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Quote1 I've seen these guys in action! Believe me... guns won't work! Quote2
—Sergeant Miller

Appearing in "Casualties"

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Synopsis for "Casualties"

Continued from last issue...

With Apocalypse's Horsemen defeated, and his ship crashed in the Hudson River, X-Factor emerges from the ship as police arrive on the scene. When the police demand to speak with X-Factor, they reiterate that they helped save the city, however the police are not so easy to believe that -- not when Death, on of Apocalypse's minions is among their number. Warren, fed up of listening to the humans, scatters them by firing his razor sharp feathers and flying off into the sky to seek out other priorities. Before the police can regroup, there is an explosion at a nearby building prompting Cyclops to order Marvel Girl to carry them there telekinetically so that they can see if there is anything they can do to help. When the press and police attempt to enter the abandoned ship, they head through the main entrance and find that some force keeps them from entering it.

Watching from his hideout with Death and Caliban, Apocalypse laughs and remarks that only mutants can pass through the barrier into his former ship and then calls back his soldier Famine from her mission attempting to destroy "America's Breadbasket".[1] X-Factor meanwhile arrives at the scene where a gas explosion has caused an apartment building to set ablaze. As another explosion rocks fire-fighters, Warren saves them from a deadly fall and the other members of X-Factor begin lending a hand to try and help. While Jean uses her telekinesis to keep the building together, Iceman smothers the majority of the flames with his ice powers. As they are working, police observe the situation and tell X-Factor that a building has collapsed on 54th street. Without a moments hesitation, Jean carries them there telekinetically. Helping with the blaze, Hank uses his powers to help save people trapped in the building even at the risk of losing his intelligence thanks to the illness Pestilence infected him with.[2] While rescuing the people in the building, Scott sees a woman who he thinks is his wife Maddie at first, but realizes he is mistaken. Scott admits to Jean that while he believes that Maddie's dead, the body he saw was so decomposed that he still had a hope that she might still be alive out there.

When police arrive on the scene, they remark about how ambulances are stalled, and when one of the officers has the nerve to tell X-Factor they are under arrest, Jean makes him eat his words by using her powers to carry the injured to the nearest hospital. Along the way, Scott talks about his relationship with Madelyne and realizes that he never truly loved her like he loved Jean. However, he stayed with her to try and make her happy and have a normal life. Having a child was a step in that direction but things went bad when Scott learned that Jean was still alive[3] and he went running to her and joined with X-Factor,[4] he finally realized who he truly loved above all others. However, after this Maddie left him and when he went searching for her she was missing,[5] and how her body was found and leaving him wondering if his son is alive as well.[6] While at the hospital, a doctor angrily orders Beast to get out of his way and goes on a triad about the Smiley Face "mutants" shooting spree[7] and Horsemen's attack on New York and that all mutants should be lynched because of it. Hank, his intelligence at a very low ebb is emotionally hurt by the comments and begins to cry.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Trish Tilby, nearly fully healed following her wounds following the Smiley Face attack gives up her bed for the hospitals new arrivals. She finds Hank in the corner crying and tells him he's a hero, and she is surprised to find that his intelligence has been drastically reduced since she last saw him. Iceman explains everything to Trish and how Hank blames himself for Apocalypse's ship crashing because Apocalypse tricked him to damage it's controls. When he asks Trish if she is going to write up another anti-mutant editorial, she tells him that she was never anti-mutant, only anti-X-Factor, as she did not approve of their methods. When they compare notes about how Trish learned that Warren was involved in an "anti-mutant" militia, Bobby explains how Cameron Hodge manipulated them and misappropriated X-Factors funds. He tells her that X-Factor will tell the full story after they finish helping the city with the current crisis. Bobby tells Hank to stay behind while they tackle trouble on 23rd Street because they don't want him to lose anymore intelligence, however Hank refuses to stay behind and goes anyway. As they leave, Trish flips open her note book and begins jotting down notes.

The following morning, X-Factor drops off another group of wounded New Yorkers to the hospital and Jean is about wiped out after the group has been working for three days straight. They decide to take a rest when they are approached by some NYPD officers. Following the news coverage have changed their orders and the people of New York consider X-Factor heroes. With Jean weak from all the work, and the press willing to follow them everywhere, X-Factor agrees to a police escort back to Apocalypse's ship to stay the night as it appears that only mutants can enter the ship. As they are driven through the city, Scott and Jean are touched by the fact that people in the city are finally recognizing them as mutant heroes instead of mutant menaces.

Once in privacy, Iceman and Hank decide to leave Scott and Jean to explore the ship. Left alone, Scott begins to brood over Madelyn's death again and vows to find her killers. Jean tells him to stop focusing on the dead, that Maddie and Phoenix are dead and she is still alive and the facts that be have brought them back together -- that they should stop worrying about anything but each other. They kiss, and eventually, after such a long time -- Scott Summer and Jean Grey make love.

The next morning, with their current uniforms in tatters, the members of X-Factor have nothing to wear except for spare uniforms once owned by Apocalypse's horsemen. However Hank and Bobby have a surprise: A gift from a tailor who was thankful for X-Factor saving his life, he had made them all new costumes. As they go outside to greet the gathered public, they are told that they are going to be the guests of honor in a parade thanking them for helping the city. As X-Factor rides off to join this parade, Apocalypse and his minions watch from their hidden headquarters. Apocalypse muses that X-Factor has passed his first test, that they have cast off their human guises and won the love of an entire city and took control of his ship. However, he muses that while X-Factor has achieved a great deal of power this day, he remarks that power eventually corrupts.

X-Factor, is of course oblivious to all this, as they bask in the glory of being hailed as heroes for their work in saving New York City.

See Also

Links and References


  1. see Captain America #339
  2. X-Factor #21
  3. Avengers #263 and Fantastic Four #286
  4. X-Factor #1
  5. X-Factor #3
  6. It's not really Maddie's corpse but check it out in X-Factor #13
  7. actually minions of the Right smearing X-Factor's good name in X-Factor #21