Part 1 of a series revisiting the story of the relationship between X-23 and Hellion from New X-Men.
X-23/Laura Kinney has spent most of her time in the Marvel Universe under the authorship of Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, the writers who originally created her on X-Men: Evolution. So when said duo took over New X-Men with #20, Laura tagged along. Post M-Day, when most mutants lost their powers, this prompted a major realignment of how the school was organized. Wolverine decided to bring Laura there.
He introduces her to her new classmates when they're watching a pissing contest between Surge/Nori (blue-haired chick) and Hellion/Julian (guy in the red jacket); in the earlier incarnation of the series, Julian was the jerkass leader of the Slytherin-equivalents.
Off to a good start, then.
Anyway, they head off to the "Danger Cave" (this being after Whedon's "Danger" arc, so the Room is out of commission) to cosplay through some simulations of the X-Men's past missions. First up is "Fall of the Mutants" ("Who names their missions?"):
Next issue, the bad-80s-fashion tour continues as they switch over to the X-Men's first confrontation with NIMROD, who is ruthlessly mocked for being pink.
You'll be seeing a lot of this back-and-forth rescuing over the course of this story.
The X-cosplay session breaks up, as they head to off to further angsty stuff relating to the reshuffling of the status quo.
The series originally focussed primarily on a group of students mentored by Dani Moonstar, but K & Y were aiming to shift the focus more to the Emma Frost-mentored ones, because they were, honestly, a lot more interesting (with a few of the old main characters, like Surge and Elixir, still sticking around). Emma decides that the new "New X-Men" squad will be chosen by pitting all the remaining mutant students against each other in a melee, with those left standing as the winners.
Hellion dutifully goes after X-23, but is sidelined by Surge, who is looking to finally beat him up. He eventually gets rid of her, and returns to his priority. Though Emma's got her hand on the scales...
Regarding Emma's characterization here, there's a whole other plot going on through the first few arcs here about Emma, having yet again failed to protect her students (from M-Day), reacting very negatively towards bringing X-23 into the school, since she's, well, a trained assassin of dubious mental health; by the end, she comes to realize that X-23 is ultimately another kid who needs her protection (which she does by reprogramming an assassin sent to kill X-23 and pitting her against the people who hired her). Anyhoo, right now, Emma is forced to put Laura on the group, but takes her anger out at her disloyal minion.
Don't fuck with Frost.
The next arc, "Crusade", doesn't have a whole lot to do with Laura and Julian, though they get a cool cover:
This is a cover that gets homaged a lot, but I really like this one.
And, when Reverend Stryker's Purifiers invade the Mansion, Laura saves everybody again.
We'll leave off there for now.
Next time: More saving each other! The stalking begins in earnest!