Issue(s): X-Factor #15
Later, he checks himself out of the hospital and heads to the airport, with the seeming intention of flying to Arizona, but also saying "One last time, I need to fly." And then the plane blows up.
In the middle of this, we have Apocalypse introducing his Horseman, and saying "the time is ripe to pluck the Fourth", which is Death.
This issue also has the Morlocks that X-Factor rescued returning to their tunnels, saying that "other Morlocks" survived as well. Mixed in with this is some issues with X-Factor's teen rescues, with the Beast scolding Boom Boom for a fight that Masque started.
When Beast subsequently confronts Masque, Masque attacks him...
...and Caliban jumps in.
The saddest thing is seeing Leech and Artie separated.
Our third thread is Cyclops, who is brought to the morgue and shown the body that the police found last issue. Scott identifies it as Madelyne...
...and he has her buried.
At the grave, he seems to have another hallucination (the fact that it seems to know that Angel is about to kill himself could be due to Scott's subconscious guilt; he had earlier called X-Factor to tell them that Madelyne was dead and told them that he couldn't come home to help with Angel's own depression).
Scott does say that he "almost wished you were dead" but he also says that "I didn't mean it" and that he loved Madelyne. Scott is depressed (at a minimum, considering the hallucinations). I don't think Simonson is telling us here that Scott actually wanted Madelyne dead. "I wish you were dead" and "I wish I was dead" are what depressed people say, and these statements just lead to more guilt which just leads to further depression. Simonson is putting Cyclops on this downward spiral.
After the burial, Scott returns to New York in time to see Angel's plane explode, and he of course blames himself for this too. Wherever he is not is where he needed to be.
A depressing set of storylines.
This is the first physical appearance of "Ship" (later Cable's Graymalkin Professor, and later still Prosh) , the sentient spacecraft that Apocalypse appropriated from the Celestials. It doesn't actually speak this issue. Apocalypse's teleportation seen in the earlier issues with him recruiting his Horsemen were likely done with Ship's techonology, and the MCP has given Ship behind-the-scenes appearances for those issues as well, but i'm sticking to visible appearances for now.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iceman is teleported away in the middle of this issue, in a scene repeated in Thor #377.
Iceman next appears in Thor #377-378, returning in a scene shown in both X-Factor #17 and Thor #379.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
Scott just assumes his son is dead in this story with no evidence. Bizarrely, none of his teammates suggest otherwise.
Posted by: Michael | March 9, 2014 4:04 PM
When i first knew about this series i thought it would be like Claremont and Byrne X Men: action, melodrama, terrific stories. Instead i found those depressing stories, amputated wings, Scott depressed and almost crazy,Maddie as a rotten corpse, insufferable Claremontian tics. very, very dissapointing
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | March 9, 2014 6:02 PM
Jay, yes, it's all laid on a little too thick. I think a major reason has to do with choices made in the title's first issue that turned out to be rather dumb, and the creative teams spend the next two years undoing that.
If they presented X-Factor in a more benevolent way (as an institute that helps mutants deal with their powers in order to protect mankind instead of outright "hunting" them to protect humanity) and if they had Scott immediately do the right thing in regards to Maddie, a lot of this angst would be gone, and the drama could be done completely in the types of foes they'd be fighting.
Still, I have fond memories of the first two years of Louise Simonson's run.
Posted by: Chris | March 9, 2014 6:39 PM
This is if you consider Scott's overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame that cause him to hallucinate and eventually nearly kill Jean in an arguement in an upcoming issue as "without consequences" Micheal... And as for selfish, destructive behaviour, I don't think he's been able to think clearly enough to understand that's what he's doing.
The other half of sexism is how boys are told to "be a man" and not express their feelings. That makes for pressure cooker waiting to explode. Scott hasn't been able to work through any of this and the more he bottled it up, the less he could step back and deal with any of it constructively.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 9, 2014 8:27 PM
Chris, if Scott had treated Maddie right, there would be no Goblin Queen during Inferno. At least the writers were able to salvage something from this horribly long sub-plot. I think that marriage was doomed from the beginning. It seemed to me that Scott only married her because she resembled Jean. Which is of course what Mr. Sinister wanted to have happen.
Posted by: clyde | March 9, 2014 9:02 PM
I actually don't blame any character (or reader) for buying that Angel committed suicide and not looking deeper. The writing had established so well that he was deeply depressed in this issue and those leading up to it (statements like "Whatever happens to me, X-Factor will be provided for") that it would be easy to let the subsequent revelation about Hodge slip one's mind, and believe Apocalypse plucked him from his doom immediately pre-suicide. Warren even says (as Archangel a few issues down the line) that he was at such a low point that he might well have considered it.
The method of the exploding aircraft is a bit unusual, yes, but so is the situation of a potentially suicidal person who loved to fly and is specifically depressed about losing his ability to fly, and perhaps wants to leave this earth somehow in the air -- if not under his own power.
I remember a very tough, unsympathetic letter in a subsequent issue, paraphrased: "So now we're all supposed to feel sorry for Angel, right? Because without those wings, he's just another young, handsome, fantastically rich guy surrounded by people who love him." There's definitely a point there, and you could tune out on Warren's plight. But I found him interesting because he was the rare mutant who loved what he could do. A lot of the others, if they woke up in a hospital bed and doctors had done something to take it away, might be deeply relieved, or at most have mixed feelings. Even X-Men who had previously been de-powered and had never been portrayed as riven with angst over being monsters (Banshee, Storm), adjusted quite well. But Angel felt both physically maimed and as though his identity were gone.
Posted by: Todd | March 9, 2014 9:14 PM
But Jay, that's the point- Scott's nearly killing Jean is swept under the rug. Maddie decides to be human for one moment IN A DREAM and she winds up being transformed into a permanent villain.
Posted by: Michael | March 9, 2014 9:25 PM
Interesting. It seems that I am the exception in having a hard time reading these stories (and the X-Men and New Mutants stories of the same time period) on anything beyond a meta level.
By this point I don't even try to make sense of Scott, because it is so obvious that it will fail. The plot is way too heavy, way too set on making Scott and X-Factor in general miserable.
Difficult yet urgent situations such as how his marriage should stand, or how long they will keep feeding the mutant paranoia before realizing that it is a destructive path keep going on for literally years. The clear goal is not to show characters who grow, but rather angst waves which the mutants try not to drown in.
A more character-oriented plot would be by necessity much quick in its resolution. And so much less angsty. But we are rapidly approaching the 1990s style of storytelling, perhaps more so in X-Factor than even in its two sister books. Things are supposed to explode very graphically whenever they are touched at all, everyone should make odd postures and scream all the time, and plot should take a second seat to drama out of the lungs.
I find it particularly impressive (and annoying) how slowly the plot advances despite what looks like a lot of non-stop action.
Maybe this neurotic style of storytelling developed out of commercial short-term considerations? What we have here is a new book that just keeps drawing out of its connections to past storylines and other books. It is making a point both of teasing its inevitable crossover with the X-Men while avoiding it and of crossing over with anything else that does not involve other writers (Power Pack, Thor, arguably Fantastic Four and Iron Man as well).
It is a very odd, exploitative and destructive combination, one that I am certain Jim Shooter fought to undo as much as he could. It is certainly no coincidence that he would be gone just a few months later. He would never condone the blackmail school of crossovers that both Marvel and Valiant ended up developing a few years after they disposed of him.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | March 9, 2014 11:24 PM
I wonder if Beautiful Dreamer should have a BTS Characters Appearing mention as she was one of the rescued Morlocks in this group and would have left with them here.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 10, 2014 12:26 AM
The title refers to the early 1980s film(and book?) "Whose Life Is It Anyway?"
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 13, 2014 3:32 PM
I believe that panel of the hand opening the "ARM" switch is later revealed to be Cameron Hodge's hand which means he should be in the "Characters Appearing" section.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 21, 2014 2:58 AM
Jay, are you sure it's him personally and not just a member of the Right?
Posted by: fnord12 | March 21, 2014 7:42 AM
When we come to the dialogue where it's revealed, I guess you'll have to judge if it was personal enough that Hodge triggered the explosion himself or had someone do it for him. Personally, I think he did it himself but maybe that's just me?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 21, 2014 12:07 PM
Warren takes off from JFK Airport and turns out over the ocean, quite likely over Jamaica Bay, and blows himself up. In X-Factor #67 Claremont hints he was "reborn" (transformed by Apocalypse) on the Blue Side of the Moon (given Apocalypse surrogates are guarding/ defending the tunnels Dark Phoenix fled down from the Shi'ar Imperial Guard), making it pretty much the opposite to Phoenix who was reborn at Jamaica Bay and died on the Moon. Makes sense, she being "Life Incarnate" and he being "Death" perhaps!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 23, 2016 4:10 PM
Wait when did Warren learn how to fly a plane? I thought piloting was Scott's skill set (and given his wingspan, Warren never struck me as someone who would fit confortably in the cockpit of a small plane anyway. Not that he'd really need to fly that way...)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 6, 2016 11:38 PM
Well. On one hand, it's good that the book finally starts - or, well, seem to start - to resolve the issues that were there from the start
On the other hand, I don't really like how dark and depressing everything is. People die. Nobody is saved. Things are just getting worse.
The book tried to recapture the happy merry years of 60s X-men but instead went full 90s, before 90s were a thing.
Posted by: Karel | May 27, 2018 6:19 PM
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