Writer Joss Whedon
Artist John Cassaday
Colorist Laura Martin
Letterer Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Dated July 2004
Gifted Part One of Six
Don’t worry, I’m only doing the Volume Issue nonsense for the first three issues. From there, there are no conflicting issue numbers.
I own the Wolverine claws cover, I thought I also own the team cover but I sadly don’t. Now I have yet another issue on my Wishlist.
Such a great first issue, Whedon does the smart thing and use Kitty in her original role of being the readers Point of View character.
Issue opens with a corpse of a young girl. Turns out, it was just a nightmare Tilde has. Tilde would make it to the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series. Also making her first appearance, is Doctor Kavita Rao, who is comforting Tilde. Rao will also make it to the animated series. Some creep is watching them from the other side of the glass.
Kitty has returned to the X-Men after a long absence. She spent some time with the off shoot team of X-Treme X-Men but she hasn’t been on a main team since X-Men 100 that came out in May 2000, so close to four years!
The Mansion looks essentially like it use to, even after all of the explosions.
Kitty remembers the classic Uncanny X-Men 151, where Emma Frost didn’t stop harassing her parents and convinced them to send Kitty to a school with students her own age. All in a ploy to body swap with Storm. The things Shaw did to Storm’s body are disgusting! I imagine
Being at the front door brings back the memory of Uncanny X-Men 168. Cassaday does a good job recreating Paul Smith’s artwork.
She feels like she hasn’t changed at all but we know that she’s older now and better than ever. She starts to feel the differences of being in an old place after years away.
Have you ever revisited your elementary school while you are a teenager or an adult? Everything on the playground looks so small and you can’t believe that you struggled to climb on items.
Kitty feels unsure about being back.
The final flashback is from the Christmas classic, Uncanny X-Men 143, the final issue of the Claremont / Byrne / Austin run.
She spent her formative years at Xavier’s so it makes sense that she is hesitant now.
Now, I’m not sure what Kitty was told before she got there. Hey, Kitty, make sure you show up in the Danger Room at 10:30am, okay? We want to discuss what will be on the agenda for the assembly. Then she shows up late anyway? I bet Emma told her exactly to show up at 11am and to just phase through the wall and Kitty just went with it. Nothing else makes sense.
Kitty is late to the school assembly.
Emma introduces Kitty to the students. We get Whedon’s excellent take on the Kitty / Emma relationship right there in one sentence. “I’m sorry, I was busy remembering to to put on all of my clothes.” So awesome.
Poor Emma, dressed that way and being a telepath, she must hear so many thoughts that students have of her and her outfits. Especially the young male teenagers. I bet its a lot of half thoughts and then utter mind silence.
Emma announces that Kitty is teaching, Advanced Computational Theory, as well as she will one of the student advisers and student liaison to the staff.
Scott gave a boring opening speech, I bet it was amazing!
Xavier is on Genosha, hanging out with Magneto. Which opens Scott and Emma to being the Headmaster and Headmistress of the Xavier Institute. Kitty and Beast are also Senior Staff.
Fun exchange between Beast and Kitty, after Emma announces that Wolverine elsewhere at the moment. I do like the in-comic attempts to explain how Wolverine makes so many monthly comic appearances and team managements by having him be late to things or just not present at times.
I like the idea of how Scott and Emma want to make sure their students get a well rounded education. I wonder about these kids who don’t go on to be X-Men but on their job applications, it states – Graduate of Professor Charles Xavier’s School for the Gifted. Then learning that no one respects that diploma because they are a bunch of flat scanners.
Of course, their degrees don’t usually matter as most don’t go on to higher education or seek out other jobs. They usually die as X-Men, young and mostly forgotten in a year or two.
I like the idea of people instinctively forgetting that they are in the Danger Room. The Senior Staff are use to the idea of Sentinels crashing their home.
Emma wanted to gauge the students reactions.
What a crazy lesson! But an important one. Being an X-Man or Xavier Student, means that you will be living in a world that hates and fears you but it is your job to protect them.
Oh the look of the senior staff! No one is amused!
Mutants have to learn to be peaceful so that they are not the ones to strike first.
Later, behind close door, Scott displays how unhappy he is with Emma’s little stunt. Emma kept track of which students were excited about fighting giant robots. So they bone, like lovers do.
Scott wakes up to have that jerk Wolverine standing over him. Jean hasn’t been dead that long but Scott has moved up the ladder of lady companions. Scott optic blasts Wolverine through the window. I bet Emma changed what she wore to bed after this. Especially as Beast will do it as well in a flashback sequence in the Utopia arc.
