Author: Robert Diehl
Updated: Version 3.2, last modified April 10, 2001
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Issue: X-Factor 137 Date: Sep-97 Story: It Was a Dark & Stormy Night (22 pages) Feature Characters: Polaris, Mystique, Wildchild, Forge Regular Characters: Val Cooper Guest Stars: Villains: Sabretooth, Trevor Chase, Bowser (here called Browser), Stone; the Brotherhood's Havok, Fatale Other Characters: hospital workers including Tony, Carol, Abie; Maj. Edmond Atkinson and his soldiers; Justine and Cole Chase Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Andy Smith Inks: Art Thibert Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft/KF Colors: Kevin Somers Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: On a dark and stormy night, Val and her ex, Atkinson, risk their careers to rush X-Factor to a hospital. Forge asks Val why she ever let Sabretooth on the team; she replies, "I don't know!" Sabretooth tracks a scent to the Chase's house, attacking them because they are Mystique's friends. He slashes Mr. Chase, but before he can kill Trevor, Stone interrupts, claiming to be his contact with the Hound program, and that he was only to abduct the boy. Sabretooth can't scratch Stone, so he slashes Mrs. Chase and follows Stone back to Hound HQ. A helicopter approaches the hospital, so Val orders Atkinson to withdraw his men before they are in the line of fire. Mystique expects Val to turn her over to Bastion in order to save the team, so she attacks her and is shot by Atkinson. This has given Val an idea; she calls Bowser and offers to surrender to him (he has a rivalry with Bastion). Atkinson sends his men away but stays to back her up; Mystique escapes; Bastion's men attack the hospital. Fatale and Havok port in, Val having known they would tap her call to Bowser. Alex refuses to reconsider his rejection of Xavier's dream, but he does get Fatale to port the team to safety. Val stays behind, to try to change the system from within. Issue: X-Factor 138 Date: Oct-97 Story: Fear Walks Amongst Us (22 pages) Feature Characters: Polaris, Wildchild, Forge Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Sabretooth, Stone; the Brotherhood's Havok, Dark Beast; Omega Red; Mystique Other Characters: Marlene Petrokova, Father Vincent Bloch, Sen. Ralph Brickman, his daughter Gloria Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Mel Rubi, Rob Hunter Inks: Steve Moncuse, Allen Martinez, Hack Studios Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM Colors: Glynis Oliver Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Sabretooth has rejoined the Hound program, but with his own twist: he kills the mutant recruits instead of bringing them in alive. Even Stone's threats don't deter him, so Omega Red is sent to deal with him. He wants to trade Sabretooth for the carbonadium synthesizer he needs to stabilize his death factor. They tussle, and Sabretooth finally drives Omega Red off. Havok has had Dark Beast treat Polaris, Forge, and Wildchild. The two have different agendas, and are suspicious of each other. Unconcious, Forge dream-walks. A raven (as in Darkholme) tells him to explore the hearts of others to find his destiny. Mystique is also Brickman's wife Mallory. She pretends to have been kidnapped by Sabretooth. Sabretooth catches Stone in his human form, slashes him, and wants to be taken to Bowser to renegotiate their deal so he gets to kill who he wants. Issue: X-Factor 139 Date: Nov-97 Story: The Enemy Within (22 pages) Feature Characters: Polaris, Forge Regular Characters: Val Cooper Guest Stars: Capt. America, Peter Parker, J. Jonah Jameson (all in flashback), Ever Villains: the Brotherhood's Havok; Mystique; Trevor Chase, Sabretooth (both in flashback) Other Characters: Sen. Ralph Brickman, his daughter Gloria, Special Agent Vargas, Maj. Edmond Atkinson, Dr. Robert Casey, Mr. Stanley Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Duncan Roleau Inks: Art Thibert, Whitney McFarland, Hack Shack Studios Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Kiff Scholl Colors: Glynis Oliver Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Vargas takes Mystique/Mallory Brickman's statement about having been kidnapped by Sabretooth, and is skeptical. So is her adopted daughter Gloria, who asks who her "mommy" really is. Mystique explains that she's had an eventful life, but doesn't allay Gloria's suspicions. However she had Brickman (whom she loathes) wrapped around her little finger, and gets his help to track down Sabretooth (ironically, he contacts Val). Mystique also has Forge's implant surgically