Characters Appearing: Havok, Madrox the Multiple Man, Mr. Sinister, Polaris, Quicksilver, Ricochet, Slab, Strong Guy, Valerie Cooper, Wolfsbane
Issue(s): X-Factor #74
Havok, meanwhile, dreams about Polaris, and says her name out loud. Which disappoints Wolfsbane, who is creepily perched at the end of Havok's bed.
When Havok wakes up, she claims she only came into his room because she heard him crying out.
Quicksilver dreams about Crystal, and the two Madroxes, still both held prisoner, annoy each other by snoring.
The next morning, Val Cooper's ex-husband, Edmond Atkinson, a polygraph expert, shows up to help determine which Madrox is the real one.
Note the comment about Wolfsbane's changing look. If she becomes fully human she will revert to Genoshan mutate form, so she's trying to get as close as possible without that happening.
Meanwhile, Ricochet's civilian identity turns out to be a US Senator, and he's consorting with Mr. Sinister. We get confirmation that Ricochet was behind Quicksilver's power problems.
X-Factor receive notice that someone has taken over the Washington Monument and is demanding to see Strong Guy. X-Factor go with him while Edmond and Val interview the Madroxes. The guy at the monument is a giant mutant named Slab, who identifies himself as a "nasty boy". We'll learn that that phrase should actually be capitalized, but we don't know that yet.
Strong Guy has to fight Slab or else a bomb will go off at the Monument.
Havok has Quicksilver search for the bomb, but Quicksilver's power problems stagger him.
During the fight with Slab, we learn that Strong Guy is not just a strong guy. He absorbs kinetic energy and converts into strength. As far as i understand it, that makes his powers identical to Sebastian Shaw's (which i guess is ok, since he's dead at this point).
The "Did I err?" line is, i belive, a nod to the Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier Groo comic. That punch knocks down the Washington Monument. The rest of X-Factor help to catch the falling pieces, and there's no actual explosion, so it's determined that Slab was lying about the bomb. Senator Shaffran shows up at the end to take advantage of the bad publicity that X-Factor is getting over the destroyed monument.
Meanwhile Edmond and Val come to a conclusion regarding the Madroxes, and let one go (the one that showed up second in the previous arc).
Peter David's combination of humor and good characterization continues to work well. Larry Stroman's art is more problematic. At times his abstract style has a nice artistic quality, but that was more evident in the quieter moments of the previous issue than the fight between Slab and Strong Guy, where it just comes across as messy looking.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Presumably the two Madroxes shouldn't be held prisoner for too long, so i'm pushing this back in publication time to be near X-Factor #71-73. This issue ends with Senator Shaffran (Ricochet) promising to make trouble for X-Factor, but next issue does not continue directly. When it's said that Moira MacTaggert is staying with the X-Men, a footnote points us to X-Men #1-4. For placement purposes, this just needs to take place after X-Men #1-3. She actually leaves the X-Men in X-Men #4.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Note Sinister's remark that the future is on "permanent loan". In issue 78, we find out that Sinister and Stryfe have an alliance. It's not clear if PAD intended Sinister to be getting his information on the future from Stryfe or if PAD had a different idea.
Posted by: Michael | January 15, 2016 7:56 PM
The problem is that this issue also has to take place relatively shortly after the last one, and i came to the conclusion that the previous arc had to take place before X-Men #1, although now i'm not so sure. Another factor is that i want War & Pieces and the related X-Factor issue to take place after (or concurrently with) Galactic Storm, based on a comment the Hulk makes to Havok. So i may wind up pushing all of X-Factor #71+ forward in publication time. Let me get through the remaining issues; placement is always temporary while i'm working through this stuff.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 16, 2016 12:47 PM
A problem you'll encounter there though is that Rick Jones is prominently in both War and Pieces and some of Operation Galactic Storm.
Posted by: AF | January 16, 2016 3:56 PM
That part shouldn't be a problem. Rick is in the early part of Galactic Storm, and then is sent back to the Pantheon. That's why i say War & Pieces can take place after or possibly concurrently with Storm. Hulk makes a (Peter David style joke) comment about Operation Storm during War & Piece, which is why i want the Hulk story after Rick gets back.
I'll get there soon enough so let's just wait until those entries are up.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 16, 2016 4:02 PM
I know the plotline continued on for quite a while, so this is a bit glib, but really? Is Rhane that surprised that Alex is dreaming about the woman he lived and loved with for a very long time and has suddenly been thrown together with on the same team?
I get that there is more going on here than is obvious on the surface, but she comes off as a really unhealthy stalker [as opposed to a healthy stalker] that she can't believe that the guy whose bedroom she's broken into dreams about his longtime girlfriend. Instead of, y'know, a 13 year old girl that he's met maybe twice before this all came down. [Scott's wedding and "X-Tinction Agenda" being the only previous meetings I can think of.]
It's not that big of a distance from her breaking into Guido's bedroom and asking "Kim? Who is this Kim?"
Posted by: ChrisW | January 16, 2016 9:57 PM
I may be mistaken, but isn't it Sinister's first appearance since Inferno? If so, I'd say it merits a note that this issue basically reveals that he wasn't killed by Cyclops back at the end of Inferno.
Of course, we all know that Sinister was already making appearances as Gambit, but that information didn't make it into the canon, so...
Posted by: Piotr W | January 21, 2016 3:13 PM
Piotr, you are correct, and i'll let your comment stand as the note!
Posted by: fnord12 | January 21, 2016 6:23 PM
ChrisW's comment points out one of the problems with the continuity right after Alex rejoined the X-Men - they were constantly going to and from the mansion. There should have been at least some stretches, around Annual #11 and #221 where Alex was living in the mansion and Rahne should have also been living in the mansion. You just didn't know it from the way they didn't show the teams interacting at all.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 29, 2016 7:12 AM
Yeah, but those would be very short stretches, because the X-Men weren't spending much time there. The mansion was completely empty when Alex arrived. Based on the chronology, the New Mutants had returned from fighting Magus, but perhaps the two issues overlapped and the kids were still in space. [This would explain why Magneto wasn't there when they returned, because he'd gone to meet Storm and the others in the Morlock tunnels.] The next X-Men appearance, they're on Muir Island. It's not clear where they start from in "X-Men vs. Avengers" but it doesn't look like Xavier's mansion. Annual #11 and the X-Men's introduction in #221 clearly take place at the mansion, but that's it.
I'm sure Alex would be curious about the junior team, but he didn't exactly have a close commitment to the school. The X-Men met him at his college graduation and (based on the reviews here) it doesn't look like he even visited the school until a couple issues before the series was cancelled. The teams lived in separate wings, didn't they? Alex might recognize the short redhead from Scott's wedding if they passed in the hallway, but that would be about it.
Besides, the New Mutants had been grounded, so they were hardly ever around. ;)
Posted by: ChrisW | January 29, 2016 4:10 PM
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