X-Factor (1st series) #146

Issue Date: 
June 1998
Story Title: 
Fairy Light

Howard Mackie (writer), Lee Moder (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterers), Jason White (assistant editor), Frank Pittarese (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Settling into their new headquarters, Shard makes it quite clear that she does not want to be friends with Fixx, who tries to build a relationship with her. Later, Fixx goes to sleep, while three of her psionic fairies go to watch what Havok, Archer and Greystone are up to. Greystone arrives at the home of his host-body’s wife and daughter, Rachel and Cal. Archer - “Jude Black” tries to prove to Rachel that he will not hurt her anymore, and plans to atone for his sins. They are soon attacked by three beings who identify themselves as the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates, who have come to kill Jude Black for his crimes against their people. Archer manages to escape with Rachel and Cal, they make it to some woods but the attack continues, with Archer doing his best to defend Rachel and Cal, not wanting the same to happen to them what happened to his family from his future. Meanwhile, Greystone also returns to the home of his human guise, Brian Young, to confront Brian’s abusive family and try to rescue Brian’s sister. Greystone reveals his true form, and is about to kill Mr. & Mrs. Young, but their daughter talks him out of it, and he is soon summoned away to help Archer as Fixx’s psionic fairies alerted her to Archer’s plight. Havok meets with Multiple Man at a sports bar, the two friends reunited after much time apart. Havok asks Multiple Man to join him and his new allies, but Multiple Man turns him down. Polaris soon shows up, apparently Multiple Man rigged this meeting so that Havok and Polaris would also be reunited. The meeting is somewhat tense as Polaris assures Havok she forgives him for walking out on her, and they discuss moving on with their separate lives, when Havok is also summoned away to help Archer. Archer meanwhile, has revealed his true self, confusing Rachel Black, and offers the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates his life in exchange for Rachel and Cal going free. The People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates agree, but Havok, Fixx, Shard and Greystone arrive, and the enemies quickly depart. Rachel and Cal seem to like Archer, while Fixx reveals to a unimpressed Havok that he is now bonded to the X.U.E. due to her psionic fairy entering his mind.

Full Summary: 

The shores of the mighty Hudson River, looking toward Manhattan, where the time-displaced Shard and Fixx watch a jet take flight. ‘There he goes, Shard…our fearless leader, Havok’ Fixx remarks, looking up at the jet. ‘Who’d have thought that four X.S.E. traitors like you, Archer, Greystone and I would have wound up traveling back in time and working side by side with the legendary Alex Summers in order to change out time line…and ensure that this world is not totally corrupted by mutant hatred and fear, or -’ Fixx blabbers on, until Shard tells her to shut up.

‘Excuse me?‘ Fixx replies, taken aback. Shard tells her that they are not friends, ‘We were barely even acquaintances!‘ she points out, adding that she was never a part of Fixx’s little band of traitors. ‘I just made the mistake of considering joining you three. I got better. And then I got dead!’ Shard exclaims. The two women enter a large four-story building, and Shard points out that none of that has happened yet, and adds that time travel gives her a headache. Walking past boxes and crates in the foyer of the building, Shard adds ‘I’m not even human!’, while remarking that Fixx, Archer and Greystone have psionically grafted their essence onto three dead humans, but she is just a “photon based life form”. ‘Whatever that is!’ she snaps.

Shard tells Fixx that they have been thrown together, and are in their new headquarters, and have been left alone, for now, to watch things here. ‘But I don’t really know you…and I don’t really want to know you…and I don’t like the way you and your two traitor buddies operate!’ Shard snaps, before storming off and telling Fixx to her leave her alone. ‘So…I guess staying up all night and talking about boys is definitely out?’ Fixx asks.

A short time later, in Fixx’s sparse quarters. The time displaced woman lies on her stretcher. ‘What a grouch!’ she whispers, complaining that simply because she cannot access any of the memories of the body she jumped into when she arrived here, it means she gets stuck here with Shard, while Archer and Greystone go and explore their new “lives”. ‘Lucky me’ she mutters sarcastically, before descending into sleep. Asleep though, three of Fixx’s psionic fairies emerge from her subconsciousness. Manifestations of her mutant psionic power, they are frequently extensions of her subconscious, and tonight, these three psionic fairies are untethered by the functions of sleep, allowing Fixx to explore this world of wonder. They fly in separate directions.

