"The Return" is the first chapter of The Last Son, Book Two: Reckonings. The New Mutants are enrolled to the Institute as Superman becomes their instructor. The Brotherhood (without Mystique nor Magneto's leadership) gatecrash Bayville High's girls' championship soccer match and threaten to expose mutantkind to the world.
The manager and aunt of pop singer Alison Blaire, Bridget, travels back to the United States from England to resume her managing duties. During her flight, the airliner suffers an engine blow-out that damages one of its wings. Fortunately, Superman arrives, blowing out the fire to the engine, and discreetly lift the plane on its emergency landing at Bayville Airport.
At Bayville High, Scott Summers, Kurt Wagner, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, and Evan Daniels watch a soccer game between their team, which Jean Grey is among the players, and Gardendale; in which the home team won a point ahead. After the game, Jean is offered a ride by her boyfriend Duncan Matthews much to Scott's chagrin. Scott and the others goes back to the Institute on Scott's car while Evans heads there on his own.
At Jean's request, Duncan drives her and her friend Taryn Fujioka to the Institute. On the way, they overhear from the car's radio regarding Superman's recent rescue. Duncan express his distaste about the Man of Steel and questioning his existence as an urban myth while Taryn in contrast shows her appreciations for the superhero.
Meanwhile, the Institute students are stuck in traffic and likewise hear the news about Superman. Suddenly, a police car chase cause a school bus to tip and hang over the edge of an overpass. Without any hesitation and realizing Superman wouldn't be here, Scott takes actions and have the X-Men in discreetly saving the drivers and the bus is pushed back into the road by Scott's optic-blasts. They rendezvous with Rogue, who is awaiting at their car, and drive back to the Institute, as Scott actually felt glad in using their powers in helping people.
At the Institute, the X-Men, with their recent members Remy and Lance, have arrive and greet the New Mutants. After sharing their pleasantries, Superman makes an introduction that surprises the New Mutants. The faculty lays out the bedroom arrangements for the additional students and, much to Clark's surprise, assign the Man of Steel as the New Mutants' instructor. Clark is hesitant of becoming an instructor due to his heroic duties. But on the contrary, Xavier decide to let the New Mutants to have a say in this; in which they are found listening their discussion through the door in Xavier's office. They share a unanimous approval to have Clark as their instructor. At their pleadings, Clark reluctantly agrees.
After things are settled, Xavier have a personal discussion with Scott. The Professor knows about Scott and the others using their powers in public as Scott's beam was caught on the news. Although they did to save lives, Xavier had cautioned the same approach to Superman in carefully from risking their existence to the public. Scott understand the Professor's reasons, but defends that it is what the X-Men should be doing is to help people and in turn everyone will not see mutants as a threat. Xavier felt his student's sentiment, but still regard that people are still not ready to know; however, he is proud for what his students had done and only asking in using their powers in secret if they ever need to do so again.
The next day at Bayville High, the Institute students gather at a assembly to welcome their newest principle, Edward Kelly. After the assembly, Institute students are rudely greeted by the Brotherhood: Pietro, Fred, and Todd. Pietro voice his displeasure at Lance for abandoning them and joining the X-Men. Lance retorts that he voluntarily left after seeing how insane Magneto was, and points out to Fred and Todd that they should have come with him as well. But his former friends tells that they aren't currently working for Magneto and only stay together as friends and minding their own business; in which Pietro warns that the X-Men and Superman to stay out of their way. Lance and Kitty chide him that Superman may have already heard due to his super-hearing, and causing Pietro to storm off with the Brotherhood trailing behind him.
After school, at the Boarding House Pietro fumes his situation at not having heard of his father or Mystique for the last several months since the destruction of Asteroid M and without anything to do. Pietro then decides it is high time to get back at the X-Men and Superman in "a night to remember."
That night, the X-Men and the Institute instructors are at Bayville High's soccer rally. The jubilation is gatecrashed by the Brotherhood in full costume with Quicksilver stealing a mic from Principle Kelly and announcing himself, the Brotherhood and the Institute are mutants. The X-Men takes action to contain the Brotherhood with Shadowcat shorting out the TV cameras that are recording the scene. Quicksilver takes advantage of the battle and races to the school's mascot and lit the fireworks, causing it to tip over and about to fall on Principle Kelly. Fortunately, Superman arrives and catches the mascot, saving Kelly. He proceed to save the people in the midst of the chaos and help the X-Men in defeating the Brotherhood and forcing them to retreat.
In the aftermath, the people have already witness the whole event and many are filled with anxiety while others are in awe and wonder, especially in sharing their focus on Superman. Xavier uses his telepathy in wiping everyone present of their memories that they had saw before he is exhausted from overusing his powers. The X-Men heads back to the Institute while Superman makes a sweep over Bayville for any indication that the Professor had missed anyone with his powers. He detects electromagnetic interference over the Bayville area and realizes Magneto is here, but found him already gone.
Superman returns to the Institute. Xavier is resting, but it is unsure that he was able to get in touch with Principle Kelly, the last person to have his memories wiped. Also, the video-footage on the game didn't went out due to Magneto's unexpected intervention. The X-Men admit that the Professor was right that people aren't ready to know about mutants; but there were some people to come around at the end once they saw Superman. Thus fulfilling some hope that people might tolerate mutants.
In his office, Principle Kelly is finishing some paperwork while glumly thinking about the damages to the soccer field due to a "gas-line break." However, he starts to wonder that something doesn't seem to fit as he still has vague memories of the mutants and himself being saved by Superman.
Professor Xavier: (regarding the New Mutants) I'm glad we put in those extra rooms; we'll certainly need them.
Logan: That ain't all we'll need, Chuck. Maybe I ought to call in a few favors with Steve; see if he can get Fury to lend us a couple of tanks.
Edward Kelly: Good morning, everyone; I'm Edward Kelly, and I'll be your principal for this year. Now I'm sure a lot of you are thinking that you're not any different from the person next to you; that there's absolutely nothing special about you. Everyone has things that set them apart; everyone has their own special talents. All I ask is that you all think about how best to use your special gifts to make this a great school year, not just for yourselves, but for everyone!
- First appearances of Bridget Blaire, the New Mutants (Iceman, Cannonball, Magma, Jubilee, Berzerker, Sunspot, Boom Boom, Wolfsbane and Multiple) and Edward Kelly.
- LexCorp and its CEO Lex Luthor are mentioned in a news report and later appears in "Friends Indeed".
- Several characters makes several references to Superman's actions in "Fated Hour".
- At the end of the story, Clark suggest of watching Third Rock from the Sun; it was among Clark's birthday presents that he received in "Family".
- This story is an adaption of the X-Men: Evolution episode "Growing Pains". The events of the story diverges from the episode as Avalanche has since left the Brotherhood and joined the X-Men, and Principal Edward Kelly's assembly speech went uninterrupted.
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