X-Factor (1st series) #103

Issue Date: 
June 1994
Story Title: 
Friends and Family

J.M. DeMatteis and Todd DeZago (plotters), Todd DeZago (scripter), Jan Duursema (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Starkings / Comicraft (letters), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Kelly Corverse (editor), Bob Harras (X-editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In Honolulu, Hawaii, Havok is thinking about Multiple Man’s death and wonders if it was the right decision to quit X-Factor. He is found by Polaris, who traced him through his credit card, and says that they are in this together, so he should have talked to her first, and if he quits the team, she will leave with him. Lorna manages to lift his spirits and they spend a beautiful day together. They walk the beach, and with Lorna’s powers they “surf” and later venture inside a volcano. All day they are watched afar by Beatrice Connors who is wearing the necklace of Malice. After a romantic night, Alex awakes feeling like a new man. When he gets the newspaper he is greeted by Beatrice Connors. Lorna wakes up a little bit later and finds Alex gazing out of the window. When he turns around, she realizes that he is wearing the necklace of Malice. Meanwhile Strong Guy and Wolfsbane too try to get their minds off of Jamie Madrox’s death, and hitch a ride with Random to Rhinebeck, NY, the home of his Guido’s aunt, uncle and cousin. Guido receives a warm welcome from the family who had raised him. They invite Random to stay as well, but he declines, though somewhat jealous watches the happy reunion through a window before leaving. Later Guido is met by an equally warm home-coming by old friends and neighbors among them an old love interest of him. Guido and Rahne end up saving an on-looking child from falling from a crashing light pole. Over dinner, Rhane suddenly senses that Havok is in great danger, but Guido dismisses it as Haven freed her from the mental link she once had with Alex.

Full Summary: 

After the recent loss of close friend and teammate, Jamie Madrox, Guido Carosella and Rahne Sinclair, known to the world as Strong Guy and Wolfsbane, travel to Rhinebeck, New York. Deciding that home is where the heart is, Guido returns to the town where he was raised. They hitched a ride with a reluctant Random. Guido is using his humor as usual tries to make light of the cold and snowy weather. Random is not impressed and threatens to make X-Factor pay for any weather damages done to his new car. Rahne starts to hint to Random that he should join the team and receive a costume made of unstable molecules with thermal inductors, but Random’s reply is cold and harsh.

Rahne once more reaches out to Random, but referring about Haven severing the mutate bond that Rahne had with Alex, he dismisses it her probably looking for a new master, and that he already has a dog. This starts a heated but brief argument between the two, until Guido tells them that they have arrived at the house of his uncle and aunt. Random makes a comment on the quaint little house, stating that he had thought Guido was rich. Guido confirms that he is, but his aunt and uncle aren’t and that they prefer the simple life. And it’s times like these he can understand why.

In Honolulu, Hawaii, Alex Summers is re-thinking his life and the recent choices he made. He is still holding himself to blame for making the wrong decision about letting Haven try to cure Jamie of the Legacy Virus, and in the end killing him. Thinking to himself about how he had let all of them down, he wondered if his brother, Cyclops, had the same feeling of guilt after Thunderbird had died. Thinking that he did right by leaving but still feeling like he is making a mistake, he actually hears the words, “you my friend have made a big mistake”. It’s Polaris.

Lorna tells him she can see why he feels guilty and why he left the team, but she says that after everything they had been through, he should have at least discussed his departure with her first, they are in this together. Asked how she knew where to find him, Lorna replies that their heart and souls are bound together, not to forget the small fact that she had simply traced his credit cards. Once more she assures him that if Havok wants to quit X-Factor, they’ll both do it, where he goes she will follow and nothing can ever get between them. The whole time they are being watched by an older woman with a big hat, pretending to read a book. The woman is Beatrice Connors, and the choker around her neck reveals that she is possessed by the being known as Malice.

Back in Rhinebeck, NY, Guido receives a warm welcome by his aunt Lois and uncle Lou. Guido introduces Rahne and hesitating, also Random. Aunt Lois invites them all in and to make themselves at home. Random declines, he has another hour ahead of him and the sooner he’s out of this town, the better. Inside, Rahne is pleased by the humbleness of their house. Guido’s cousin, Anthony Carosella, runs in and starts to hit Guido in this stomach. An apparent usual thing, Guido states that he thought he was sold to the Gypsies in his humorous mood. Sitting down, Rahne makes the comment that now she understands why Guido was always so happy. From outside, Random watches it all through the window. He lights his cigar, gets into his car and speeds away.

In Washington, D.C., Dr. Valerie Cooper is called before a sub-committee of mutant affairs. Valerie is making her closing statements on behalf of the team’s recent battle with Haven. She tells them that X-Factor managed to destroy the satellite that would have caused the first in a series of world-wide disasters, but in the end, Jamie Madrox, one of their own died at the hands Haven. They question her about the rumors of Jamie’s contracting a virus that was similar to the mutate they found in Genosha. Val replies that from what she gathered, Genoshan researchers have been working around the clock to cure the virus and in the meantime established a seemingly effective quarantine. Not satisfied they ask again about Madrox, but Val repeats what she just stated - Jamie died at the hands of Haven. They dismiss her, and she leaves thinking she should have handled it better, but she couldn’t tell them the truth that Jamie had contracted the Legacy Virus. Upon leaving, Valerie wonders if the disease will destroy more than Stryfe ever had intended it to.

In Hawaii, Lorna and Alex are walking at the beach. Polaris is still comforting Havok that Jamie died not because of the decision Havok made, but because of Jamie’s own decision when he exposed himself to the virus months ago. Nobody blames him, not she, not Rahne, not Guido, and probably Jamie wouldn’t blame him either if he was still alive. Lorna also states that she can picture Jamie telling Alex to quit moping, he’s got a beautiful girl, a beautiful beach and that he should surf. Alex replies “no waves” . Lorna yanks him up from the ground and says that they can make their own waves. She then uses her power over magnetism, and they start to “surf”. Alex looks alive again, he’s smiling and says that she always knows how to make everything right with him. She simply replies that it’s her second of her three mutant powers, and the third she will show him later.

Hidden in some bushes, Malice looks on through the eyes of Beatrice Connors, when she is approached by a very yappy poodle. A few minutes later when the owners are calling for their dog “Trixie”, the poodle lies dead, with blood flowing out of its mouth. Another victim of Malice.

Meanwhile in East Market Street, Rhinebeck, Guido and Rahne are greeted by a crowd of fans, mostly old friends and neighbors of Guido’s. In the crowd Guido sees his old tutor, Mr. Kelly, who claims that Guido is doing a great job. That when everyone’s worked up about Mutant Controversy, Guido‘s jokes make them laugh and lighten up the mood. When Guido starts to introduce Rahne, she implies that this is his show and she’s is just happy watching. In the crowd kids are screaming for autographs. Guido starts to show off by lifting cars. Above the crowd is a the Fisher boy sitting on a light pole, that starts to give way. As the pole comes crashing down, Guido acts quickly by tossing Rahne towards him. In mid air, Rahne transforms to her half-wolf / half-human form and grabs the kid, making a successful landing. The crowd is amazed and cheers for the two heroes.

Watching from the sideline, Anthony Carosella is asking himself how anyone could not like Guido, with his powers and jokes. However, Anthony had friends whose parents would not let them come to the “mutant freak show”. He thinks that with Guido’s mutant genes and his own fathers Parkinson’s disease that he has a slim chance of growing up normal. Frightened and uncertain, Anthony wonders if he could actually handle being like Guido an d he hopes that he will never have to find out. Back in the crowd, Guido is telling one of his “hero stories” when he sees a familiar beautiful face. He stops in mid-sentence. It’s Mary, a former love interest from when he was younger. She asks how he’s been.

In Hawaii, Malice is ordering room service to a room under a name she can barely pronounce, reading the luggage tag of a suitcase. Malice asks for some trash bags, stating there are a few things she needs to get pack, and a few things she needs to get rid of. Behind her lie the things she needs to get rid of, the dead bodies of the young couple who have rented the bungalow, and have been killed by Malice. She looks out the window, to see Alex and Lorna smiling and leaving their bungalow, which is next to this one.

Alex and Lorna go on another walk up some stairs, where Lorna says that the team wants him back, and that he is now part of a family. Having reached the top of an inactive volcano, Alex asks “where do we go from here?”. “Straight down”, Lorna answers and starts to use her magnetic powers to lower them into the volcano. She reminds Alex that her powers can not block the heat, so he should tell when it gets too uncomfortable, but to explore the inside of a volcano is something the two former geologists had always dreamed of. It reminds them of things they wanted to do in their early college days. Following the romantic night, Alex wakes up refreshed and feeling like a new man. As he gets the paper he wonders what he ever did to deserve Lorna’s love. He is greeted by an old woman who asks how is. The woman is Beatrice Connors.

In Rhinebeck, over dinner, Anthony is questioning Rahne about her family. She tells the story of her being an orphan and that she was left in the care of Reverend Craig. Only much later she realized that sometimes the family you make out of friends is better than the one you are born into. Her family is now with Guido, Lorna and... Suddenly, she cries out Alex’s name, sensing that he is in trouble. Guido reminds her that the mental Genoshan bond was broken by Haven, surely this must have been some left overt psychic debris. Not quite reassured Rahne agrees and says that Lorna must be with him by now.

In Hawaii, Lorna wakes up with the smile of someone in love. She thinks of how sweet Alex is, and finds him gazing out at the view out the window. As she whispers in his ear, he turns around. Lorna is shocked with fear, Alex is now wearing the necklace of Malice. “Sorry Lorna! The ‘honeymoon‘ is over, Alex doesn’t need you anymore ...“

Characters Involved: 

Havok, Polaris, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)

Random, X-Factor ally

Dr. Valerie Cooper, former X-Factor liaison

Lois and Lou Carosella, Guido’s aunt and uncle

Anthony Carosella, Guido’s cousin

Fisher kid, Mr. Kelly, Mary and several other citizens of Rhinebeck

Beatrice Connors (under possession)

Malice IV

Story Notes: 

Haven broke the mental Genoshan slave bond between Wolfsbane and Havok in X-Factor #99.

Multiple Man contracted the Legacy Virus back in X-Factor (first series) #91. Haven tried to cure him, but when he died during the procedure, Haven claimed that this death was inevitable. [X-Factor #100] Although his death was not Havok’s fault, he did give Haven permission to try to cure Jamie, as at the point Jamie was too ill to make the decision himself.

Strong Guy’s parents were crushed by a falling satellite. Guido made his fortune when he settled with the owners of the satellite out of court. [X-Factor #72]

Thunderbird was killed during one of the new X-Men’s first missions in Uncanny X-Men #95.

Ironically the book that Connors / Malice is reading is entitled “The Body Thief“.

Malice possessed Polaris from Uncanny X-Men #219-250.

Alex and Lorna studied geology during the time they were living in New Mexico. [Uncanny X-Men #145 and other issues]

Issue Information: 
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