removed, the doctor killed, and Vargas reassigned to the Arctic. Val plans to track down Graydon Creed's killer, and Atkinson promises to help her if needed. Beneath the Morlock tunnels, Forge and Polaris are being nursed by the Brotherhood. Both yell at Havok for having turned villain. He doesn't trust McCoy, however, and has Ever to get him into his gene pool, where still-living victims are trapped in hi-tech pods. Ever has been plotting with Alex to gain McCoy's trust so they can take down his whole operation. Issue: X-Factor 140 Date: Dec-97 Story: Going Home (22 pages) Feature Characters: Shard, Polaris (in flashback) Regular Characters: XUE: Fixx, Greystone, Archer Guest Stars: Bishop Villains: Sabretooth (in flashback), Exhumes, Fitzroy and Bantam Other Characters: Malcolm, Randall Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils & Inks: Duncan Roleau, Jamie Mendoza, Hackshack Studios Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Albert Deschesne Colors: Glynis Oliver, Matt Webb Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Sabretooth depixilated Shard (iss. 136), and she wanders a dreamscape, landing in her (future) past, in the XSE. She fights exhumes alongside Bishop, then joins the XUE, a band of renegade law enforcers. They want her to get Fitzroy for them. She and Bishop interrogate Bantam and confirm that Fitzroy can jump through time. The XUE breaks into the maximum security Pool to get him. Issue: X-Factor 141 Date: Jan-98 Story: Dreams of Tomorrow (22 pages) Feature Characters: Shard, Polaris, Wildchild, Forge Regular Characters: XUE: Fixx, Greystone, Archer Guest Stars: Villains: Fitzroy and Bantam Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Howard Mackie Inks: Jaime Mendoza Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Glynis Oliver Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: The XUE let Bantam escape, so they can attack him and scare him into leading them to Fitzroy. They attack and capture him. Shard explain they want him to send a volunteer back in time, to change history. He agrees, so she frees him, and he attacks her. She and the XUE recapture him, but Shard decides their plan is hopeless and wants out. She goes back to being a good XSE officer. In the present, Shard is in Polaris's body. Fixx is still psionically linked to her, so she sends the XUE through her back to the past. Shard emerges from Polaris and leaves X-Factor so she can stop them before they screw up the future. Issue: X-Factor 142 Date: Feb-98 Story: Give Me Shelter (22 pages) Feature Characters: Wildchild Regular Characters: Val Cooper Guest Stars: Villains: Sabretooth; the Secret Empire including Farrell (in flashback) Other Characters: Edmond Atkinson Credits: Writer: Bill Rosemann Pencils: Leo Fernandez Inks: Dan Green Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM Colors: Ian Laughlin Editor: Kelly Corvese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Kyle is ill. He sneaks through DC to Val's house, entering via the chimney to avoid government agents. Edmond asks Val about her relationship with Kyle, and she relates how she was just out of school and recruited by Farrell (actually the Secret Empire) to help with Kyle's "treatment" and unlock his potential (he had actually been kidnapped, and they wanted to make him into a living weapon). She became friendly with him, but the drug and DNA treatments made him feral. She learned later that Wyre's DNA had been used, that he had killed most of the Empire, and Kyle was rescued and partially rehabilitated. He fought against and then with Alpha Flight as Weapon Omega, but then mutated back into Wildchild. Then, Sabretooth breaks in, captures Val, and tells the rest of the story: Kyle had been captured and drugged, and again marketed as a weapon. He was fed a homeless man, and Val saw this but did nothing. Kyle hears this and leaps for Val-he knocks her out of harm's way as government agents break in, then skedaddles. Sabretooth also escapes. Kyle left a note saying he's leaving for a while. He roams the streets, becoming more feral. Issue: X-Factor 143 Date: Mar-98 Story: The Fall of the Brotherhood: Part 1 (22 pages) Feature Characters: Shard, Havok, Mystique Regular Characters: XUE: Fixx, Greystone, Archer Guest Stars: Ever, Aurora Villains: Jude Black; the Dark Beast, Fatale Other Characters: Ralph Norton, Brian Young, Jane Doe, Sen. Ralph Brickman Credits: Writer, Pencils, Inks: Howard Mackie, Duncan Rouleau, Art Thibert Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Kiff Scholl Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Kelly