Issue(s): X-Factor #27
...and the group spends some time holding a press conference and granting Trish Tilby an interview. Tilby's subsequent report is sympathetic to the group, but the Beast is hurt that she reveals his declining intelligence to the world and the kids don't like getting called "outcasts".
At the beginning of this issue, the X-Factor kids see Jean and Scott kissing and they say, About time. Scott's wife died ages ago." Even ignoring the sliding timescale, it's only been about a year since Scott found what he thought was his wife's dead body, but i guess that can seem like a long time to teenagers. This is also the first that X-Factor is hearing about the death of the X-Men. In any event, Scott finds out this issue that his wife really only died during Fall of the Mutants. He sees a replay of her appeal to him on television to find their baby. Hearing that, he decides to leave the group and accepts no help from Jean. Scott very reasonably wonders why Madelyne didn't tell him where she was (prior to her death) or that the baby was missing, and Madelyne's message offers no clues as to where the baby might be.
The event does trigger Jean to finally visit her parents, the first time since before she came back from the dead in Fantastic Four #286. We skip over much of the reunion and the explanation of how she is still alive, but it's nice to see her finally deciding to do this (she originally avoided them due to Mr. Fantastic's advice; not sure how long he intended for her to stay away). While with her parents, she also asks about her sister Sara, whose house was bombed after she gave a pro-mutant speech. But her parents don't know anything except that she's still missing. It's nice to see these issues finally getting attention, though.
But back to the Christmas theme: the citizens of New York hear about X-Factor's wards from Trish Tilby's broadcast and a ton of presents are shipped to them. But Leech decides that the presents would be better used at a children's hospital that is taking care of the victims of Apocalypse's attack.
So the kids decide to sneak off and deliver the gifts. Jean finds out that they are missing, and runs into the barracks babbling a stream of various concerns...
...but somehow Iceman manages to pick out the item of immediate importance in that and they go out and find the kids.
They agree with the idea and they all deliver the presents and entertain the kids.
Cyclops shows up too. He's aware of where they are because of the media coverage. But he's still planning to leave "tonight".
The one character not too pleased with X-Factor's new public identity is Archangel.
While all of this is going on, for most of the book at the bottom of every page there is a panel of Apocalypse's ship repairing itself...
...and the book ends with Apocalypse and his Horsemen sipping some champagne to celebrate the fact that it's armed with a bomb.
This is a nice downtime issue that takes the time to establish the new status quo for the group and at least remind us that they haven't forgotten about some of the loose ends that have been piling up.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's Christmas so i've lined this up with Daredevil and the X-Men's Christmas issues. This issue was meant to take place in the immediate aftermath of issue #26 - the fact that the kids are just arriving back from Virginia, where they stayed after X-Factor was teleported to Apocalypse's ship, X-Factor just finding out about the X-Men's death, etc. - so i've placed this soon after the end of Fall of the Mutants. Next issue takes place around New Years, so despite Scott saying that he's leaving "tonight", he hangs around a little longer, and Ship doesn't get activated right away.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Apocalypse, Artie Maddicks, Beast, Boom Boom, Caliban, Cyclops, Elaine Grey, Famine (Horseman of Apocalypse), Iceman, Jean Grey, John Grey, Leech, Rictor, Rusty Collins, Ship (Prosh), Skids, Trish Tilby, War (Horseman of Apocalypse)
You could also mention that Candy Southern hasn't been seen since X-Factor #10.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | June 2, 2014 2:39 PM
I don't know if i'd count that as a Reference, though. She didn't go missing in #10. Maybe i could point to issue #21, when she didn't show up for Angel's will reading. But it's really not until next issue that we see evidence of foul play.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 2, 2014 3:10 PM
There's something kinda cheesy about that last panel, with Apocalypse mustache-twirling like an ordinary villain pleased with his rather unimaginative plan.
Posted by: Robert | June 2, 2014 3:44 PM
It's entirely possible that Hodge seized the opportunity and Candy got scooped up by the Right as soon as she was leaving the X-Factor building in X-Factor 10.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | June 2, 2014 3:58 PM
In the scene with Maddie's appeal to Scott, the announcer describes the X-Men's deatha as having taken place "tonight".
Posted by: Michael | June 2, 2014 8:50 PM
It's reasonable because the whole firewall between the X-Men and X-Factor books at this time was insane. It's absurd that no one (not even his brother Havok?) contacted Cyclops after they found Madelyne and found out that the baby was taken by the Marauders. The last Madelyne saw of Scott, he walked out on her over frustration about leaving the X-Men and his inability to let go of his dead girlfriend. He was even upset over the growing anti-mutant hysteria that was even being reported on television. Madelyne may have hated Scott for walking out, but i don't accept that she would believe that he'd turned into an evil mutant hunter. And this is all speculation; there's nothing on panel that explains why the two groups haven't been communicating after the Mutant Massacre when the X-Men saw that X-Factor were fighting the Marauders. You point out similar problems on the entry for X-Factor #28. It's preposterous, and that's what i means when i say that it's reasonable for Scott to wonder why the universe is contriving against him here. I'm not taking sides in a Scott vs. Madelyne fight, i'm wondering how the writing could have gotten this way (and i think the answer is at least in part due to these two x-books being under different editorialships; replacing Layton with Simonson was supposed to help with the communication with Claremont but it doesn't seem to have worked)
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2014 12:52 AM
Regarding placement, looks like i should be able to push X-Men #228-229 and then the three Christmas issues back to soon after Fall of the Mutants, and i can move Excalibur in there as well.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2014 1:00 AM
Fnord, I think that it IS entirely understandable if Maddie thought Scott turned into an evil mutant hunter. Remember, Maddie was extremely traumatized by being almost killed while her husband wasn't there to protect her. Under those circumstances, it's hard to blame Maddie for being willing to believe the worst of Scott.
Posted by: Michael | June 3, 2014 7:43 AM
You mean the husband she said: "Scott Summers! If you walk out that door -- don't bother coming back!" to Michael? She should believe the worst of HIM after she told him that? Really?
You might want to go back and read X-Factor #1 again. Scott was upset about the news of possible Mutant Registration legislature and she scolded him that he'd done enough. After that, she was willing to believe he'd become a mutant hunter? And I hope you're not suggesting that Scott should have somehow magically known she was attacked by the Marauders and rescued her?
And about your previous statement: "This is the start of demonizing Maddie so Scott doesn't have to pay for his behaviour." In what was hasn't Scott payed for his behaviour? You mean he didn't have a breakdown and went on a bender in X-Factor #1 over the situation of Jean's return and walking out on Maddie? That Artie didn't find out he was consumed by guilt in X-Factor #3 and that he wasn't able to talk to Maddie when he tried? That he didn't have a full on mental breakdown from X-Factor #13-18? Or do those somehow not count? I'm not saying this to be mean, I just don't get it.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | June 3, 2014 2:27 PM
Yes, Maddie overreacted but (a) this was after Scott didn't call her for a week in Paris while she was pregnant because he was with the X-Men and (b) X-Men 223 makes it clear that she realized that Scott was hiding something from her.
Posted by: Michael | June 3, 2014 7:51 PM
Superman costume cameo.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 6, 2014 5:50 PM
Good eye, Mark. I totally missed that!
Posted by: Robert | June 6, 2014 6:07 PM
Just have to say, as a parent, I have totally been in that Jean / Bobby situation of one person trying to be mad and the other trying not to laugh hysterically in the background. I'm usually Bobby in that scenario.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 28, 2015 12:06 PM
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