X-Factor (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
December 1986
Story Title: 

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: 

With the rescued Leech and Caliban, Iceman and Beast continue on through the Morlock Tunnels, when suddenly, they are attacked by four Morlocks known as the Tunnelers, a separate faction to the majority of other Morlocks. Called Berzerker, Scaleface, Masque and Blow-Hard, they mistake Beast and Iceman for Marauders, and a battle ensues. Nearby, Cyclops and Marvel Girl with the injured Angel and rescued Artie Maddicks continue on towards the X-Factor complex, recalling recent events, before Artie reveals Angel’s message to Marvel Girl, showing a projection of Angel and Marvel Girl embraced. This upsets Cyclops, but they soon hear the battle nearby, and after helping Iceman and the Beast, they convince the Tunnelers to return to their complex, assuring them they will be safe. After a debate amongst themselves, the Tunnelers eventually agree. Caliban wakes and vows to destroy those who have destroyed the Morlocks, before a massive burst of flame roars down the tunnel, luckily everyone makes it back to the X-Factor complex safely. But when they discover several other rescued Morlocks there - the Drain Dwellers - the Tunnelers are not happy, and even less so when they learn that their rescuers are really X-Factor, the mutant hunters. Explanations are made as to why the X-Terminators and X-Factor are one and the same, before Angel is rushed off to hospital, with many protestors and supporters surrounding the X-Factor complex, and two Police officers keeping guard. Under Berzerker’s leadership, the Tunnelers leave, evading the Police officers thanks to Masque’s ability to disguise their appearances. Resting at a pier, the Tunnelers become involved in a battle with members of the Savage Wolf Gang, and in the melee Blow-Hard is shot and killed, while Masque is injured. The gang members are killed by Berzerker, but not before one of them alerts the Police. At the hospital, Marvel Girl and Cyclops wait as Angel is rushed into surgery, before they see Trish Tilby on the news reporting on the battle on the pier. Realizing that the Tunnelers are involved, they leave for the pier. Marvel Girl blocks the bullets fired by the Police, while Cyclops tries to reason with Berzerker. During all the confusion though, Scaleface is knocked into the path of the Police, who manage to get past Marvel Girl’s telekinetic field, and shoot her as she walks towards them in her dragon form. This angers Berzerker, who lashes out in a fury, before falling into the water after Cyclops blasts him, Berzerker seemingly disintegrating by his own power. A solemn Cyclops and Marvel Girl return to the X-Factor complex to drop Masque off, before deciding to return to the hospital, while one of the Police officers feels bad about killing Scaleface. As if things could not get any worse, Cyclops and Marvel Girl are informed that Angel’s wings will have to be amputated. Meanwhile, Boom-Boom, fed up with working for the Vanisher, quits, and the enigmatic Apocalypse finds a paraplegic confined to an iron lung, unable to use his mutant power, though Apocalypse decides to transform him into War, the second Horseman of Apocalypse!

Full Summary: 

For years, the Alley has sheltered the Morlocks, society’s outcasts born with an X-factor in their genetic structure that gives them more -than-human abilities! Now though, strangers have invaded the Alley - slaughtering all who live - and it no longer seems possible to tell friend from foe, which is what four Morlocks are now troubled with. ‘There they are, more of them! Crush them Scaleface, before they destroy us! Use your wind-pipe, Blow-Hard! Blow them away! The mowhawk-tressed Morlock called Berzerker calls out to the elderly pipe-chomping Blow-Hard, and the girl who turns into a dragon called Scaleface, while the cloacked Masque stands behind them, as they watch Bobby “Iceman” Drake and Hank “the Beast” McCoy enter the tunnel they are hiding in.

Bobby and Hank, two members of the mutant-rescue team known as X-Factor have witnessed the slaughter, and fought the deadly Marauders, saved what Morlocks they could, and then, despite their injuries, returned to the Alley to save more. Bobby carries the power-dampener, Leech, on his shoulders while the Beast carries the injured Caliban, as he notices the four Morlocks above them. ‘Visitors!’ he alerts Iceman. ‘Swell, Beast! The last thing we need!’ Bobby replies. Berzerker lunges at Iceman, only to slam into the side of the tunnel, ‘My power - it quit!’ he exclaims, while Iceman tells Leech to hold on, and assures his attacker that he will ice him later.