The first of Fixx’s sprites follows Archer to Bricktown, New Jersey, in his human guise of Jude Black. Approaching a house, Archer thinks to himself that he has come to make amends for the sins committed by the man whose body he now inhabits, and whose memories tear at his heart. Deep down though, Archer is attempting, in some small way, to set tight the sins of his own past. The psionic fairy watches as Archer knocks on the door, and a red-haired woman opens the door, shouting that the pizza better not be cold, because she cold over an hour ago.

She stops in her tracks halfway through her sentence, ‘Omigod!’ she exclaims. ‘Hi, Rachel’ Archer - Jude Black - smiles. Rachel frowns and tells Jude to go away or she will call the cops, the FBI, anybody. ‘What’s wrong, Mommy?’ a small voice suddenly asks. A young boy looks up at Jude Black - ‘Daddy? You’re not going to hurt us again? Are you?’ he asks. Archer smiles, ‘No, Cal, your Daddy is never going to hurt you again. I promise!’ he assures the boy. But a sarcastic Rachel replies ‘Great, Jude. All is forgiven. So why don’t we just shake hands and forget the past ten years of our lives. It never happened!’ she exclaims. ‘You walk out the door, out of our lives and our marriage and I won’t drop a dime on you’.

‘After two dozen years of therapy, Cal and I should be as good as new!’ she mocks. Closing the door behind him, unaware that the psionic fairy has entered, Archer tells Rachel that they have to talk. ‘Sure’ Rachel replies: ‘Let’s talk about how a young girl, fresh out of college and filled with radical, political views, fell in love with an international terrorist…married him and subjected herself to years of emotional abuse. Or we could talk about the abuse a man inflicted on their son. Where do you want to start, Jude?’ Rachel exclaims. The fairy flies through the door as “Jude” replies that he wants to start with saying he is sorry, and that he plans on making it up to them both. ‘Really? Again?’ Rachel asks.

Outside, the psionic fairy gets concerned as it sees some unidentified persons in the bushes around the Rachel’s home, one of whom exclaims ‘Target identity confirmed. Prepare to move in!’

Meanwhile, the second of Fixx’s psionic fairies travels to Poughkeepsie, New York, following Greystone in his human identity of Brian Young. Like Archer, Greystone has come in search of a past which does not belong to him…but the memories of which weigh heavily on his mind. Making his way up some stairs in a run-down apartment block, and knocks on a door labelled “Young”. ‘Whatta ya want?’ a gruff, overweight, balding man wearing a dirty singlet asks as he answers the door. Suddenly, the man realizes who is standing before him. ‘Well, look at this’ he mutters, in between drinks of beer.

‘Agnes, get over here and see what the cat dragged in!’ the man shouts. An overweight, dowdy woman walks over as the door slams and Greystone - Brian Young - walks inside. ‘It’s our baby boy!’ Mr. Young shouts, while Fixx’s fairy flies into the apartment, and a girl peers her head around the corner. ‘We knew you’d come back. Knew you couldn’t cut it as a runaway!’ Agnes remarks, hands on hips, rubbish strewn around where she stands. ‘But you’re home now, mister!’ she adds. The girl reveals her presence, ‘Brian? Why did you come back? You got away…why?’ she asks. ‘I came back for you, Louise. Had to make sure you were okay’ “Brian” replies, only for Mr. Young to shout ‘Shut up!’ and slap him across the face, hard.

‘Daddy! No! Not again! Don’t hurt him anymore!’ Louise shouts. Mr. Young raises his hand to Louise. ‘You talking to me like that?’ I’ll -’ he begins, until “Brian” grabs his wrist, ‘You don’t want to do that!’ he warns him. ‘TRUST ME!’ he shouts as he shifts into his true form, and looms over Mr. Young.

Meanwhile, the third of Fixx’s sprites visit’s a sports bar on the Delaware / New Jersey Border, where Jamie Madrox a.k.a. the Multiple Man, former member of X-Factor, is involved in a game of one on one on…one. Madrox has the ball. Madrox guards the net. And Madrox is referee! ‘Excuse me, Jamie, but I asked you to meet me here for something more serious than a game of b-ball!’ a voice exclaims. ‘Whoa! Summers!’ one of the Madrox dupes exclaims, tripping over the feet of another. ‘No one told me he was going to be here!’ one of the dupes exclaims. ‘I told you that he wanted to talk to us!’ another declares. ‘But you didn’t say tonight!’ another points out. ‘I’m pretty sure I did’ the first replies.

Cute, Jamie, but I know you’re not “Multiple Personality Man” Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok replies, before telling Jamie that they really need to talk. ‘Yeah. Sure. Have fun, but…count us out!’ the two dupes reply, leaving the real Multiple Man with Havok. Jamie apologizes to Alex, explaining that the dupes still blame him for their death of their “other”. ‘They’ll get over it…I hope’ he remarks. ‘Me too’ Alex replies.

A short time later, the psionic fairy hovers over Alex and Jamie who sit in a booth, and Jamie asks Alex if he is going back to doing the hero thing, telling him that it is cool. Alex replies that “hero” is such a subjective word, ‘I just want to do the right thing’ he declares. Jamie replies that the last time he checked, the world was not demanding any mutant super heroes. ‘And these guys from the future…? They’re trying to change the past? Can that be done?’ Jamie asks.

Alex replies that what happens in the past is unavoidable. ‘You’re living proof of that!’ he points out. ‘You talking about the coming back from the dead thing? Well, all of me wasn’t dead!’ Jamie replies. ’Fine. But I could still use your help. I need to have someone with me I can trust. Someone to watch my back’ Alex replies, explaining that the X.U.E. seem to have the best of intentions, but he still wants to have Jamie there with him. Madrox replies that he will help Alex when he needs it, but that for now, ’I work best as a team of one!’ he declares, punching the wall, causing another dupe to appear.

‘I’ll take what I can get. For now’ Alex replies, to which Madrox remarks ‘So you really do have this whole redemption thing going for you, heh?’. Alex replies that he is trying, but that he needs to apologize and explain himself as best as he can, to everyone. ‘That’s what I thought, so I took the liberty of…’ Jamie begins, hesitantly. ‘Of what?’ Alex asks. ‘Of inviting a friend of ours!’ Jamie reveals. ‘Who -?’ Alex asks as he turns around, while the two Jamie’s get up and leave. ‘Alex…Lorna’ one of them remarks. ‘Lorna…Alex’ the other declares as the glamorous Lorna “Polaris” Dane strides towards Alex, wearing a long purple coat, a tight-fitting white mini-dress and black leggings. ‘Havok…Polaris…yadda…yadda! We’re outta here!’ Jamie announces.

Meanwhile, Archer lounges at the kitchen table while Rachel cooks something at the stove, and Cal sits on another chair. “Jude” tells Rachel that she really didn’t have to cook, as he would have been happy to take them all out. ‘What kind of sick and twisted joke is this, Jude?’ Rachel asks, spinning around to face “Jude”, she exclaims ‘After all this time, all the abuse, you come in here playing “Father knows best!”?’. “Jude” replies that it is no joke, and assures Rachel that things have changed, unaware that the psionic fairy is hovering beside him. “Jude” tells Rachel that after tonight, neither she or Cal will ever have anything to fear from him again.

Suddenly, Archer senses something wrong, and pushes Rachel and Cal to the floor: ‘GET DOWN!’ he shouts as gun fire tears through the kitchen. The kitchen wall is blown down, and “Jude” tells Rachel and Cal that when he says “go”, he wants them to both run. A woman clad in green, a man in silver armor, and some sort of blue-white gloop appear, and the woman in green shouts ‘Jude Black, you have been tried in absentia by the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates for crimes against our race!’

