X-Men: First Class (Vol 1) #1: X-Men 101

This issue is written as a letter from Bobby to his mom, narrating the experiences at Xavier’s school and introducing his classmates and fellow X-Men (of course he leaves out the suspicious crime fighting bits).

In Bobby’s first entry, he writes about a “field trip” to the “Botanical Gardens”. Actually, the X-Men first appear to be battling a mutated rose bush that is eating people. With some team work and brute force, they manage to free the people. Cyclops’ optic blast leaves a shower of floral confetti, which Jean promptly clears with her telekinesis. The monster bush regenerates itself and attacks the X-Men with full force and captures Beast. Acting quickly to save their team mate, Cyclops has Iceman freeze the monster so he can blast it into pieces. Beast is relatively unscathed but shaken from the monster’s mental attack.

Bobby next writes about his classmate, introducing first his best friend, Hank, the smartest and most athletic of the group. Next is Warren, the rich kid of the bunch, easily distracted and the most defiant, often flying out the window in the middle of class with Xavier. Xavier would use such escapes to allow Warren some free time to wander around while engaging in a one-on-one mental mentoring. Xavier had chosen the five of them because he believed they were the best candidates to bear the burden of passing Xavier’s torch and teachings to the next generation of mutants.

Cerebro, the school’s intelligence system, makes a small entry into Bobby’s letter. It is a library of information, class tutor, as well as a mutant tracking system that Xavier uses. While in Cerebro, Xavier senses again the scattered signature similar to that of the monster bush that had attacked the X-Men earlier. The X-Men are sent forth to investigate.

Bobby’s letter jumps to introduce Scott, field leader of the group, and the most controlled. The irony lies with the fact that his powers are uncontrollable, but Xavier reasons that Scott’s magnitude of self-control and awareness makes him the most suitable to lead the team.

The X-Men encounter a flock of birds. They seem to give the X-Men a sign, in the form of an “X”, and then scatter away abruptly. Xavier calls for the X-Men to assemble immediately to leave for Greenland. They take off in Xavier’s private jet. Some day there are plans for a “vertical take-off” fighter.

And to round up the team is Jean, the only girl of the group. The most likable, and the most like Xavier with mental powers, and potentially the most powerful of them all. She helps Bobby with his homework and sees him like a younger brother.

The X-Men travel through the ice on an ocean liner. With some help from Cyclops and Marvel Girl, they are able to forge through the ice and arrive at their destination. A research facility has been set up where scientists are drilling into the ground for ice core samples. Through mental communication, Xavier believes that there is life below the research base and urges the research team to move their base. He connects everyone telepathically with the mind of the ancient creature that lives below the ice. The peaceful creature is threatened by the drilling and just wants to be left alone. The research team agrees to move and the X-Men go home.