‘It’s the kid, Berzerker! They nabbed that Drain Dweller, Leech - the power stealer!’ Scaleface exclaims as she reverts to her human guise. The Beast sees this happen and Is grateful that she is smaller now, but knows that he is outnumbered, and laden with Leech and Caliban, not to mention Leech’s proximity neutralizers their powers. Suddenly, Blow-Hard punches Beast over, causing him to drop Caliban. ‘You corked ole Blow-Hard’s pipe, Marauder, but it ain’t helping ya not one jot!’ the elderly mutant exclaims. ‘Marauder? I’m not a ‘ Hank begins, while the creepy Masque rungs his disfigured hand across Bobby’s face, exclaiming that it is too bad his power has stopped. ‘Be a pleasure to twist off that handsome face!’ he exclaims, to which Iceman punches Masque backwards, remarking ‘If somebody did that to you, pal, they’d be doing you a favor!’, before telling Leech to make a run for it.

As Leech runs, the Beast asks Iceman why he sent Leech away, to which Bobby points out that they are outnumbered, but with their powers working, they will stand a better chance. ‘Yeah? You killers don’t know what you’re up against - but you’ll find out!’ Berzerker exclaims as he attempts to blast the Beast, who dodges him, ‘Great idea, Iceman!’ Hank remarks, while Bobby creates an ice-sled, which he rides over the human form of Scaleface, who leans against a wall, ‘So a strategist I ain’t!’ Bobby exclaims, before telling the Beast to hold on, as he attempts to collect him - only for Scaleface to resume her dragon form, which knocks Bobby from his sled. Berzerker congratulates Scaleface on a nice job, before telling Blow-Hard to blow the garbage away. The elderly mutant then blows into his pipe, creating a wind funnel around Bobby and Hank.

Meanwhile, nearby, the three remaining members of X-Factor are in another part of the tunnel. Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey carries the badly injured Warren “Angel” Worthington III, in a telekinetic field, while Scott “Cyclops” Summers walks alongside of her, their charge, Artie Maddicks, in between them, holding both of their hands. Jean tells Scott that she cannot wrench it from her mind. ‘I’ll be walking along…thinking…about nothing…and then I’m back…in the midst of battle…and the Marauders are killing every living mutant they can find!’ she exclaims. Scott reminds Jean that they saved some of them, and that is what they are here for, whether they are posing as human mutant-hunters X-Factor or as freedom fighting X-Terminators. ‘It’s what we’ve dedicated our lives to…what, in the end, will redeem us…despite our faults!’ Scott thinks to himself.

Scott remembers that they were not alone in their actions, for those children called Power Pack rescued Leech and Caliban, and left them in X-Factor’s care. ‘And we sent Beast and Iceman back to our complex with them alone!’ Jean reminds Scott, who asks how Angel is doing. Jean replies that Angel is unconscious and burning up a fever. ‘Lucky to be alive…after what they did to him’ she adds, before seeing Artie projecting an image. ‘Yes, the Marauders attacked you and Angel…and nearly tore off his wings!’ Jean exclaims, remarking that Thor arrived and saved Angel’s life, before giving both Angel and Artie to she and Cyclops.

Artie points at Warren and at himself, to which Scott asks ‘What is it, Artie? Did Angel want you to tell Jean something? Something important?’. Artie nods, but given he is mute, he is unable to repeat what Angel said. But Angel nearly died saving him, so he must tell them, if not the exact message, then his projection depicts the longing behind the message - longing clear enough for even a child to understand. Jean looks shocked as Artie projects a tender embrace between Warren and Jean, causing Cyclops to grit his teeth, and tell himself that he knew this would happen. ‘Jean knows I’m married and she’s turned from me…turned to Warren…the high-flying Angel - and Warren loves her…wants her…how could he note want her?’ Scott thinks to himself.

