All-New X-Men Special #1: The Arms of the Octopus Pt I: Elegy in the Classroom

The original X-Men were brought to the future by the older present-day Beast, whose intention was to “force [present-day] Cyclops to face his misdeeds”. Seeing their bleak future, the young X-Men decide to stay to “better the future”. Angel, the only team member with the opposing decision to return to their time, felt ousted and thus left the team, leaving the remaining four to adapt to their strange new surroundings.

Scott, Jean, Hank and Bobby take the subway into Manhattan for the day. Bobby remarks on how confusing the subway system has become. Jean is unfazed, replying that “it’s the same as it’s always been”. Scott adds that the appearance of the passengers have not changed much either. Just when they thought the world has not really changed, they exit to the surface into the unfamiliar realm of technology.

Times Square’s massive electronic displays are blinding. The streets are crowded with people constantly talking and texting on their mobile devices. People do “not care that everyone can hear them”. Scott imagines this must be how it feels like to be Jean. Jean is not coping well in the crowd, and it is worse for her in the future than it had ever been in the past. Scott decides to help Jean find a quieter place. Hank and Bobby head for the park.

Hank reflects on Scott acting distant towards him, and wanting to be alone with Jean. He wonders if Scott knows that Jean had kissed him. But seeing the future, he knows that Jean should end up with Scott. Bobby is distracted by some girls in the park doing yoga. Hank attracted to a girl reading poetry on a bench. He introduces himself and finds they have more in common than just a love for poetry: Science. While Hank develops a new-found crush on Molly, the Ph.D. student, his moment is interrupted by a thief running across the park with some stolen purses. In pursuit of the thief, Hank reveals himself to be a mutant. He catches up and retrieves the purses, and is pleasantly surprised that Molly is amazed by his abilities. Hank also finds out that she is studying under Dr Jude, with whom he also studied under in the past. She decides to take Hank to visit Dr Jude.

Hank is surprised to learn that Dr Jude has been relegated to a small office. Dr Jude is puzzled by Hank’s youth, considering Hank claims to have taken his courses on Gamma Radiation so many years ago, and he has since “transitioned into Temporal Displacement Sciences”. Hank notices that a machine is registering a “massive radiation spike”. They are promptly attacked by Doctor Octopus, coming for Dr Jude. Hank tells Molly to get Dr Jude to safety while he takes on Doctor Octopus.

Meanwhile, Scott finds himself in an awkward moment with Jean in front of a movie theatre. Hank crashes into a car across the street from out of nowhere. Bobby hurries to regroup with the team. The four X-Men are having a tough time tackling Doctor Octopus, until help arrives from Spiderman. Spiderman is surprised to see his nemesis in his younger incarnation, as well the young X-Men whom he thinks are clones. Seeing how inexperienced the X-Men are, Spiderman coaches them to hone their abilities to defeat Doctor Octopus.

Spiderman wants to investigate this matter further without involving S.H.I.E.L.D. Hank takes them to Dr Jude’s lab, albeit without Dr Jude’s permission. Spiderman extracts Doctor Octopus’ arms, and upon examination deduces the arms are replicas. The present-day Doctor Octopus is dead and the one they fought is too young to be from this time. Molly suggests Doctor Octopus could have time travelled from the past. Spiderman is sceptical of time travel and dismisses Molly’s theory. Hank steps forward and announces that he and his team mates are proof of time travel. Molly is ecstatic, and it makes sense to Dr Jude why Hank hasn’t aged. But Spiderman is still not convinced about time travel, and is certain that Doctor Octopus is an impostor and not a time traveller. Spiderman decides to call upon Dr Banner to consult with.

Next: Indestructible Hulk Special #1