Factor-X #3

Issue Date: 
May 1995
Story Title: 
Open Wounds

John Francis Moore (writer), Steve Epting and Terry Dodson (pencilers), Al Milgrom (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Richard Starkings / Comicraft (letters), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

One of McCoy’s hybrids is trying to escape the pens, but is taken out by Havok. Cyclops arrives, only to be taunted by his brother about the recent breakouts. Yet before he can fully expose Scott, he is once more attacked by the hybrid, only for Cyclops to kill it with a full strength blast. He offers to help Havok to his feet but Havok refuses and walks away. Jean Grey breaks into the complex whilst hiding inside a meat wagon. She tries to reach Sinister, hoping that he will help her overthrow Apocalypse before the Human High Council bombards New York. Yet she finds his sanctum trashed and Sinister gone. Thinking about a new plan, Jean gets surprised by a wolf. Havok blasts her whilst she is distracted, and he thinks about how lucky he is to be able to usurp his brother and deal with race traitor Jean Grey on the same day. Havok takes Cyclops to McCoy’s lab, showing him Jean Grey who is mentally probed. Cyclops is stunned and remembers when he first met her several years before and how he was drawn to her. Back then, he had actually wanted to help her escape, but Logan was faster and in the battle cost him his one eye. Alex confronts Scott about freeing people from the pens and thinks that Jean Grey has been helping him. He tells him to kill her to prove his innocence, but Scott refuses. Alex smiles and orders the Guthries to knock him out. In exchange for their loyalties, Havok promotes them to Prelates, while he himself becomes new commander of the base. Cyclops is given to McCoy, to suffer as a guinea pig in his labs. After a while Jean is able to distract the Beast long enough to remove Cyclops’s optic visor with her TK. The blast hits the Beast hard, and the pair escape deciding to free the prisoners from the pens. In the nightclub Heaven the Bedlam brothers arrive to arrest Scarlett, who has been suffering with nausea, for being a spy. She tries to run but they stop her and tell the Angel to watch his back as more and more of his servants are outed as spies. Apocalypse tells Rex to pass on a message to Alex, the new commander of the pens. Without Sinister the breeding pens are useless, so he wants them shut down and the prisoners to be culled.

Full Summary: 

In an area of the pens known as the Kennel, the Infinites are trying to contain a genetic hybrid mutant of ursine sinew and feline fury without much success. Annoyed that he has to get involved, Havok blasts the hybrid, knocking it out. Cyclops arrives and tells him that the Beast should keep his pets on a tighter leash, however Havok tells him that he shouldn’t talk about responsibility when he himself was expected two hours ago. He also tells him that Northstar and Aurora have been critically injured but poses the question as to whether he already knows that. Cyclops not rising to the bait tells him he didn’t know. Havok attempts to get Scott to confess when suddenly the hybrid strikes Havok from behind. Cyclops blasts the hybrid, which in return attempts to attack him back. Scott considers whether he is tired of all the death around him before minding himself that Sinister always use to tell him ‘A conscience will get you killed’, as he releases a full force blast at close range. The blast tears the hybrid in two and Cyclops goes to help his brother, but Havok doesn’t want the hand Cyclops offers. He warns him to watch his back now that Sinister has gone. Cyclops is confused but Havok tells him that he’ll soon find out, that’s a promise. Cyclops thinks about what he’s been doing. He looks at his brother and sees nothing but hate and when he stares at the prisoners he only sees fear. He originally believed in the superiority of mutants but now is not so sure.

Outside the walls of the pens a delivery wagon approaches one of the gates carrying dead bodies for the Beast‘s experiments. A guard checks it out, but is knocked unconscious by one of the poles inside. The pole was moved by Jean Grey, who now uses her telekinetic powers to control the guard, making it look like she is a prisoner that he is escorting. On the way inside the Jean thinks that she never thought she’d come back to this place, and certainly not alone. She wishes Logan were still by her side, but he chose to let the Human High Council nuke New York city.


Jean remembers how she left Europe in a small plane. Logan said he could not let her leave, as she would warn the States about what’s coming, however Jean said he would either have to let her leave or kill her. Jean regrets the way they parted, but after all it was Logan ho taught her to trust on her instincts.


Jean is determined to find Sinister, as she wants to convince him to help her stopping Apocalypse before it is too late for everyone. She and the guard get deeper into the complex, but after a short while she collapses and realizes that she must concentrate to avoid the Brain Trust affecting her. She builds up her telepathic defenses, hoping that the Trust won’t notice a single mind resisting them. Then she carries on, though leaves the Infinite where he falls, thinking that he is only dead weight. Finally Jean Grey reaches Sinister’s inner sanctum and is amazed to see that it is destroyed. She had heard the rumors of his disappearance but she never thought that he would actually abandon the Mutant Elite. Then again, she also never expected that he’d betray Apocalypse by delivering his plans for europe to her and Logan.


Jean Grey and Logan met up with Sinister and were surprised that he gave them the data rods. Logan didn’t trust him because of what he did to Jean a few years before, but Sinister explained that he didn’t want Apocalypse to initiate a world war.


Jean decides that with Sinister unavailable, she has to improvise a new plan when a wolf surprises her, snarling at her. She knocks it out with a TK blast and upon checking it, she realizes that there is a human psyche buried in the animal’s mind. Caught unawares, Havok blasts her from behind, not believing his luck. He will be able to get rid of Cyclops and Jean Grey in one go.

