Appearing in "Keeping Things"
- X-Factor Investigations
- Scarpetti (First and only known appearance)
- Hela (Mentioned)
- Agamemnon (Vali Halfling) (Voice) (On the phone)
- LVMPD (Cameo)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Peter Dinklage (Mentioned) (Topical Reference)
- New Avengers (Mentioned)
- Doctor Castillo (Mentioned)
- Hrimhari the Wolf Prince (Mentioned)
- Thor (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Hell (Invoked)
Synopsis for "Keeping Things"
The team is in Las Vegas, with Darwin playing poker against a man named Scarpetti. Darwin goes all in, but Scarpetti refuses to call unless Darwin removes his sunglasses. Darwin obliges, and Scarpetti draws a gun and shoots Darwin, declaring that Darwin is Death and that he, Scarpetti, has saved everyone. Darwin gets back up, sits at the table, and asks if Scarpetti is going to call. Scarpetti flees, and Darwin pursues, but not before revealing that he had the winning hand. Darwin catches Scarpetti, saying the voices of Scarpetti's victims scream in his skull. Darwin demands that Scarpetti go to the police and confess his crimes, or else Darwin will take his soul.
Madrox intervenes and takes Darwin outside. Darwin says that as a result of Jamie's plan to have Darwin go head to head against Hela, he has had a permanent change in his powers. Jamie says he thought the effects of Darwin's rapid adaptation would be temporary, like always, but Darwin replies that evolution is a one way street. Darwin leaves Madrox, saying he needs time alone to figure out what has happened to him.
Back at X-Factor's hotel room, Teresa berates Jamie for letting Darwin leave, but Layla sticks up for him, citing Teresa herself once needed to get away and having some time for herself.
Madrox starts a monologue about how everybody thinks he sucks, but is interrupted by Pip the Troll, who offers Madrox a beer. Pip offers to join X-Factor as a way of repaying them for saving him from Hela, Madrox says he will confer with his teams and asks Pip to wait outside. Pip agrees. Once the door is closes, Shatterstar teleports them back to X-Factor headquarters in New York, where Monet is sunbathing. Jamie laments that the hotel is going to change them for trashing the room, but Strong Guy says he told them hotel they were the New Avengers so they should be fine. As they are about to enter their building the door opens and Pip walks out. Pip says he can teleport too, as a result of his cosmic adventures, and that he has a knack for finding people. The team goes inside to tell Rictor he is not the father of Rahne's baby, and Pip stays to flirt with Monet, who is no mood, and threatens to throw him off the building if he says another word.
The team finds Rictor, but he is drunk. He says he already knows that he isn't the father based on the results of the ultrasound, and that Rahne disappeared when they were leaving the doctor's office. Teresa says the father is Hrimhari, who Rictor recognizes as a Wolf God. Longshot says that Rictor shouldn't feel bad for being dumped for a god; based on the way that Shatterstar was looking at Thor, gods can be brutal competition. Rictor is upset that Rahne lied to him, but Layla says that he heard what he wanted to hear, or she told him what he needed to hear. She says that he can't leave it like this and Shatterstar agrees, and that they should continue to provide Rahne a safe haven. Rictor asks how they could even find her, and Pip falls past the window. Madrox says they have it covered.
Rictor approaches Rahne by a fountain in Central Park. Rictor says he knows about Hrimhari. Rahne says the only reason she left him think he was the father that she felt guilty for turning him gay when she left, and she didn't want him to go to Hell. Rictor laughs, but thinks it's sweet how she was still worried about his soul (Rahne helped save him from suicide back in X-Factor Vol 3 1). Rictor explains that he had kept who and what he was inside for a long time, and it wasn't fair to anyone to keep doing it. He invites her back home, saying that all the men can take turns being the father, and the women can be aunts.
Back at X-Factor headquarters, Pip is acting as the receptionist (the galaxy's greatest receptionist, in fact) when he gets a mysterious phone call. The voice tells Pip not to forget why he's really there and to keep his real reason to himself. Pip promises the caller not to let him down, and the caller hangs up.
In the aftermath of the battle with Hela, the team is in upheaval. One member leaves...another arrives...Rictor and Rahne finally have it out over the identity of her baby's father. Guaranteed to be the most emotional issue of X-Factor this month!
- The hand of cards Darwin is dealt, A♠ A♣ 8♠ 8♣, is ofter referred to as "The Dead Man's Hand".