COOPER, VALERIE: Page 5 of 5

Publication Date: 30th Mar 2017
Written By: Daytripper.
Image Work: sixhoursoflucy.

Biography - Page 5

Val next turned her attention to an old friend, Jamie Madrox, who was now running X-Factor Investigations, a private investigation agency in New York. When Madrox's dupes began to cause trouble, Val started to run interference between his agency and the federal authorities. Val believed that Madrox's group had a lot to contribute but, when she offered her protection to the group, Madrox refused. [X-Factor (3rd series) #14] However, when former mutants now calling themselves X-Cell started attacking government agencies that they believed were responsible for orchestrating M-Day, Val sought Madrox out and asked for his helping in finding X-Cell. [X-Factor 3rd series) #17]

When the X-Men's associate, Caliban, went rogue searching for some Morlocks who had gathered in the old tunnels, Val went head to head with Charles Xavier, who was trying to convince her to let the X-Men look after their own. Though she reminded him that it was the Office of National Emergency who had jurisdiction over mutant affairs off the Xavier Institute ground, Val relented and allowed Xavier time for his team to find Caliban. However, Val soon came to believe that Xavier was stonewalling her on the X-Men’s progress and ordered a O*N*E team to track Caliban down and find whatever was left of the Morlocks. Though she felt justified, Val knew that the relationship between the X-Men and the Office of National Emergency now appeared to be over. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #487-488, 491] 

Val returned to Mutant Town, where X-Factor Investigations was still operating, and met up with another of her old teammates from the government-sponsored X-Factor, Strong Guy. Val offered Strong Guy the role of “Special Deputy,” effectively making him the Sheriff of Mutant Town. Strong Guy was taken aback by this offer, as he thought Val wanted him to spy on X-Factor Investigations. Though he seriously considered her offer, he ultimately turned her down. [X-Factor (3rd series) #21]

When  much of Mutant Town was destroyed by Arcade and X-Factor spoke publicly against the Superhuman Registration Act, Val visited the entire team at their headquarters, one of the few buildings in Mutant Town that was not destroyed. She pointed out to them that X-Factor had become a huge target and that they could not keep functioning in public in the middle of the city. When Monet St. Croix argued with Val about the Avengers or Fantastic Four not receiving this sort of warning from the government, Val reminded X-Factor that she wanted to help them. She offered them two options, that either the team be split up and the members enter something akin to the Witness Protection program, or they start to do special jobs for the Office of National Emergency. X-Factor was not immediately responsive to either offer, so Val gave them twenty-four hours to consider.

When Val returned to X-Factor Investigations the next day, she found no sign of X-Factor, only a recorded message from Madrox, which informed her that X-Factor decided to pass on her offers. It also contained a warning for her not to try and track them down. Val was forced to run for her life from the building as a timer had been set, triggered by the conclusion of the recording. The building soon crumbled to the ground, though Val made it to safety. Five months later, though, Val tracked X-Factor to Detroit, where they had set up X-Factor Investigations anew. She found Madrox in a diner and made a deal with him that, though X-Factor would remain independent from the government, they would take on assignments with the government as a client. Val told him that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. [X-Factor (3rd series) #32]

However, as time passed, Val became frustrated when Madrox didn't take the assignments that she and the Office of National Emergency gave to him and threatened to tell the rest of X-Factor about the O*N*E's control over the team if he didn't start to toe the line. [X-Factor (3rd series) #33]

When things did not change, Val arrived at X-Factor's headquarters while Siryn and Rictor were home and revealed to them that she and Madrox had been working together for some time, which Siryn didn't believe. Val also showed a great deal of interest in Siryn and Madrox's unborn child, reminding Siryn that mutants were a valuable national resource, and that she simply wanted to protect them. When she casually mentioned the death of Siryn’s father, Banshee, Val found herself attacked by Siryn, who seemed to believe that Val wanted to take her baby. 

When Siryn calmed down, she asked Val if she expected to just waltz in here and take her baby away. Val assured her she did not want to separate them and then noticed that Siryn's water had broken. When Siryn and Rictor tried to leave for the hospital, they found themselves surrounded by government agents. Thing quickly got out of hand when Rictor opened fire on them with a pistol, forcing the agents to respond in kind. Siryn threw up a sonic shield to deflect the bullets, but one of them ricocheted and struck Val in her chest. 

Val was recuperating in the same hospital where Siryn was giving birth, when she was visited by Madrox. She assured him that she wasn't there to steal his and Siryn's baby, she simply wanted to offer a safe place for Siryn and Madrox to raise their child. Val also told Madrox that she knew that he actually wanted to work for her, that he wanted someone to be calling the shots and warned him that, sooner or later, that would happen. [X-Factor (3rd series) #36-39] 

The question of Madrox and Siryn’s child proved moot when it was discovered that the baby was actually a dupe of Madrox, which he inadvertently reabsorbed. One evening soon thereafter, Val arrived at X-Factor headquarters to find Siryn, who was grieving the loss of her child, drinking straight from a bottle of wine. Val tried to remind Siryn that she was an alcoholic and told her she couldn't just sit around guzzling alcohol to deal with her problems. To her surprise, Siryn revealed to Val that she was only drinking water, she was simply doing so out of a wine bottle. She explained her reasons and told Val that she couldn't possibly understand what she was going through, until Val revealed to Siryn that five years ago she had a miscarriage. [X-Factor (3rd series) #44] 

When leadership of X-Factor Investigations fell to Havok, the team carried out one mission for Val. [X-Factor (1st series) #233] However, Val never returned to give X-Factor any other assignments, and was oddly absent from mutant affairs since then for unknown reasons. It remains unknown what Val has been up to during this time, but presumably she still works within the government, as she recently appeared on live television, debating the actions of Magneto and his X-Men team with the aggressive Senator Lachlan. Val defended recent actions of the X-Men, suggesting that she is still working on the side of her mutant friends. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #6]