gal one last chance to join X-Cellent. When she declines, he sprays his acidic vomit in her face. During the battle, Joe Bomb is also hurt. X-Statix teleport home, where Doop gets busy to save Vivisector’s life and Katie’s looks, which are saved by the dooplex suit she wore. To his disappointment, Guy learns that Doop was the one who had secretly saved Zeitgeist’s life. In the meantime, Joe Bomb dies from his wounds and Zeitgeist’s unwillingness to get him medical help. Zeitgeist calls the rest of the team freaks and losers, making Mirror Girl angry, though he nonetheless manages to charm her again. X-Cellent break into a Texas holding facility to free an antisocial young man, Billy McMullen, who possesses teleportation power. As he teleports them, though, it turns out he is very, very bad at this.

Full Summary: 

The Zeit House:
The X-Cellent’s new teleporter tries to teleport the team home, but it is barely working and Zeitgeist wonders whether that was his worst decision since the one that wiped out most of X-Force in the Boyz R Us massacre. Two days earlier, everything seemed to be going so well…

Two days earlier:
One of the X-Cellent’s happenings led to a fight with X-Statix. Vivisector was lethally injured. Mr. Sensitive orders Katie Jones to teleport the team back to Bel Air. Zeitgeist tells her he is giving her one more chance to leave those losers and join him.

Katie refuses and Zeitgeist’s acidic vomit hits her in the face, burning off half her face. There goes that lucrative skin care deal, the anchorman jokes and asks how she feels about being disfigured. The A swats him aside.

While he watches the two teams fight, Zeitgeist is very much aware that his team are the misfits and ugly losers.

He discovered Uno at an underground freakshow in Georgia. Half blind, a plaything of the owner’s daughter. He really opened that mutant’s eye.

Uno almost shoots off the A’s artificial arm.

Until Zeitgeist found Joe Bomb, he’d been using his power to blow up his neighbors’ cats.

Jenny Spiegel aka Mirror Girl was a novice nun, until he brought the devil out in her.

Mirror Girl shows Katie her disfigured face.

Katie grabs Guy and sobs, what is she going to do. Nobody will love her with a face like this. He orders her to teleport them home where Doop will try to save Myles’ life and her looks.

Kaite concentrates and sends them home. Guy tells Mike he hopes he is satisfied. Mike snaps back not to lecture him!

Zeitgeist orders his team to leave as well. Mirror Girl kneels next to the injured Joe Bomb, fearing he will die if they move him. Zeitgeist doesn’t care and realizes someone has stolen their wings. So, they have to call a taxi.

Later, at the Zeithouse, Mirror Girl berates him for not waiting for the paramedics. Stubbornly, he insists super teams don’t call paramedics. The deal with it themselves. Suddenly, he levitates her. In turn, she shows him his true self in the mirror. He drops her. Mirror Girl tries to appeal to the good in him: he is letting this job destroy him! she shouts and runs away. Zeitgeist didn’t even listen.

Hurt John tells him she said she loves him and wishes he loved her back. He warns that Joe really is dying. Zeitgeist calls Pood (the creature Doop grew for him) and orders him to keep Joe alive long enough for Uno to upload a nice slow death scene. He’s going to watch TV.

X-Statix arrive home. Guy tells Mike, his actions got Myles hurt. He should apologize. Myles carried by Phattie groans this death scene is taking longer than Little Nell’s. Is she one of the Avengers? Phattie asks. Dickens’ The Olde Curiosity Shop, Myles replies and quotes: “one must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing,” said Oscar Wilde, whom he will soon meet.

Via Uno, who has installed cameras at X-Statix HQ, Zeitgeist watches all those proceedings.

Mr. Sensitive orders Doop to save the injured Myles. Just like he saved Zeitgeist, Dead Girl adds, to the surprise of Guy. She tells him she thought he knew. How else could Zeitgeist have survived the Boyz R Us massacre?

Zeitgeist thinks to himself that she is right. He can still feel his intestines unravelling. Doop had secret instructions in the case of his apparent death. Before he zipped him up in a body bag, he injected him with Doop Ice, which saved and changed many of his brain cells. His funeral was the hottest ticket in town, A-listers, superhero royalty… everyone was there - except for him. He watched the whole thing through a thick haze of pain killers. He heard Captain America’s pitiful eulogy. He saw Edie Sawyer shedding hot tears. He saw that bastard, Guy Smith, moving in on his girl and his team (as Guy gave Edie his condolences).

