Issue(s): X-Factor #28
At the end of Fall of the Mutants, we were left with the intriguing idea that they'd captured Apocalypse's ship. "Master it, if you can", he told them. And then last issue we saw it repairing itself, something that Apocalypse was monitoring with anticipation. This issue begins with the ship having grown in size, crashing into boats in the Hudson River. Then it starts attacking X-Factor, starting with their young wards.
Meanwhile, there's a "freak blizzard" in Dallas that has delayed Scott's flight (and also, it's said, trapped Freedom Force there). He hears about the ship being out of control and decides to head back to help.
I was a little worried earlier when some of the boat-goers started blaming X-Factor for the ship's attack; i thought we were already losing their new-found public hero status. But another boat-goer is interviewed on the news segment that Cyclops sees, and he makes it clear that X-Factor is heroically fighting the ship, and on top of that two cops recognize Cyclops at the airport and arrange for him to get a helicopter ride back. Scott is once again torn between X-Factor stuff and his family, though, a point that he makes as he's heading back.
When he joins the battle (and immediately starts showing his abilities as a tactical leader)...
...he and Jean start talking more about his behavior and decision to cut off the group to look for his kid. Jean reminds him that she has missing relatives too. Scott says that he didn't think it was right to use X-Factor's resources for his own personal problems, but Jean tells him that they're also a family.
It's really the kids that solve the problem of the attacking ship. Artie manages to locate the ship's "brain", which is locked down by a device that Rusty destroys.
They then discover a bomb that the Beast throws into the sky. And we learn that the ship, which we'll call "Ship", is sentient.
We also see Artie using his image projection powers from afar to communicate with the adult team. Jean says that this is proof that X-Factor is doing some good. I also neglected to mention last issue that Leech's powers seems to be more under control; we saw Jean moving him telekenetically. Now, we haven't actually seen X-Factor doing much training in a while, but it can be happening behind the scenes. Artie's long distance power shouldn't be too much of a surprise, though; Artie has always been able to "see" things from a distance, if not project his power there, and he also has the little-used mind-lock ability that definitely can be used from far away (see X-Factor #3).
When the danger has passed, X-Factor gives another press conference explaining what happened. I like the constant interactions with the press as it helps X-Factor maintain its identity as public heroes.
While all of this is going on, Archangel heads over to Candy Southern's apartment and finds that she's missing and he finds in a dart in her room. He also notices the battle between X-Factor and Ship but decides not to get involved.
At the end of the issue, we see that someone has an interest in the Ship.
Technically, Apocalypse is the bad guy for this issue...
...but this is the second issue in a row where there's no overt super-villain battle, and either despite or because of that, it's been an enjoyable period.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 340,850. Single issue closest to filing date = 331,974.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place on New Years, whereas last issue was during Christmas.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Apocalypse, Artie Maddicks, Beast, Boom Boom, Caliban, Cyclops, Iceman, Infectia, Jean Grey, Leech, Rictor, Rusty Collins, Ship (Prosh), Skids
Note that Scott's dialogue implies that Freedom Force has been stuck in Dallas due to a blizzard since the end of X-Men 227- this makes no sense since (a) we saw them in Washington in Captain America 339 and (b) Spiral can teleport regardless of the weather. At the MCP, we decided that Freedom Force went to Washington and some bureacrats sent them back to Dallas to help with the rebuilding.
Posted by: Michael | June 2, 2014 9:57 PM
I love how the kids got to shine here. Especiallly Artie. That was my favourite part of this story.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | June 3, 2014 4:49 PM
You have Ship listed as Ship instead of Ship (Prosh) in the characters appearing.
Posted by: Michael | June 3, 2014 8:46 PM
Thanks, fixed it!
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2014 8:59 PM
Agh, the start of the Infectia storyline. The title begins to go into the garbage officially. After doing much to revive the title, Simonson really bungles it for the next several dozen issues.
Posted by: Chris | June 12, 2014 10:15 PM
The "1st appearance" of Infectia tag doesn't come up next to this title when seen in the 1988 list.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | May 21, 2015 7:54 PM
I didn't think she was important enough to merit a main page tag. She only a few appearances, and only one outside this series.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 21, 2015 9:15 PM
Comments are now closed.
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