Monday, 31 December 2012

X-Factor #14: Crushed Dreams

X-Factor #14 sees Cyclops fight that Sentinel.

He's been arrested by the Anchorage Police Department, for smashing his house up, which he rationalises by saying he didn't want the person who stole it from him to get the benefit of it, rather than the truth which was his hallucinations. Which are continuing: he sees Professor X, who is Not Impressed with Scott.

Our Sentinel (well, Master Mold) is insane, as Sentinels often are, and it has sadly noticed that all humans are mutants, and has added them to its list of things to exterminate. It's also concerned with The Twelve, or The Strong, something which has come from Lang's influence. Scott is one of these, and therefore belongs particularly dead. According to the caption, this group constitutes "Twelve Mutants who will lead... around whom the others will gather. Lang discovered them. Master Mold will destroy them." Who are they? Well, a panel on page 2 gives a clue: some faces, which we can make out as Cyclops, Apocalypse, Punk Storm, Jean Grey (or at least someone who looks like her - this issue notes that Jean and Maddie are indistinguishable to third parties in photographs), and Franklin Richards, along with a number of unidentifiable silhouettes. This is going to be one of the slowest-burning plot arcs that X-Men has ever had.

Cyclops rescues the cop from the Sentinel, and in reward is let go. But they've got some bad news for him about a dead redhead.

Scott's self-mythologisation (that he left Alaska to lead X-Factor) has reached the point where even the students at X-Factor believe it. Boom-Boom, Rusty and Skids sit around and chat about the love lives of the X-Men, while watching the adult team deal with matters.

Angel is still refusing amputation, and may be investigated for fraud (so, foolishly, he used Worthington Enterprises money rather than his own personal money for bankrolling X-Factor?). Trish Tilbit doorsteps him in his own hospital room, and mentions a "court order". Jean just shoos her out rather than ask "what court order?", which is a shame because it's to declare him incompetent. At whose instigation, I wonder? We are told he has no living relatives (his father was killed in the Siegel story in Kazar #2-#3 and Marvel Tales #30 which I have not covered due to expense; but his mother survived that. Byrne kills her off in The Hidden Years, I see. Hodge, then, perhaps? I never trusted that guy.


  1. This is going to be one of the slowest-burning plot arcs that X-Men has ever had.

    And, for me, one of the most disappointing.

    I was obsessed with the idea of the Twelve after reading this issue out of the back issue bins as a kid, and was really bummed that it seemed to be forgotten as the franchise moved further and further away from this issue.

    Imagine my delight when I heard they'd finally be revisiting it, and imagine my frustration when they finally did so and managed to completely throw out everything hinted at in this issue except the name "The Twelve" ("The Twelve weren't meant to fight Apocalypse, he was one of them!" I cried. "Where was Franklin Richards?" etc.).

    In a lot of ways, it was the point where I lost my rose colored glasses and grew up a little bit, at least in terms of comics, accepting that most of this stuff gets made up along the way, that nobody has a big overarching plan, and that selling the most books possible is the #1 concern of most everyone involved.

    Sorry for the long-winded, overly dramatic, off topic rant there...

    1. I've not read that (basically there's a huge gap in my reading between the 1980s stuff and then Whedon/Milligan/Brubaker, between which I've only read the Morrison). So tell me, is that Twelve definitely the same as this Twelve?