X-Factor (1st series) #54

Issue Date: 
May 1990
Story Title: 

Louise Simonson (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Brad Vancata (colorist), Daryl Edelmann (assistant editor), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast arrive at the hospital, where Archangel is hallucinating and tearing his room apart. Meanwhile, Iceman has finished another date with Opal Tanaka, who suggests that when he comes to the party later on, he come as Bobby, not Iceman. Iceman understands where Opal is coming from and agrees, before taking leave. As he ice-sleds across the city, he is seen by the up-and-coming artist Peter Nicholas, who is excited about seeing a mutant. Iceman doesn’t see a mysterious woman down on the streets below absorb the life force of a homeless drug addict - but the woman wants more energy. Iceman arrives at the hospital, where his teammates and Detective Charlotte Jones are doing what they can to calm down Archangel. They realize that being in a hospital reminds him too much of Apocalypse, and decide to take him back to Ship. Later, Jean Grey tells Cyclops she needs some time out, and takes a sabbatical, which upsets Cyclops, even more so that she doesn’t tell him where she is going. Later still, Hank and Bobby arrive at the artist party, where women are particularly interested in Hank, although Hank isn’t really into them. Bobby seems a certain mysterious woman, and is quite enthralled by her, but is kept pre-occupied with Opal. The woman absorbs energies from the agent of a famous artist, but it isn’t enough for her. Hank is shocked when he sees Peter Nicholas and recognizes him as Colossus. When he approaches his X-Men teammate though, Peter genuinely claims not to know who the Beast is, confusing Hank. The mysterious woman tries to absorb energies from Hank, and finds him a tortured soul indeed. The woman turns her attention to Peter, next. Back at Ship, Archangel wakes, and believes he is being tortured at the hands of Apocalypse once again. Cyclops tries to calm his friend, but this only aggravates him further, until Archangel cuts a hole in Ship and flies out into the open night. Hank follows the mysterious woman as she leads Peter to the rooftop, and feeds off his energies, during which Peter learns things about himself. Hank is able to intervene though, and the woman vanishes. She reappears when Hank and Peter return to the party, mostly unharmed, and she sees Archangel soar across the night sky - and sets her sights on him next!

Full Summary: 

St. Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Room, 2 A.M. Detective Charlotte Jones rushes towards three new friends - Scott Summers, Jean Grey and Hank McCoy - better known as Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Beast of X-Factor - and announces that Archangel has gone wild and is tearing the emergency room apart. ‘You’ve got to stop him!’ she pleads.

Cyclops tells Detective Jones that they have just arrived, and asks what happened, to which Charlotte reveals that she and her partner interrupted a battle between Archangel - and some monster called Caliban. ‘Caliban? White, scraggy face? Scars?’ Scott asks, while Jean explains that once, not long ago, Caliban was a friend of theirs, before asking if he hurt Warren.

Charlotte, dressed in evening wear, tells the three heroes that Caliban more than just hurt him, explaining that it looks as if Archangel has been mauled by a tiger, and was unconscious by the time she arrived. Charlotte tells X-Factor that the doctors managed to get an IV into his arm, but when he came to, he was acting… ‘Like this!’ she exclaims as they arrive outside the room he is in -just as Archangel a.k.a. Warren Worthington III throws a chair through a glass window.
Charlotte tells X-Factor that it appears Warren was poisoned during the fight, before motioning to her fellow police officers and remarks that the lieutenant wants to use tranquilizer darts to subdue Archangel, but she convinced him to wait, hoping X-Factor would b here in time.

‘Hey, it’s the mutants - X-Factor - thank heaven you’re here!’ exclaims a doctor. Cyclops tells the doctor that the police believe Archangel has been poisoned, and as he opens the door slightly, a glass vase is chucked at him, though it narrowly misses. The doctor replies ‘I’m afraid so’ and reveals that there seems to be a cumulative build up of hallucinogens in Archangel’s bloodstream. ‘Half the time he thinks he’s fighting somebody called Sabretooth, rest of the time he’s after us. Thinks we want to cut off his wings’. Cyclops replies that he isn’t surprised, and regrets bringing Warren here, remarking that he has had a bad experience with hospitals.

