Appearing in "Ghosts!"
- Unnamed NY cab driver
- George & an unnamed oil rig worker
- Officer Higgins & unnamed citizens of Anchorage
- North Star Airways employees
- Havok (Only in flashback)
- Andrew Blanding (Only in flashback) (Unnamed)
- Joanna Blanding (Only in flashback) (Unnamed)
- Madelyne Pryor (Illusion)
- Phoenix / Dark Phoenix (Illusion)
- Nathan Summers (Illusion)
- Worthington Industries (Mentioned)
- New York
- Bering Strait
- Scott & Madelyne's house
- Starcore 1 space shuttle - (Photo)
- Madelyne Pryor's 747 - (Photo)
Synopsis for "Ghosts!"
Continued from last issue...
Prologue: After some time in space, the inert body of Master Mold comes crashing to Earth, splashing down in the Bering Strait of Alaska, seemingly inert, it's menace ended... Or is it?
In Manhattan there is a heavy rainfall hitting the city, and at the X-Factor Compound, Artie, Leech and Caliban are playing ball when Scott is heading out. When they ask him where he is going, he tells them that he's going back to Alaska to find his wife and everyone wishes him luck. Taking a cab from the compound he tells it to go to St. Vincent hospital so he can say good-bye to Jean and Warren before leaving. He begins looking at pictures of Jean and Madelyne and begins thinking over the relationship that he's had with both women, and how Jean's return and the formation of X-Factor has caused possibly irreparable damage to his already strained marriage. His thoughts are derailed when traffic forces the cabbie to swerve, causing Scott to crumple his photos.
At the hospital, Warren and Jean are discussing how Candy accused Jean of having the power to make men fall in love with them. Warren tries to pass it off as Candy being angry at Jean when she misunderstood his comforting her when she was trying to come to terms to her lot in life during the Mutant Massacre. Jean blames herself, and for all of X-Factor's current woes. As Warren convinces her that it's not her fault, neither of them notice Scott is overhearing them. When Jean goes to hug Warren, he leaves. Jean hears him and realizes that he left without making his presence felt. Using her telekinetic powers to keep the cab from pulling away, Jean rushes down to the ground floor. When she confronts Scott, he tells her that he saw that Jean and Warren were happy and he didn't want to spoil it and that he's going to find Maddie. Jean tells him it's okay, she was just coming to say goodbye and kisses him before sending him on his way.
Meanwhile, in Alaskan waters, a fish swims up to too close to the wreckage that was once Master Mold, and is destroyed by the Sentinel when it suddenly springs to life. Back in New York, as Scott's flight heads for Alaska, at St. Vincents Cameron Hodge pays a visit to Angel. He has bad news: He shows them a subpoena for Warren to appear before a federal judge, as they want him to answer about his involvement with X-Factor or face being charged with fraud. Cameron tells him the threats are serious, however he tells Warren that fraud is not his specialty and hopes that Worthington Industries has some tough lawyers to get him out of this mess. When Warren wonders what good he's done with X-Factor, Jean reminds him that without X-Factor, they could not have saved the lives of Rusty, Artie and the Morlocks.
Hours later, Scott arrives at the home he shared with Madelyne in Alaska and begins thinking about how he's been alone most of his life, since his parents left and he was put in an orphanage. Scott thinks about his son Nathan and wonders if he is going to grow up the same way. Trying the door, he finds that the locks have been changed and uses his optic blast to force entry into his home. Unknown to him, the use of his mutant powers are detected by Master Mold some miles away and the massive robot begins to stir. When Scott enters the house he is shocked to find that everything is gone and wonders where his wife has gone, and wonders if Maddie was driven off like Jean's sister. Hours later in his hotel room, Scott gets a call from Hank to update him on happenings in New York, and they are bleak: Warren's wings are not healing, and the scandal that has arisen around X-Factor is going to put him before the courts. Scott tells Hank that Maddie has gone missing and that he can't come back until he finds her and trusts them to be able to sort things out without him. While out on the Bering Strait, Master Mold rises like a leviathan out of the water. He attacks a nearby oil rig and uses it for spare parts so that it can repair itself of damages it sustained in space.
Scott's investigation into the disappearance of his wife leads him to the Anchorage Wilson Realty Company where he learns that his house is up for sale, and that someone posing as him put the house up on August 5 -- the same day he left Alaska to join X-Factor. When he begins demanding the real estate agent answer questions about his wife, she triggers the silent alarm and Scott is picked up by Officer Higgins. Higgins takes him to the police station to sort out the story and see if there are any reports. Nothing turns up, and after Scott leaves one of Higgin's fellow officers notes that there are no records on file of Scott and Maddie ever living in Anchorage. While somewhere not far away, Master Mold lurches across the state and attacks an office that has a computer with a modem. Killing the people in the office with it's newly reconstructed blasters, the robot then plugs himself into the terminal to update all his data banks regarding mutants.
Scott meanwhile goes to Northstar Airways, the freight company that his grandfather owns. To his shock, it was apparently bought by a large company and his grandfather had left on a cruise. Corporate headquarters then fired all the old staff and replaced them. When Scott presses them for details about his wife's location after the termination of her employment, the new boss at the company tells him they have no record of her on file. When Scott loses his temper and tries to rough up the owner, he's tossed out and told not to come back. His search ends up being fruitless as everywhere he calls, nobody has any record of his wife on file. The Anchorage hospital even claimed they had no record of his son's birth on file. Not believing this, Scott decides to investigate himself and uses his mutant powers to break in. As this use of his powers allows Master Mold to pinpoint his location and head toward Anchorage, Scott finds that there are no records of Madelyne or the birth of his son in the hospital records.
Realizing that someone has been erasing all records of Madelyne, Scott decides to check out the library. He pulls up an issue of the LA Times that contains the story of the 747 crash in Los Angeles that Maddie told him that she walked away from. To Scott's surprise, the newspaper story does not mention Maddie at all. He begins to wonder, and putting together the fact that Maddie's plane crash in LA happened on the same day that Phoenix died, he beings to consider that if the Phoenix Force was able to hide Jean from him all these years, then it could have hidden Maddie from him as well.
Scott goes back to his house where he is haunted by delusions of Maddie and his son. These delusions try to fortify the idea that perhaps Maddie was the Phoenix all along, however Scott lashes out against these visions with his optic blasts, trashing his home. However, this outburst uncovers at least some kind of evidence that his family used to live there: One of Nathan's rattles, hidden behind a radiator giving him some hope that his wife and child are out there somewhere and vows to find them.
However, this might be a slim hope, as not far away the police are dragging the body of a heavily decomposed red-haired woman who just might be Madelyne. If this isn't bad enough, Scott's optic blast allows Master Mold (via the brain engrams of Stephen Lang that comprise of his memory) to identify the mutant he is tracking, which increases its desire to eliminate him.
This story is continued next issue...
- For why Master Mold was in space, see Incredible Hulk Annual #7. For what Master Mold's return means to mutants everywhere, Uncanny X-Men #246 and Uncanny X-Men #247 might shed some light on that subject.
- On page 18, Scott refers to Nathan Summers being born in the hospital in Anchorage, when in fact, he was born on the kitchen floor at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in New York between Uncanny X-Men #200 and Uncanny X-Men #201.
- Jean Grey gets accused of having her mutant power be causing men to fall in love with her. And its true! Ok, not really, but it might as well be. (It was also implied before in X-Men #57, in the secondary story, though never outright stated).
- This issue is one of the first times a mutant (Cyclops in this case) is referred to as one of the 'Twelve'. Possibly a foreshadowing to a future storyline played out in the event, Apocalypse: The Twelve.