X-Men: Odd Men Out

Xavier is reminded of his old friend, Agent Duncan, from a newspaper article. He decides to pay Duncan a visit to reminisce and catch up. Duncan inquires about Xavier’s security detail (the X-Men), to which Xavier replies that he has “some extraordinary enemies”.

Xavier first met Duncan when he sought out cooperation from the FBI to “[locate] and [contact]” mutants, which back then were a minority group. Xavier intended to “provide them with a proper outlet for their powers“. He fears that if mutants “are hounded--persecuted--they might become the very menace humanity fears”. Duncan agrees to help Xavier. This was the beginning of their partnership and long friendship.

Soon, Xavier founded his “School for Gifted Youngsters” with five students: Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman and Marvel Girl. Together with his young X-Men, they battled enemies such as Magneto and the Brotherhood, “the Blob, the Vanisher, Unus the Untouchable, even the legendary Sub-Mariner” and “old enemy Lucifer”.

In order to undertake “a most dangerous project”, Xavier had a changeling take his place while he went into hiding. But when the changeling died, Duncan and Marvel Girl were entrusted with keeping Xavier’s secret. Jean mourned Xavier’s supposed death with the rest of her team mates, and Duncan ordered the X-Men to “split up into smaller units spread out across the country” per Xavier’s wish.

In time, the X-Men faced Xavier’s step-brother Juggernaut. And recruited two more members, Polaris, and Cyclops’ long-lost brother Havok. The newly-expanded team went on to fight “the Living Monolith, the Sentinels, Sauron--and, inevitably, against Magneto”.

Shortly after when the time was right, Xavier revealed the truth to the X-Men. He did not die, but was merely preparing “a counterattack” against the “alien invasion” from the “Z’Nox”. Xavier regrets deceiving and hurting the feelings of his students, but he did what was necessary. They were successful in stopping the Z’Nox, but it nearly cost Xavier his life.

After his first students left the X-Men to pursue personal endeavours, Xavier formed a new team of X-Men. Duncan also aided Xavier with political matters concerning mutants in Washington D.C., namely challenging the right of the government to implement “Project Wideawake” which included “mutation registration”. When computer files on the X-Men mysteriously went missing and Gyrich demanded Duncan recreate the X-Men database from scratch, Duncan quit the FBI to prevent Gyrich from getting the information. Duncan had never regretted his decision, because “things had changed at the top” and he was now “the odd man out”.

Xavier shares his galactic “odd man out” experience with Duncan regarding his marriage to Empress Lilandra and how the various alien races ridiculed him. He was relieved in a sense to return to Earth to deal with the Dark Phoenix situation. Years later, the X-Men discovered that the Phoenix was an imposter; “a cosmic force which had replicated Jean’s form and consciousness”. Jean was found to be alive, and she went on to form X-Factor with the original X-Men.

Xavier on the other hand, was infected by the Brood and formed the New Mutants under the Brood’s influence to gather new hosts. The Shi’ar saved Xavier by cloning him a new body. But Xavier was nearly killed by a mob at Columbia University and had to return to the Shi’ar to recuperate. Duncan was in disbelief to learn that Xavier left his new school under the care of Magneto in his absence.

After his recovery, Lilandra was “deposed” and they sought refuge with the Starjammers, while working to form “a rebellion to return her to power”. They were then captured by the Skrulls, who controlled the Shi’ar Empire through Lilandra who had reclaimed her throne. The X-Men helped Xavier defeat the skrulls. But thereafter, an old enemy resurfaced: the Shadow King. Xavier defeated the Shadow King, but in doing so lost his ability to walk once again.

After leaving the FBI, Duncan worked in the private sector and was able to earn himself a comfortable living and “plenty of free time for [his] other interests”. Duncan was going to publish a book that he hoped will “blow the lid off the government’s mishandling of anti-mutant hysteria”. Xavier is worried that Duncan will put himself in danger because it, but Duncan is tired of the bigotry and wants to make a difference.

The conversation makes way for light-hearted chatter over more coffee as two old friends enjoy each other’s company.

The New Mutants: Think Again

A shadowy man roams the streets on New York’s Upper East Side. He wanders into a basement under Central Park and stumbles across a secret laboratory with the computer equipment. “The Thinker” as he is called, intends to seek “vengeance” on the Fantastic Four.

The computer contains information on X-Factor, which The Thinker recognised as the X-Men, and other mutants (New Mutants) he had never heard of. He gets to work on his plans.

Meanwhile, the New Mutants in the care of X-Factor are having fun at the ice skating rink in Central Park.

The Thinker has created an android to destroy the Fantastic Four. But first, he wants to test the android on the unsuspecting mutants and acquire their powers. The New Mutants soon realise that the android is able to replicate their powers and use it against them. They lead the android deeper into Central Park to avoid the crowd of innocent people. The New Mutants work together to battle the android. But suddenly, the android freezes, and then retreats.

Satisfied that the threat is over, the New Mutants head off in search of food.