Archangel thrashes about in the room, his razor-sharp wings slice up whatever they come in contact with. A police officer remarks that Archangel is strong and seems to heal rapidly, but that he has still been badly injured, so the drugs in the darts might kill him. ‘But if you can’t stop him, we’ll have to use the guns!’ he exclaims.

Meanwhile, in Soho, Southern Manhattan, bristling with cavernous buildings that once housed factories, now is home to a thriving artists’ community. Sometimes, by a lucky miracle, an almost affordable, if raw, loft space can be found, such as the one by Opal Tanaka, girlfriend to the handsome Bobby “Iceman” Drake of the X-Factor. Embracing each other in Opal’s darkened loft, Bobby bids Opal a good night, and Opal returns the words, ‘Take care’ she adds, before reminding him not to forget the baby, stroller and packages. Bobby replies that he won’t, and asks Opal to stand back, ‘It’s gonna get chilly in here!’ he exclaims as he covers his body in ice, and creates an ice-ramp out of the window.

Opal exclaims that she doesn’t know if she will ever get used to Bobby just icing over like that, to which Bobby replies that it took him a while to get used to it too, but now it seems as natural as breathing. ‘And as you pointed out…it’s pretty convenient’ he adds, before he moves to the window, and Opal tells Bobby not to forget about the party, and suggests he “leave” Iceman at home and come as himself. ‘Opal, this is myself’ Bobby replies. Opal replies that she knows, and admits she isn’t explaining herself well, but that sometimes people - her friends - don’t look any deeper than a person’s surface. ‘They’d look at you and just see ice and totally miss the guy beneath’.

The small buggy shifts into a helicopter to fly alongside Bobby’s ice-sled and carry baby Nathan Christopher Summers inside it, and the packages, and Bobby calls out to Opal ’Like that raving fan boy Carmichael?’ ‘For one’ Opal replies. Bobby agrees, and tells Opal that he sees her point, ‘You’re a wise woman’ he tells her, assuring her that come party time, Iceman stays home.

Nearby, in another loft, the famous artists known as Peter motions out the window and calls to his friends Jennifer Ransome and Philip Moreau, ‘It’s Iceman of X-Factor! Probably heading back to his giant Ship!’ he exclaims. But Jennifer isn’t impressed and tells Peter that once you have seen one mutant you’ve seen them all.
Carrying some canvasses Jennifer remarks that she knows Peter is the brilliant artist, soon to be world famous, ‘Head in the clouds and all that…but these are your canvasses…and it’s your opening party we’re preparing for!’ Philip takes some art from a box and remarks that what Jennifer is saying is ‘You might like to put that muscle-bound frame to good use - and lend us a hand!’

Down in a darkened alley below, energy flows from a young man that no one ever cared for into a blonde woman in a brown trench coat, crouching over him. ‘I’m lost in his memory’ she thinks to herself. ‘A bad one…bless him. Crack-head. Bad trip. Crashed, burned, little boy lost without a crumb of hope to lead him home’. The woman exclaims that she is a fly on the wall, feeding on offal - runaways, bums, addicts, human refuse that no one will miss. She remarks that the snow has driven most derelicts into shelter, and cops are on the prowl far more than usual. ‘All night…and just this smelly slab of unwashed flesh to show for it’.

‘I lay on hands. I heal him to death. I burn with him. He is the seed that draws the Ravens…dark with wings of fire. Four and twenty, half-baked in a pie…burn, baby, burn’. The woman steps against a building as Iceman slides overhead, so as not to be seen. Stepping into the light, the woman is revealed to be young, beautiful, and grins as she thinks to herself that, tomorrow, there is a party, so she will brave the dangers and feast on stronger souls….

Overhead, Iceman is thinking about what Opal said to him, and decides that, at least he has a human form, that it must be tough for the Beast, being blue and furry full-time. ‘But I guess he’s used to it by now’. Bobby remarks that it is Archangel who cannot adapt to his altered form, and to people’s reactions to it. ‘Makes him more powerful now, better in a fight, but it also makes him more obviously a mutant…less human’.
Bobby realizes that it is going to take someone special to fall in love with Warren, and supposes that he has more sympathy for him now that he himself has found someone special of his own. Suddenly, some equipment is thrown through the window, right near where Bobby is zooming past. ‘That’s the hospital! What the heck!?’ Bobby exclaims.