His survival was kept secret to protect him from his enemies. He died and was reborn many times, but through all the years of long painful recontraction one thing remained… a growing hatred of Guy Smith.

Guy angrily demands the truth from Doop. Did he save Zeitgeist? Doop replies in his language and Myles translates: Zeitgeist gave him instructions. Can they continue this fascinating conversation after Doop saves his life? he stammers weakly. Close to tears, Guy agrees but expresses his disappointment. He thought he and Doop were friends.

Zeitgeist shouts at the TV screen that he was Doop’s first team leader. He discovered him. Of course, his loyalty lay with him. They still are, even though he leads a new team of freaks and losers!

Outside his room, Mirror Girl and Hurt John hear how he insults them.

Doop treats the heavily injured Vivisector. Katie, whose face is burned off, pleads if he can help her. Doop replies he hopes the suit has done its job. Guy explains he is referring to the full dooplex bodysuit they are all fitted with. He’ll give them some privacy.

So far, so good, Doop states as he carefully peels off Katie’s suit. Underneath, she is hale and hearty. They are unaware of Uno floating in the top corner and watching.

In the desert, Hurt John and Mirror Girl and another part of Uno are holding a funeral and memorial for Joe Bomb. Mirror Girl is pissed that Zeitgeist doesn’t bother to attend. Hurt John tries to defend him but she fumes he hasn’t got time for her. John points out he saved them. Mirror Girl reveals Zeitgeist likes to look at himself in her mirror when they are making love. When she looks at herself, she sees someone who doesn’t like herself very much. John jokes they are mutants. None of them like themselves. She muses the X-Statix people seem to like themselves. They get invited to the best parties. Nobody invites them!

Later, Mirror Girl enters Zeitgeist’s lounge. He points out the sign on the door says ‘private’ and berates her for entering. Mirror Girl snaps if he doesn’t care about Joe, maybe he cares that they lost 200,000 followers after the last mission. Zeitgeist angrily explains the fight was fine - it was their exit! Having to haggle with taxis for over half an hour. Most of his followers don’t have that attention span! He really needs a teleporter. She retorts, he needs a new Mirror Girl! Will she go back to the nunnery? he mocks. She is damaged goods. She reveals she heard what he thinks of them: freaks and losers!

He changes his tactic, claiming he was talking about the others, not her, and kisses her. Once she is convinced, he asks if she did the research on Billy McMullen he asked her to do. Unpredictable, erratic, no moral compass, she summarizes. Zeitgeist grins. He isn’t sure if she is talking about him or Billy. Either way, he is sold.

In a Texas special correction facility, one prisoner is not only manacled to his chair but also wears a power-dampening helmet. He asks to have it removed. The guard reminds him where he disappeared to when they did that once.

That moment, the X-Cellent enter. Uno destroys the wall from the outside and Zeitgeist has an offer for Billy McMullen. He takes off the inhibitor helmet. Mirror Girl kicks the guard who tries to attack Zeitgeist, who asks Mirror Girl to summarize Billy’s life so far. She mentions a string of petty crimes, housebreaking, vandalism, voyeurism…

Zeitgeist tuts that Billy has been wasting his powers on childish acts of delinquency. Billy whines he just wants to have fun. Zeitgeist lectures him it is possible to have fun and make the most of his gift. Her orders him to take them to the Zeithouse.

Billy doesn’t understand, so Mirror Girl gives him the coordinates of the place in the Mojave Desert. Zeitgeist promises he will be able to do whatever he wants.

Billy agrees but, even as he starts teleporting them, he warns that the last time he teleported a cat, its head ended up in Detroit and its body in Maine. The others scream as the jump feels wrong. They arrive only partly, and Zeitgeist realizes this might be his worst decision since the Boyz R Us massacre…

Characters Involved: 

The A, Dead Girl, Doop, Gone Gal, Mr. Sensitive, Phatty, Rosa Lemper, Vivisector (X-Statix)

Hurt John, Joe Bomb, Mirror Girl, Pood, Uno, Zeitgeist (X-Cellent)
Billy McMullen

In flashback:
Anarchist, U-Go-Girl
Mr. Sensitive

Story Notes: 

Doop speak:
Page 12, panel 1: He gave me instructions
Page 13, panel 3: I hope the suit has done its job
Page 13, panel 4: So far so good

Written By: