X-Factor (1st series) #222

Issue Date: 
October 2011
Story Title: 

Peter David (writer), Emanuela Lupacchino (penciler), Guillermo Ortego (inker), Matt Milla (colorist) VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), David Yardin (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

At the hospital, Guido is being discharged and finds difficulty when his bulky frame crushes the procedurally mandated wheelchair, much to the amusement of Monet. When the nurse departs to procure a gurney instead, Guido uncharacteristically plants a kiss on Monet’s lips, much to her astonishment. Back at X-Factor HQ, the team has finished drawing mystic wards and spreading salt across entranceways, per the instructions of Layla. When they then asks why they have been so ordered, she explains that Rahne and Shatterstar are being chased by mystical beings, along with the ghost of Feral. A moment later, Rahne and Shatterstar arrive, chased by the Cu Sith demon dogs. Longshot attempts to kill the beast, only to exasperate the problem by accidentally generating more copies of it from its blood. At this point, they are joined by the spectral Feral, who informs them that they have no chance, as only a mystically-based monster can fight those who are hunting Rahne. Meanwhile, upstairs, Rahne attends to the wounded Shatterstar and finds herself blamed once again by Rictor for her actions bringing danger to her friends. Rather than denying it, Rahne embraces her culpability and refuses an attempt by Rictor to apologize for his accusation. Back on the street, Guido and Monet have returned from the hospital, unaware that the building is under siege. They are promptly attacked by Bastet and the Cu Sith, discovering all too quickly that they are outmatched. Suddenly, help arrives in the form of a wolfman who makes short work of most of the Cu Sith and Bastet, then scattering the others. The immediate crisis passed, he bounds to the roof where Rahne is and transforms into his human form. The man introduces himself as Jack Russell and suggests that she come with him if she wants to live.

Full Summary: 

“You gotta be kidding me, Guido proclaims from his hospital room. Resolute, the attending nurse apologizes but it’s hospital policy. Any patient checking out has to go in a wheelchair. They don’t want to be liable if he falls and damages himself. Gesticulating wildly, Guido rejoins that, if he galls, it’s the hospital that’s gonna get damaged.

Grabbing him by his massive elbow, Monet urges Guido to reconsider. She really doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life there… Replying “fine, fine,” Guido strides to the wheelchair, adding that he just knows this aint gonna end well. Under the instructions of the nurse, Guido attempts to ease himself into the wheelchair, only for it to collapse beneath him. Aghast at the sight of her patient sitting among the ruins of the chair, the nurse suggests that maybe a gurney would be an acceptable substitute.

Moving to return to his feet, Guido notes the grin that Monet is attempting to hide and asks if she’s laughing at him. When she replies that she’s really not, he counters that she is, which she reluctantly affirms. But, she then adds, a little indignity is a small price to pay for him to be alive. Now helping him to his feet, Monet swears to Guido that when she heard that harridan shot him, she was afraid that…

Suddenly, Monet finds herself cut off mid-sentence by Guido, who pulls her close and plants a kiss upon her lips. Returning at this inopportune moment, the nurse asks if they should come back later. Adding to this, her accompanying nurse remarks that he’d suggest they get a room but… they already have one.

Ignoring their remarks, Monet begins to babble, asking if that’s the gurney and then answering her own obvious question. When she then suggests that he ride the gurney, Guido wryly asks if that is a new slang term for… Just get on the damned gurney, she interrupts. As he does so, the newly arrived male nurse pokes his elbow in Guido’s side, commenting that she is “sweeeeet.” As Guido whispers a confirmation, Monet watches worried from across the room, whispering that that was… strange...

Back at X-Factor HQ, Layla compliments Madrox on his work and instructs him to get ready to open the door. Next addressing Rictor, she asks if he put the chalk markings on every entrance. Arms crossed in annoyance, Rictor confirms, then adding that he felt like a fool. Chiming in, Longshot hopes aloud that this is important. He was in the middle of a very erotic dream.

By the door as instructed, Madrox takes a moment to berate Longshot for the “TMI” before asking Layla if she’s ready to tell them what’s going on. Rahne and Shatterstar, she begins, are being chased by two Japanese demons, some mythical Irish dogs, an Egyptian lion goddess and the ghost of Feral… all of whom want to use the infant for their own purposes after they devour the mother. Considering this new information, Longshot asks if Feral is still hot. For a dead girl, he means. Seeing the reaction from others, Longshot defends himself that they were all thinking that, to which Madrox counters that they really weren’t. So he says, Longshot rejoins.

Suddenly, Layla yells for Madrox to open the door NOW!!!! As soon as he does, the group finds Shatterstar and Wolfsbane dashing through the entrance, with Rahne yelling that it’s right behind them. Ignoring the panic, Layla orders Madrox to keep the door open and promptly begins to pour a line of salt along the bottom of the door frame. When Wolfsbane asks what she’s doing, Layla explains that she’s pouring it on the threshold as well as inside. Doubly protective. To this, Wolfsbane snarks that that’s great if they’re being attacked by mutant killer snails.

Once this is done, Rictor peers out of the entrance and asks what’s going on. Shatterstar’s hurt, Layla’s redecorating with condiments while babbling about demons! This is all… Rictor’s words trail as he suddenly finds himself recoiling from the sight of a giant, green-furred demon dog, growling at the doorway and staring at him with glowing red eyes. Acting fast, Longshot yells for Rictor to get down and then follows with a toss of flechettes at the beast. Impacted by more than half a dozen at the first throw, the Cu Sith recoils and actually flips backward. A moment later, it lies motionless on the sidewalk in the rain.

Watching this from an alley across the street, a rain-soaked man in a trench coat remarks to himself that that… was a mistake.

Back at the entranceway, however, Longshot is overjoyed at his action and begins to gloat, only for Layla to likewise declare what he did to be a mistake. At first, Longshot is confused but Layla redirects his attention back at the demon dog. As they speak, the blood of the Cu Sith begins to coalesce into multiple new demon dogs. As Longshot begins to admit that that’s “not good,” Layla tells Madrox that now might be a good time to close the door.

Growing even more incredulous, Rictor asks Longshot what happened to his “luck” power, only to receive a shrug from his teammate that he never said it was always good luck. Muttering “terrific,” Rictor tells the rest of the group that he’s checking on Shatterstar. He looked pretty beaten up. As Rictor departs, Pip considers the demon dog. A green dog that makes more of itself when ya hit… it’s like a weird lovechild of Madrox and She-Hulk. At first, Madrox declares that to be the sickest thing he’s heard today, but then notes that, on the other hand, sex with She-Hulk would be… This line of thought earns Madrox a hit on the back of the head from Layla, an action which creates a dupe.

Ignoring the spat, Pip looks out the window and notes that the green doggie is the least of their problems. Absorbing the newly created dupe as he pulls down the window shade, Madrox spies more than the five Cu Sith which prowl the sidewalk outside. The number of creatures wanting entrance is growing.

Glancing to Layla, Madrox asks if they go out there and fight them. However, the answer comes not from Layla but from the suddenly very present Feral, who opines that she wouldn’t. Startled by her presence, Madrox exclaims “holy,” to which Feral quips “not really, no.” Turning back to Layla, Madrox begins to ask about the wards but Layla explains that they only work against mystic-based threats… and the ghostly Feral is only an irritant. Chiding Layla with a “but me, blondie,” Feral turns her attention to Longshot. Looking good, she tells him. Like your hair. Smiling, Longshot thanks her and replies that he likes her… spirit.

Returning her attention to the group, Feral informs them that, as for fighting their mystical foes, they might have had a chance when they were arguing, but they’ve put aside their differences to work together. So, they’re basically hosed. They’re talking unkillable creatures that could eat Wolverine for breakfast. Literally. Only another mystically-based monster would stand a chance against them.

Upstairs, Shatterstar is lying down on his bed, with Rahne sitting at its side and placing an icepack to his forehead. Shatterstar protests that he’s fine, but Rahne defends that she just feels so guilty that she brought this down on all of them…

Interrupting, Rictor stands at the doorway and remarks that that’s what she does, isn’t it? That’s her thing. Breezing in and out of people’s lives, leaving crushed feelings and bodies behind her. Lying to people, getting them hurt, hurting them… Now Shatterstar interrupts, emphatically telling Rictor that that’s enough! Any day ending in a “Y” is a day someone’s trying to hurt them. Dumping it all on Rahne is…

Absolutely justified, Rahne proclaims, taking her turn to interrupt. Rictor’s right about everything, she then adds. The problem is… there’s only so many times she can apologize before they’re recognized for the useless words they are. With that, Rahne begins to leave the room, passing the dumbfounded Rictor. When he moves to stop her, apologizing himself, Rictor grabs her wrist, only for Rahne the angrily slap him. Don’t he dare! Rahne proclaims. Don’t he dare apologize to the likes of her! Through gritted teeth, she tells him to stick to his principles or she’ll kill him. She’ll absolutely kill him.

Joining Rictor by the doorway, Shatterstar notes that he can see why the two of them were lovers. She has a great deal of fire. Plus, she looks great naked. Still rubbing his stinging side of his face, Rictor begins to admit that she sure does… but then double-takes at Shatterstar’s statement.

Meanwhile, Theresa glances through pried window shades and can’t believe that she’s seeing a Cu Sith (which Madrox quips sounds like something from Star Wars). Ignoring Madrox, Theresa also notes that she’s not sure… but she thinks she just spotted a man in the alleyway. Might be a homeless guy, Madrox guesses, adding that he’s probably not worth their…

Interrupting, Theresa informs the group that they’re running away. All of them, she confirms when Madrox questions. She can’t see them a’tall now. Considering this, Madrox suggests maybe they got sick of being in the rain… or maybe… they’re preparing an ambush. Questioning the word “ambush,” Theresa wonders who they might be… Her words trail as her eyes go wide. “Oh no. Oh, God, no.”

On the street below, Monet helps Guido out of the taxi. As she does so, Monet tells him that she thinks they need to talk about what happened back at the hospital. Asked if she means when they lip-locked, Monet confirms. “Ya know ya liked it,” Guido rejoins. She knows no such thing, Monet counters. And she thinks they need to get this settled before they go back to business-as-usual of being attacked by… As she spies Bastet leaping to attach, Monet realizes she waited too long.

“Come into the arms of Bastet!” the Egyptian goddess commands. To this, Guido steps forward with a left hook and suggests that she come into the fists of Strong Guy! Though punched some distance way, Bastet recovers easily. Bellowing a “YOU DARE!!!” the goddess emits a powerful wave of force which throws even the massive Guido off of his feet. “I’ll gut you from the crotch to sternum for that!” she announces, following it with a leap toward the unprepared Guido. Unfortunately, for Bastet, however, her claws and jaws fall short of their target… and she discovers herself held back by Monet, who holds her by the tail. She’ll try, Monet tells Bastet, but she won’t succeed.

With that, Monet flings Bastet into two demons approaching from behind, mocking that they seriously didn’t think she saw them there, did they? Unfortunately for Monet, the puddles of green liquid at her feet suddenly transform into Cu Sith and leap to attach. At that moment, the front door of the building flings open and Banshee races out, filling the street with her sonic scream. While the rest of the pack continue their attack on Monet, one of the Cu Sith pauses a moment to mock Banshee, asking if she thinks they will fall before her howl. They do not fear the shriek of the real banshee, so what hope has an imitator? They have listened to her voice, so now she should hear their words…

Interrupting as he trades blows with Bastet, Okami and Kasha, Guido tells the Cu Sith to cram his words. However, from the rooftop high above, Rahne tells Guido that it’s not up to him. Not any of them. This is her affair, not theirs. None of them should have to suffer for her transgressions. Craning its head upwards, the Cu Sith admires her brave, if foolish, words. They will take the child from her… delivering it unto them… by slicing it from her belly. For her invulnerability will not save her from…

Suddenly, the demon dog notices a new player, as a man races from the alley across the street, shedding his trench coat to reveal a humanoid lupine form beneath. With a slash of his claws, the werewolf beats back one demon dog, followed by another and then another. The Cu Sith finished, the werewolf attacks Bastet, sinking his claws into her neck and drawing blood. Watching in amazement, Madrox silently notes that he’s never seen anything like it. It moves so quickly and seems to bring darkness with it, making it difficult to see.

Within seconds, the werewolf has finished its task, downing most of its foes and scattering the rest. With that, it bounds up the side of the building and to the roof. There, he finds the startled Rahne, who asks who he is. Is he man or monster? “Both,” the spectral voice of the wolfman admits. In demonstration, the lupine creature transforms to the form of a man, who introduces himself as Jack Russell. He heard the call, the summoning of her child, he explains. His time is almost coming… and he’s there to protect her. “Not to go all Terminator on her,” he tells her, “but… come with me if you want to live.”

Characters Involved: 

Banshee II, Butterfly, Longshot, M II, Multiple Man, Rictor, Shatterstar, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)
Pip the Troll

Cu Sith
Okami and Kasha

Jack Russell, “Werewolf by Night”

Hospital nurses

Story Notes: 

Guido was shot by Ballistique in X-Factor (!st series) #218.

“TMI” is an acronym for “Too Much Information.”

A Cù Sìth is a legend of Scottish origin (not Irish as Layla proclaims). Translating to “barrow hound,” it is considered a harbinger of death.

It’s not clear where Longshot might have met Feral before, though he might have not done so and had simply previously seen her photo.

When Shatterstar noted that he had never seen a naked pregnant woman before, Rahne flashed him to alleviate his curiosity. [X-Factor (1st series) #221]

“Come with me if you want to live” is a famous line first spoken in the original, 1984 Terminator film. The line (or a variation thereof) has been used in ever sequel of the franchise since.

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