Inside, Archangel is still thrashing about, and Cyclops calls out to him, asking him to calm down so they can take him home. ‘Sabretooth! No!’ Warren screams, extending his razor-sharp wings. The Beast remarks that while he generally approves of discussion, Archangel is no hearing a word that anyone says to him. But Cyclops replies that he doesn’t want to have to blast Warren, as he has been badly injured - so who knows what another blow will do to him. Scott asks Jean to grab hold of Archangel if she can, just as Warren’s wings slice through some equipment.

‘I’ve got him!’ the powerful telekinetic exclaims as she uses the power of her mind to force Archangel against a wall. Hank leaps towards his friend, despite Jean telling him to keep back, as she sees Warren launch his wing-knives. As the knives slice ever-so close to the Beast, Hank thinks to himself ‘Careless of me…careless!’ he is relieved though just to suffer scratches, as the neural disrupters in the “feathers” work fast. ‘He’s dangerous, Scott…you might have to take him out!’ Hank exclaims urgently as two blades slice into the wall next to where Scott is standing.

‘Sounds like my cue!’ Bobby exclaims, revealing his presence before telling the buggy to stay where it is and protect Nathan. Entering the room, Bobby blasts Archangel with a powerful force of ice, exclaiming that it should hold him. Getting to his feet, Hank thinks ‘For about two seconds’, before admitting that he is glad the cavalry has arrived, as it will enable him to tackle Archangel. Hank does, calling for the doctor to hurry with the sedative, ’Yes. Right here. Coming!’ the doctor replies, followed by Charlotte Jones. Hank holds Warren around the neck as the doctor shoves the needle into Warren’s shoulder, causing Warren to scream, and fall to the floor.

‘That was close!’ Hank exclaims, checking Warren’s vitals, while wiping his own brow. Jean stands by Scott and tells him that Warren cannot stay here. ’You know how he feels about hospitals…even under the best of circumstances!’. Scott agrees and decides that they will take Warren back to Ship, as its medical facilities should be able to cope with his injuries. ’What injuries? Scott…Jean…what’s going on?’ Bobby asks, confused.

Later, at X-Factor’s headquarters, Ship, which dwarfs Manhattan like an act of God, though, in reality, it is a lesser artifact of the godlike beings called Celestials. Its vast interior holds many wonders, including the infirmary where Archangel is now incarcerated, while the view from its peak is worthy of the Gods themselves…Gods don’t inhabit this Ship, but mortal mutants who watch each other’s struggles and feel each other’s pain do….

The Beast, one of those very mutants, watches his long-time friends Cyclops and Marvel Girl from a ledge, thinking to himself that Scott and Jean have loved each other since they were kids, but now, Jean has refused to marry Scott. ‘A development Scott - all of us - took for granted - except Jean. A pity...for all our sakes…and yet…who can blame her?’ Hank thinks to himself, recalling how Jean incorporated the Phoenix memories, along with those of Scott’s late wife, Jean’s clone, Madelyne - both of whom loved Scott passionately, and both who died tragically. ‘Their memories, her own desires…are shoving her into Scott’s arms, and she’s fighting them stubbornly’.

‘How long will you be gone?’ Cyclops asks Jean, who puts on a long coat and replies ‘A day…two at the most. I…need time to sort things out’. Scott’s son, Nathan, plays with a toy car at their feet, and Jean closes her eyes, not looking at Cyclops as she tells him that she will call to let him know where she is, in case there is an emergency. ‘A crisis with Archangel…whatever’. As Jean turns to Cyclops, she opens her eyes, and tears fall from them. ‘Scott…you said memories can’t hurt…’ she whispers. ‘I was wrong, Jean. They hurt…a lot’. Scott replies.

Jean says nothing, instead she walks calmly and silently to the edge of Ship, and uses her telekinesis to fly off Ship. ‘Don’t be away long. Come back to me. Please come back to both of us!’ Cyclops exclaims, holding his son in his arms. Still observing from his perch, Hank thinks to himself that Jean needs to find her identity now, more than she needs to marry Scott. ‘She needs to acknowledge that she has the right to choose…to make a decision that may break both their hearts!’

Several hours later, Bobby and Hank arrive via ice-sled to the party, stopping on the roof of the building to adjust their suits, Bobby remarks that it doesn’t feel right, going out while Warren is so ill. Hank replies that it has been a while since he has thought of Archangel as Warren, ‘And yet it’s the “Warren” memories of what he used to be…of how Apocalypse changed him - that are poisoning his soul, even as the hallucinogens are poisoning his body’. Beast adds. Bobby reminds Hank that Scott is watching Warren, and that Ship says there is nothing they can do but wait. Bobby adds that Caliban is gone, and even though they looked all over the city, they didn’t find him. ‘Makes me feel so helpless…’.

Shortly, the good friends make their way down to the celebrations, and with bizarre artwork all over the place, Hank remarks that it looks like this is going to be a wild party. Hank suggests Bobby find his lady, and that he try to forget what he can’t change, at least for tonight. ‘Interesting work. Gerhard’s pointed attack on the superficiality of modern society seems to be lost on this crowd’ Hank adds, to which Bobby asks ‘Is that what these metal monstrosities are about?’ He tells Hank that most of these more people are more interested in the drinks and hors d’ouevres than in the art. ‘How do you know about this guy’s stuff, anyway?’ Bobby asks. ‘I’ve been interested in it for…tell me, Bobby, are people staring…?’

‘...look at him!’ one woman remarks. ‘Hairy guys aren’t usually my type, but in his case…’ another exclaims. ‘You’ll soon be deluged by female admirers…I just want to say I saw you first!’ exclaims a woman as she latches her arm around Hank. ‘Well I…um…am honoured…’ Hank replies, somewhat taken aback. Opal finds Bobby and rushes over to him, ‘Bobby! You’re here! There’s someone you have to meet!’ she exclaims. Bobby smiles and calls out to Hank ‘You look like you’re gonna be kind of busy Hank. Catch you later…’. he exclaims as Opal leads him away. ‘Deserter’ Hank thinks to himself, stuck with the stranger.

‘Man, is she something!’ Bobby exclaims as he and Opal walk past a striking blonde woman in a fancy red evening gown. ‘Skin like marble…like a statue that wandered into the wrong gallery!’ he adds. ‘Skin of ice and lips of blood, I think. More like the Wicked Witch from some fairy tale!’ Opal exclaims. ‘Except she’s real. No doubt about that. She has as many men around her as Hank has women!’ Bobby adds, motioning to the men flirting with the mysterious woman.

‘Who is she, anyway?’ Bobby asks. Opal replies that she doesn’t know and remarks that Bobby need not know. ‘She’s not your type’ she tells him. ‘Yeah? What is my type?’ Bobby replies, while the mysterious woman looks at him out of the corner of her eye. ‘I hoped maybe it was me’ Opal replies, smiling. ‘Yeah, gorgeous…I guess maybe it is!’ Bobby exclaims, before suggesting he go and meet this teacher that Opal has been telling him so much about.

‘The later it gets, the wilder it all becomes…the revelers eat and drink. I do not. Someone here will be my feast!’ A voice exclaims.

A rather scrawny man approaches the glamorous woman, telling her that he cannot help but notice how much she admires the sculpture. ‘It bespeaks a tortured soul’ the woman replies. ‘An illusion, my dear, that Gerhard uses to attract the ladies’ the man explains. ‘He is a brute…no more. No less’. The man remarks that his soul is far more tortured and refined. ‘Perhaps you’d care to examine it…?’ he asks. ‘Perhaps. Who are you?’ the woman asks inquisitively, turning to her admirer.

‘Frederik Spense, Gerhard’s agent’ the man reveals, adding that he knows Gerhard well. ‘And you are -?’ he asks. ‘They call me Crimson. Like you, I am a vampire’ she remarks. ‘A…vampire…?’ Frederik asks, puzzled. ‘You feed on the talent of others, do you not, Mr. Spense? I feed on their souls. Does that frighten you?’ Crimson exclaims. ‘Frighten me…?’ Frederik replies, before telling Crimson that she has had too much to drink. ‘And perhaps so have I!’ he adds, while Crimson stands with her hand, palm up and facing him, drawing energy out of him. Frederik begins backing away slowly from Crimson, exclaiming that it has been his experience that the world is full of blood suckers. ‘And a wise man avoids them…’.

‘Run away then, little man. You have a poet’s tongue…and an accountant’s soul. Your anguish is in your wallet. I must look elsewhere’ Crimson tells herself.
The Beast walks past Crimson, ‘A bizarre exchange’ he thinks to himself, after catching some of Crimson’s interaction with Gerhard’s agent. He thinks nothing of it, as this is a pretty arty crowd, so it is no surprise to him if they are somewhat unconventional. With women all around him, Hank adds that the crowd is more than a little decadent, before he suddenly gets the shock of his life - ‘What? That can’t be who I think it is…and yet…I’d recognize those broad shoulders anywhere!’ Hank tells himself, before excusing himself from the women, remarking that he sees someone he knows.

As Hank rushes towards the broad-shouldered person that he knows, he brushes up against Crimson, and she feels his aura - the wrenching pain of loss. ‘He’s eager, excited. He hardly notices me…that will change!’ Crimson thinks to herself, while Hank shouts ‘Petey!’ Putting his arms on Peter’s, Hank grins and asks him what he is doing here, of all places. ‘Have we met -?’ Peter asks, confused. Hank ignores the question and quietly asks Peter where the other X-Men are. ‘You should look your old friends up when you blow into town!’ he exclaims.

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re drunk, perhaps…or perhaps you are having a joke at my expense!’ Peter exclaims, declaring that, for as marvelous as it would be to be a mutant hero, ‘As you are’ he tells the Beast, ‘As are those you mention…I have found my happiness in art’. Peter turns from Hank, ‘Now if you’ll excuse me!’ he exclaims as he walks away from him.

Hank looks worried, and recalls how Petey was always sketching and painting. ‘He had real talent…but as a member of the X-Men, he just had no time to develop it. The tortured artist scenario is a natural cover for him. If it is a cover…but why would he pretend with me?’ Hank wonders, before realizing that it might be amnesia. ‘What do I do then?’ he asks himself.

Crimson watches as Hank stands, deep in thought, surrounded by his admirers, he hardly notices her. ‘I wonder what he’s thinking?’ Crimson wonders. ‘Why didn’t I notice him before? In a society that values conformity, he’s different. A candidate for misery…despite his fame’. Crimson feels Hank’s strength from across the room. ‘Maybe it’s because I know what to look for. He’s a mutant!’ Crimson remarks that she has never had a mutant before, and as she crosses towards him, the sea of revelers parts. ‘He is the far shore. As if all else is illusion…and only he is real!’

Crimson does the same thing to Beast as she did to Frederik, placing her hand near him, energies flow, and Hank convulses, images of his tortured soul flash past him, and he spins around, petrified, ‘She…her touch…did that!’ Hank realizes. ‘Called up that burning memory…that spearing moment…when I grew fur and fangs…became as I am now…a beast - but only in name. A hide-bound intellectual, yes. A clown in a gorilla suit. A man trapped in fur…but not an animal’.

‘How did you…?’ Hank asks Crimson, who quickly apologizes, explaining that it was a mistake, she excuses herself and strides across the room, ‘A mistake indeed’ she thinks to herself. ‘He felt…he’s quite intelligent. For all the fur. Perhaps he even suspects…what I am. What I could be to him…and others. There is always danger. I should have known better - but I wanted the pain he has to offer. I was hungry for a fighter’s soul!’ she exclaims. ‘But he’s faced the memory. Accepted its pain, he old and faded. And he can live with it. It won’t kill him. I’ll have to find other prey!’.

Crimson wants another mutant, now that she has learned to see them. ‘They shine like beacons in a fog. This one is tall, handsome, obviously admired’. Crimson remarks, looking at Peter. Crimson decides that Peter looks happy, as if he has always belonged - an unlikely candidate. ‘And yet…and yet…he has lost who he is!’ Crimson realizes as she approaches Peter, energies flow, and she exclaims that she would like to talk to him. ‘To me?’ Peter replies, confused.

Crimson feels bitter memories wash over Peter, who is floating beneath their surface - like a man already dead. ‘And yet, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to know. He thinks he’s happy. Yes…he’s the one!’ Crimson tells herself, before answering Peter’s question, ‘Just for a moment. I have something to show you’. Peter follows Crimson through the crowds, ‘Lucky stiff. I couldn’t get to first base with her!’ one of the men exclaims as they walk past him. Hank notices and wonders where Peter is going with Crimson. ‘He’s a big boy - with enormous power. And there’s no such thing as vampires…is there?’ Hank wonders.

Meanwhile, back aboard Ship, Archangel finally rouses from his slumber. Cyclops and the baby are sleeping in the room also, but Ship detects that Warren is awake, and remarks that he is pleased he has awakened. ‘Quietly now, for Cyclops and his son are both asleep!’ Ship states, while Warren rubs the back of his head. Ship remarks that he was nearly as worried about Cyclops as he was about Archangel too, revealing to Warren that, aside from Scott’s concern for his survival, there has been a distressing development in his relationship with Jean, and now Scott seems consumed with rage, worry and grief.

‘So now he is resting, you understand the need for silence?’ Ship asks as Archangel sits up in the bed, Ship asks him where he is going. ‘You may answer if you do so quietly’ Ship states. But when he gets no response, Ship clamps the lid down on the baby’s bed, and uses mechanical instruments to reach out and restrain him. ‘Unhand me, Apocalypse!’ screams Archangel in response. Hallucinating, Warren sees Apocalypse, his deadliest enemy, restraining him. ‘I may be a monster, but I’m no longer helpless! You won’t torture me again!’ Warren exclaims.

Urgently, Ship asks Cyclops to wake up, and Scott does, just in time to see Warren unleash his razor-sharp wings and slice apart Ships’ “arms”. ‘You and your infernal machineries have destroyed me!’ Archangel shouts. ‘What have we done?’ Cyclops thinks to himself. Scott recalls that they knew Warren hated hospitals, but that it had been so long since they seized Ship from Apocalypse, they have all become so used to thinking of it as their home, that none of them realized this is where Apocalypse worked his horrors upon Warren - twisting his body and soul’.

Cyclops realizes that, for Warren, Ship is as bad a choice of infirmaries as the hospital. He begins calling out to his friend, asking him to listen to him, but Archangel shouts ‘Never, fiend! Never again!’. ‘Face it, Cyclops! This is no time for conversation!’ Scott tells himself as he unleashes his optic blast - but Warren dodges the powerful force, and Scott realizes that after all the years they have worked together, Warren knows almost all of his moves, even before he makes them. But to Scott, Warren’s enhanced speed and strength, the infernal sharpness of his re-grown wings are a never ending surprise - like right now, as Warren shoves the two sharp ends of his wings into the wall of Ship, creating a large hole, he bursts through it, into the open night sky. ‘Archangel! No!’ But his call goes unheeded.

Back in Soho, ‘Come up to the roof!’ Crimson tells Peter, taking his hand. ‘The roof?’ Hank thinks to himself as he stealthily follows them. ‘What does she want with him up there…other than the obvious’. Hank decides that Peter does have some right to privacy, but on the other hand, the woman’s touch did do something strange and unpleasant to Hank. ‘I felt like I was burning, like my soul was draining away into her hands’. Hank glances at a window and leaps out of it, swinging his agile body around, he begins scaling the building, ‘And so the man in the gorilla suit climbs…at least it’s not to the top of the Empire State Building’ Hank jokes. ‘Where’s Spider-Man when you need him?’

Hank admits that he feels bad spying on Peter this way, especially when Peter is not acting himself, but it cannot hurt to have a little look. ‘The worst that can happen is that I’ll make a fool of myself…and embarrass them in the bargain…’. But as Hank reaches the rooftop, and look over the ledge, he is shocked to find a large pink glow surrounding Peter and the woman, Crimson, who has latched herself onto Peter, holding his wrist tightly.

‘It’s ecstasy…for me, at least. For him, it’s terror!’ Crimson thinks to herself as she takes it all - the horror, the agony, the pain, everything Peter has forgotten, she takes it from him. ‘No! It isn’t true! No!’ Peter screams. But Crimson laughs, ‘Till he has nothing left to give!’ she thinks to herself.