The woman declares that Jude alone has been implicated in the October bombing which brought about the deaths of three hundred men, women and children. ‘The court has found you guilty and the sentence is death!’ the woman announces, adding ‘We, on behalf of the Genoshan people, have come to carry out the sentence. ‘Burn for all eternity, butcher!’ she shouts. ‘Now! Run!’ Archer tells Rachel and Cal, who get up and run out the door, followed soon by Archer who evades some more gunfire.

As Archer runs with the family of Jude Black, Fixx’s fairy flies at the speed of light back to its source. Back to…Fixx, who, lying asleep on the stretcher, suddenly wakes as the psionic fairy dives into her mind. ‘NOOO!’ Fixx shouts. Shard walks through the door to Fixx’s quarters, asking here what is going on. Fixx sits up and exclaims that Archer needs them all, now, and sends two psionic fairies to collect the others, before it is too late.

At that moment, back at the sports bar, ‘I think this is nice’ Madrox remarks. ‘Don’t you think this is nice?’ he asks. ‘Nice. Real nice. Like old times’ one of his dupes replies as they stand either side of Alex and Lorna. ‘What do you think, Lorna? Nice, huh?’ the dupe asks. Lorna ignores the question, before Alex tells her that he knows this is awkward, ‘I’m not even going to pretend to believe that you could forgive me’ he tells her. ‘Seems like a good place to start, Alex’ Lorna replies, adding that Alex has a habit of bailing out on her with no more than a hastily scribbled word of explanation. ‘And your penmanship isn’t even that good’ she adds quietly, before asking Alex why he set this up. ‘Did you want forgiveness? Fine, I forgive you’ she declares.

‘I accept that you had to find yourself, save the world at the same time, and that you, as always, were the only one who could possibly do it’ Lorna declares, telling Alex that she accepts his apology and asking if they can no get on with their separate lives. ‘Or do we have to do the expected thing and have knockdown, drag-out, mutant powers confrontation?’ Lorna asks. ‘Actually…I’d rather not’ Alex replies, assuring Lorna that he didn’t set this up. ‘I never had any intention of crawling back to you for -’ Havok begins, until an angry Lorna turns her attention to Madrox, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!’ Madrox exclaims, telling Alex and Lorna to “hold it”. ‘We almost had a dialogue going there!’ he exclaims.

Madrox points out that they are making some progress, ‘I think this could be the beginning of -’ he begins, until Lorna interrupts, telling him to “stuff it”. Alex tells Lorna not to yell at Jamie, ‘He was only trying to -’ Alex begins, until his sentence is cut off when the psionic fairy flies into his head. ‘Trying to…trying to…’ he mutters, before rubbing his head and announcing that he has to go. ‘Sorry!’ he tells Lorna and Jamie as he puts his coat on and takes his leave. Lorna puts her hands on her hips, while Jamie tells her that it must have been something real important for him to take off like that. ‘It always is’ Lorna replies solemnly.

Back at the Young household, Greystone holds Agnes and Mr. Young in each hand, ‘I could crush both of your skulls right now…and maybe I should. Maybe that’s the only way to stop you from abusing Louise!’ he shouts. ‘No, Brian! Don’t hurt them!’ Louise cries as she stands in front of Greystone, telling him that he knows they are only like this when they drink. ‘I don’t know, kid, I - what the?’ Greystone mutters as the psionic fairy dives into his mind. Greystone announces that he has to leave, and tells the Young’s that they both better clean up their act, cut out the drinking and be thankful that their daughter saved their lives tonight. ‘I will be back!’ he warns them as he tosses them to the floor.

Meanwhile, Archer runs through some woods with Rachel and Cal, ‘Who are those people, Jude? What did you do to them?’ Rachel asks. “Jude” replies that he doesn’t know, but promises her that he won’t let them hurt her or Cal. Suddenly, some land rises before them, ‘Promise, child-killer? A promise you will never keep!’ the gloop-like being announces, revealing itself while telling “Jude” that before he dies, he will feel the pain that countless Genoshans felt when he took their families from them. ‘Wife and child die first!’ the gloop exclaims.

‘No. I’m not going to fail you the way I did…Annie and Connor. Not again!’ “Jude” announces. Rachel, tears in her eyes, clutches Cal, ‘Wait…you’re not Jude…are you?’ she exclaims, remarking that he doesn’t talk or act like him. ‘Who are you?’ she asks. Archer begins to shift into his true form, ‘A friend. One who won’t let anything happen to either of you. Don’t be afraid of me…no matter what happens next!’ he tells them as he leaps into action against the gloop.

‘You are a mutant, Black?’ the Genoshan asks, telling him that this makes his crimes against their people twice as bad. Archer dives between the gloop as it tries to overwhelm him. ‘Do me a favor…stop calling me Black. The name is Archer!’ he declares. ‘Your name is unimportant. Only your suffering and your death matter!’ the gloop retorts as he constructs a large hammer-like object on the end of its form, which is smacks into Archer’s back.

‘Mommy? What happened to Daddy?’ Cal asks he cuddles into his mother, who replies that she doesn’t know. They are unaware that they are being watched by the large man in armor and the green-clad woman, who standing in the trees behind them. Rachel remarks that this man is trying to help them, and reminds Cal that they prayed for so long that his father would change, and now it looks like it has happened. ‘Though I don’t know what he’s changed into…’ she points out, when suddenly, the other two Genoshans make themselves known.

The green-clad woman blasts energy beams from her eyes, ‘The woman and child! They must die while Black is distracted!’ she exclaims. ‘JUDE! Help us!’ Rachel screams, narrowly dodging the blasts. ‘Rachel?’ Archer calls out, diving over towards her, shouting ‘NO!’ as the green-clad woman continues to blast her eye beams at them. Archer pulls them up and tells Rachel to take Cal and run as fast as she can. The woman blasts a tree in half, ‘There is nowhere to run!’ she shouts, still calling Archer “Black”, she tells him that he can fight all he wants, but he is still going to watch his family die.

Standing in front of Rachel and Cal, Archer tells the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates that, if he fights them, one of their people is going to be hurt, or worse. ‘But this is what I’m offering. My life for theirs. No fighting. You get to do whatever you want, but…they go free!’ he exclaims. The green-clad woman replies that, since intelligence reports regarding his mutant abilities were non-existent, she accepts his offer. ‘Your life for theirs’. But Cal suddenly grabs Archer’s arm, ‘No, Daddy! No!’ he screams. The green-clad woman tells Archer to step away from the child and prepare to die.

‘I think NOT!’ shouts Havok as he fires a blast of plasma energy in between Archer, Rachel and Cal and their enemies. ‘The little guy there is one of our own!’ Greystone exclaims as he, Fixx and Shard join Havok. ‘I’m pretty sure he’s not what you think!’ Fixx tells the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates. Shard points out that they have a couple of choices here as to how this could end, ‘Personally, I’m hoping we go a little five-on-three!’ she declares. But the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates takes its leave, ‘No. The day is not outs. But Jude Black will pay for his crims against our people…soon!’ the green-clad woman announces as she and her teammates walk away.

‘That’s it? All we had to do is show up and they leave? What was that all about?’ Greystone asks. Archer holds onto a smiling Cal, while Rachel stands nearby, and Archer tells Greystone that they should be grateful for small favors, adding that he has a feeling they haven’t seen the last of the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates. Greystone suggests that they go after them and finish them off, to which Havok replies ‘Not today’, before asking Fixx when her fairy flew in his head, ‘Did it…’ he begins, to which Fixx apologizes, telling Havok that there was no time to clear it with him, but that he is now psionically linked to her, Archer, Shard and Greystone. ‘That’s what I thought. Terrific’ Havok mutters, before exclaiming ‘One more question…how was everybody’s day?’

Characters Involved: 

Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Shard (former members of X-Factor)

Archer, Fixx, Greystone (all X.U.E)

Rachel & Cal Black

Agnes, Louise & Mr. Young

Three members of the People’s Army of Genoshan Mutates

Story Notes: 

For details about the X.U.E. coming to the present, see X-Factor (1st series) #140-141, 143.

The X.U.E. took their host bodies in X-Factor (1st series) #143.

The Multiple Man dupe died in X-Factor (1st series) #100.

Havok left Polaris and X-Factor in X-Factor (1st series) #118.

Issue Information: 
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