Corvese, Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: In Poughkeepsie, cops chase a criminal holding hostages on a speeding bus. They try to race past a train, but instead collide. Sprites rescue all the passengers; only Black, Doe, and Young are killed. They are immediately possessed by Sprites containing the minds of Archer, Fixx, and Greystone, resp. Shard, wandering toward Westchester, knows they've arrived. Alex muses in Rockefeller Center: how he formed the Brotherhood to get at McCoy, how he no longer trusts even Xavier. A monster attacks Ever and a little girl, so he destroys it. Ever tries to tell him McCoy's body tanks aren't what he thinks. Fixx, Archer, and Greystone call Mystique as Mallory Brickman and make her meet them in Grand Central. (Wasn't this book supposed to be based in DC?) They are accosted by a Mystique as a policeman, but they see through her disguise. They tell her a mutual friend put them together, to go into the past and change the future. She fights, until they quote her dead friend Destiny, when she agrees to help them get Havok. Alex busts up the sewers, gunning for McCoy. He sends Aurora away and blows Fatale away. Then Mystique and the XUE show up to stop him, and Shard to back him up. Issue: X-Factor 144 Date: Apr-98 Story: Points of View (22 pages) Feature Characters: Shard, Havok, Mystique Regular Characters: XUE: Fixx, Greystone, Archer Guest Stars: Ever, Random Villains: the Dark Beast, Fatale Other Characters: Mary Stewart Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Duncan Rouleau Inks: Jaime Mendoza Letters: Richard Starkings Comicraft Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Special Thanks To: Allen Martinez Synopsis: Havok and Shard fight Mystique and the XUE, trying to free the Dark Beast's human subjects. Mary is one of these, a runaway whom Random befriended and captured for McCoy. Ever uses his psi-powers to stun them all and stop the fight. He explains that the Dark Beast has infected all the humans with Moira MacTaggert's strain of the Legacy virus, so they cannot be freed. Havok blasts Fatale, and Random, who has meanwhile turned against the Dark Beast. McCoy throws some vials filled with a catalyst that makes normal bacterial grow monstrously. He gets away; Mystique goes back to her Senator; Ever, Random, and Mary stay to care for the infected humans; and Havok goes off with Shard and the XUE. Issue: X-Factor 145 Date: May-98 Story: Phantoms (22 pages) Feature Characters: Havok, Shard Regular Characters: XUE: Fixx, Greystone, Archer Guest Stars: Forge Villains: Sentinels, Micah and camp guards (in forward-flash) Other Characters: Rachel, Micah Leash Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Duncan Rouleau, Trevor Scott Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Scott Hanna Letters: Richard Starkings Comicraft/SH Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Greystone remembers his childhood in the future: being branded with an "M" for mutant, to avoid being hunted down by the hound Micah and the Sentinels. His powers were triggered by this trauma, and he attacked the guards. Micah killed his mother, but before he could get revenge, the Summers rebellion started, and all was confusion. In the present, Havok trains his team during a lightning storm in Central Park. Greystone sees a newspaper story about a kidnapped child named Micah Leash, whom he thinks is the same person, and he goes off with Fixx to find and kill him. They follow the psychic trail from the schoolyard where he was nabbed. Archer appears, to prevent their committing murder. They find a cult which had kidnapped many children and is about to give them "the mark of the beast," and they defeat them. Greystone is unable to kill the child, and they hope that saving him from the cult is enough. Archer recalls the life of his host body (international terrorist Jude Black), and calls Rachel, but she hangs up on him. He decides to make Jude's life his own. Forge appears in response to Havok's request and gives him keys to one of his properties and a rebuke for turning his back on X-Factor. Issue: X-Factor 146 Date: Jun-98 Story: Fairie Light (22 pages) Feature Characters: Havok, Shard, Fixx, Greystone, Archer; Polaris Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Multiple Man Villains: Mr. and Agnes Young; Genoshan mutates Other Characters: Rachel and Cal Black; Louise Young Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Lee Moder Inks: Scott Koblish Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Alex's new team settles into their HQ on the Jersey side of the Hudson. Fixx, rebuffed by Shard, falls asleep, and her sprites subconsciously fly off. One follows Archer to Brick Town, where he finds Jude Black's wife and son. He promises not to let them down again. Another follows Greystone on a visit to Brian Young's family: drunk parents and battered sister. He scares the father. Another follows Alex to a bar, where he meets Jamie and invites him to return to the team. He refuses, then reveals he has also invited Lorna. Archer is attacked by mutates in retaliation for Black's crimes against Genosha. Fixx's sprite warns her; she assembles the team (including Alex, who leaves Lorna without explanation, again). They confront the mutates, who choose the better part of valor. Issue: X-Factor 147 Date: Jul-98 Story: Bashed! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Havok, Shard, Fixx Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: students of the Bronx High School of Science Other Characters: Kevin Credits: Writer: Joseph Harris Pencils: Mike Miller Inks: Nghia Lam Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Havok has sent Shard into New York, to get to know her new world. On the subway she sees some locals chasing a mutant boy, Kevin. They corner him, so Shard, reluctant to reveal herself, has to save him. Everyone runs from her, including Kevin, who drops his book bag. She looks in his science book and finds him at school. He shows her his power: he is can pull his thumbs all the way down. She laughs: he's not a mutant, just double-jointed. They become friends. The next day, she tries to visit him in school again, but a crowd gathers, some to throw stones at her and other to watch. Even Kevin is pressured into throwing a stone; Shard blasts a tree in half, and all of them run away in fear. Shard returns to X-Factor, depressed. Note: Havok's team is officially referred to as X-Factor, and is based in New Jersey. Issue: X-Factor 148 Date: Aug-98 Story: Sorry Is the Hardest Word! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Havok, Polaris Regular Characters: Val Cooper Guest Stars: Villains: Henry Peter Gyrich, Agent Saunders, Mandroids Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Lee Moder Inks: Scott Koblish Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Alex has arranged to meet Lorna in a cabin in the desert. He wants to apologize, and to recall the good times on archaeological digs. Gyrich, a small army, and many Mandroids attempt to arrest him for terrorism on a 747 (see Uncanny X-Men 339). Alex doesn't resist and is put into restraints; then the ground opens up, and metal cables and pipes pull him under, through the mines, and out to Lorna, who is seriously ticked at him. Alex explains he was kidnapped, and Fatale wrote the good-bye note (iss. 118). Gyrich blows up everything in sight, and a Mandroid manages to find Alex. Lorna vents. Then she tunnels up to the surface. They talk, he apologizes, she says it's over, and now she just doesn't want to be enemies. Gyrich's forces show up again; Alex and Lorna each blast them. A damaged Mandroid attacks Gyrich; Alex cuts him loose, only to be arrested again. Just then, Val shows up and takes jurisdiction. Issue: X-Factor 149 Date: Sep-98 Story: Times Change (22 pages) Feature Characters: Havok, Shard, Greystone, Archer, Fixx, Polaris, Multiple Man Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Cyclops (Scott Summers) Villains: Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: James Fay Inks: Scott Koblish Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft/EM Colors: Glynis Oliver Editors: Frank Pittarese Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Greystone wants to return to the future, which is now fixed. Alex has a nightmare, and realizes he has to call his brother and apologize for trying to kill him (Uncanny X-Men 339). Jamie has convinced Lorna that they should rejoin the team. Archer leaves, wanting a new life as Jude Black. Alex wants to take the team public, like the Avengers, to give mutants some good press. Greystone attacks Jamie, saying he is a future villain, but Fixx says he's nuts, driven literally insane by time hopping. He has constructed a timeship, which Fixx says will probably just blow up. Alex goes in and dissuades him, but too late. They try to disable the reactor, but blow up. Polaris shields the team she has inherited from the falling debris, and Fixx says they're both dead. Note: THE END, after 121/2 years, 3 roster upheavals, half-a-dozen writers, and 3 editors-in-chief. Alex will go on to become Mutant X in an alternate universe.
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