Wolverine quickly recovers and bounces back.
I like Cyclops keeping it real. Wolverine was always trying to be a thorn in the Summers marriage and now that Jean is dead and Scott has move on, and how!, Wolverine is giving him grief.
The less page / panel time given to Jean, the better, I say. Unless she is physically on one of those pages, then that’s okay. But leave her be.
I don’t think I realize, or I have and keep forgetting, that the brunette in the pink shirt is Kitty. It wasn’t until I got the scanning of these pages that I noticed the similar shirt.
This will be the first instance that the students get of the senior staff fighting each other.
I do like the Beast and Emma relationship too. Emma’s comment of – superpowers, a scintillating wit and the best body money could buy . . . and I still rate below a corpse. Such an instant classic line.
The look on Beast’s face, that’s some good acting.
Beast lets Cyclops and Wolverine know how much they disappointed him.
Scott takes over the meeting from Beast.
Cyclops wants the X-Men to get back to the classic superhero team. He is going to make this the A-List X-Men team, and they will be the public face of the X-Men. They will handle all major situations that come up.
Which took a while for the other creative teams to get behind that idea but this team does start to essentially appear in every X-Title.
Wolverine sees where this is going, they are going to start wearing tights again. Which they haven’t done in a while, as Grant Morrison’s run had them wearing black leather with neon yellow stripes, to match the movie costumes.
The X-Men have probably saved more other worlds than their own world.
Kitty comments on why they are sitting on the islands of Hawaii. Because they are suppose to be larger than life. Beast mentions that the Danger Room has been flaky as of late. This is the first sign of that problem but we’ll get to that in the next storyline.
Kitty mentions the old school Danger Room that wasn’t a hard light hologram generating tool but just whatever Xavier could afford such as flamethrowers and balance beams.
Emma wants to get back to the agenda at all.
Cyclops wants the X-Men to be up there with the Avenges and Fantastic Four, just doing good for the community.
Cyclops also confirms that they will be wearing costumes again. Did Cyclops design them? Did he research the teams’ measurements for the new uniforms?
We get to the panel that annoyed me so much when this issue comes out. Kitty’s “I’m not a fighter. Not like you guys.” It made me feel like Whedon only got so far in his rereading of Uncanny X-Men, like it must have stopped shortly during the John Romita Jr. / Dan Green era of the title. Once she becomes Shadowcat, she fights all the time. I want to say this spurred my first rereading of Excalibur as I wanted to see Kitty’s fighting technique. Kitty throws a mean hook as well as kicky kicks.
At least Wolverine tells her that he rather have her support than any other person. So there’s that.
Then Cyclops says that Kitty isn’t a fighter, so we are right back to the previous panel. He is right that her power isn’t aggressive. Though it could super easily be. Her power is protective. Cyclops couldn’t be more right when he says that people like her. Kitty is flippin’ adored, yo!
Hank gets the Danger Room to do what he wants, the team on the sand of Hawaii.
Cyclops breaks the rest of the team down. Hank is a Beast. Emma, a former villain. Logan is a thug. Cyclops is a leader.
Kitty realizes she is a PR Stunt and Emma fully admits that Kitty is their poster child.
Then Emma brings up what us Pryde Pride fans – that Kitty has an an assortment of code names. Scott tells her to shut up, which wins me back to him. Scott chose this team.
Beast really wants to see the uniforms. I wonder if he regrets it.
Cut to Dr. Rao, as she gets ready for a press conference.
We get to the rest of the page that got me really excited about this title. Buffy the Vampire’s creator, Joss Whedon, is going to bring Lockheed into an A-list title. I wish she and Wolverine talked about Lockheed for five more pages.
I wonder what Lockheed is up too that he should have gotten there before Kitty. OH!!! He’s making a deal with Agent Brand right now, that must be it. Wow, that is impressive foreshadowing.
Doctor Rao is starting her genetics speech. While at a party, some goons are shooting up the place. Running the shoot out, is Ord of the Breakworld.
Rao just straight up called mutants a disease, that’s pretty messed up.
The look of Kitty as Emma takes off her shirt,
I like the idea of there being two dressing rooms.
Cyclops wants to astonish the public.
See Beast’s outfit? It is just a weird pair of pants. Why do the sides go up so high and not just be a pair of regular pants?
We get a quick glimpse of Martin bathing the X-Men in red light. We’ll get more of that sweetness in later issues.
Rao finishes her hate speech, she wants to cure mutant kind, because apparently they need to be cured.
Which is how we will later get to X3.