X-Factor (1st series) #115

Issue Date: 
October 1995
Story Title: 
Reaching Out To Yesterday

Howard Mackie (writer), Steve Epting ( 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: 

Alex Summers has fled to Alaska and reminisces about the day he and his brother lost their parents. He is joined by his brother, Scott, who wants to help. Alex is unwilling to talk but later, in a bar, Scott manages to reach him. They attract the attention of some local rednecks and take this as an opportunity to blow off some steam. Later, they assure each other that they will always be there for each other. In X-Factor’s new headquarters, Falls Edge, Mystique takes on Forge’s shape to hack into his files, but is prevented from doing so by the image inhibitor in her brain. She is watched by Wild Child, but they agree to keep each other’s secrets… for now. Forge is meditating in his office, when the spirit form of his mentor, Naze, whom he believed dead, appears to him and chides him to return to the ways of the shaman. Forge is joined by Mystique and Naze disappears. Mystique insists on wanting to know what happened and a disgruntled Forge shows her his holographic files, displaying important phases of his life. The one that catches Mystique’s attention is that of Destiny, her murdered lover, urging Forge to love Mystique. She is disgusted at his using Destiny that way but, where he sees a mystery, she sees that Destiny just wanted the two of them to be together, something that Forge is unwilling to accept. Elsewhere, the Dark Beast recreates Random and orders him to infiltrate X-Factor and bring him Alex Summers.

Full Summary: 


Alex Summers recalls the most fateful day about his childhood. He, his brother, Scott, and their mother were in a small plane, piloted by Scott and Alex’s father, Chris Summers. Then, out of nowhere, a Shi’ar ship filled the sky. The plane was damaged and their mother found an old parachute. She strapped Scott into it and put Alex into his arms. As she pushed them out of the plane, Alex heard the last words he would ever hear from their mother, saying that she loved them. And they fell. There was no sense of floating, just falling. And Alex just held onto Scott, knowing he’d keep him safe.

The sky quickly filled with smoke. Together, the boys watched through tear-filled eyes, as their parents’ plane went down in flames. Then, Alex noticed that the parachute was burning. With roaring wind rushing past his ears, he called out Scott’s name over and over again. He never answered, but he did save their lives.

Alex sits at the Alaskan coast. Whenever he starts losing control of his life, he comes back there, where it began. It is as if he is hoping that his family will be there to make him feel safe again. And they never are. Suddenly, a voice calls out Alex. It is his brother, Scott, who calmly tells him he is there … there to help.

Falls’ Edge, Virgina. Once the building was a safe house for elite Cold War double agents, but then the Cold War ended. Now, it serves as the base of operations to X-Factor. At the center of it all is the operational ready room. A person who appears to be Forge walks inside and orders the computers to engage. The palm and retinal scans confirm him as the user. Forge demands all files and schematics on the Mystique inhibitor device and the computer asks for the security access code. “Forge” thinks hard and, moments later, hit by a wave of pain, turns back into Mystique, right after she orders the computer to cancel the previous command.

Mystique silently curses both Forge and the image inhibitor he planted into her brain. It only allows her to shapeshift into members of X-Factor or X-Men for 30 seconds, though she managed to push it to 32 this time. Next time she won’t be stopped by the pass code, she vows. She won’t be controlled by anyone!

Suddenly, Wild Child, who apparently witnessed the scene, addresses her, telling her Forge is going to love hearing about that one. With a smirk, she tells Wild Child he isn’t going to tell. She continues that they have both been on the other side of the fence together and they both know too much about each other’s past sins. The deal is he’ll help her keep her secret and she’ll help him keep his.

She kicks at him, then asks where Forge is. He’s been locked up in his office all day long playing with his holo-program, Kyle replies and mockingly asks if he sees concern in Mystique’s eyes. Haughtily, she tells him not to push her.

Elsewhere, a hot desert landscape, where a meditating Forge, dressed only in a loincloth and without his prosthetic limbs, sits. He waits for a portent, what he gets is unexpected, as a voice chides him for ever leaving this land where he was born. He was the shaman, the Maker; it was his destiny. The words are spoken by a ghostlike form of Forge’s old mentor, Naze. Forge asks what he is doing there. The computer…

Naze explains that he is not of Forge’s artificial environment. He is real. He informs Forge that his destiny is calling and he wants to make sure that Forge heeds the call. He reiterates that it is time and that Forge should look to the signs. Forge insists that the time has passed, when Mystique suddenly joins him and diverts his attention. He looks back to find that Naze is gone.

He orders the computer to end the program and is shown to actually be sitting in his office. The desert landscape was a hologram.

Impatiently, he asks what Mystique is doing there. Will it take more than a multi-locked door for him to get some privacy from her? She doesn’t know, Mystique replies and cattily suggests he could come up with something else to implant in her brain. Changing the subject, she asks if Naze isn’t actually dead. Forge replies that he thought so as well.

