Agent-X #9

Issue Date: 
May 2003
Story Title: 
Hold that Ghost - part 2

Buddy Scalera (writer), Mitchell Breitweiser (penciller), Mark McKenna (inker), Udon Studios (colourist), Cory Petit (letterer), Andrew Lis, Marts and Sumerak (editors), Joe Quesada (chief), Bill Jemas (president.), Alvin Lee and Udon (cover artists)

Brief Description: 

Despite the store being demolished by Agent X’s grenades, both the Agent and the invisible man survive. Wishing to get to the bottom of the caper, the Agent has his invisible quarry dress in a humiliating dress so that he can keep track of him. The invisible man leads the Alex to a family yacht, where he tells him of his background as a government chemist and the development of an invisibility formula. When the military came to obtain formula, the man escaped by turning himself invisible. After likewise making his daughter invisible, the hid away. After growing up, Christine, the daughter, used a derivative of the formula to create a cosmetic that make wrinkles & pimples invisible and became rich. Arriving suddenly at the end of the tale, Christine is accompanied by Dante. A fight ensues which causes the boat to sink. As Christine and her father continue their family squabble, both Alex and Dante decide to leave the boat and keep and split the Agent’s fee. The two finally decide on a 60/40 split after one of Alex’s grenades blows the yacht to pieces.

Full Summary: 

Locked inside the Galactus Chef Supply store with his very invisible quarry, Agent X opts to toss a few grenades in order to be sure to get him. As expected, the grenades explode, demolishing most of the building. Alex gets up, noting to himself that it was not a good idea.

The invisible man coughs, obviously hurt. Alex tells the invisible man that he has been hired to kill him and that it would be best for both of them if he would just give up. The invisible man is now covered with food, so he is partly visible. Noting the absence of his hand, he complains that the explosion removed it. Alex does not believe that, but he does note the theme of him removing hands lately. The invisible man starts to beg but, when Alex pokes his allegedly removed hand with a knife, he does feel it and concludes that his hand was probably just numb. Alex takes the now-not-so-invisible man with him.

At offices of Gal-Hag Cosmetics, Dante, now having two hooks instead of hands, makes a mess of his dinner. Christine insults him, telling him that he is as useless as his hooks and that he should be lucky to even be around as a bodyguard.

In a clothing store, Alex kicks out the customers and forces the invisible man to dress in a red dress. The invisible man asks why he bandaged his wounds and dressed him up if he is just supposed to kill him. Alex replies that humiliation is a huge part of his job and that he wants some questions answered first. Alex tells the invisible man that his daughter called him a kidnapper. Alex tries on a pair of boots and likes them but, unfortunately, they only come in purple, not camouflage. Meanwhile, the invisible man tries to get Alex to give him a chance to prove his innocence. As they leave the building, Alex gives him one hour and tells the clerk at the shop that they have 1 week to get those boots in camouflage color or else.

Ten minutes later, Alex calls Christine and tells her that he has her father on a joyride and that he is not dead yet. Christine tells him not to listen to her father and that he is a liar and that Alex is a moron. Alex hangs up and comments to the invisible man that Christine really has a way with people. He replies that she got that from her mother. Alex then tells the invisible man that he is going to kill him, but first he wants to know why he is invisible and why Christine wants him dead. He adds that he also likes to annoy Christine.

In her office, Christine is furious and tells Dante that they have to kill her father themselves and maybe Agent X also. Dante is happy to do so, since he needed a reason to pay Alex back for cutting off his hands. Sarcastically, Christine asks if he really needs more of a reason than the fact that he cut off his hands?

At the docks, the invisible man tells Alex that this is the place where he can tell his whole story, but he tries to run away when Alex back is turned. Alex grabs him and talks to him, not noticing that the bow the invisible man was forced to wear on his head was knocked off and that he was now talking to the wrong end of the man. On a boat owned by Gal-Hag cosmetics, Alex forces him to put make-up on his face so that he can see him. Meanwhile, the invisible man explains the success of their cosmetics; they literally make wrinkles invisible.

He then starts to explain how he became invisible: he was a chemist working for the government. One day, he discovered a way to turn things invisible and, soon, soldiers entered the building, shooting the scientists and trying to get the formula. The invisible man says that the government could not risk letting the formula fall into the wrong hands. During a struggle, he collapsed with a soldier and was sprinkled with the formula turning himself invisible. When he got home, his wife was killed and his house was set on fire. They had missed his daughter though and, to hide, the invisible man turned Christine also invisible. Christine never forgave him for that and became obsessed with cosmetics. She used the formula to create a cosmetic line that really turned wrinkles and pimples invisible and they became very rich. But, recently, he had not told Christine an important secret: the soldiers were planning to kill them because he was about to sell his formula to the Russians and use the money to run away to Mexico with his mistress. Alex understands now, but he still is not sure about the whole kidnapping thing.

Dante enters with a submachine gun and shoots several rounds. He misses and tries to hit Alex with his hooks. He tells the invisible man to run, but he refuses. Alex dodges and kicks Dante in the face. Dante punches the Alex foot through the floor of the boat, hitting water. Dante is the next to get stuck with his foot through the floor (probably because of his weight). Dante tries to kill Alex with his hooks, but Christine stops the fight to save her yacht and pulls a gun on Alex, Alex in turn pulls a gun himself while Dante grabs his submachine gun. Now everyone, save Christine’s father, has both a gun aimed at them and is aiming one at someone else.

Christine asks why Alex is protecting her father, but Alex replies that he is not protecting him, he just wants some answers and that he is annoyed by Christine’s behavior. Christine tells Dante to kill him, Alex tells Dante that his healing power allows him to survive at least 2 shots and if Dante thinks that he is that much faster than him. Christine replies that Dante is her bodyguard and should be ready to take a bullet for her, but Alex thinks that Christine does not care for Dante and that he would still have his hands if not for her. He then turns the subject towards her father and asks where the kid is that he would have kidnapped. The invisible man thinks that it is a joke, but Christine explains that her father has kidnapped her childhood. Alex is annoyed that it is just a metaphor. Alex asks if he now could get the second part of his payment, since he accidentally blew up the first part. Christine replies that he is not getting paid. She is going to kill her father, while Dante is going to kill him.

Alex asks her why she wants to kill her father when he turned her invisible just to protect her and that he also is the man who made her rich. The invisible man then tries to convince her that he loves her, but she tells him to stay back. Alex starts to notice that the boat is sinking. While Christine and her father continue to argue, Dante also notices that the ship is sinking and tries to warn Christine, only to get insulted by her. Alex then convinces Dante to work together, telling him that he was annoyed by Christine tricking him into working for her by telling him that the invisible man had kidnapped somebody. He asks Dante how much he knows about his boss finances and Dante replies that the 2 million in cash for him are stashed inside a life vest on this yacht. Alex and Dante finally make peace, grab a life vest both and Alex blows up the boat with his last grenade. On shore, Alex and Dante argue about how to split the money. Alex is for 50/50, but Dante finally convinces him to split 60/40 in Dante’s favor since new hands are expensive.

Characters Involved: 

Alex Hayden/Agent X (mercenary)

Christine Gallhager (CEO of the Gal-Hag Cosmetics)

Dante (Chief of security at Gal-Hag Cosmetics)

The Invisible Man

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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