Friday, 1 February 2013

Fall of X-Factor (#24-#26)

X-Factor #24-#26 is the Big Apocalypse Plot (following immediately from the Big Hodge Plot... things are really making moves here!) The Fourth Horseman, Death (the mutant formerly known as Warren Worthington) is unveiled, and Apocalypse sends all Four Horseman to attack New York City. It doesn't matter if they get defeated, just as long as they kill the weak. To this end he's also delighted by the Marauders, the Right, and so on. There is a big fight. Warren is shocked out of his brainwashing when he thinks he's killed Bobby (really an ice-decoy); they also win possession of Apocalypse's Ship. But Apocalypse takes Caliban, apparently to the a replacement Death. The Ship lands directly on the old X-Factor HQ, squashing it, which is I think is supposed to be symbolic or something. Warren explains the plot - he'd not committed suicide, it was all a setup by Hodge. Which may or not be a lie.

The gang (recognised as the X-Terminators) go on the tellybox to take credit for saving the city from the Horsemen, and out themselves as X-Factor. They evade arrest to help with clean-up and search-and-rescue (apparently having been shamed by Rictor/Rusty/Skids), which gets them enough PR points that when they do later surrender themselves to arrest the NYPD aren't interested. Tilbit secures an interview with Hank (much delayed), and a productive partnership begins. Neat. In fact, there's a ticker-tape parade that the X-Men have always dreamed of! Where's that other shoe...?

Now that this Hodge and X-Factor nonsense has been dealt with, it's as if a dam has burst within Scott, and he's able to explain what the hell happened with Maddy, from his point of view. The marriage, he says, was a mistake. He fell out of love pretty quickly, but stayed with her because he didn't think anything better was on the table once Jean had died. This was not Claremont's intent at the time, I'm sure, but it fits with my reading of Cyclops's otherwise inexplicable actions during this time. He and Jean kiss. But hidden in the background are the events in Dallas the same night: Maddy is going to be on the news the next time Scott watches it. No happy endings.

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