A wide-eyed Beast watches, puzzled how Crimson is so small and strong that even Peter cannot pull away. Hank wonders why Peter doesn’t switch to his armored form if he needs more strength, before remarking that whatever is going on, it’s no lovers’ assignation, and it is obvious Peter needs assistance. Hank leaps onto the roof proper, bounding over to Peter, he calls out to Crimson, telling her to back off. ‘Whatever you’re selling, he’s not interested!’ he exclaims as he lunges at Crimson, knocking her away from Peter, who has since fallen to the ground.

Crimson admits that the Beast is strong - the strongest man she has ever faced. ‘But I’m stronger. My strength isn’t mine alone…!’ she exclaims as she knocks Beast away with ease. ‘It’s theirs…those whose misery I’ve shared. Whose lives I’ve ended…I’m hungrier now than I’ve been in years. Their touch has awakened a hunger that I never knew existed!’. Crimson decides that she dare not state it now, she dare not finish him.

‘You’re…not…human are you?’ Hank asks Crimson. ‘Human…? For all your special powers…you’ve no idea how prosaic you really are!’ With that, Crimson vanishes. Peter wearily remarks that he had such thoughts, such dreams…. Hank helps his friend up, and Peter thanks him, asking him how he knew to come up here. Hank explains that he had a brush with Crimson earlier this evening, and asks Peter what it was she did to him. ‘I don’t know. She made me know…what I am…who I am!’ he replies, confused. ‘Was it so terrible?’ Hank asks.

Peter replies that it was, that it must have been. ‘I…how do I make you understand? I burned with the knowledge!’ he exclaims. ‘It was agony but now…it’s gone. Why is it that I can’t remember?’. Hank replies that, contrary to popular opinion, it is sometimes better to forget. Hank thinks to himself that he will try to contact the X-Men, and tell them about Peter, try to find out what is going on. ‘Come in, my friend. I think you could use a drink’ Hank tells Peter as he leads his friend back inside.

With the men gone, Crimson reappears on the opposite building, thinking to herself that all men are grass - and her kind will graze on them at their will. ‘Our presence gives their short lives meaning. Usually we’re careful. Tonight I was a fool. He knows…and I am still hungry. She gazes across the rooftop, into the building where the party continues. ‘The big one’s recovered now. The furry on is sticking close to guard him. His new friend. Ha!’ she exclaims. ‘If he knew what I know…’.

Crimson wonders if all mutants have that delicious, dangerous aura, or if only these ones do because they are warriors. ‘I’m tired of being safe. I’ve had enough of derelicts…of their inane and repetitious miseries. They’d bore me to death - if death were possible for my kind. I almost catch the death-wish from them!’ she exclaims. ‘Losses that twist the gut to remember. Losses too terrible to forget’. Crimson exclaims that she needs real misery, gallant misery. ‘I need a warrior’s soul!’. At that moment, she catches the glimpse of something streak past her in the sky - Archangel…. ‘I need…’.

Characters Involved: 

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

Opal Tanaka

Detective Charlotte Jones

Nathan Christopher Summers


Colossus / Peter Nicholas

Jennifer Ransome & Philip Moreau (Genoshan refugees and friends of Peter)


Security Officers


People at exhibition

Frederik Spense, Gerhard’s agent

Body of crack addict

In Archangel’s hallucination:


Story Notes: 

Archangel fought Caliban in X-Factor (1st series) #53.

The poison in Archangel makes him believe he is fighting Sabretooth due to the battle he and Sabretooth had in X-Factor (1st series) #52. Additionally, the drugs make him think the doctors want to cut off his wings, as his wings were amputated in X-Factor (1st series) #14.

Iceman met Carmichael in X-Factor (1st series) #53.

Jean refused to marry Cyclops in X-Factor (1st series) #53.

Jean Grey’s brief sabbatical from X-Factor brings her back to the pages of Uncanny X-Men, where she has adventures with Banshee and Forge. [Uncanny X-Men #261-264]

Colossus entered the Siege Perilous in Uncanny X-Men #251, and emerged in Soho in Uncanny X-Men #259, where he met and helped Genoshan refugees Jenny and Phil and began his new life as the famous artist, Peter Nicholas.

X-Factor made Ship their home in X-Factor (1st series) #26.

Warren became Archangel in X-Factor (1st series) #19-24.

Issue Information: 
Written By: