X-Factor (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
November 1986
Story Title: 
Falling Angel!

Louise Simonson (writer), Walter Simonson (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Petra Scotese (colorist), Joe Rosen (letters), Bob Harras (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

A large group of Morlocks in the Alley are suddenly slaughtered by several members of the Marauders. Meanwhile, Marvel Girl, Angel, Skids and the unconscious Rusty Collins are en route back to the X-Factor complex, while Cyclops, Beast and Iceman have begun their search for the missing Artie. The trio soon come across the only three remaining Morlocks from that large group. Pursued by Harpoon and Arclight, one of them is killed immediately, but X-Factor manage to rescue Erg and Beautiful Dreamer, battling Arclight and Harpoon in the process. At the X-Factor complex, Skids tells Marvel Girl and Angel that she has seen the X-Terminators on TV battling X-Factor, but that Rusty told her X-Factor is okay. When she sees Angel talk to Cameron Hodge, she panics, and realizes that the X-Terminators are X-Factor. She tries to run away, but Marvel Girl stops her, pointing out that something terrible is going on in the Morlock Tunnels. Indeed, and at that moment, Caliban holds onto Artie and Leech as they walk through the tunnels, when they are suddenly attacked by Sabretooth. Leech and Artie manage to hide, though Caliban takes a beating, before Cyclops knocks Sabretooth out. Leech and Artie pull Caliban to safety. At the Pentagon, Mystique is pleased when Trish Tilby announces on television that Warren Worthington - the Angel - is backing the mutant-hunting X-Factor team. Candy Southern is about to start a board meeting at Worthington Industries when she learns this, and immediately leaves for New York. Cameron Hodge alerts Angel to the news report, worrying Angel. Back in the Alley, Blockbuster and Vertigo are attacking the Morlocks called Ape and Tarbaby when X-Factor arrive. They battle the Morlocks and rescue the two Morlocks, adding them to the contingent. However, Artie runs away from Leech, and when his powers return, learns that X-Factor are in the tunnels. At the X-Factor complex, Angel and Marvel Girl have a heart-to-heart, discussing many events in their lives, and as they embrace, Candy walks in on them. Furious, she dumps Angel and quits her job running his company, before storming out. Angel contemplates going after her, before deciding to accompany Marvel Girl back into the tunnels to find their teammates and Artie. Meanwhile, the Morlock called Plague is about to attacked by Sabretooth, but the enigmatic Apocalypse arrives, and takes the old mutant away, vowing she will become Pestilence, the first Horseman of Apocalypse. Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and their contingent of four Morlocks come across Arclight, Prism and Scrambler, so another battle ensues, before Marvel Girl and Angel arrive, turning the tide to X-Factor’s advantage. However, Cyclops and the Beast are both injured, so Marvel Girl and Iceman take them and the four Morlocks back to the X-Factor complex, leaving Angel to find Artie. He does, but they are soon attacked by Vertigo, Blockbuster and Harpoon - and after a brief battle, Angel is badly injured, and Harpoon pins him to the wall by his wings.

Full Summary: 

Far beneath Manhattan’s hard and glittering surface lies a warren of tunnels. The huge central shaft, known by some as the Alley, is a mile deep and runs the length of Manhattan. It is here that the mutant outcasts known as the Morlocks have cared their own society, sheltered from the fear and envy of the surface dwellers. Right now, in the Alley, several have gathered to make a meal. One of the Morlocks, Erg, is tending to a fire, when he suddenly asks Zeek if he heard something. ‘It was only your cooking fire popping’ Zeek replies, before asking Erg to put a couple of hotdogs on a stick for he and Beautiful Dreamer. Erg does so, while remarking that for a second there he thought he heard gunfire.

‘In the Alley? You got some imagination, Erg…makes me believe you really was a painter back when you was a surface dweller!’ Zeek exclaims. Other Morlocks go about their business, when suddenly, one of them tells Zeek and Erg that he thinks they hear it now. ‘Yeah! I hear it now, too! Popping…and…and it sounds like screams!’ another Morlock gasps. ‘It - oh my Lord!’ another asks. ‘Why - why are you doing this? NOOO!’ one of the Morlocks screams as the Marauders appear, and Harpoon throws one of his arrows through the Morlock, while Scalphunter begins firing his weapon indiscriminately, and Sabretooth, Arclight and Blockbuster leap into action. ‘We’re Marauders, babe, and we got a philosophy - the only good mutant is a dead mutant - unless of course, it’s us!’ Erg picks up Beautiful Dreamer, and the other Morlocks begin running for their lives.

Meanwhile, in the tunnels several miles away, a team of mutants who are not Morlocks recover from a pitched battle with the Government-sponsored bounty hunters, Freedom Force. Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Hank “the Beast” McCoy and Bobby “Iceman” Drake, dressed in their “X-Terminators” costumes, watch as their teammates Warren “Angel” Worthington” and Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey fly through the tunnels, with Jean using her telekinetic ability to carry the unconscious and injured Rusty Collins, while Rusty’s friend Sally “Skids” Blevins, skates alongside him.

Cyclops tells Angel and Jean to hurry and get Rusty and Skids back to their complex, while Angel, carrying Marvel Girl, tells her that he hopes Scott will be okay, as he thinks he is edgier than this situation warrants. ‘He blames himself, Angel! I was angry at him and he was…hurt…’ Jean replies, adding that Scott needed to lash out, to hurt back, and poor Rusty stumbled across his path like a human lightning tod. ‘Yeah, and Scott let him have it, didn’t he? A verbal blast to the gut that send Rusty scurrying here…into greater danger’ Warren adds, while Jean points out that little Artie followed him. ‘Angel, can you hear them? Screams! Poor little Artie, lost down here and -’ Jean begins, before Skids tells the older mutants that Rusty is barely breathing. Skids tells Angel and Marvel Girl that they don’t have to go slow for her sake, as she can skate on her force field real fast, promising to keep up. Angel tells Skids not to worry, assuring her that between he and Jean they will save him. ‘I just hope Cyke and Beast and Iceman can find Artie…’.

Scott, Bobby and Hank have made their way deeper into the complex tunnel system. Bobby asks Scott if he is all right, to which Scott snaps back ‘Fine’ before declaring that whatever is happening down here, at least Rusty is out of it. ‘Come on, let’s find the kid!’ Scott declares, leading his dear friends through the tunnels, they suddenly come to an entrance to the Alley. ‘Hold it! What’s that?’ Scott remarks as he sees Erg, still carrying Beautiful Dreamer, and Zeek running his way - with someone following them in the background. Suddenly, Zeek screams as one of Harpoon’s arrows lands in his chest. Beautiful Dreamer calls out to him, but Erg tells him that they cannot help him.

‘Good shot, Harpoon. One chump slaughtered’ Arclight exclaims. ‘Two to -’ Harpoon begins, before Erg trips over. ‘No!’ Bobby gasps as Harpoon stands over Erg and Beautiful Dreamer. Instantly, the Beast leaps into action, despite Cyclops telling him not to. ‘You are fast, Beastman - but not fast enough to best Harpoon!’ the Marauder exclaims as he smacks the Beast in the side with his weapon. With the Beast down, Harpoon throws his weapon towards Iceman and Cyclops, but Bobby tells Scott to stand behind him as he creates an ice shield to stop it - it works, but barely, as the ice slows the weapons movement, before the ice shatters.

‘This guy’s deadly, Iceman. We better nail him while we can!’ Scott exclaims as he unleashes an optic blast on the Marauders, who turn and run, though not without Arclight slamming her hands against the side of the tunnel. Harpoon asks her what she is doing, to which Arclight explains that she is collapsing the ceiling. ‘I’m bored with them, Harpoon - they’re not much fun to kill at all!’ she exclaims. Cyclops unleashes a wide eye-beam to pulverize the falling debris, and tells everyone to get behind him. Scott’s power only stopped the debris falling on them, as the rest of the ceiling caved in, leaving the Marauders on the other side. ‘Who were they, anyway?’ Iceman asks, unfamiliar with the villains. Beautiful Dreamer and Erg get to their feet and Erg explains that they are Marauders who want to kill them. ‘Yeah, we noticed!’ Scott remarks, before telling the Morlocks that they should stick with them for safety, adding that he hopes Jean and Warren made it out okay.

At that moment, Jean, Angel, Rusty and Skids arrive at X-Factor Headquarters, and Sally tells the heroes that she wants to thank them for saving her and Rusty. ‘Us Morlocks have tapped into Cable, you know, and I saw you on TV - you’re the X-Terminators, right? The guys who attacked those mutant hunters - X-Factor!’. Skids exclaims that Rusty says X-Factor is okay, but she figures as he was with them for a while they probably brain-washed him or something. Sally adds that she has seen the X-Factor advertisements and the effect they have had on some people. She exclaims that she would not want to be anywhere near X-Factor, before remarking that this is some hide-out. ‘Where are we, anyway?’ she asks, unaware of course that they are in the X-Factor complex.

Angel tells Skids to hold it a minute, before using a computer to contact Cameron Hodge, informing him that Rusty is hurt and needs a doctor in the infirmary, pronto. Hodge tells Warren that he will do what he can, to which Sally goes wide-eyed, ‘He’s working with you?’ But…that’s Cameron Hodge - the PR guy for X-Factor! I’ve seen him on TV!’ she gasps. ‘You said we’d be safe! You were lying to me! You’re X-Factor!’ Skids realizes as she begins to tun away. Marvel Girl tends to Rusty while Angel flies over to Skids, telling her to listen to him, and that it is not a lie. He explains that X-Factor hunts mutants, but to teach them to control their often dangerous powers - like Rusty’s fire power, so they can be reassimilated into society. ‘Hey!’ he calls out as he attempts to grab Sally.

Skids declares that whoever’s dumb idea this is, it stinks, and that she is going back to the Morlocks, before reminding Angel that she has a force field, so he can’t touch her, hurt her or hold her. ‘Nothing can! You just skid off!’ she exclaims, before Marvel Girl declares that she can contain Skids, and uses her telekinetic power to rip beams up from the floor, wrapping them around Skids, effectively trapping her. Jean tells Sally that something terrible is going on down there, so they cannot let her go. Jean asks Sally to stay with Rusty and protect him from them if she must, until they learn what is going on. ‘Then…if you still want to…you can leave!’

Several hours ago, led by his ability to visualize far off events, X-Factor’s mute young ward, Artie Maddicks, entered the Morlock Tunnels in search of his friend, Rusty Collins, and himself was found by the Morlock child called Leech, whose power it is to siphon off the abilities of others, and Caliban, a living mutant detector. Now, the trio of mutants creep fearfully towards the sounds of ambush and death…. Holding Artie and Leech’s hands, Caliban exclaims that there are more screams up ahead, and tells the younger mutants to stay close. ‘If you could talk, Big Eyes, perhaps you could say what is happening…for with Leech around…Caliban’s own powers fail him…’ Caliban remarks, adding that he cannot tell if mutant friend or foe walks ahead of them.

Calling Artie “Big Eyes” still, Caliban tells him to wait with Leech. ‘His power should protect you…neutralize any mutant attack’ Caliban remarks, adding that he will go forward, out of range, where he will be able to - but Caliban doesn’t finish his comment, because Sabretooth lunges at him, ‘Don’t count on it, chump!’ he exclaims, lashing out at Caliban, exclaiming that nothing is going to dull his claws, or his senses. Sabretooth senses someone coming, while Leech pushes Artie into a very small tunnel, and follows him. ‘In hole! Fast!’ Leech exclaims.

Outside the small tunnel, Cyclops has arrived with the Beast and Iceman, and unleashes his optic blast, knocking Sabretooth backwards from Caliban. ‘He was trying to kill us, Beast! How many others did he kill? But he’s alive - so far’ Scott declares as he approaches Sabretooth, who has landed near the small tunnel where Artie and Leech are hiding. ‘No, Big eyes! Stay!’ Leech tells Artie, who has heard Cyclops and is trying to get past Leech in the tunnel ‘Strangers…bad…’ Leech tells Artie, when suddenly, there is another scream. Iceman, holding up the injured Beast, tells Cyclops to forget Sabretooth, as he isn’t going anywhere. ‘Trouble over there!’ Beast remarks, and the trio leave this part of the tunnel system.

Leech and Artie climb out of the small tunnel and see that Caliban is badly hurt. ‘In hold fast’ Leech exclaims as they pull Caliban into the small tunnel. ‘Whoever hit me…reckoned without my healing factor…it’ll take more than that to stop me, little piggies!’ Sabretooth boasts as he lunges at the small tunnel, missing the three mutants by an instant. He stares into the small tunnel, ‘Shall I prove it? Shall I huff and puff and blow your house down?’ Sabretooth snarls at them.

Meanwhile, in the Pentagon offices assigned as Freedom Force’s headquarters, five of the team - Raven “Mystique” Darkholme, Irene “Destiny” Adler, Fred “the Blob” Dukes, Dominic “Avalanche” Petros and St John “Pyro” Allerdyce are in the living area, watching Trish Tilby on television, who announces that investigation has begun into reports that the millionaire mutant playboy, Warren Worthington also known as the Angel, is the financial backer for X-Factor. The Blob sits in an oversized chair and laughs, ‘So you leaked the word, eh, Mystique?’ he exclaims. Raven replies that the media are having a field day. She adds that Uncle Sam’s computers provided impressive proof. ‘I wonder when they will learn, as we have, that X-Factor and the X-Terminators are one!’ Mystique adds.

At that moment, in Philadelphia, on the top floor of the Worthington Building, the newly appointed Chairperson of the Board, Candy Southern, calls a meeting to order. ‘…light industry profits are up two percent in this quarter and -’ Candy begins, before suddenly, a young man enters the meeting room, and nervously informs Candy that is just came over the radio about Mr Worthington, saying that he is an evil mutant and that Worthington Enterprises is backing X-Factor. ‘Blast! Warren thought he’d buried his interests in X-Factor so cleverly no one could ferret out the connection!’ Candy tells herself, wondering how this happened. She immediately walks out of the meeting, thinking that she is supposed to be Warren’s lover, and has not had a real conversation with him in weeks, as they have both been so busy. Candy decides that it is time she went to Warren, for when he hears this, he is going to need her. Candy calls back to those in the meeting room, that she is postponing the remainder of the meeting until next week. ‘If you need me, I’ll be in New York’ she announces.
In the X-Factor Complex infirmary, Jean and Warren have dressed into their blue “mutant hunting” costumes, and Jean thanks the doctor who is examining Rusty for coming so promptly. ‘Glad to oblige’ the doctor replies, explaining that Cameron Hodge is an old buddy. The doctor remarks that the boy is in bad shape, and asks what happened. Warren replies that he is an X-Factor operative who was injured in the line of duty. Suddenly, Cameron appears on a monitor, he apologizes for the interruption, before announcing that something big has come up - that Warren is on TV. Cameron patches the channel through, where Trish Tilby is mid-way through a report: ‘…concerning the involvement of Warren Worthington III, a known mutant, with X-Factor…’. ‘WHAT?’ a shocked Warren gasps.

Meanwhile, back in the Alley, the sultry Marauder known as Vertigo has given the Morlock Ape a severe case of, uh, vertigo, causing him to spin around dizzy. Vertigo’s teammate Blockbuster boasts that it is up to him to deliver the goods, and whacks Tarbaby towards Ape, while exclaiming ‘Ick! What’s with you, ugly - ya got fly paper for skin?’. Tarbaby tells Ape to duck, or else he will get stuck, but Ape replies that he can’t as he is so dizzy, before they crash together. Blockbuster just laughs, ‘Stuck together like wads of bubblegum!’ he exclaims, moving towards them, he offers to flatten them, when suddenly, Cyclops, Beast and Iceman arrive on scene. ‘There! The scream came from - holee - it’ll be tough in ice hand-coughs, Marauder!’ Bobby exclaims as he encases Blockbuster’s hands In ice, before the villain can crush the two Morlocks.

‘Almost as tough as standing upright, isn’t it, mutant?’ Vertigo asks as she unleashes her power on Iceman. ‘No kidding!’ Bobby thinks to himself as begins to feel sick and dizzy. ‘Can’t stay iced up…or…or up at all!’ Bobby tells himself as he falls off the platform. ‘No crummy block of ice can hold me, turkey!’ Blockbuster snarls as he breaks free of Bobby’s ice-cuffs, boasting that he is going to break Iceman, just like that. But before Blockbuster can attack Iceman, Cyclops blasts him with a powerful beam of optic energy. ‘No!’ Scott exclaims, before Vertigo declares ‘That’s it for you, handsome!’ and puts Scott under her vertigo power, causing him to move backwards, dizzy, his power goes off aim.

The Beast is alerted to the situation, and bounds towards Vertigo, kicking her in the face as he tells her that her trick will not work on him, as he is an acrobat and used to vertigo. Blockbuster picks up Vertigo when she lands near him, and Cyclops tells Beast to let them go, as they are in no shape to chase the Morlocks, before pointing out that the leap reopened the gash in Hank’s side. Hank declares that it is nothing, just a scratch, before asking how Bobby is. Iceman gets to his feet, replying that he is okay, just a little sick. Ape and Tarbaby have separated, and along with Erg and Beautiful Dreamer, they gather around the heroes, while Beast points out that they have four refugees and a batch of walking wounded. ‘We should go back to the complex…save those we have, but -’ he remarks, before Cyclops declares that Artie is still down here. ‘We’ll find him or die!’ Scott declares.

Elsewhere in the tunnel, two small faces peer from a drain tunnel into the alley. ‘Gone…?’ Leech whispers. Artie nods, the monster with the claws and teeth has left, bored by his inability to reach them, lured by the promise of easier prey. Artie drops from the drain tunnel, despite Leech telling him not to. ‘Stay! Scared! Die!’ Leech calls out, but young Artie Maddicks runs, away from the injured Caliban and the young friend who blocks his power - he continues running - until suddenly, images of Cyclops, Iceman and the Beast appear above him - he knows where X-Factor is. Artie knows that they are in the tunnels far away, but has to reach them, he has to, because if he doesn’t then his new friends Leech and Caliban will surely die!

Much later, in the X-Factor infirmary, Angel gazes out over the city, while Skids has been released from the beams, and sleeps on a chair, while Jean stands watch over Rusty. Angel remarks that Rusty will be okay here, as they could not let him get hospitalised, for if the authorities realized who Rusty really was, he will be arrested. ‘It’s a roll of the dice, isn’t it, Warren? Rusty’s freedom against his life!’ Jean declares. Angel agrees, and remarks that he hopes it works out better than his last wager. ‘What wager?’ Jean asks. Angel explains that he gambled that the Worthington backing - his backing - of X-Factor was undetectable, and he lost. ‘I’ve doomed X-Factor!’ he exclaims.

Jean assures Warren that he hasn’t, but Warren tells her to face facts. ‘They’ll wonder why a known mutant backed mutant hunters! In no time, the facts will be out and X-Factor, destroyed! It’ll almost be a relief…’ Angel declares, revealing that he is so tired of the lies, of pretending to be a mutant hunter, a villain. ‘That Scott wasn’t married…that you - what a jerk I’ve been!’ he exclaims, before stopping himself from talking as he closes his eyes, and thinks ‘A millionaire playboy air-head who grew wings and soared above his station. What fool’s pride made me think I could save mutant kind?’ Angel wonders, before telling Jean that Skids was right: ‘The X-Factor idea…my idea…stinks!’

Jean walks over to Warren and tells him that it wasn’t a lie, or wrong. ‘You…we all…were chasing a dream - a dream of freedom and security for mutants everywhere!’ Jean exclaims, before covering her face and crying as she tells Warren that it is not his fault that their dream turned into a nightmare. Warren takes Jean by the shoulders, and she looks at him, as he tells her that he is sorry about X-Factor, about Scott, about everything. ‘No, Warren, you listen! Back when Scott thought I was dead, he married someone else…and those are the breaks!’ Jean exclaims. Jean remarks that she could have been dead, that by rights she should have been, but no matter what, she is glad to be alive.

Jean continues, exclaiming that she is glad for X-Factor, because with it her life, and when it comes, her death, will mean something. Tears fall from Jean’s eyes as she remarks that she understand Scott not wanting Angel to yell her he was married. ‘since he was afraid if I knew, he’d lose me…he has lost me…’ she whispers. ‘Jean…’ Warren begins, embracing her. ‘But…I’m so worried…Scott - he’s been in the tunnels so long…how can I love and hate him so much at the same time?’ Jean wonders. ‘Jean…sweetheart…don’t! Listen to me…’ Warren begins, when suddenly, ‘Warren? Warren, Hodge said I’d find you - oh!’ gasps Candy as she enters the infirmary. ‘C-Candy?’ Warren asks nervously as he and Jean pull apart from each other.

‘I…I was so worried - so worried about you…and I find you like this!’ Candy exclaims, before reminding Warren that she has overlooked his philandering before, but now this is the limit. ‘And you, Jean Grey…haven’t you wrecked enough relationships? Enough lives?’ Candy asks, before declaring that Jean may be a mutant all right, but her real power is to make men fall in love with her - and then destroy them. ‘Warren…Angel baby...you can take you Vice Presidency…and you can shove it!’ Candy exclaims as she throws her briefcase at Angel, during which the briefcase opens, and papers fly everywhere, before Candy turns around and storms out the room. ‘Candy! Wait! It’s not what you think…wait!’ Angel calls out after her.

Skids wakes up due to all the commotion and watches as Angel exclaims that Candy has gone. ‘But I wasn’t…you weren’t…’ he tells Jean, who replies that she knows, and points out that Rusty is better, so Skids can watch him now. ‘Go after her, Warren - tell her -’ Jean begins, to which Warren frowns: ‘”Skids can watch him”? Where will you be?’ he snaps. Jean replies that she will be in the tunnels, as she has to find Scott and the others. ‘She said I destroy…’ Jean begins, remembering Candy’s line.

Angel tells himself that he has finally blown it, for everybody, and wonders what it is going to be. ‘Go after Candy - salvage what little is left of my life…or help the woman I have no right to want save the man she loves - who just happens to be my best friend!’. As Jean makes her way out of the infirmary, Warren takes flight, telling himself ‘Who am I kidding? It’ll take more than a salvage operation to help me! Maybe the National Guard…’, before calling out to Jean, telling her that he is coming with her.

Almost a mile below, ‘Butt out, Harpoon! Sabretooth hunts alone!’ the savage mutant snarls as he moves past Harpoon, towards an elderly Morlock called Plague. ‘Easy ta kill an old lady, ain’t it, sonny. Especially with claws like yours!’ the old woman exclaims, before telling Sabretooth that she isn’t scared, and that she can match him, touch for touch. She touches Sabretooth’s face before he can attack her, and he falls to the ground. ‘Yer sick, sonny! Soon you’ll be dead! Like ta know who killed ya? The name is Plague!’. Harpoon readies his weapon, ‘Pleased to meet you, granny! I think you’ll find Harpoon’s reach…much longer!’ the Marauder begins, but before he too can attack, the mysterious mutant Apocalypse appears behind him, ‘And my reach is longer still!’ Apocalypse booms as he grabs Harpoon by the head, then slams him into the concrete.

‘Fear not! I will not yet slay you!’ Apocalypse assures Harpoon, adding that the Marauders winnow out the weak that the strong may rule, thus doing Apocalypse’s work. ‘But you are not yet strong enough to face the test that I will place before you’ he remarks, turning to Plague, declaring that she is worthy and will be a tool of their testing. ‘Take my hand and you will be Plague no longer…but Pestilence - first Horsemen of Apocalypse!’. Plague looks at Apocalypse strangely and asks him if he is sure he knows what he is doing. ‘I know! I was ancient when you were young!’ Apocalypse reveals, telling Plague to come with him. The old Morlock takes the hand of Apocalypse, and the vanish, right before Sabretooth’s eyes. ’But how?’ he wonders, before realizing that he is sick as a dog. ’The old lady wasn’t joking. Without my healing factor, I’d be dead!’

Ages later, ‘We’ll never find them…so many dead…’ Jean remarks to Warren as they walk through the Morlock Tunnels. ‘We didn’t know what we were leaving them to! Who would do this?’ Angel wonders, before there is a loud rumble. ‘Feel that?’ Jean asks. ‘Over there!’ Angel replies, pointing in the direction the noise came from.

Nearby, ‘We meet again, mutants!’ Arclight exclaims as she stands with teammates Scrambler and Prism, as Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and the four rescued Morlocks approach her. ‘Vertigo said you survived our first encounter - so I’ve organized a search and destroy mission!’ Arclight exclaims, before using her powers once more. ‘Specially designed with you in mind!’ she adds, before Cyclops unleashes an optic blast on her, knocking her back, though she manages to order Scrambler to disrupt their powers. ‘My pleasure!’ Scrambler replies, before the Beast bounds towards him, ‘Hey…jerk…disrupt this -’ Hank begins, before screaming as he slams into Prism.

‘How unfortunate. The Beast-Man is stopped, but at what cost?’ Prism asks as he stands over the motionless bodies of Beast and Scrambler. Prism declares that Scrambler should have waited for him to shed a little light on things. ‘Light? Blinding! I can’t see!’ Iceman calls out, as he stumbles backwards from the glare Prism causes. ‘I can - enough!’ Scott calls out as he unleashes an optic blast at Prism. ‘Did I introduce myself? I’m Prism And you know what a prism does…and I can do so much more!’ the Marauder boasts as his power knocks Cyclops backwards.

Suddenly, Jean and Angel enter this part of the tunnel. ‘Angel, there they - Cyclops! No!’ Jean calls out as she sees Prism moving towards her teammates. ‘Prism - get away from them!’ Jean shouts, before using her telekinesis to lift Prism up - and slam him against a tunnel wall, which shatters him into countless shards! Arclight picks up Scrambler and remarks that it is too bad Prism was so brittle, before pointing out that three of the others are down. ‘If they hadn’t called in reinforcements, we’d’ve nailed them ‘em permanently!’ she exclaims, before deciding that it is time for evasive action, and slamming her hand against a tunnel wall, she adds ‘A little something to remember us by’, and the ceiling begins to cave in.

‘I’ve got it!’ Jean announces as she uses her telekinesis to hold the rubble above them, before telling Warren that they have to follow and stop Arclight. ‘She and her…friends, they murdered…destroyed!’. Jean exclaims, before picking up Cyclops and Beast in a telekinetic bubble. ‘Follow…? Get real, Jean!’ Angel exclaims, pointing out that Bobby is blinded, Hank is pumping blood and Scott has been knocked for a loop. Motioning to the four Morlocks who have gathered around, Angel points out that these others are hurt too, so they need to get back to the complex. ‘Warren! Artie’s down here with these murderers…we can’t leave!’ Cyclops declares.

Warren tells his friend that they are not leaving, ‘You are! Trust me, Scott, I’ll find Artie!’ Warren exclaims, declaring that their mutant hunter façade may stink ordinarily, but that Artie is one little mutant who will not get away. ‘Warren, I…’ Scott begins, while thinking to himself that he was jealous, resented Warren’s friendship with Jean, and now Warren saves him, risks his life for Artie, to redeem his fault. ‘If he survives…if Jean wants him…I swear…I won’t stand in their way…’ Scott tells himself. Warren announces that Scott is unconscious, before telling Jean to get them home. He asks Bobby to plug-up the tunnel behind them, as it just might keep the Marauders on the other side. Bobby does so, while Jean carries Scott and Hank telekinetically, Bobby announces that the wall is done, but one thing worries him - Angel is stuck on the other side with the Marauders!

The narrow tunnels are filled with danger and death. But Angel has been lucky so far. ‘Artie!’ he shouts. ‘Artie - where are…Artie!’ Angel exclaims as he sees the child up ahead. They run towards each other, and Angel scoops Artie up in his arms. ‘You’re okay! You’re alive! Thank Heaven!’ Warren exclaims. ‘Score one for the mutant hunters!’ he jokes, when suddenly, Artie looks worried, and motions in one direction. ‘What is it, pal? You want to go back? But that’s -’ Angel begins, only to see Vertigo, Blockbuster and Harpoon standing in their way. ‘Death! Certain death!’ Vertigo exclaims.

‘What?’ Angel gasps. Harpoon remarks that the face is strange but that they recognize the costume. ‘Your kind is trouble…you cut out efficiency…and you’ll pat for it!’ Harpoon exclaims, before telling his teammates to kill the kid first. Angel puts Artie down and points out that they are in a tight spot, that it is too narrow for him to fly, so he will need Artie’s help, and tells the child to run down the tunnel and back to the complex, and to carry a message for him to Jean. ‘Tell her that…what I did…she’s right…it’s what we’re here for! She’ll understand…’ Warren exclaims, before telling Artie, no matter what he hears, to not stop and not look back. ‘Now…go!’ he tells the youngster, while he stands in between the Morlocks and the fleeing Artie.

‘We can’t get past you, but we can go through you!’ Blockbuster exclaims. ‘A lovely day for a funeral, isn’t it, fly boy?’ Harpoon remarks. ‘What Is it, angel face? Feel a little dizzy?’ Vertigo asks as she unleashes her power on Angel, who manages to announce that he knows her, that he faced her before, and knows her weakness. ‘You’ll have to do better than that if you wanna -’ Angel begins as he smacks Vertigo in the face, before Blockbuster boasts ‘We plan to, fly boy!’ as he smacks Angel in the face, then grabs him by his wrist and pulls him into a larger space, ‘You’re gonna die slow!’ he exclaims while Harpoon readies his weapon.

‘Slow and painful!’ Blockbuster adds as he pulls Angel to the floor and grabs his wings, causing Warren to scream in agony. Warren tells himself to hold on, to scream, to keep the Marauders happy and distracted, long enough for Artie to get away. Blockbuster suddenly slams Angel against a wall, while Warren thinks to himself that his life is so screwed up: X-Factor, Candy, Jean. He hopes Artie will tell her. ‘Hold him steady!’ Harpoon calls out, before Angel screams, as Harpoon shoves one of his weapons into Angel’s right wing. ‘NOOOO!’ Angel calls out in pain, while telling himself that he was a fool and a jerk, as Artie cannot talk, so he won’t be able to tell Jean anything. Harpoon shoves another weapon into Warren’s left wing, with a ZWAPing noise. ‘Guess it’s…just as well…’ Warren thinks to himself as he passes out.

‘You’re a loser, fly boy, pinned by the only thing that made you anything special!’ Blockbuster snaps, declaring that Angel is a stuffed scarecrow strung up to warn off any other losers who try and cross the Marauders. ‘And the warning will be as effective more - effective - when you’re dead!’ Harpoon adds, before shouting ‘Kill him now!’….

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all X-Factor)

Artie Maddicks, Rusty (X-Factor Trainees)

Trish Tilby

Candy Southern

Cameron Hodge

Ape, Beautiful Dreamer, Caliban, Erg, Leech, Plague, Skids, Tarbaby, Zeek and others (all Morlocks)

Avalanche, Blob, Destiny, Mystique, Pyro (all Freedom Force)

Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism, Sabretooth, Scalphunter, Scrambler, Vertigo II (all Marauders)


Board Members


Story Notes: 

The issue belongs to the Mutant Massacre crossover.
Louise Simonson’s artist / writer husband, Walter Simonson, takes over as regular penciler with this issue.

First and only appearance of Zeek. His abilities remain unknown. He appears somewhat out of place with the Morlocks given he looks like he can pass for a regular human.

X-Factor’s battle in the tunnels with Freedom Force took place in X-Factor (1st series) #9.

Cyclops and Rusty’s conflict took place in X-Factor (1st series) #8.

Artie Maddicks entered in the Morlock Tunnels in search for Rusty in X-Factor (1st series) #9.

Mystique decided to leak the information about Angel in X-Factor (1st series) #9. It was that issue also that Freedom Force discovered X-Factor and the X-Terminators are one and the same.

Jean Grey was believed dead at the end of Uncanny X-Men #137.

Cyclops married Madelyne Pryor in Uncanny X-Men #175.

Angel and Vertigo encountered each other in Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #1-4.

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