Psycho Loves Jerkass: Laura and Julian (Part II): Don't Think About Pink Robots
Continuing with our series covering the relationship arc of X-23 and Hellion in New X-Men. This time around, Laura becomes more a part of the group, just in time for them to face off with the much-mocked pink Sentinel from the future.
Lots of images, so not for dialup (man, people still use dialup?).
Our story begins in the aftermath of the Purifiers' attack on the Mansion:
Ms. Marvel shows up, bringing bad tidings about another student, Jay "Icarus" Guthrie, who Stryker tricked and killed as part of his earlier nefarious plan.
Emma proceeds to bitch Carol out somethin' fierce (basically, an extended (and better) version of the "where were you when Genosha died?" speech she gave Tony in Civil War #3); it's a great scene for both characters, actually.
Anyhoo, as you can see above, we're past the point of him calling "clone" and such, and, more generally, she's reasonably well-integrated with the core group (if somewhat lacking in social graces).
Based on some evidence that Jay left behind, the New X-Men figure out that Nimrod is back, and tell this to Cyclops, who blows them off; the X-Men promptly leave for Storm's wedding (in a clever use of intra-title continuity). Cyclops later says, Dumbledore-ishly, that he in fact knew Nimrod was back and was trying to handle it himself without involving the kids in any more trouble; this, of course, doesn't work. Nimrod, who is damaged, goes after Forge to get him to fix him, and Forge's distress call makes it through to Nori at the Mansion (because Forge built her energy gauntlets):
Neither this scene or the next two scans directly pertain to our subject matter, but they convey something of the broader story and, more importantly, I really enjoyed reading them again while leafing through the issues to assemble this series. The kids steal (one of) the Blackbird(s) and head off to Forge's lab deep in the heart of Texas, getting past the Sentinels guarding the Mansion in this timeframe (who, in Rockslide's pithy phrase, "suck on a weekly basis").
Nimrod throws some flak their way, bringing the jet down...
They do just that, and quickly find themselves in mortal combat with the super-Sentinel Nimrod, now in Forge-built body he hijacked. After largely getting their butts kicked, they come with a strategy that, of course, makes use of most characters' powers. Below, Laura's move...
Surge and Mercury do the rest, and they win (Hellion gets a great bit where he pulls Surge out of the exploding Sentinel's radius at the last second, cutting short her tearful goodbye to her boyfriend). That leaves the matter of Laura.
Thereafter ensues the most awesome thing Hellion has ever done, and probably will ever do.
The object being to get her back to the Mansion, more specifically to Elixir, the resident healer (his full power description is Omega-level genetic manipulation, which is obviously very useful, to the point of being too useful); there's a secondary concern, in that Elixir is currently semi-comatose after using his powers to kill Reverend Stryker in the last arc, so not only is Julian going to have to speed-blitz halfway across the United States, he'll have to give an inspirational talk. Does he have it in him?
Oh, and along the way he accidentally picks up an armoured car.
He did have it in him.
And so the day is saved. Julian goes to sleep for a bit (and that last issue had 38 pages, so nine is less than a third).
"A bit" turns out to be a while, as we learn next issue.
Thus ends Part II.
Next time: X-23 confusedly stalks him a bit more, then they have an extended teamup.