Issue(s): X-Factor #12
Boom Boom gets mad at the Vanisher and calls X-Factor on him, and then has a change of heart. But, in part because she gets a crush on Bobby Drake and in part because she's just mischievous, she can't resist dropping a small timebomb down the back of his shirt.
And when they chase her, Vanisher teleports away without her, so she's forced to run off on her own.
Earlier, Caliban had offered to serve as a tracker, but was declined.
However, they regret that as Boom Boom leads Iceman and Beast on a chase through the city.
They do eventually catch up with her (she immediately recognizes them when they switch from their X-Factor to X-Terminator identities) and convince her to come back to X-Factor headquarters with them.
Beast and Iceman are the only ones to respond to Boom Boom's call because Cyclops and Jean are waiting with Angel in the hospital where the doctor is insisting that Angel's wings have to come off. It's said Angel has an infection and that his hollow bones have splintered into a thousand pieces, and that even if the wings healed, he would never fly again.
While in Angel's room, Jean and Scott see a newscast featuring a statement from Jean's sister Sara, who is labelled a "pro-mutant spokesman". This triggers an argument/discussion between Scott and Jean which results in each of them making an attempt at reaching out to their families. Jean first tries to call Sara and gets no response, so she and Scott go to her house and find it abandoned. The phone rings and Jean picks up to hear an anti-mutant message...
...and then the house explodes. This triggers Scott to decide to go to Alaska to find his wife Madelyne, who he'd previously been assuming was just avoiding him.
Also in this issue, Apocalypse recruits the third of his Horsemen, a young anorexic girl named Autumn.
In realtime, i remember finding this story really messy. That's partially due to the plot. Boom Boom is a chaotic character and i've always found her annoying.
And this issue opens with a scene of Beast and Iceman having breakfast with the Morlocks, a deliberately disorderly scene.
The idea here was probably to have a somewhat more lighthearted story after the Mutant Massacre, but the tone shift felt disruptive. Granted, not true of the Angel/Jean/Scott part of the story.
But part of the "messiness" is just Marc Silvestri's art, which i actually like a lot now but just felt off to me at the time (see also my initial reaction to Walt Simonson). And this is a good story, with the Morlock stuff being fun and the addition of Boom Boom at least making sense, if we had to see her again after Secret Wars II. And it's good to see movement on the Scott/Madelyne storyline.
Truth be told, the Vanisher barely figures into this story and won't be seen again in the X-Factor series.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAngel, Ape (Morlock), Apocalypse, Artie Maddicks, Beast, Beautiful Dreamer, Boom Boom, Caliban, Cameron Hodge, Cyclops, Erg, Famine (Horseman of Apocalypse), Iceman, Jean Grey, Leech, Masque, Rusty Collins, Sara Grey, Skids, Tarbaby, Vanisher
Believe it or not, the Locust will be appearing in X-Factor 52.
Posted by: Michael | February 25, 2014 9:11 PM
Interesting that Boom Boom mentions 3 other girls. We saw 2 of them hanging out in the background last issue. We find out Ariel & Chance knew Boom Boom and mention the events of this issue in the Fallen Angels mini-series. I wonder who the 3rd was? Possibly a non-mutant girl who leaves before Fallen Angels #1, following Boom Boom's example? Maybe it was Lorelei who was in Vanisher's version of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants hooked up with him again then decided to return to the Savage Land? I guess we'll never know...
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 26, 2014 1:43 AM
Thought I'd mention you repeated the same image twice.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 26, 2014 1:53 AM
Fixed the image. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 26, 2014 7:07 AM
Jean and Scott visited Sara Grey's home in X-Factor #12 after Sara Grey went on the news to defend mutants after Karma's apartment got bombed in New Mutants #46. When Jean and Scott got there the place blew up.
I always thought it was odd timing.
That is, the Marauders went after Madelyne Pryor at the same time Cameron Hodge went after Sara Grey which was the same time someone abducted Karma's siblings Leong and Nga.
And none of that was connected? Really?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 26, 2015 3:26 AM
To be fair, the Marauders went after Maddie in X-Men 206- a little earlier. What's weird is that whoever set the bomb in Karma's house (which was implied to be the Marauders) apparently had nothing to do with Leong's and Nga's kidnapping.
Posted by: Michael | November 26, 2015 8:48 AM
Karma's siblings and Sara Grey and her family are both unresolved plots from the mid to late 80s that got resolved some years later by other writers.
I doubt how they were brought to a close much resembles what was originally planned. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Claremont and Simonson set these up with no plan at all. They probably would have been bolted onto some larger plot or villain later on if they hadn't been forgotten about.
And for anyone keeping score:
Posted by: Red Comet | November 26, 2015 10:46 PM
My dim recollection of the Phalanx Covenant is that the Phalanx took over an anti-mutant group, the Friends of Humanity, that had retrieved Stephen Lang from a mental asylum (circa Uncanny 291). The Friends were saud during the Phalanx storyline to have kidnapped Sara Grey, and presumably they bombed her house.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 27, 2015 3:05 AM
While it might appear that Louise Simonson had Sara Grey appear as a spokesperson for Mutant Rights in #12 to infer The Right were responsible for blowing up her home, she indicated in an email interview I conducted with her on 16 May, 2012 that she intended Nanny and the Orphanmaker to have done it in order to grab the kids before Mister Sinister or The Right could.
It was certainly Nanny’s modus operandi, and explains why Louise had the character in #35 express certainty she and her husband Paul were both dead.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 27, 2015 4:40 AM
@Nathan- but that just raises the questions of why Sara and her husband weren't home, how Nanny grabbed the kids without Sara and her husband being present, why Nanny was so sure Sara and her husband were dead and why Sara never tried to contact Jean. Simonson's explanations (see also Maddie and Magneto were Evil All Along) just raise further questions.
Posted by: Michael | November 27, 2015 9:31 AM
Grabbing the relatives made sense insofar as Claremont's intentions were headed. No, it was never explained during his run and I don't even want to know what this Phalanx-thing means, much less bring in Nanny.
Sara's sudden disappearance give Jean a reason to be personally involved in the mutant wars. Leong and Nga's disappearance gave Karma a reason to be involved, and she's already been involved in a few wars herself. With very little knowledge about what happened to these characters after Claremont left, I'd say he was just making things up as he went along. Investigating the bombing of Sara's house was how Wolverine realized Jean Grey was still alive, and Sara was the least important part of that equation. Karma had been protecting her brother and sister for years, which is what led her to Xavier, and then to Farouk, and then led the New Mutants to Magus. Basically Claremont is trying to describe 'wheels within wheels' and doesn't have enough control over his own title to make it happen, so he's trying to impress upon Wheezie what he wants to happen, but she doesn't have enough control either, and they're both long-gone by the time this stuff actually becomes important.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 28, 2015 12:30 AM
Candy Southern was kidnapped sometime around here by the Right and Cameron Hodge murdered her just before Inferno. Much later, she turned up as a Phalanx that was supposed to attack Warren. Her body was used as a host for it or something.
The Friends of Humanity had a connection to the Right. It's entirely possible Sara Grey's husband was killed by Nanny & Orphan Maker, Sara was badly wounded/presumed dead in the attack, and the Right kidnapped her/took her body. So whatever happened to Candy and the Friends of Humanity, probably happened to Sara too.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 3, 2015 3:21 AM
But that just gets us back to the question of why the Right did nothing with Sara/her body until after Warlock died.
Posted by: Michael | December 6, 2015 3:57 PM
Haha I love the idea that Lorelei was an early member of Fallen Angels
Posted by: George Lochinski | November 24, 2016 6:27 AM
Man I love me some early Silvestri. Just a fun style. Like Art Adams but with a sane level of crosshatching.
Posted by: MindlessOne | May 13, 2017 3:59 PM
Jean REALLY looks like Silvestri's Madelyne (who I think he didn't draw until a few months later in publication time) in that one scene above, partly because of what she's wearing (see the last couple scans for Uncanny 223). You know, I feel like Silvestri may be the first artist who really made Jean and Madelyne look identical. I guess it's possible (maybe even probable) that by this point Claremont had already come up with the clone explanation and this informed Silvestri's (and later artists') depiction of Madelyne and Jean.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 15, 2017 9:58 AM
We can always use a look back at early Silvestri. Almost every panel posted here shows some neat use of staging, body language, action scenes, and oh yes the facial expressions. Boom Boom and the Vanisher have great chemistry, Bobby's half-frown when he says they have to take her in, Boom Boom's tears at how that awful school in Westchester treated her, Skids as she fails and fails and finally succeeds at grabbing a piece of food, and all of that pales to the look(s) on Jean's face when Scott says he's going to see Maddie.
Just look at those three panels, there's genuine confusion because she doesn't know what he's talking about, then there's overly-dramatic Marvel angst, and the third panel is framed almost identically with the first, achieving subtlety in a visual medium, which isn't easy to do.
There are plenty of artists better or more important to comics history than Marc Silvestri, but this issue shows why he's always been one of my favorites. He gets the superheroes right, he gets the people right, he gets the backgrounds right, it's just so much cartoony fun.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 15, 2017 8:24 PM
I'm just now really getting exposed to early Silvestri, because I'm reading most of his X-Men run (including the X-Factor fill-ins and X-Men vs. Avengers) for the first time, other than having read my Inferno trade many years ago. I gotta say, I'm really appreciating what I've seen so far.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 16, 2017 11:07 AM
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