Issue(s): X-Factor #35
...and then she'll figure into the Avengers part of the crossover.
After an opening scene showing the Beast and Iceman trying to deal with Inferno's effects on the city by themselves...
...the majority of the issue is about Cyclops and Marvel Girl going to the orphanage that Cyclops lived in as a child.
Scott's memories are a jumble.
And it's not helped by the surreal fact that no one in the orphanage pays the slightest attention to them as they walk through it, except for one telepathic girl.
But Scott remembers one kid in particular named Nathan ("of all things", i guess because it's what he named his son).
Scott's time at the orphanage with "Nathan" will be expanded upon in Classic X-Men #41 and Classic X-Men #42 (and issue #43, also at that second link, will expand on other reveals from Inferno), which will be published later in 1989,. It's an interesting phenomenon. In Uncanny X-Men annual #12, we similarly saw references to Classic X-Men stories (that had already been published). It's really just due to the fact that Marvel was publishing Classic X-Men at this time, so it gave Chris Claremont (who wrote those three back-ups) an opportunity to retroactively insert events that will "turn out" to have relevance almost a decade later (storywise). It seems a little unfair. It didn't affect me because i never had the original issues so i went right for the Classic X-Men issues. But if you did have the original issues, you were missing out (or worse, if you were obsessive-compulsive enough a collector, you had to buy them again) since they were now putting this new and relevant material into reprints of issues you already had.
Anyway, Jean and Scott go down an elevator shaft that had been there "for ages" and feels "sinister", and note that Jean's telepathic powers are suddenly starting to return.
At the bottom they find infant babies being held in pods.
Including Scott's son.
Just finding this creepy orphanage full of mutants would be weird enough an adventure for an issue, but all hell breaks loose at this point, with both N'astirh's demons and Nanny's brainwashed child warriors (her "Lost Boys (and Girls)"; she later calls them her Salvation Army) showing up to claim the infants.
Nanny's group gets to the basement first. And those red-headed kids look familiar to Jean.
I think there's a word balloon missing from the above panel. I also think Speedfreak might be Dakota North's brother, Ricky. And i love that Big Top's power is to make her teddy bear bigger. I also hope i'm getting these names right.
Jean says that Nanny is a low grade telepath that uses a chemical to make her mental commands more effective.
While Scott and Jean are fighting Nanny's crew, the demons make it to the babies and grab some, including Nathan.
The demons get away with the babies. And Jean confirms that the redheads are her sister Sara's kids, but she isn't able to get them away from Nanny. And the fact that Nanny has kidnapped them means that Sara is likely dead, since her primary Lost Boy is named Orphan-Maker. This also confirms that Sara's kids were mutants, although it's not clear what their powers were.
Chaotic, but in a fun way, and it's nice to see Inferno closing loops, since we're developing the fate of Scott and Madelyne's baby and also learning what happened to Sara's kids (presumably her home was blown up by anti-mutant terrorists after Nanny had already orphaned and kidnapped the kids).
Even though Inferno is very much happening in this issue, it isn't tagged as an Inferno issue on the cover. However, i've listed it as such in the Crossover field.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Last issue showed Cyclops and Marvel Girl leaving to go to the orphanage. I've had to place a lot of space in between last issue and this one, in part because the Beast was said to be away for his Avengers annual #17 appearance in X-Factor #34, and also because Excalibur #4 references this issue and Uncanny X-Men #241 at the same time (in relation to Nathan Summers' stress). This issue also references Uncanny X-Men #240 as occurring concurrently.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): showBeast, Cable (Baby Nathan Christopher Summers), Cyclops, Gailyn Bailey, Iceman, Jean Grey, Joey Bailey, Nanny II, Orphan-Maker
I couldn't believe at the time had bad the book had gotten since the heights of issues 24-25. I was simply buying the title because I always had at this point.
Posted by: Chris | August 19, 2014 10:20 PM
"presumably her home was blown up by anti-mutant terrorists after Nanny had already orphaned and kidnapped the kids"
Posted by: Michael | August 19, 2014 10:32 PM
Part of the clue with boy Nathan is his nickname, "Lefty." "Sinister" means "left" is Latin.
Didn't Scott and Maddie name their baby Christopher Charles either in the issue he was born or shortly thereafter? I'm pretty sure that's the case. In any event, to Scott he's still Christopher; it's only Sinister and Maddie who call him Nathan. Which makes the line about Lefty's real name being Nathan "of all things" kind of a premature clue.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 20, 2014 12:12 AM
I believe Walter is correct about the baby's name. In the issue where the 2 teams meet, Maddy tells Scott: "We call him Nathan now." if I'm remembering correctly. Implying that they called him Christopher before that.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 20, 2014 2:08 AM
But Maddie says "You always hated that name" in X-Factor 37, implying that Scott liked to call him Chris and Maddie liked to call him Nathan. And no, we never saw the baby's name until X-Men 239.
Posted by: Michael | August 20, 2014 8:13 AM
Of all the villains in all the Marvel Universe, they had to use Nanny? I swear, demons should just wipe this world clean of all its sins.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 21, 2014 12:49 AM
Nanny seems to have walked off the set of "Lidsville".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 25, 2014 9:03 PM
"But if you did have the original issues, you were missing out (or worse, if you were obsessive-compulsive enough a collector to buy them again) since they were now putting this new and relevant material into reprints of issues you already had."
Posted by: clyde | July 1, 2015 1:03 PM
I believe the first Dark Phoenix trade paperback wasn't published until about the time the storyline ran in Classic X-Men. And X-Men's popularity had exploded post-Dark Phoenix. So Classic X-Men was nit too shameless a cash-in: most late '80s X-fans had never owned these stories in another format and certainly couldn't afford back-issue prices for the originals. And people who did have the originals could afford to buy the reprints without worrying too much that their comics habit would bankrupt them: a single good copy of any early Claremont-Byrne issue would probably pay for a year's Classic X-Men subscription.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 1, 2015 11:36 PM
Actually the first Dark Phoenix trade paperback came out in 1984.
Posted by: Michael | July 2, 2015 12:03 AM
Good contextualization, Walter.
Posted by: cullen | July 2, 2015 12:24 AM
Walter is mostly right. The second printing of Dark Phoenix Saga (with a new cover) was around this time, and indeed buying the Classic X-Men issues made it so much less expensive for us at the time. Hell, Essential wasn't even around yet, so even if you were willing to go for black-and-white, you couldn't.
I don't think I ever read this issue - I had just dropped X-Factor while starting to scale back my collecting, and though I bought the actual Inferno issues, I didn't buy this one. I can't imagine my OCD would have let me skip it just because of Nanny, but good god did I hate Nanny.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 17, 2015 11:21 AM
Comments are now closed.
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