Scott’s expression turns into a frown as he tells himself that now Warren is not flying so high any more. ‘So badly hurt…hurt through my fault…my fault he was driven here…by my moodiness…my childish outbursts…my jealousy!’ Scott exclaims, telling himself ‘Enough! No more! It’s their lives…their choice!’. Artie projects a question mark, and takes Scott’s hand. Scott tells him that it is all right, and that he is going to be fine, before continuing to lead him through the tunnel, when, suddenly, they hear the sounds of battle. ‘Jean! Trouble through here!’ Scott calls out, motioning to a side-tunnel.

Minutes later, Scott and Jean stand at the entrance to this other tunnel. ‘Marauders!’ Scott exclaims, mistaking Scaleface, Bezrerker, Blow-Hard and Masque for the deadly Marauders. ‘And Iceman and Beast!’ Scott adds as he sees Bobby and Hank in an ice-shield, trying to stay out of harms way. Berzerker unleashes an energy blast at the ice shield, shattering it - but before he and Scaleface in her dragon form can attack Bobby and Hank, Cyclops hits them with an optic blast. Scott goes over to his friends, and Bobby tells him to wait, explaining that they are not Marauders, but Morlocks.

‘Why attack us then?’ Scott asks, pointing out that they fought the Marauders, saved what Morlocks they could - Ape, Erg, Beautiful Dreamer, Tarbaby and Skids. ‘Phagh! Drain Dwellers! There’s not much there worth saving!’ Berzerker snarls. ‘But you’re -’ Cyclops begins, before Berzerker interrupts, ‘Tunnelers!’ he exclaims, before telling his three associates that this is a false alarm, and that he recognizes the other mutants’ costumes. ‘They’re X-Terminators…the mutant freedom fighters!’ he exclaims. ‘Very well, strangers, we’ll let you live, but we leave you with this warning - get out of the Allet! Get out and stay out of our way!’ Berzerker exclaims, turning from X-Factor.

‘Of all the arrogant! We whupped their tails and they’re threatening us!’ Iceman exclaims. ‘So let them stumble into a Marauder trap! Serve ‘em right!’ Bobby adds, to which Cyclops reminds him that is not why they are here. ‘They’re arrogant, yeah…but we’re going to save them whether they want us to or not!’ Scott adds, before calling out to the Tunnelers: ‘We have a complex where you’ll be safe! The…Drain Dwellers are already there! We…invite you to join!’ Scott exclaims. The Tunnelers stop in their tracks, but Berzerker replies that they ain’t wimpy Drain Dwellers. ‘We faced the Marauders down - won out - by ourselves!’ he exclaims, adding that there is no way they will be led off now quit and stupid like steers to the slaughter house.

‘I’ve kept these Tunnelers alive -’ Berzerker begins, before Masque interrupts him, ‘Us, yeah, Berzerker - but what about the other six?’ the disfigured Morlock asks. ‘You challenging my leadership, Masque?’ Berzerker asks, readying his energy power. Suddenly, Leech walks up to the squabbling mutants. ‘Leech!’ Berzerker exclaims. ‘Even a child can yell you you’re about to make a big mistake, Berzerker’ Cyclops remarks. Scaleface turns to Bezerker, putting her arms around him, she reminds him that they Morlocks cowered in the Alley and their enemies found and destroyed them. ‘Let’s go with them. For an alliance! They’re mutant heroes!’ We saw them on TV! Please…I’m so tired of killing…’. Berzerker agrees, announcing that they will try it, for a while.

Soon, the odd assemblage of mutants make their way through the tunnels towards X-Factor complex, and Berzerker exclaims ‘Tell me, X-Terminator. Were the Marauders X-Factor? We know you fought them - blasted mutant hunting humans with their TV advertising - spreading bigotry’. Scaleface asks Berzerker how the Marauders could be X-Factor, as the Marauders were mutants. ‘TV said X-Factor’s main backer is a mutant!’ Berzerker replies. ‘WHAT?’ Cyclops gasps. Jean informs Scott quietly that the press somehow found out that Warren has been financing X-Factor. ‘With all that’s happened, I forgot to tell you!’ Jean explains.