A house in the wilderness of Alaska. Scott asks Alex when he built this place. A few years back, his younger brother replies. Scott remarks that the place they came down can be seen from the house. How did Scott know he’d be here, Alex asks. It’s where he would have come, Scott replies. Everything started there. He states that he knows Alex is having trouble with his power again. Alex retorts that he doesn’t want to talk about it right now. He came there, so he wouldn’t have to talk, so he wouldn’t be a danger to anyone. He walks to his motorcycle, telling Scott he needs time to work things out for himself. Scott doesn’t buy it and hurries after him.

In Forge’s office, Mystique asks him to open up. There’s nothing to talk about, he refuses. Mystique points out that she saw a look of genuine fear when Naze entered the holo-program. Forge impatiently asks if she wants to know everything about him. Would that help her in her little games? Fine he agrees, and orders the computer to access his personal files. Chaos breaks loose as holograms display various important phases of Forge’s life at the same time, his education and rite of passage as a shaman, his time in the war…

Forge explains that he utilizes them to try and figure out who he is and where he is going. Somewhere in there are the signs, which will lead to his future. A future he was told included her. Wouldn’t that be awful? Mystique mocks. Suddenly, a hologram of Destiny, Mystique’s dead lover appears, replaying the scene before her death on Muir Isle. She urges Forge to love Mystique as she has, with all his heart. Mystique throws swearwords at Forge. How dare her use Irene like this? He explains that Destiny foretold their linked futures. He needs to find out why she believed they were destined to be together. Raven replies that Irene was her life and deserves better than this. She tells him to stop the program.

A backwood bar and trading post in Alaska. Scott tells Alex he understands that he wants to be alone, but he won’t let him go through this by himself. Not in his condition. Alex tells him to sit down. He is attracting attention. Why can’t they ever just talk, Scott inquires. He wants to talk? Alex asks sarcastically. How’s it going, he asks him. Sorry he’s been a burden to Scott since the moment their mom shoved them out of the plane. He’s sorry he’s always losing control of his powers. Not like Scott, who is always in control. Bad enough he screws his own life up again and again. He always has to drag Scott down with him. Nice talking to him.

Scott tells him he has never been a burden, end of the discussion. And as far as the control thing is concerned… sometimes he wishes he could just cut loose. He envies Alex that. Alex doesn’t buy it. Scott slams his fist on the table and assures Alex he won’t go through this alone. He was with Alex then and is with Alex today. He loves him he stresses. Alex replies that he knows. Suddenly, several rednecks join them, making fun of the “pretty little city boys.” Alex angrily announces that this is his brother, before asking why he owes them an explanation. The men are spoiling for a fight. Does he think he can stay in control, Scott asks with a smile. Also grinning Alex asks if Scott thinks he can cut loose.

Back in Virginia, Forge apologizes that the Destiny hologram hurt Mystique. Raven tells him he is practicing something akin to high-tech grave robbery and then acts concerned for her well-being. She doesn’t buy it. She doesn’t need all those holographic programs to analyze her life. She holds on fondly to memories of the past and takes the future as it comes.

That may work for her, he tells her, but his life has been filled with riddles. Naze and Destiny foretelling his future. He needs to know what it means. Would it be so terrible if what Irene had said contained no riddles? If all she was foretelling was a future which simply involved her and him bonded though a mutual and undeniable attraction, asks Mystique. He can never accept that, Forge replies.

Alaska, after the barfight.
Outside his house, Alex unleashes his energy in the air. After that he asks his brother how come he got out of the bar without a scratch. There’s a limit to how out of control he can get, Scott jokes. Plus, he thinks those gentlemen weren’t comfortable hitting a man with glasses. Alex begins talking about the day when they lost their parents. Scott reminds him that there was nothing either of them could have done. They can’t change the past and, frankly, he doesn’t want to. The things that happened to them then, have made them into who they are now. Scott reminds Alex that they will always be there for each other. Alex agrees and they hug.

Elsewhere, the Dark Beast stands before the amorphous grey mass in a container. Time to rouse him from his protoplasmic slumber, he announces. His erstwhile teammates will welcome him back with open arms and he can consummate the task for which he was designed so long ago. Awaken, Random… and bring me the head of Alex Summers..

Characters Involved: 

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


Spirit form of Naze (Forge’s mentor)


Dark Beast

Local rednecks

in Forge’s holographic scene

younger Forge



U.S. soldiers in Vietnam

in Havok’s narration

Chris Summers, Katherine Anne Summers, younger Scott and Alex Summers

Story Notes: 

The fate of Cyclops’ and Havok’s parents was told in Uncanny X-Men #154-155.

When the boys fell, Cyclops’ mutant power activated prematurely and his optic blast braked their fall.

Naze was killed (off-panel) by a Dire Wraith, who then took his place in Uncanny #187. It is unclear and never explained how he can be alive again.

Destiny foretold Forge and Mystique would end up together in Uncanny X-Men #254-255.

Random lost his shape in issue #112.

While helping X-Factor at times, Random was never actually a teammate, no matter what McCoy claims.

Issue Information: 
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