First X-Men #4

Issue Date: 
January 2013
Story Title: 
Things Fall Apart

Neil Adams & Christos Gage (writers), Neal Adams (penciler), Andrew Currie (inker), Matthew Wilson (colors), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Adams & Wilson (cover), Daniel Acuna (variant cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The new arrivals acclimate more or less well at Logan’s cabin, even with Yeti’s brother Forrest who is secretly controlled by Virus always stirring up unrest, even managing to make Sabretooth believe Logan wants to take Holly from him. When they plan an attack on the government compound, Virus gives orders to have the mutants attacked first, backed up by Sentinels. Agent Duncan is horrified but comes along, as does Charles Xavier as his driver.

Full Summary: 

Virus’ story:

His is a quintessentially American tale, one of acceptance, second chances and potential realities. Sadly though, it begins with a tragedy. For his parents, his birth was not a new beginning, it was the end. Horrified, they recoiled at their monstrous child. They were told the deformation was genetic. That trying for more children could produce something similar… or worse. His mother blamed his father for working with radioactive material. His father blamed his mother, a hospital worker, for exposing herself to x-rays. And though they tried their best not to show it, they both blamed him for being born. He’s forgiven them. After all, they were only human.

They kept him in the attic. To protect him, he is certain, from a cruel and prejudiced world. He didn’t mind. He had friends. The mice would do tricks for him until they died.

One day, his mother changed. She brought him out of the attic and showered him with love. Then she died, too. A virus they said. His father knew he was responsible and told him he was evil! When his father threatened him with a knife the boy reached out and possessed him as his ride.


Addressing him as Lyle, Agent Duncan asks how he came to serve his country. He prefers being called Virus, and this is where the story takes a happy turn.

Virus’ narration:

Virus saw in his father’s mind that he worked in a government facility for weapon research. They saw the nature of his gifts and realized they could work together for the betterment of the nation.


He is like agents Duncan and Dansig, Virus claims, and believes humanity can work together with ‘mutants’. The men of vision in both their species have the duty to rein in the excesses of those… less enlightened. The mutants have no idea he is among them, or rather his mount. It will be simple to bring them under his control. They can recruit them more reasonably and leave the rest to him. Dansig tells him to make it fast because there are other ideas. Like Trask’s project: Sentinels. And tempers are getting hot all around.

At Logan’s cabin one could say the same. New arrival Meteor wants them to attack the former captors, believing they will never stop. Forrest Goldendawn (secretly Virus’ mount) subtly provokes him until Meteor attacks and is in turn attacked by Forrest’s brother, Yeti.

Logan and Creed tell them to knock it off. Meteor tells Logan to go to hell. He doesn’t remember him winning any election! If he wants to call any shots, prove he is better qualified than him! Holly calms him down with a hose of water and remarks that she just saved his life. Even though the hose isn’t real, the illusion is working.

Logan demands to know what this brawl was about. Bomb explains that Meteor started it, but Meteor in turn calls him a brown noser. Logan tells them they have too many enemies to start fighting each other. They wanna blow off steam, fine. He orders Meteor and Yeti on a ten mile run. Unless one of them wants to prove they should be running the show. Not today, Meteor calls back as he starts running. But if he doesn’t start acting like a leader… soon.

He’s wrong, isn’t he? Forest asks. They are not going to come after them? He doesn’t want to go back to that place. Holo tries to distract him by offering to play Monopoly with him. He thanks her and adds he likes playing games.

With that over, Logan announces he’s got something for Anthony and offers him a new jacket, one in his size, unlike the one Logan gave him before. Angrily, Bomb destroys it, telling him he already gave him a damn coat. Suits him just fine! If he keeps wasting time on nonsense like that, maybe Meteor is right about him! He runs off.

The hell was that about? Logan wonders. Creed calls him an idiot. And that Meteor kid may be a punk but he’s got a point. Logan was all about putting together an army. Well he’s got one and they are getting restless… even the president of his fan club. It’s time to fish or cut bait!

Logan thinks they are still too raw. They’ll move when they are ready. And do what? Fill a morgue with feds? Creed asks. They’ll never get off their backs. Logan believes it’s about money. If they wreck enough of their bases and equipment, it makes coming after them expensive. Then maybe they’ll listen to Duncan and cut them a deal.

What kinda deal? Creed asks, suspicious. He isn’t stupid, Logan replies. He knows the kinda jobs governments find for guys like them. Some folks are suited for it, the two of them, Meteor probably. Some ain’t. This is about protecting them. Giving them a choice. The feds want what they got to offer, they leave the rest alone. So what he is saying, nothing changes, Creed states. Too late for them, Logan agrees. They look at Holo and Forrest playing. Not too late for them.

They deserve a shot at a normal life. Logan remarks Creed mentioned leaving… starting over somewhere with Holly. Maybe he should. She wouldn’t go, Creed replies, and he ain’t sure he would either now. From the day he was born, everybody’s been telling him he’s a monster. In a lot of ways, he is. Probably always will be. But Logan is right. This is their chance to be something better. Something real. They’ll make it work! Or die trying! He walks inside.

Holly joins Logan, turning into her normal self. Logan tells her tomorrow they’ll go on the offensive. Creed really loves her, he tells Holly. She knows. That’s it, Logan asks. She knows? She’s eighteen, she snaps. She cares about Creed… a lot. But she doesn’t know what she wants to do with the rest of her life. All she knows is for the first time she feels she has a choice. Vic too. She hasn’t known him that long but she can see he’s changed. She knows part of that is her but part of it is what they are doing.

Logan muses he wishes Xavier or Lehnsherr had joined them. They had that … thing that leaders have. He’s got what grunts have. He’ll kill what they point him at and he’ll keep getting up ‘til he can’t get up no more. That ain’t a leader.

Holly assures him he’s wrong. He brought them together, trained them and gave them purpose. If that’s not a leader she doesn’t know what is. They believe in him. They’ll follow him. Maybe thing will work out. Maybe they won’t. But they’ll have a chance. Something they never had before. That’s because of him. Forrest hides behind the trees, watching them…

Elsewhere, a confused Agent Duncan asks why they are mobilizing. On whose authority is this happening? His, Virus announces. He saw that the mutants plan to strike at dawn. Duncan pleads with Director Hartfield for a chance to work something out. Hartfield announces the time for negotiations is over. If he thinks he can talk them into surrendering, come along, but be advised they are trying Trask’s approach, too. The Sentinels are a go! God, Duncan mutters as he sees the flying giant robots. “You, private!” he snaps at a soldier in a military vehicle. Xavier, the private, introduces himself. Got room in that vehicle for him? It happens he does, Xavier replies.

In the cabin, Logan has gathered all the recruits, warning them this is for real. He wants everyone organized. Do their job, keep an eye on their partner and they’ll be--

Creed rushes in, shouting at Logan and calling him a backstabbin’ piece a— He can’t stand it, can he? Creed having something he doesn’t! he accuses Logan. He shoves Logan against the wall. He’s talking about Holo. Forrest saw them!

They were just talking, Holly announces. Logan notes that when crap gets stirred up, Forrest is always in the middle of it. That riles up Yeti. They ain’t done, Creed announces and shoves him again. Logan hits him. Sure they are! He tells Yeti Forrest does seem kind of off, doesn’t he? The spooks had him for a while. Their psy-ops can flip anyone. Brainwashing… maybe worse.

He turns to Forrest, announcing he can usually sniff out if someone’s lying. He doesn’t mind Forrest begins to placate him before hitting Logan hard.

Now! Forrest / Virus shouts and three Sentinels tear the roof apart. “Mutants, surrender or die!” they order.

What happened to him? Yeti asks his brother. Nothing that won’t happen to him, he replies viciously.

Angrily, Meteor blasts at the Sentinels. Logan grabs his katana. Holly realizes her illusions don’t work on robots, so Logan tells her to get to the back-up, the human soldiers. Holly immediately does so by having Director Hartfield appear in front of a confused sniper, ordering him to stop. He tells what’s going to the real Hartfield, who realizes Holo is behind it and orders everyone to stop fire. They might be hitting their own men. He orders them to retreat and let the robots do things.

Logan grabs two swords and has Yeti toss him at the Sentinels. He decapitates one Sentinel, then jumps atop the other. He’s learned the brains are in the backs of their heads.

Meteor admits that Logan is good. Yeti runs to look for Forrest. Creed grabs Holly to get her to safety from the soldiers. Suddenly, they hear a voice: it’s not the soldiers they need to worry about. It’s Virus, riding Forrest. Creed tells Holly to run.

Logan lands in front of the kids and tells them if they work as a team they can get through this. Maybe want to rethink that plan, Virus announces as Creed, controlled by Virus’ tentacles, hits him. There’s been some roster changes…

Characters Involved: 

Bomb, Holo, Sabretooth, Wolverine, Yeti

Forrest Goldendawn, Meteor, Scout, Shadowshift

Charles Xavier

Agent Fred Duncan

Agent Dansig

Director Hartfield

Bolivar Trask


in flashback:


Virus’ parents

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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