‘Like I said, folks, I heard it on TV!’ Berzerker exclaims, revealing that his power lets him utilize the entire electro-magnetic spectrum, including TV and radio waves. ‘Of course, right now, thanks to the kid, I’m not picking up anything’ Berzerker adds as Leech walks in front of him. Suddenly, Caliban, being carried by the Beast, begins to stir: ‘Uhh…Marauders…attacking all around…mutants…dying…no!’ he gasps. Hank tells Caliban to take it easy, assuring him that he is okay. Hank sets Caliban, while the confused mutant wonders where he is, exclaiming that he senses no one in all of the Alley. ‘Only we are left alive!’ he gasps. ‘Caliban’s people - dead - all dead - at their hands!’ he shouts.

Caliban’s eyes go wide, and he shakes, swearing that he will use his hound’s power to track down those murderers - those Marauders - and destroy them, as they have destroyed the Morlocks. Suddenly, there is a massive KRAK-A-DOOM! Noise. ‘What was that?, Cyke - a blast of heat, can you feel it?’ Hank asks. ‘Yeah!’ Scott replies, so the Beast holds up Caliban once more, and Berzerker grabs Leech, while Jean still holds Angel telekinetically, and Iceman looks after Artie, as everyone makes a run for it. ‘Move it, people! Let’s get out of here, fast!’ Scott orders. ‘What was it, an explosion?’ Scaleface asks. ‘Maybe’ Iceman replies as they all arrive at the secret door to the X-Factor complex. ‘Through the door, hurry!’ Bobby calls out. The door to the X-Factor complex slams, just in time, as fire roars through the tunnel.

Soon, X-Factor, Artie and the Morlock refugees enter a large area where Sally “Skids” Blevins has been setting up make-shift beds along with Ape, Erg and Tarbaby. ‘Look! They’re back!’ Skids exclaims, waving at X-Factor. ‘And they got Leech and Caliban!’ Ape exclaims. ‘And the Tunnelers…’ Erg mutters. ‘Too bad…Tunnelers are mad!’ Tarbaby remarks, sitting on one of the beds. ‘Stinkin’ Drain Dweller! I oughta -’ Berzerker begins, while Cyclops contacts Cameron Hodge on a monitor, telling him to get an ambulance for Angel, and fast. ‘Scott, the press found out about Warren -’ Hodge replies, to which Scott tells him that does not matter, and to get that ambulance now. ‘Hurry, Cameron! He’s in bad shape!’ Scott declares.

‘Angel? And Cameron Hodge? You’re not X-Terminators! You’re X-Factor! Stinkin’ mutant hunters! We’re one gang you won’t bag!’ Berzerker exclaims angrily, raising a charged fist towards Cyclops. Skids rushes over between Berzerker and Cyclops, telling the Tunneler that he doesn’t understand as she explains that the X-Terminators are X-Factor. ‘They pretend to be humans…mutant hunters but really, they’re mutants and they help us!’ she explains. Erg tells Blow-Hard that they didn’t understand it at first either, ‘But they’ve offered us shelter -’ he begins, but Blow-Hard interrupts: ‘And like sniveling Drain Dwellers, you’ve accepted it!’ he exclaims. Cyclops tells the Morlocks that the Alley is burning. ‘What choice have any of you but to accept it?’ he asks.

Soon, in the midst of a pro-Angel demonstration outside the X-Factor complex. Police stand guard at the barrier surrounding the X-Factor complex, while an ambulance stands ready as Angel is placed inside it, and countless people stand and watch: ‘There he is - Warren Worthington III!’ someone exclaims. ‘He’s hurt!’ another declares. ‘There’s two X-Factor guys climbing in the ambulance with him!’ another remarks as Scott and Jean enter the ambulance, dressed in their blue and white costumes. ‘Heard he was ripped to shreds! Hope he’ll be okay!’ someone declares.

One of the Police officers orders the crowd to stand back and give the ambulance some space as it drives off, sirens blaring. Bobby and Hank, also in their blue and white costumes, watch the goings-ons, and Bobby remarks that as much as he dislikes hospitals, he thinks he would a lot sooner go with Scott and Jean than face the Morlocks downstairs. ‘Mutants, huh? When I was a kid, didn’t think they were real but I wanted to be one anyway! To fly or -’ one of the Police officers begins, before his colleague interrupts: ‘Fry somebody? That’s what most of ‘em do! They’re bad news, Joe! Real bad news!’.

Later, some of the Morlocks are in bed, while Iceman comforts Leech, who sniffs and exclaims that he wants Mama. ‘Come here, big boy! Hey, how about some milk and cookies?’ Bobby exclaims. However, while most of the Morlocks are sleeping or in the makeshift beds, the four Tunnelers make their way up a flight of stairs. ‘Berzerker, listen to that! These people can’t be evil!’ Scaleface remarks. ‘They’re mutant hunters, Scaleface! We’re not staying here!’ Berzerker exclaims, to which Scaleface points out that they cannot go back into the Alley, as it is an inferno down there. ‘Then we’ll take our chances on the streets!’ Berzerker announces.

Standing at a window, the Tunnelers look at the grounds surrounding the X-Factor complex. Blow-Hard tells Berzerker that the cops are still out there, and asks how they are going to manage it. ‘Neither of us look human, and Masque ain’t no beauty either. And Scaleface -’ he remarks, before Masque announces that he will fix them all so even their mothers won’t recognize them. ‘We’ll settle for human faces, Masque. Any funny business - I’ll fry you!’ Berzerker warns him. Masque replies that he will do his job, but that Berzerker has to get them out of here.

Moments later, the four transformed Morlocks emerge from the X-Factor complex front door, with Berzerker whispering that the magnetic locks are computerized, and easy to disrupt. The two Police officers are outside still, and the one called Joe tells his colleague Bob that somebody is leaving the complex. ‘Halt! Identify yourselves!’ Bob calls out. ‘Cops, Berzerker’ one of the Tunnelers whispers. ‘No problem! Cops’re easier to disrupt than locks!’ the transformed Berzerker remarks but Scaleface tells him ‘No more killing, please…not unless we have to!’. The four approach the cops, and Scaleface announces that they are the cleaning staff and their shift is over. ‘Right! You’re free to leave!’ Bob tells them. But as the Tunnelers leave, Joe tells Bob that there is something weird about them. ‘You’re just spooked, Joe! When you been on the streets as long as I have, you’ll have seen a whole lot weirder!’ Bob exclaims.

Soon, the sky has grown darker, and on one of the Hudson River’s dilapidated piers, the four Tunnelers have come to rest. Blow-Hard continues to suck on his pipe, and asks Berzerker where they are going to go now. ‘New Jersey’s over there! A whole new State!’ Berzerker replies. But Scaleface tells him that it is full of the same old problems. ‘They hate us, Berzerker! How’ll we live?’ she asks. Berzerker declares that they have powers and will take what they need. ‘We survived the massacre, Scaleface, we’ll survive out here!’ he declares, when, suddenly, a trio of thugs approach them. ‘Well, well, well, what have we there? A pack of heeled yuppies taking in the river air…or a pack of water rats?’ one of them asks, before telling his companions to slice the guys, but the girl is his.

Scaleface tells Masque to restore Berzerker. ‘When they see what they’re up against, maybe they’ll back off!’. Masque does as requested, returning Berzerker to his true form. ‘Muties!’ the thug shouts. ‘Kill ‘em - all of ‘em!’ he declares as the three thugs bring out their guns and open fire. Blow-Hard is struck first - a bullet lands in his chest, while another strikes Masque in the arm. ‘NOOOO!’ Berzerker shouts, lunging towards one of the thugs, his powers charged - he grabs the thug, sizzling his face, while the injured Masque attacks another, transforming his face to a hideous monster. The third thug races for a payphone, ‘Oh Lord, oh Lord!’ he exclaims. ‘Muties! Monsters! Call cops! Yeah…911...that’s it!’ he exclaims, before picking up the phone: ‘Hello…on the pier…they’re killing -’ but he doesn’t get to finish his sentence, as a Berzerker blasts him with an surge of energy, blowing the thug up.

Meanwhile, not far away, at St Vincent’s hospital, ‘He loved to fly - it was his life, and now…if only I hadn’t lost my temper!’ Scott whispers to Jean, who tells him that it is not his fault. She adds that the doctors will not know how bad it is until they open him up. ‘It’s bad though, real bad’ Scott declares. ‘Don’t bury him yet, Scott!’ Jean tells him, before suggesting they go to the waiting room. ‘How about you let me buy you a cup of coffee?’ Jean offers, while Warren is wheeled away from, them.

And soon, ‘Not bad for hospital coffee‘, Scott remarks, thanking Jean, when suddenly, a news report on the television by Trish Tilby catches their attention as she announces that on a run-down West Side pier, a pitched battle is being waged between Police and a small band of mutants. ‘One mutant has been killed and human casualties are reported’ Trish reveals that among the human causalities are several members of the notorious Savage Wolf Gang, whose faces appear to have been bizarrely mangled. ‘Masque!’ Scott and Jean exclaim in unison. Scott instantly gets up and storms past several hospital staff, while Jean follows him, asking where he is going.

Scott replies that Berzerker and his crew must have left the complex. ‘I insisted on saving them! And now I’ve got to stop them!’ he declares. Jean tells Scott to wait, declaring that she is coming with him, as there is nothing she can do here but wait and worry. Moments later, on the hospital roof, Scott and Jean strip off their blue and white jumpsuits, revealing their costumes underneath. Scott motions to the piers as he declares that they best take on the Tunnelers in their X-Terminators persona. ‘Yeah, what’s a couple more evil mutants between friends?’ Jean mutters.

Meanwhile, miles away, in the paraplegic ward of a veterans administration hospital in Atlanta. A soldier named Abraham Lincoln Kieros lies in an iron lung, paralyzed from the neck down and barely able to speak. All of that is about to change, as a strange being materializes beside the motionless veteran. ‘You have great power, Abraham…’ the voice booms. ‘Yeah…sure…just…clap my hands…right?…and things…explode…only…right now…having some trouble…getting it together…to do that…ya know?’ Abraham slowly replies, before asking ‘I…I know you…?’.

The mysterious visitor steps into view - Apocalypse! The powerful and enigmatic mutant replies ‘Not now, Abraham, but you will! I have chosen you, for you are worthy…and in that iron coffin your power is wasted!’. Apocalypse touches the iron lung, ‘Come…and I shall transform you! And you will be Abraham no longer…but War - second Horseman of Apocalypse!’ he booms, before they both vanish, just as two of the hospital staff enter, ‘Oh, Fran! Did you see that? Ole Abe - he just…disappeared!’ one of them exclaims.

Back in Manhattan, ‘It’s Berzerker and his crew, all right!’ Scott declares as Jean flies the two of them telekinetically towards the old pier. ‘Lord, what a mess!’ Jean exclaims. Down below, ‘See that dragon change to a lady? That’s what you’re defending, Joe!’ the Police officer calls Bob exclaims, ‘Look at what they are - what they’ve done!’ he exclaims motioning to the carnage around them. Joe replies that not all mutants are like that, and that they should not be persecuted for something they’re born with, while Bob unleashes fire from behind his car, while the Tunnelers hide behind some crates on the pier. ‘They may be born with the powers, Joe, but they decide how to use them!’ Bob points out.

Berzerker readies a blast of energy from behind a crate, but Scaleface tells him not to, exclaiming ‘They haven’t hurt us! They’re just defending their kind…like we did…in the Alley!’ Scaleface tells him. Scott tells Jean that he insisted on dragging those jerks back to the complex, so any deaths they cause are going to be on his head. ‘How could you have known?’ Jean asks him as she telekinetically drops herself and Scott down towards the pier, she points out that they did not have time to subject the Tunnelers to a battery of psychological tests. ‘But you saw their powers! If they were really evil, wouldn’t those cops be ashes now?’ Jean points out. ‘Maybe…okay, Jeannie, you win! We’ll pull our punches! For now, let’s just try and get them away from here!’ Scott declares.

Suddenly, Joe sees Cyclops and Marvel Girl, he gets Bob’s attention, exclaiming that they are X-Terminators and he recognizes them from television. ‘We don’t stop this, we’ll have every mutant in the city on our backs!’ Jean tells Scott not to sweat the bullets, as she will deflect them, and erects a telekinetic shield to protect she and Scott, while Cyclops rushes down the pier to the Tunnelers, as Jean tell him to take care of them quickly, before somebody else gets hurt, while dozens of bullets bounce off her telekinetic shield. ‘Tunnelers, surrender!’ Scott calls out as he runs towards Berzerker, Scaleface and Masque. ‘Forget it, red eye!’ Berzerker snaps back. ‘I’m not asking you, pal - I’m telling you!’ Scott declares, unleashing a powerful optic blast, which smashes several of the crates.

The madness gets worse though, as on the narrow pier, Berzerker tells Scaleface to get out of his way, and pushes her to one side, exposing her to the Police. ‘Bob, look! The dragon lady!’ Joe exclaims. ‘Keep your hands where we can see ‘em, lady, and stand up!’ one of the officers calls out. ‘No! I won’t let you take me! I won’t! Scaleface exclaims, before transforming into her dragon form. ‘She’s doing it again, Joe!’ Bob calls out, telling his colleague to fire. ‘Fire! She’ll kill us! She’ll kill us all!’ he declares, before ordering Scaleface to halt or he will shoot. ‘Nooo!’ he screams before unleashing gun fire at Scaleface, who suddenly keels over, and reverts to her human form after being struck by the bullets.

‘Scaleface! NOOOO!’ Berzerker screams as he rushes over to her. ‘Gone…all of them…gone!’ Berzerker shouts, unleashing massive bursts of energy. He tells the Police that Scaleface would not have hurt them, that she said they were just defending their kind. ‘She said…she was tired of hiding and of killing…’ he exclaims, clutching her motionless body. Berzerker gets up, ‘No more hiding, then, from people who hate us! You’ve left us no place to hide!’ he shouts, adding hat he has a way to fight hatred now, as he blasts the cop car, sending the Police ducking for their lives. Berzerker begins throwing his energy power around, boasting that he is going to kill humans, every human he can find until there is no one left to hate them.

‘Berzerker!’ Cyclops calls out, getting the mutants attention. ‘You! You dragged us out of the Alley! You destroyed us!’ Berzerker shouts, turning around he blasts Cyclops, who dodges the attack, before unleashing a powerful optic blast, knocking Berzerker into the water - but as Berzerker absorbs electro-magnetic energy, the moment he hit’s the water that energy is torn from him. Although Scott searches the water desperately, Berzerker is seen no more. ‘Holy cow! Those X-Terminators saved us!’ Bob exclaims as he and Joe rush towards Cyclops and Jean. ‘They - hey, what is this? We can’t get through?’ Bob suddenly shouts as he and Joe smack into Jean’s telekinetic shield.

Jean tells Scott that Berzerker is gone. ‘You had to stop him! He left you no choice!’ she tells him, adding that it had gone far beyond the point where they could just spirit him away. Jean picks up the injured Masque in a telekinetic field and tells Scott that he had to stop Berzerker before more lives were lost. ‘Lives…of all their lives, only Masque’s left…barely’ Scott declares, as Jean assures him that Masque is better than “barely”, before telling Scott that they need to drop Masque by the complex and then go back and see Warren. She picks Scott up in the telekinetic field and takes to the sky. Scott thinks to himself that he should have found a way to save them, as that is what they were here for. ‘And yet…I always destroy the things I mean to preserve’.

Below, ‘I shot her! I killed her! She…she’s just a girl!’ Joe exclaims as he crouches beside the unmoving Scaleface. Bob tells Joe that she is more than a girl, that she is a mutant, ‘We all saw! She was coming right at you!’ he exclaims, adding ‘Maybe now you’ll believe me when I tell you - it’s them or us!’

Meanwhile, in a loft near Times Square, ‘So what if I’m holding out on you? I stole it!’ a sassy blonde exclaims to a bald man dressed in black. ‘Ah, but who taught you to steal? Why without me, you’d still be panhandling for pennies!’ he exclaims. The girl clutches a handbag and tells the bald man that pennies are all she has left if she gives him the purse. ‘Oh, come now, don’t I let you sleep in this nice place with the other girls? He asks, while two other girls watch the argument. ‘You call this nice? You got low standards, Vanisher!’ the sassy blonde exclaims as she drops a plasma time-bomb into the purse. The Vanisher calls her Boom-Boom and tells her to show him the purse, or the others will be so unimpressed. ‘Won’t you, girls?’ he asks, not that the girls respond.

‘Well, okay! I guess you deserve it. Here it is!’ Boom-Boom replies as she hands the purse to the Vanisher, and whispers ‘3...2...1...’ before the purse explodes with a blinding BOOM! ‘You obnoxious little runt! I oughta throw you outta here! I oughta -’ the Vanisher begins. ‘The tiniest hint of danger -’ Boom-Boom begins, ‘Hint! Those energy pellets can punch a hole in walls!’ the Vanisher retorts. ‘The tiniest hint…and you vanish! You always vanish! And then you tell at me!’ Boom-Boom exclaims, telling the Vanisher that he has no sense of humor, not like her friend the Beyonder. Boom-Boom takes the purse and announces that she is quitting the Vanisher’s little band of all-girl thieves. ‘And if you bother me again, I’ll call X-Factor on you!’ she threatens him, storming out.

Meanwhile, Scott and Jean, in their blue and white costumes, return to the hospital as Warren is wheeled from the operating room. ‘Doctor? Doctor James? How did it go?’ Scott asks. The Doctor replies that they did what they could to save him, but that it is no use. Scott and Jean are horrified, as the Doctor announces: ‘The wings will have to come off!’

Characters Involved: 

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

Artie Maddicks (X-Factor Trainee)

Trish Tilby

Cameron Hodge


Ape, Berzerker II, Blow-Hard, Caliban, Erg, Leech, Masque I, Scaleface, Skids, Tarbaby (all Morlocks)


Abraham Lincoln Kieros / War


Protestors / supporters

Bob & Joe, Police Officers

Members of the Savage Wolf Gang

Medical Staff at St Vincent’s Hospital

Medical Staff at Veteran’s Administration Hospital
Vanisher’s girls

In Illustrative Flashback:

Caliban & Leech

Power Pack

Arclight & Scalphunter

In Illustrative Flashback:



Blockbuster & Harpoon

Story Notes: 

The issue belongs to the Mutant Massacre crossover.
The issue takes place after Power Pack #27 and Thor (1st series) #374.

First appearances of Berzerker II, Scaleface and Blow-Hard of the Morlock faction known as the Tunnelers.

The Marauders cruelly attacked Angel and Artie in X-Factor (1st series) #10.

The X-Terminators and X-Factor “battled” in X-Factor (1st series) #8.

Mystique discovered that Worthington Industries was secretly backing X-Factor in X-Factor (1st series) #9, and leaked it to Trish Tilby, who reported it in X-Factor (1st series) #10.

The explosion that Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and the others hear is a result of events that take place in Thor (1st series) #374.

Though she does not appear on panel, Beautiful Dreamer is amongst the Morlocks that X-Factor rescued.

On page 15 the Tunnelers are incorrectly called the Berzerkers.

This marks Boom-Boom’s (formerly Time Bomb) second appearance, since her debut in Secret Wars II where she indeed “befriended” the Beyonder.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: