X-Factor (1st series) #113

Issue Date: 
August 1995
Story Title: 
Impulsive Behavior

John Francis Moore (writer), Jerry Bingham (guest penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver (colors), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

X-Factor has found Havok and his kidnapper, Scarlett, in a trendy Tokyo club, but so has the mystery assassin, Fatale, who has taken Havok out and vanishes with him. She is not aware of he fact that she is being followed by one of the Club’s patrons – Yukio. Fatale leaves Havok bound in the freight room of a ship she has rented. Yukio sneaks in and tries to free him. When Fatale returns, the two women fight. In the meantime, the energies in Havok build up to such a degree that he blows up the freighter. X-Factor, in the meantime, has split into two teams and, after questioning the crimelord Tatsu’o, has come to the harbor just in time to see the freighter explode. They fish Alex from the water and find Yukio as well. Polaris hands Alex his original costume, which was created to regulate his energies and Havok glumly believes that things are only going to get worse. Scarlett has a meeting with her employer, the Sugar Man, and expresses her confidence that she will eventually get Havok.

Full Summary: 

Tokyo at night, trendy club. Tonight, the patrons rush madly for the exits their after hour’s entertainment interrupted, first by the destructive rampage of an out of control mutant, Alex Summers, and then by the lethal appearance of the mysterious woman known only as Fatale, whose poisoned spike has stopped Alex’ wild rage… perhaps permanently. On the other side of the club, the current membership of the mutant group X-Factor finally found their lost teammate, only to see him fall lifelessly to the dance floor.

Polaris cries out her lover’s name and cuts an angry swath through the air towards Fatale. The killer, however, is prepared and aware of Lorna’s powers and tosses a magnetic pulse grenade, calibrated especially to her magnetic charge at Lorna. The explosion repels Lorna out of Fatale’s way.

Wild Child lunges at her and Fatale elegantly sidestep him, announcing that she needs no explosives to put down an animal. The merest scratch of her blade will make him heel. Though she has barely grazed him, Wild Child’s arm grows numb. Poison, he realizes.

One of the Cub’s guests, a shorthaired, leather-clad Japanese woman has stayed behind and fearlessly studies the scene before her. The woman is fighting ghost tiger style, she decides. A threat even without the blade. She wonders whether she should step in and then decides against it… for the moment.

Mystique remarks that she had heard rumors of an assassin named Fatale, while Forge helps Lorna up. Fatale tears the pin off a grenade, while informing them that she is not to blame for Havok’s unscheduled stop in Tokyo. Her mission is merely to keep him out of Genosha. She tosses the grenade down, and Forge warns the others back – it is phosphor. Fatale tells them to forget about their friend and to got back to the US. They should be thankful she only kills when she is contracted to do so.

Fatale takes the unconscious Alex. Close to her, Scarlett appears, stating that Alex is hers. Unsurprised, Fatale replies that Scarlett couldn’t take Summers to Africa. What makes her think she can take him from her? Scarlett warns her that he is a walking timebomb. She’ll take her chances, Fatale replies as she fades out, adding that Scarlett should give her saccharine creator her regards.

The barely-recovered Wild Child addresses Scarlett, recognizing her as the woman who kidnapped Alex from Department H. She tells him to mind his own affairs. He warns her of a falling beam and then Scarlett too is gone in the smoke and X-Factor is forced to leave the burning building. Lorna reminds the others that the energies in Alex are building. If he doesn’t get his containment suit soon, he might kill someone. Mystique suggests they split up.

Later, for the third time in as many days, Alex Summers finds himself regaining consciousness in unfamiliar surroundings, namely trussed up and harnessed, hanging from the ceiling of a ship’s freight room. Fatale explains that his mutant metabolism demanded a lot of her poison to subdue him. Is she with Scarlett, he asks. That amateur? Fatale scoffs. Are they still in Japan, he demands. Fatale explains that they are aboard an Italian freighter. Why is she doing this? he shouts He is going through … physical changes that have piqued the curiosity of her employer, she hints. Changes? he asks. He has lost control and everyone around him is in danger. Fatale explains that the restraining coils were designed with his current metabolic state in mind. They absorb any energy he consciously or unconsciously radiates. He’s safer with her than he’s been in weeks.

This isn’t right, he mutters. Life isn’t fair, she replies and being a mutant doesn’t make things easier. Now she has to arrange for someone to meet them, once the Andiamo leaves Japanese waters. She leaves and Alex struggles trying to create enough energy to break free. If only his thoughts weren’t so muddled.

That doesn’t look comfortable, a petite Japanese woman states. It’s Yukio. Alex recognizes the name. She’s Logan’s friend. Yukio followed him out of the club. Fatale didn’t leave much of a trail, but she knew what to look for.

Yukio tries to pry Alex loose of the chains, but receives a bad shock – the chains are electrified. Alex tells her to go. He is beyond help. With sparkling eyes, she announces that she loves a challenge…

In the Tatsu Clan compound, the clan lord, Tatsu’o, is resting next to his lover. A voice tells him to get up. Believing it to be the girl, he tells her to go back to sleep. Suddenly, he is grabbed rudely, as Mystique wryly announces that it is not his little Geisha girl, giving him a wake-up call. She cuffs him and thanks him for the little welcome his men gave them the last night. He refuses to explain himself.

Suddenly, he is dragged via the handcuffs through the roof and into the air, where Polaris is waiting. With as smile she asks him to tell her everything he knows about Fatale.

On the pier, Wild Child, accompanied by Forge, has been following Alex’ scent. Wild Child announces that he doesn’t think Fatale is human. If he were tracking her alone without Alex, he’d have lost her already. The trail ends at the dock, though, and he cannot track over water. Has Forge locked onto any energy readings? None that fits Alex’s spectrum, the inventor replies, hoping Lorna and Mystique’s inquiry will prove more fruitful.

Kyle remarks that he is only here because he owes Val Cooper a favor but why is X-Factor running around with someone like Mystique? He has seen her Interpol file. It’s a phonebook of criminal activity. Certainly, they can’t trust her to be a team player? Forge explains that she is more valuable working with them than in jail and he implanted a biological retraining and tracking device to keep her in line. All the more reason to watch his back, Kyle replies gloomily. Forge appreciates his concern, but it won’t be Kyle’s problem for long. Surely, he’ll rejoin Alpha Flight after this? Actually, that’s no longer an option for him anymore, Kyle replies cryptically.

Inside the Andiamo, Yukio has wrapped her hands with shredded hose to get some insulation. Again, she tries to free him, ignoring Alex’ warning. She catches a movement and instinctively moves away, as Fatale appears out of nowhere and attacks her. Yukio blocks her blows and Alex feels it starting again, just like in Wyoming. His power is building up again. Fatale finally has Yukio on her knees. That moment, Alex Summers literally explodes.

Outside, the two groups of X-Factor meet. The women have learned the name of the freighter Fatale leased. That moment said freighter blows up. Polaris flies the four of them to the remains of the ship and they fish Alex out of the water. He asks for Yukio. When Wild Child announces that there’s nobody else below deck Alex fears that he has killed her. Lorna tells him not to pity the martyr.

A little later, the group worries about not having found Fatale’s body and Havok still feels guilty about Yukio. They are all in danger with him around. Lorna explains that they brought his containment suit. They might as well bury him in it, he replies bitterly. It’s only temporary until they find a cure, Lorna tries to comfort him.

A voice suddenly tells him to better do, as Lorna says, as he doesn’t want to put anyone else through that wringer. It is Yukio, who has survived after all. Forge recognizes her from the club and asks what she was doing there. Trying to save Havok’s butt, she replies, before identifying Forge as Storm’s lover. She asks him to give Ororo her love. She hasn’t seen her since the Phalanx brought Yukio to New York. Always the optimist, Mystique points out that Fatale probably survived as well.

Lorna hands Alex his containment suit… his original black costume. As he puts it on, he declares that he hates this. It took him so long to gain control of his powers and now he is back to square one. He rants on, pointing out that things have gotten progressively worse since Madripoor. Guido is in the hospital. Rahne left for Muir Isle. And don’t get him started on Mystique… Lorna tells him things will look better once he is rested. He wishes he could believe that, Alex replies glumly. He has the feeling things are going to get worse.

At the airport, Scarlett McKenzie enters a limousine, where her employer already waits and expresses his disappointment. She had promised him Alex Summers. She explains Fatale’s involvement and her employer muses that apparently the Doctor is involved. Will the doctor directly challenge him, Scarlet asks. He has been underground too long and is jealous of him, her employer replies. But this world is much too small for both of them. He doesn’t care how; Scarlett is to bring him Havok. With a confident smile, Scarlett announces he is already hers. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Characters Involved: 

Forge, Havok, Mystique, Polaris, Wild Child (all X-Factor)


Fatale (agent of the Black Beast)


Tatsu’o’s lover

Scarlett McKenzie (agent of the Sugar Man)

Sugar Man (off-panel)

Story Notes: 

Scarlett’s employer is the Sugar Man. However, with the writer change starting the issue after the next, he and Scarlett are dropped from the plot, whereas the mysterious Doctor’s interest in Havok becomes more evident.

Wild Child’s problems with Alpha Flight are explained in X-Factor (1st series) #116.

Yukio last met Storm (while battling the Phalanx ) in Uncanny X-Men #313.

The original black suit, meant to contain his raging out of control powers was given to Alex (along with the codename Havok) by Larry Trask son of the creator of the Sentinels.

Issue Information: 
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