X-Cellent (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
July 2022
Story Title: 
New Blood, New World – part 4

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

Brief Description: 

Zeitgeist tests Whoosh’s teleporting power by having him teleport them to a certain prison. In the meantime, Girl Joe is being beset by a mob of Zeitgeist’s followers, and X-Statix aren’t coming to help, because Mr. Sensitive cannot find their teleporter Gone Gal. He finally locates her together with “The A” and she throws a tantrum when he accuses her of acting irresponsibly. It takes The A calming her down for her to help out. In the meantime, Girl Joe has been saved by X-Cellent member Fluff and is rather angry when X-Statix show up too late. Later, Guy criticizes Katie and Mike for their burgeoning romance, causing Mike to accuse him of racism. Guy asks Dead Girl to bring the ghost of Edie Sawyer back for a few minutes and she advises him to give the kids a break, which he then does. He also learns from Dr. Strange that Zeitgeist must have copied a spell from the Book of Vishanti. At the Zeithouse, Fluff confronts Zeitgeist again. Zeitgeist later asks Mirror Girl about Fluff’s weaknesses and gives an order to Whoosh to strand Fluff in the Amazonian rainforest. Instead, Whoosh teleports him miles up in the air and leaves him falling to his death.

Full Summary: 

In the courtyard of a prison, Zeitgeist tells Whoosh this was a good teleporting effort, but he wants him to tell him what is missing. His eardrums? Billy ventures. His arms! Zeitgeist shouts. Billy apologizes and manifests them as well.

Zeitgeist orders him to concentrate harder. He wants him to remember this place, Franklin Correctional Penitentiary. Ingest the coordinates. This is the scene of their next happening. Billy stammers he may not be up to this job. Zeitgeist tells him he lacks confidence. That comes from being abandoned by his father when he was a kid. Billy is surprised he knows that. Zeitgeist tells him that he knows all about his X-Cellent. He can be the father Billy never had. Now take them back to the Zeithouse. Nice and gentle…

One jump later, they arrive where the rest of the team is waiting. Calling him ‘Zeity’, Mirror Girl runs to his side, worried he is hurt. He tells her off and forbids her from using the nickname in public. Maybe she won’t talk to him at all, she snaps.

They all know that isn’t going to happen, Hurt John mocks. Her tragedy is that she both loathes and loves him.

Looking at a screen, Zeitgeist orders Stripe to tell him what’s going on. She replies that his online followers are attacking Girl Joe’s office.

Hiding from the mob in the office, Girl Joe wonders where X-Statix are. Suddenly, Fluff appears. Calling them “little girl” he asks Girl Joe to rest easy - he is Fluff, their knight in shining armor. They recall he is a new member of X-Cellent… and is calling them “little girl.” He offers them a hand. Annoyed, Girl Joe corrects him they don’t need help and aren’t a little girl! He asks if they are offended by the little or the girl part. Both, they snap.

Girl Joe expects him to take them to Zeitgeist, but Fluff explains he wouldn’t dream of it. He and Zeitgeist have their differences. They seemed pretty tight when they raided Dr. Strange’s Sanctum, Girl Joe reminds him. That was before he had the full measure of the man, baby. Before Girl Joe can correct him, he adds he knows they are not a baby. Looking at the armed bullies who are entering this moment, he suggests they shelf the gender talk until after he has saved their pretty little ass.

He turns to the two men. His belly lint adopts the composition of a complex cyano acrylate and suddenly the two men find themselves covered in fast setting glue. Fluff orders the mob to leave. The party is over. Girl Joe is impressed but angrily wonders why Mr. Sensitive didn’t show up.

Guy is busy looking for Katie in the HQ. He finds her together with Mike Alicar in the lounge and asks why they are hiding here. They protest they want a little privacy. He cuts them off. There is an emergency! Guy adds her mother would never have gone AWOL like this. Then maybe he shouldn’t have killed her! she shouts. To hell with him and to hell with X-Statix! She pushes past them.

For someone who calls himself “Mr. Sensitive,” that was totally tactless, Mike informs him. Guy agrees. It’s an emergency? Mike asks and calls Katie to come back. He takes her hands. She swears and wonders if she will be compared to U-Go-Girl all her life. Yes, he replies candidly, just as he will always be compared to the Anarchist. There is only one way to beat it, he tells her seriously. They prove they are every damned bit as good as their parents were.

In their office, Girl Joe start another vlog, asking if there is more to Fluff than meets the eye? They had written him off as just another macho bad guy with an old-fashioned haircut and the belief that the entire world is as interested in his chest hair as he is. Girl Joe begins narrating how they had expected X-Statix to help them, but then…

That moment, Katie teleports in X-Statix. Girl Joe adds to her vlog that they don’t show up until the party is over. Guy asks what happened. Girl Joe replies Guy asked them to help X-Statix. They didn’t think he’d leave them high and dry. If it wasn’t for Fluff… They’ll be dedicating tonight’s vlog to him. They will also touch upon how some people can’t be trusted, Girl Joe adds sharply. Katie defends Guy and admits it was her fault. If they want a story, how about: “Daughter of Edie Sawyer wishes she’d never been born.” Maybe they will do a cast on their messed-up team some time, Girl Joe replies, but tonight belongs to Fluff.

At the Zeithouse, Zeitgeist berates Fluff for crossing his plans with Girl Joe. Fluff retorts that his saving Girl Joe shows the X-Cellent aren’t just bad guys. Maybe they are the bad guys, Zeitgeist shoots back. Maybe that suits his purpose.

Fluff accuses him of being jealous that he is getting so many followers. It is hardly his fault that he is sexier than Zeitgeist. Now he has gone too far! Zeitgeist attacks with his acidic vomit, but once again Fluff’s power protects him. He really enjoys their little talks, he grins and leaves.

Mirror Girl follows him to his room and kisses him. Fluff immediately gets into it. She thanks him for standing up for her. The dude has some kind of hold over her, he muses. Until he came along, Mirror Girl replies. Fluff promises her things will be different from now on…

In the meantime, Guy is talking with Dr. Strange’s astral form, which weirds him out. Can’t they just use cells? Strange explains, the magical auras in the Sanctum Sanctorum play havoc with phone reception, and he has worrying news to relay: the Book of Vishanti is giving off powerful trauma vibrations. It has been violated. He believes, Zeitgeist copied or stole a spell. But what kind and why?

Guy asks if there is a spell for world domination. Probably, he is told, but the Book of Vishanti has endless pages. It will take some time for him to find out. He warns Guy to beware - the book contains the most powerful spells known to man. Whatever Zeitgeist’s plan is, he might have found the way to achieve it!

Guy finishes the call and summons the others for a team meeting. There is no reaction and he hears some noises from the next room. He walks in to find Katie and Mike kissing. Katie snaps it is creepy for old people to watch young people making out. He tells them this can’t go on. Mike accuses him of racism. This isn’t a race thing, Guy stammers. Inter-team romances are bad for discipline!

Kaite holds Mike’s hand as she angrily snaps back, he never had a problem with Myles and Phat. Guy protests that, if he had broken them up, he’d have been called homophobic. And that’s better than being a racist? Mike shoots back. He used emotional blackmail to get her on the team and, when she finds a little happiness, he tries to destroy it for the worst reason! Katie shouts. Shame on him; Mike adds. He isn’t racist! Guy rages impotently.

Is he a racist? Guy asks sitting propped against a headstone in a graveyard. Siting on another gravestone is the ghost of Edie Sawyer. Maybe, she replies coyly. “Maybe” doesn’t ’help, he whines. Is that what he wants to talk to her about? Edie asks annoyed. Dead Girl said it was urgent. Dead Girl adds, Edie only has a five minutes’ pass from the world beyond life. Guy tells Edie he doesn’t know what to do, with Katie going AWOL when they needed her. Now this… He is asking her for parenting tips? she asks. The mother who pretended to be her daughter’s sister? He’s desperate. Edie tells him to give the poor girl a break. She’s just a kid!

He reminds her she was only a few years older. Yeah, but she was a total freak, she replies. He tries to touch her and reaches through her. He misses her… She warns him to be careful. There is something seriously wrong with Zeitgeist!

Somewhere in the Arctic, Zeitgeist tells Whoosh he is really improving as a teleporter. Soon he will be as good as X-Statix’s teleporter. Billy replies that she is the one he wanted, right? Zeitgeist agrees. Katie is an excellent teleporter, but Billy has a criminal background, a shaky grasp of right and wrong, and an easily manipulated psychology, meaning he could be a lot more useful than little miss Katie Sawyer…

Katie and Mike are watching Girl Joe’s vlog in which they accuse X-Statix of letting them down, while Fluff saved them from the zeitgeisters. Katie feels guilty and announces she screwed up. She shouldn’t be so hard on herself, comes a new voice.

It is Mr. Sensitive. Katie stammers that she and Mike were making out when the team needed them. Guy calmly points out they are new to all this. They can cut themselves some slack. Doop agrees. Why don’t they go out for a while? Catch a movie or go for a walk on a beach? He means the two of them together? they ask skeptically. Sure, why not, Guy shrugs. They get up happily. Guy warns them this is a dangerous life. Getting close to someone can get you hurt.

The Zeithouse:
Mirror Girl is snuggling in bed with Zeitgeist. She asks why he keeps hurting her. He retorts she hurts herself. All this self-flagellation… just because she adores hm. She hates him! she snaps and turns away. Exactly, he replies, now tell him about Fluff. She refuses weakly. Calling her “darling,” he pleads it would mean so much to him. She spills that Fluff wants to be a superhero. He tried joining some of the regular teams, but his powers were too weird for them. He has the idea of getting rid of Zeitgeist and turning the X-Cellent into a different kind of team. The Avengers meets X-Statix.

He gets up after praising her. He will whistle for her if he needs her. She asks weakly, he is not going to hurt Fluff, is he? Hurt him? Zeitgeist grins. What does she take him for?

In the lounge, Fluff is smugly watching Girl Joe singing his praises in her vlog. Billy asks what he is doing. Basking in his glory, Fluff replies. He got a problem with that? He is not the one with the problem, Billy replies. He begins teleporting them. Suddenly, they are high up in the sky. Billy mumbles he missed his target.

In the Zeithouse, Zeitgeist asks Pood if he can decipher the spells. It will take time, the creature warns. Certain conditions must be met first. Zeitgeist replies that he is working on that. His followers are increasing by the hour and, after the baseball game, they should be through the roof.

There is a knock and Billy enters. Calling Billy “son,” Zeitgeist asks if he left Fluff in the middle of the Amazonian Rainforest. Sheepishly, Billy admits, he missed his target, before explaining where he left him… miles up in the sky, falling to his death…

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
Girl Joe
Dr. Strange

Ghost of U-Go-Girl

Written By: