Brotherhood #8

Issue Date: 
February 2002
Story Title: 

X (writer), Sean Philips and Kent Williams (artists), John Babcock (letters), Dan Kemp (colors), John Miesegaes (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Queseda (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Brotherhood is falling apart: many cells are under attack by the X-Men, X-Force or Cable and X himself is slowly losing his sanity. Asher, Fagin and Malon return to the Brotherhood as undercover-agents for Marshal. X tests them by giving them the assignment to kill a traitor to the Brotherhood. The defeat the traitor, but he (actually a shapeshifting she) is turned over to Marshal for interrogation. Yet to proove their succes to X, Marshal cuts of a hand of the traitor that they can show to X. Convinced that they are loyal to the Brotherhood, X reveals his new plan: the assassination of the heart of X-Force - Doop.

Full Summary: 

While looking at pictures of several X-Men and X-Force, Hoffman tells Orwell that the Brotherhood is under siege: the North-American cell is under attack by the X-Men, the Tokyo cell is wiped out by X-Force, Xavier has discovered all secret agents of the Brotherhood and Cable has taken out the Brazilian cell. Hoffman then blames Marshal, who turns out to have been one of the founders of the new Brotherhood. Orwell is not sure about Marshal‘s reasons for leaving and thinks that the fact that Hoffman took control of the Brotherhood was Marshal‘s reason for leaving.
At that point Malon, Asher and Fagin return to the Brotherhood. Hoffman is very pleased to see them and brings them up to date with the situation of the Brotherhood. He gives the three the order to kill one of the traitors. Fagin accepts and leaves after a long silence. Hoffman then tells Orwell that this is a test to see whether the three are still loyal. Outside the three are discussing what they should do now. Asher and Malon are clearly convinced of the benefits of aiding Marshal, but Fagin has his doubts about him.
Marshal obtains a body to use in the fake assasination. Marshal explains them that they should go to the address Hoffman gave them, the traitor wasn’t an informant to Marshal, so Marshal wants to question him. The dead body he has obtained, is a good match for the wanted man. The police and press will be tipped by Marshal and they will bring out the whole story. They should then return to Hoffman to find out what his big plan is.
A at least slightly drunk Marshal sits sometime later in his office, looking at a picture of Hoffman and himself. It turns out that both of them have been friends and rivals since high school and according to Marshal, the game was already decided long ago.
Meanwhile, Malon, Asher and Fagin are standing in front of their target’s apartment. Fagin still doesn’t trust it all, thinking that their target is some sort of super mutant who will kill them all. Fagin tells Malon to burn the lock, but the door is opened by a woman. Her name is Jane Smythe, appearantly the wife of their target, Dick Smythe. She then figures out that the three are sent by Hoffman and turns into a giant of a man: Dick Smythe. Dick grabs Fagin, but Malon shoots him and Fagin then uses his powers: growing spikes all over his body and he knocks Dick out, who reverts to Jane. Fagin is upset: their body double is a bearded man, while their objective is a small woman, but Asher has an idea.
Asher uses his super-charged blood to blow up the building with the body double inside. Marshal asks Asher for his pocketknife so they will have something for Hoffman to identify.
Orwell informs Hoffman that the three have succeeded and he gets an idea while looking at a big billboard in front of him. Asher gives Hoffman a bag, containing the hand of Jane Smythe. Hoffman is satisfied for now and reveals their next plan to them. They will hit on X-Force (The billboard shows a Coca-Cola add with Doop, U-Go Girl, the Orpahn and strangely enough Lacuna), showing the world that you are either with the Brotherhood or against them. In Hoffman’s mind, X-Force are collaborators and if they attack them, the Brotherhood will get some free publicity.
Asher asks who the target will be: the Orphan ? Hoffman compliments Asher, their group is indeed too weak to take on the full X-Force and so they should take out the leader, but tells him the next minute that he’s a fool: the leader can be easily replaced as X-Force has done before. If they really want to strike at X-Force, they will take out their heart. A picture of Doop is shown in the back.

Characters Involved: 

Hoffman / X, Orwell (both Brotherhood)

Marshal, government operative and enemy of the Brotherhood

Mike Asher, Fagin and Malon Reeves (former Brotherhood members, now working for Marshal)

Jane Smythe / Dick Smythe, traitor to the Brotherhood
through video footage :

Archangel, Cyclops, Nightcralwer, Wolverine, Profeesor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

Anarchist, Doop, Orphan, U-Go Girl (all X-Force)


Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
Written By: