- You rescued Jean. Saved Scott's brother. Maybe saved us all. Don't kid yourself...you've made your choice. Forget Dark Angel. You're our official Archangel now. Heaven knows, we can use one.
- -- Beast
Appearing in "Duet!"
- Goblin Queen (Main story and flashback) (Death)
- Various demons
- John Grey - (As a demon)
- Elaine Grey - (As a demon)
- Phoenix Force
- Roma (Recap)
- Mr. Sinister (Only in flashback)
- Marauders (Only in flashback)
- Annie Richardson (Recap)
- Philip Summers (Only in flashback)
- Deborah Summers (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Duet!"
Continued from Uncanny X-Men #242...
With the demon N'Astirh seemingly destroyed, the combined forced of the X-Men and X-Factor are surprised to not only find that the Inferno spell is still in effect over Manhattan, but that the Goblin Queen still has all her powers and is holding Marvel Girl as her hostage. Before the two groups of mutants, Madelyne tells her estranged husband Cyclops that she is doing all this for revenge against all those who destroyed her life, which she maintains was nothing more than borrowed from others, alluding to the fact that she was not born by conventional means. When Colossus points out that the gate to Limbo has been closed and N'Astirh defeated he tells her to give up her mad quest. Madelyne refuses, having her own horde of demons to command and that she still intends to sacrifice her son Nathan.
When the two teams attempt to attack, Longshot's tainted luck powers cause the group bad luck, causing them to bump into each other, while fighting the Goblin Queen's demons. This leads to the two groups getting into blows once more, as Cyclops and Storm battles Storm once more calls X-Factor mutant hunters saying that they had recorded media reports following their missions to allow them to keep tabs on X-Factor's operations. When Scott wonders why they didn't know that X-Factor revealed their true purposes recently, he asks her who was keeping the recordings for them. Storm realizes it was Madelyne who did, and sees how the woman had deceived the X-Men, and has likely been making sure that he two groups would not come into contact with each other for quite some time. When Cyclops attempts to attack the Goblin Queen, the evil sorceress uses her powers to move the demonically transformed father of Jean Grey to deflect the blast. Storm's similar attempt to try and strike Maddy down is blocked.
The Goblin Queen then convinces Dazzler and Longshot (still tainted by the Inferno spell) to help her in exchange for being "stars" of the battle. With magically created spotlights following them wherever, the two agree to help, attacking Dark Angel, blasting him out of the sky and in Maddy's proximity. She uses her magical powers to break Warren's resolve and transform him into a demonic form before he passes out. She then unleashes her full magical fury and sends the demons after the X-Men and X-Factor. As the mutant groups fight through the demon hoards, the Goblin Queen orders Havok to slay his brother Cyclops. Alex, very much in love with Madelyne now and under her thrall willingly attacks his brother. When Longshot and Dazzler attempt to try and kill Cyclops at all they are swept away from Storm.
Dark Angel meanwhile manages to shake off Madelyne's influence and uses his wings to cut the magical restraint that has been keeping Jean under Maddy's thrall, this also causes some sort of magical feedback that allows Wolverine to shake off Inferno's influence on him and regain his control. As the other members of the X-Men and X-Factor are busy keeping Dazzler and Longshot under wraps, Cyclops and Havok battle it out. While Havok does not listen to any of Scott's attempts to talk sense into him. When Alex puts himself at risk of being buried under rubble, his gambit works out when his brother saves his life allowing Alex to knock him out. Jean meanwhile has shaken free of the Goblin Queen's control and the two are locked in mental combat, and Maddy creates an impenetrable force-field around the two women and young Christopher Summers so that the others cannot interfere with their final battle together. As the two women battle it out, Madelyne once more begins to allude to the fact that she was artificially created. Jean wars on, furious that between the Phoenix Force and Madelyne portions of her natural course in life have been usurped by other people.
While not far, Cyclops is about to be blasted by Havok when Dark Angel fires his razor sharp feathers at Alex, sending him over the edge of the Empire State Building. Despite this, Havok unleashes a powerful blast in the hopes of sending Cyclops over the edge of the cliff as well. Cyclops manages to grab onto a ledge and save himself, while Havok is rescued by the Dark Angel. Inside the force bubble, Madelyne attempts her final revenge: Psychically willing her brain to die while psi-linked to Jean -- taking a cue from Jean's experience with her school friend Annie Richardson -- this time however, Madelyne intends to keep Jean in her mind while she dies so that Jean will die as well. As Jean struggles to free herself suddenly a portion of the Phoenix Force appears. The portion of it's power explains that following it's death on the moon, it attempted to send a portion of itself (with it's memories and experiences) to Jean as she was healing below Jamaica Bay, however Jean who refused it when she learned the genocide it caused in her image and it instead found a host in Madelyne.
Outside, the regrouped X-Men and X-Factor begin determining a means to find a weak spot in the telekinetic shield. They manage to convince Dazzler to help by pointing out to her that Madelyne has tricked her and that she is not the star of this battle. Havok is also convinced to help, however still angry at his brother for how Madelyne was abandoned, he only does so to help his brothers estranged wife over anything else. With a common cause the two groups begin attacking the field in an attempt to break through and rescue Jean. Inside, Jean learns the shocking truth about Madelyne Pryor: That she is in reality a clone of Jean herself created by the evil mutant known as Mr. Sinister. Sinister had intended for Madelyne to be the perfect mate for Cyclops in order to spawn a child for some unrevealed reasons. When she fulfilled her intended purpose and after Cyclops abandoned her to join X-Factor, Sinister sought to eliminate her and take the child. He would send the Marauders to assassinate her, however she would join up with the X-Men and seemingly sacrifice their lives to save the world, eventually her seething hatred would lead to a deal with N'Astirh.
Outside, Psylocke manages to convince the depressed Longshot that he still has his good luck power and has him toss one of his daggers at the shield to find a weak point. Finding it, the teams manage to burst through just as Madelyne attempts to kill both herself and Jean. With this distraction, the Goblin Queen tosses young Christopher, sending him father diving for his boy. Attempting to kill them all in the chaos, Madelyne is over powered by Jean, who's love for the X-Men gives her the strength to fight back. She then decides the only solution is to accept the portion of the Phoenix Force that resides in Madelyne, and in the process also absorbs all of her clones memories and is restored. The power of the Phoenix Force manages to break the Inferno spell and make Jean a complete woman once more, however Madelyne dies in the process.
With the battle over, Jean goes to Scott who is both in mourning for the death of his wife but also eternally happy to finally be reunited with his son. In the aftermath, everyone gathered notes that the X-Men haven't been restored to normal following their exposure to the Inferno spell and wonder if this will cause problems to them in the future. Beast commends Warren for his selfless acts that day and his ability to fight against his evil impulses and rechristens him Archangel. Cyclops tries to make amends with his brother, however Alex still resents Scott for what he did to Madelyne and tells him that if he could join her side again he wouldn't do things differently. In the end Jean looks at the lifeless body of the woman cloned from her DNA and realizes the pure evil that is Mr. Sinister and rallies both groups together to hunt Sinister down and put a stop to him before he cause this sort of travesty again.
|Uncanny X-Men #239||Uncanny X-Men #240||Uncanny X-Men #241||X-Factor #36||X-Factor #37||Uncanny X-Men #242||X-Factor #38||Uncanny X-Men #243||X-Factor #39||Inferno Event|
- Part of the Inferno event.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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- Images from X-Factor Vol 1 38
Links and References
- X-Factor at Wikipedia
- X-Factor at Marvel Subscriptions
- X-Factor series index at Comicbookdb.com
- X-Factor series index at Uncanny X-Men.net
- X-Factor series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators - accessed on 09/21/2010
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