At the nightclub Heaven, Scarlett McKenzie is being sick in the toilets, and she hopes its not what she thinks it is. After cleaning herself up she heads back outside and is greeted by the Angel. He hopes she is alright as he notices that she is pale. The Bedlam brothers arrive earlier than normal and explain that they have evidence that Scarlett is a spy for the Human High Council. They have proof, Karma admitted that she was a spy when she was brought before the Shadow King. Scarlett tries to run but is disorientated by a psychic assault of Terry. Jesse picks her up. He apologizes, but they thought it someone she knows would bring her in. Scarlett asks Warren for help but he turns his back on her and asks if Havok knows yet. The Bedlams tell him that he’ll find out soon enough, and to worry about himself as his neutrality is coming under scrutiny with so many of his staff being spies.

Down in the pens, Cyclops is surprised that Alex is still on duty. Havok tells him that he has lots to do now that he is taking over the Elite Mutant Force. Cyclops is surprised and asks if his brother has been drinking, as he is ranking Prelate, but Havok calls him a traitor. He takes him to McCoy’s lab as he has something to show him. Scott is amazed to see Jean Grey there, chained to a device that tries to stimulate her neural pattern in order to find out her reason for invading the pens. Yet the Beast is having difficulty in probing her mind, even with his psionic inhibitors she is still resisting. Jean taunts him that she’ll never break, he couldn’t do it three years ago, he can’t now. Scott his stunned by seeing the redhead again and he remembers their first encounter

(flashback – 3 years ago)

In a pitched battle with Magneto’s X-Men, Cyclops prevented her escape with the rest of the rebels. Sinister was ecstatic at her capture and treated her like an alpha elite as he found something in her DNA which he needed for his “trump card“. For months Jean was given the best the empire had to offer, but still she resisted. Scott admired her dedication to her past life and he felt drawn to her. He planned returning her to her X-Men friends but it went wrong when Logan broke rank with Magneto and came to free the woman he loved on his own. When he and Logan came face to face with each other, things went terribly wrong, causing Scott to lose his left eye


Alex accuses Cyclops that he thinks he has been working with Jean to free the prisoners. He thinks he has the perfect cover; who’d doubt the man that gave up an eye? Jean tells him that he’s mad to think that, as he blasted off Logan’s hand in the same fight - Cyclops surely is no friend of her. Cyclops thinks Alex is grasping at straws, however he tells him that he has field evidence of him helping Lorna Dane to escape. Jean is stunned by this fact, already years ago she sensed some goodness in Scott and now she knows she was right. Alex demands Scott to prove his loyalties and orders him to kill Jean, but Cyclops tells him no. Alex smiles and signs for the Guthries, who have been hiding behind some lab equipment, to attack. Sam propels himself from the shadows smashing Cyclops into a wall. Before Scott can react, Elisabeth smacks him hard into the floor, knocking him out. Alex is ecstatic and keeps his promise of promoting the Guthries to Prelate. Cannonball asks if they are going to kill Cyclops now, but Havok has other plans, he wants his brother to suffer. He tells the Beast to take Cyclops and dissect him use him as a guinea pig. The Beast enjoys having the Summers DNA to play with, after all Sinister often spoke of the rich genetic stock.

Later, Cyclops and Jean Grey are both hooked up in one of McCoy’s contraptions. Jean complains about the pain he is suffering on them and the other subjects in the lab and questions whether he gets off on it. McCoy tells her that for him to succeed in creating the next generation of mutants he cannot show concern for his subjects. Jean keeps him talking so he can’t notice her straining and slightly lifting the inhibitor on her forehead. Suddenly she removes Cyclops’ visor with her TK. Cyclops who is still not quite with it unleashes a giant optic blast straight into McCoy, taking him out. As she frees herself and Cyclops, Jean asks him if he was really freeing the prisoners from the pens. He tells her it is true and that after meeting her he couldn’t follow Apocalypse blindly. She asks him if he’ll help liberate the pens. He tells her that the moment he met her he made the choice to rebel against Apocalypse.

In his throne room, Apocalypse calls for Rex and tells him that he has been told of brother having succeeded brother as commander of the pens. Rex confirms that now Alex Summers is ion control. Apocalypse orders him to take a message for the new commander, with Sinister gone the breeding pens have served there usefulness and are to be shut down. All prisoners will be culled, the weak will perish and the strong will survive as that is the will of Apocalypse.

Characters Involved: 

Amazon, Beast, Bedlam Brothers, Cannonball, Cyclops, Havok (all Mutant Elite Force)


Jean Grey


Scarlett McKenzie

In flashbacks :


Jean Grey

Weapon X


Story Notes: 

As can be seen in Factor X #2, Scott is responsible for the condition of Northstar and Aurora.
Jean Grey and Logan parted ways in Weapon X #2.
Jean and Logan brought the data rods to the Human High Council in X-Men Alpha.
Against Magneto’s direct order, Logan returned to the pens to free Jean. This led to the couple leaving the X-Men in X-Men Chronicles #2.
Sinister’s “trump card“ is actually X-Man Nate Grey, who was created by combining DNA samples of Scott and Jean.
Logan / Weapon X is wrongly referred to as Wolverine in this issue.

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