Maverick #8

Issue Date: 
April 1998
Story Title: 
Fractured Lives

Jorge Gonzalez (writer), Jim Cheung & Leo Fernandez (pencilers), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Chris Eliopoulos & Virtual Calligraphy (letters), Kevin Somers (colors), Frank Pittarese (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Inside the Johnson household, Maverick is holding vigil over a comatose Elena Ivanova when he is interrupted by Brian Johnson (the former Christopher Bradley). They discuss Elena’s situation and what has happened to her. Later, in the kitchen, Maverick receives support from Brian’s parents and allows him to keep Elena there as long as is needed. Maverick decides at that point to take Brian out to the lake and has a heart to heart talk with him about everything that has been going on. When they get back to the house, Maverick notices that his assistant, Isabel Ferguson, is there visiting. Before she leaves, Isabel provides Maverick with one last gift - a new suit. After he tries it on, Maverick has another discussion with Brian and this time it’s about using codenames. He implores Brian to pick a codename – and Brian chooses Bolt. Maverick then indicates that he needs to leave for a few days and take care of some things while he still has the chance. Over at the Ice Box prison, located in northwest Canada, the mysterious assassin known as the Confessor infiltrates the prison and breaks out Sickle. He provides him to Ivan Pushkin, who is pleased with the job he has done. He offers him another assignment - his name is Maverick!!!

Full Summary: 

0338 hours. The Ice Box - a top secret maximum security detainment center in the upper reaches of Canada’s frigid northwest territories. With barren tundra wastes stretching for miles in every direction, the arctic landscape has always ensured the prison’s isolation and served as an effective deterrent from any attempted breakouts. Until now. When a man dressed in all black from head to toe arrives on the scene.

His name is the Confessor. Although he has been on Interpol’s most wanted lists since long before the now defunct Cold War was at its peak, very little is known about this mysterious individual except for the few sketchy rumors and conjectures amassed by expert intelligence analysts throughout the world. He was secretly groomed and reared since birth to assume the role of assassin and prized interrogator for the KGB. He is undoubtedly an extremely ruthless and dangerous man. He is renowned for his rather unorthodox methods and brazenly sacrilegious choice of weapons.

Eventually, the Confessor makes his way through the snow and near the prison. He notices two guards outside the prison and proceeds to shoot them with one of his ski poles. This particular ski pole carries a spear of some sort that pierces both men - killing them instantly! Inside the prison, the Confessor battles the guards that are trying to stop his assault. He grabs one of them around the neck as he takes the others out with kicks to their faces. The head guard informs the other guards to watch their fire – that maniac is using Lister as a shield. Before he can finish his thought, one of the other guards accidentally shoots Lister, killing him.

The head guard indicates that Lister was a friend and whoever this guy is, he’s got a lot to answer for!! He informs the others to not let him get away!! The other guards heed the order and open up fire on the Confessor. The Confessor is able to dodge their gunfire and ends up on a catwalk surrounding the prison. He pulls out one of his many weapons that are forged in the image of popular religions symbols. These weapons are perversely twisted to serve the Confessor’s unholy deeds as part of a psychological ploy to disarm his opponent’s. The weapon of choice this time? A necklace that resembles rosary beads. He proceeds to toss them over the side of the catwalk into the extremely flammable barrels that are below. When the beads land, they cause a massive explosion - killing all of the guards where they stand! The Confessor then proceeds to leap off the catwalk and to complete his mission. These days, he works strictly freelance with loyalties only to himself and his hidden agendas.

It’s been less than twenty-four hours since former KGB agent Elena Ivanova slipped into a catatonic state, as a result of injuries sustained during her struggle with the homicidal mutant known as Sabretooth. Now, she is lying in a guest room in the Florida home of the recently relocated Johnson family. Maverick sits by her bed, maintaining a silent vigil, lost in his private thoughts.

All of a sudden, Maverick is interrupted by Brian Johnson (the former Christopher Bradley) who enters the room. Brian notices Elena hooked up to a breathing apparatus and proceeds to ask Maverick how she is doing. Maverick responds that she’s not good. With that said, she’s better than expected, all things considered. Brian then asks that the doc said. Maverick informs him that nothing unusual. Unfortunately there’s really no way of determining how long before she regains consciousness. In his mind, Maverick wonders if she ever will...

He continues to inform Brian that the longer she’s under, the greater the risk of her suffering permanent brain damage. With that in mind, the rest of her injuries are minor in comparison. The hairline fractures on a couple of ribs, some cuts and abrasions, plus her arm’s broken in a bad way - but it will heal in time. Maverick thinks to himself that Elena must have bent her arm back into place after coming to from Creed’s initial attack. An incredibly painful act - which if his theory about their link is correct, caused him to have one of his seizures. He continues to tell Brian that at least there’s no physical head trauma which means that whatever forced her mind to shut down and retreat into her subconscious is more psychosomatic than anything else. For all they know, she could come out of it any second now or it could be weeks, or months. All they can do is wait, tend to her needs and then...

In the Ice Box, it is 0436 hours. The Confessor is leading Sickle out of the prison. Whenever they encounter somebody, the Confessor kills them! Sickle points out that he’s not much in the subtlety department - is he? The Confessor tells him to just shut up and follow his lead. They leap off the hillside and land in the snow below. When they land, Sickle asks Confessor where the airlift is. The Confessor replies that there isn’t one - they hoof it from there. Sickle angrily asks if they are supposed to walk across miles of Canadian wilderness on foot - they’ll never make it!!! As the Confessor walks away he informs him that he has a snowmobile stashed less than a mile away. He adds that Sickle needs to stop his whining and to move. Even with all the heavy snowfall covering their tracks - they’d best be long gone before the warden sends out his posse. After some time, the Confessor and Sickle make it to the snowmobile and take off.

Back in Florida, Maverick has changed into his battle-suit and asks Brian what he thinks. Brian replies that it’s pretty snazzy, but asks where the gauntlets are. Maverick replies that it doesn’t make sense to wear them until he has found a way to get his mutant powers back under control. Besides, after the way he’s been melting everything he touches, he’d just end up going through several pairs of gauntlets a day - which isn’t very practical. Maverick then indicates to Brian that, even though their chatterboxes are supposed to be on a secure line, he would prefer to not take any chances with unwelcome eavesdroppers. As a precautionary measure, he requests Brian to adopt a code name for use whenever they use the chatterboxes so he can protect his new identity. The same goes for when they’re out in the field together. Anti-mutant sentiment being what it is, one can never be too careful. Brian agrees. After his last scare with the Friends of Humanity - he doesn’t have to be told twice.

He asks Maverick what kind of code name he should pick. Maverick informs him that it’s up to him, though he suggests choosing something that fits him and is easy to remember - something like Static. Brian replies that Static sounds cool but that he thinks it’s already taken - Bolt sounds good. Maverick agrees that will work and then proceeds to inform Brian that he wants him to keep an eye on Elena while he is away. When Brian asks him where he is going, Maverick replies that he needs to go overseas. Brian begins to get upset and asks why he needs to go!! Maverick tells him to relax - it’s only going to be for a few days. Now that he’s on borrowed time again, there’s some personal matters he needs to take care of while he still has the chance. Brian is confused, but Maverick assures him that he has no intention of rushing off on some sort of foolish vendetta. He just has a couple of questions about his past that he needs answering so he can finally lay some old ghost to rest.

In the heart of the Kremlin, inside an obscenely decadent 19th century penthouse apartment overlooking Red Square, the Russian gangster known as Ivan the Terrible welcomes the Confessor to his home. He also welcomes him to the newly capitalist Moscow - a city ripe with exciting possibilities. The Confessor agrees that it is a veritable land of opportunity, even though it is only for those with enough wealth to circumvent the pitfalls of so-called freedom. Ivan agrees - that was implied.

He then offers the Confessor to take part of the feast before him. He indicates that all of it was imported. The lobsters were flown in from Maine, the lamb from Auckland, Scottish salmon, caviar from Azerbaijan - it is all exquisite. The Confessor declines his offer - he is there strictly on business. He then indicates to Ivan that he doesn’t mean to be rude, but that he just wants to complete their transaction and be on his way. Ivan responds that he doesn’t need to worry - the amount they discussed plus a bonus was transferred to his Swiss account the moment he confirmed Sickle was delivered safely to his farmhouse in Borovichi.

The Confessor asks about the bonus. He assumes that Ivan was either fully satisfied with his services or that it is a way of compensating him for having to put up with that gypsy’s foul-mouthed disposition. Ivan warns him to be careful to not overstep his bounds. Sickle has been in his employ for many years and his loyalty to him is without question. The Confessor on the other hand... intrigues him. He confesses that he hasn’t yet figured out what motivated him now that the Soviet regime is a thing of the past. The Confessor replies that he wants a taste of the sweet life and that money talks - it’s as simple as that. Ivan agrees with him and offers him another assignment - something of a more delicate nature. When the Confessor asks who the lucky stiff is, Ivan informs him that the target is somebody he believes the Confessor is already familiar with - his name is Maverick!!!

Characters Involved: 


Elena Ivanova

Brian Johnson (formerly Christopher Bradley, now Bolt)

Jenn Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson (Frank & Rose)

Isabel Ferguson & her daughter Madeline

The Confessor


Ivan Pushkin

Ivan Pushkin’s guard (unnamed)

Various guards at the Ice Box prison (all unnamed)

Maverick’s Mind:


Story Notes: 

Maverick was “cured” by Elena in Maverick #1.

Elena was severely injured by Sabretooth in Maverick #6 & 7.

Maverick got Chris Bradley and his family new identities (Johnson identity) after Chris’s secret of being a Legacy infected mutant was exposed in X-Men Unlimited #15.

Sickle was arrested and put in jail back in Maverick #3.

Much later on, Bolt would take up the Maverick mantle after he thought the original Maverick was dead. Instead, the original Maverick had taken on a different identity.

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