[This post is part of a series looking at Grant Morrison's New X-Men run issue by issue -- for more of the same click the New X-Men tab at the bottom of this post].
Quentin is dressing provocatively to reclaim offensive mutant stereotyping -- lame -- and Xavier complains about it -- also lame. It is like he has been teaching for years and this is the first rebellious teenager he has every seen. Xavier is inviting humans and mutants to come to an open day and wants to avoid confrontation, which just seems dumb, what with people trying to kill them all the time. Quentin calls Jumbo Carnation "our greatest artist", which goes to show how juvenile he is, holding up a fashion designer as the greatest artist of a species. Quentin acts like a brat, saying he does not want to live side by side with murderers, and Xavier accuses him of not being logical, which is also lame -- the very idea that Xavier thinks the Spock thing is going to be his best tool in this situation is very very lame. This is the first clash between our two Riot antagonists, and it is boring, because they are both acting stupid. We need a dark foreshadowing here, and this is just two annoying talking heads. Even Quitely is being inked by someone else, and the result is not as good as when he inks his own stuff.
When Quentin gets his uniforms for his gang, one of them says "Glam! Industrial! Clockwork Orange!". This is, I think, supposed to be lame, to show us idiot high school kids who don't know enough to know that A Clockwork Orange is not the best, coolest film ever. The bad guys here are a bunch of high school kids in a dorm room doing drugs -- this is not providing nearly enough tension. When Quentin says that the drug is like "breathing the electric air of the future" we cannot help but notice they are wearing throwback clothes (from Uncanny X-Men 14), speaking in cliches, doing drugs, getting tattoos and acting like punks -- that is to say acting like kids. Nothing futuristic about it. Then they kill a bunch of defenseless humans, like a bunch of jerks. Quentin even likens them to Star Trek: The Next Generation -- they are the NEW X-Men; we are supposed to notice that that show went off the air many years ago, when Quentin cannot have been very old. Nothing new here. Again, not exactly the sublime ideological confrontation Quentin wanted. They are just bullies and Morrison wants us to see them as lame. It may be we are supposed to see them as lame because Morrison is using them to criticize his own, supposedly "New" X-Men, but planned or not, if your bad guys are lame your story is no fun, so it does not matter what your point was.
Your story is also no fun if your good guys are lame, and that is what we get next: Xavier says "the Xavier institute does not tolerate vigalante assaults." Really? I thought that was pretty much what the X-Men were, masked vigalantes who going around assaulting people. They bombed a facility in China without warning not so many issues ago. Lame. Also lame: it is clear that the X-Men suspect Quentin killed those humans -- you think someone could find out for sure, somehow. They just sit in a room talking lame ideas of what to do with rebels -- give them the vote, let them grow out of this phase and don't act like a jerk, give them limits. LAME.
Magneto, very much in character as Xorn, I guess, takes the "special class" camping in the subplot: "Let us learn from one another as we share the beauty and mystery of this great world together." Ernst says that Martha, the telepathic floating brain, is telling her that Xorn was locked in a jail for years. I can buy, but I don't want to, that Xorn's helmet, like Magneto's, shields him from telepathy; but how on earth is he able to trick Martha into seeing the Xorn story? If he already converted her and she knows he is Magneto and is lying for him, then how did he do that? He says more peaceful cliches -- he is getting quite annoying at this point. Then we see they are being watched. OK. Fine.
On the plus side Quentin kills a guy by "carving his name right across his memory" and the "Magneto was Right" shirt he wears the next day is great. Also great is Emma's description of the drug kick: "I felt angelic and violently insane for five hours."