After the X-Men were disbanded, Donald Pierce disguised himself as Cyclops and recruited a new team of several young mutants: Eric Gitter (Ink) as well as former students Sooraya Qadir (Dust), Nicholas Gleason (Wolf Cub) and Santo Vaccarro (Rockslide). Santo, however, refused to join unless "Cyclops" would accept Ruth Aldine (Blindfold), whom he hadn't originally planned to recruit, to be on the team as well.
Blindfold had previously seen a vision of this team of young X-Men facing off against Donald Pierce, a deadly old foe of the X-Men and former member of the Hellfire Club, during which one of the members was murdered.
After assembling the Young X-Men in the Danger Cave, "Cyclops" gave them their costumes and told them that he was reforming the X-Men, beginning with perhaps the last generation of mutants. Their first mission would be to take down what he claimed to be the new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants, under the control of Sunspot (who was Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club at the time) and made up of his friends and former teammates, Cannonball, Magma, and Dani Moonstar.
After they failed in training sessions against Brotherhood simulacra, "Cyclops" decided to send them after Moonstar and Magma in small teams, each with a specific target. When surprise-attacked by Dust, Rockslide and Wolf Cub in Los Angeles, Magma responded violently, destroying their Blackbird. They recovered from their crash and attacked Magma, who was unprepared but much more experienced. She turned Dust into glass and Rockslide into a pile of rocks. Distracted by a reformed Rockslide, she was eviscerated by Wolf Cub, knocking her out but leaving Wolf Cub with a nasty burn.
In the Colorado Rockies, Moonstar proved herself a match to the young mutants Blindfold and Ink despite her lack of powers. However, she was taken down by an unseen force that Blindfold seemed to know. Carrying the unconscious Moonstar back to their Blackbird, Ink knocked Blindfold unconscious and delivered her to Donald Pierce. When Pierce questioned him about why they weren't dead, Ink responded that he was a mercenary, not a killer. Graymalkin, who had been living in shadows a the site of the former X-Mansion, watched the conversation from a distance, apparently talking to himself when he said "Very well. I'll kill the Cyclops."
Ink shaved his head and acquired a lightning bolt tattoo made by mutant tattoo artist Leon Nunez on his temples, granting him telepathy. Ink, Rockslide and Wolf Cub then led an attack on the Hellfire Club to fight Cannonball and Sunspot. Wolf Cub managed to wound Sunspot, angering Cannonball. At the same time, Graymalkin attacked Cyclops/Pierce back at the Danger Cave, forcing him to reveal his true identity. Once both teams learned the truth, they went after Pierce, but arrived too late to save Wolf Cub, who turned out to be the then-unknown teammate who was killed in Blindfold's vision.
Book Of Revelations
After the death of Wolf Cub and the arrest of Pierce by the X-Men, the real Cyclops brought the Young X-Men to the new X-Men base, Graymalkin Industries in Marin Headlands of San Francisco, California. Cyclops asked Sunspot and Moonstar to counsel and lead the Young X-Men. They both accepted and with help from Nightcrawler they found a new base in a local Episcopal Church.
Tensions were high at the time, especially with Rockslide. Blindfold decided to leave the team, since she was no great contribution on the battlefield. Meanwhile, Moonstar asked Anole, also a former member of New X-Men, to join the new team.
After performing a genetic test on Graymalkin, Beast discovered that he was a mutant over 200 years old, although he physically appeared to be only about seventeen and that he was an distant relative of Professor Charles Xavier, hence how his last name was the same as the street that the Xavier Institute was built on. Beast analyzed the boy's powers but couldn't determine what could have caused him to be buried alive. Anole comforted Graymalkin and helped him with coming to terms with his homosexuality.
During their next adventure, Ink discovered he was not a mutant and briefly left the team. The rest went to La Jolla, California to investigate the Y-Men, who proved to be more than the Young X-Men anticipated. Meanwhile, Cipher revealed herself to Ink to help his teammates against the Y-Men. After getting two new tattoos and accompanying powers (Caduceus symbol & Phoenix symbol) from Leon Nunez, Ink and Cipher hurried to the Young X-Men's aid. Ink used his new powers to heal Dani Moonstar's wounds and depowered all the Y-Men. Despite his not being a mutant, Cyclops asked Ink to stay on the team partly because he did not want someone with Phoenix Force-like powers running around without supervision. Because of the strain of granting Ink Phoenix Force-like powers, Leon Nunez was left in a catatonic state in the infirmary.
Since his arrest and her own near death experience, Dust continued visiting Donald Pierce in Cell Block X and later the X-Brig. It was Pierce who revealed Ink as a non-mutant and confirmed that Dust was in fact dying because of Magma's melting her into a glass form. Beast later also confirmed Dust's doomed state. Dust eventually attempted to assist Pierce in escaping because he promised to heal her. During his escape, Dust seemingly died. Later she was brought back to life by Ink who used his Phoenix Force-like powers again. Dust appeared completely healed, but the episode left Ink comatose. As noted by Beast his brain activity was subdued as if it had been overcharged.
After the newly resurrected Dust was reunited with her teammates, Moonstar entered announcing the Neo had returned and were advancing on San Francisco. The Young X-Men battled the Neo on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Equipment: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- It is notable that the first story arc of Young Men echoes a narrative pattern first established with the inception of the New Mutants in their eponymous graphic novel, which was also echoed in the first story arc of New Mutants volume 2, which gave rise to the New X-Men series that is the immediate antecedent for Young Men. All three of these storylines deal with the assembly of a new team of mutants, feature the cyborg Donald Pierce as the villain, and have one member of the team (Cannonball, Elixir and Ink, in the respective stories) that initially works for Pierce before switching sides and joining the new team. This story pattern was also followed, to some extent, in the New X-Men arc that appeared within the House of M timeline. Further underscoring this continuity is the appearance of many of the original New Mutants in all three stories: as the protagonists in the New Mutants graphic novel, as teachers and mentors to the "new" New Mutants volume 2 series, and as the antagonists, the ersatz Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, in the arc in Young X-Men.
- Young Men ended with its final issue, #12, released in March 2009. It was replaced by a new New Mutants series.
- One of the criticisms against Young Men was the discovery of three previously unknown mutants (namely Graymalkin, Cipher & Leon Nunez) shortly after the events of Decimation when 98% of the world's mutant population was depowered.
- In principle, the island nations of Utopia and Genosha bare a striking resemblance to the sovereign island nation of Xaviera depicted in dystonian future of the End of Days timeline. Xaviera appears in Young X-Men # 11 and Young X-Men # 12. The sovereign island nation of Xaviera was established at an undetermined time in the future by U.N. General Assembly Resolution GSXM1 - probably a reference to Giant-Size X-Men #1.
- Because of the series' cancellation, it still has not been revealed what if any effects Ink's resurrection of Dust had on her soul. Also, the fates Ink and Leon Nunez remain unrevealed. Presumably they remain in catatonic states in the care of the X-Men.
- Also see End of Days timeline for information about the alternate future seen in Young X-Men #11-12.
- On the cover of Young X-Men #1, Ink is bald, even though he has hair inside the book.
- 11 Young X-Men (Earth-616) Members
- 17 Appearances of Young X-Men (Earth-616)
- Media Young X-Men (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 17 Images that include Young X-Men (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Young X-Men (Earth-616)
- Comics:Young X-Men Vol 1