X-Factor (1st series) #59

Issue Date: 
October 1990
Story Title: 
Yesterday’s News

Louise Simonson (writer), Terry Shoemaker (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Suzanne Gaffney (assistant editor), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Archangel is being hounded by the media once more, and the medias’ antics result in two reporters falling into the harbor - of course Archangel goes to rescue them, but after they ask him questions about his relationship with Charlotte Jones, he drops them, from a safe distance, into the water. This is seen by Trish Tilby, whose camera man got great footage - but they also know the truth about what happened, which puts Trish in an awkward position as to how to run the story. Archangel finds himself flying to Charlotte Jones’ apartment, where is not greeted with welcome by Charlotte’s mother-in-law, but he is very welcomed by Charlotte’s son, Timmy. Charlotte invites Archangel after much protest from her mother-in-law, and Archangel begins to bond with Timmy, while getting to know Charlotte better. The Beast runs some tests on Cyclops’ son, and determines that the baby has telekinetic powers passed down from Madelyne, Jean’s clone. Jean contemplate her situation with Cyclops and the baby, before she and Cyclops make up completely, agreeing to go back to the way things were before he proposed to her. Iceman and the Beast discuss the latter’s situation with Trish Tilby, and the Beast realizes that he owes Trish an apology for the way he treated her during the recent media frenzy. Trish meanwhile is debating how to run the recent Archangel story, when her ex-husband and boss, Paul, calls her into his office. Trish reveals she needs time off, before they argue over the way to run the Archangel story. Paul reveals he has feelings for Trish still, before telling her that he has the perfect story for her to cover in India, which will give her some time away. At Charlotte’s place, Archangel gets to see how much of a special boy Timmy is due to his philosophies in life after he lost the use of his legs. The Beast makes his way to W-ARC, contemplating many things, he admits his owes Trish and apology, but is upset when he climbs past Paul’s office window and sees Trish giving him a kiss. What he doesn’t know is that Trish is thanking Paul for the assignment in India. Trish then goes to polish the Archangel story, which she thinks she knows how she can run it so they are both happy. The Beast is upset and interprets the kiss as that Trish and Paul are getting back together. Archangel flies Charlotte to work, they discuss Timmy, and Archangel learns how Charlotte’s husband was killed, how Timmy lost the use of his legs, and why Charlotte switched from nursing to being a Police officer. En route, they bump into Iceman, who is giving Opal Tanaka her first ride on the ice-sled. Iceman sees Archangel smile for the first time in a long time, and is pleased for his friend. Opal then returns home, but she finds a mysterious letter and photographs of herself as a child, which upset her. Archangel returns to X-Factor’s Ship, and finds the media waiting for him, they know he is Worthington, and decides that it is time he gave them a fair shot, but talking to them. This is watched by a mysterious person, who boasts that he will destroy Archangel and his happiness, just like Archangel destroyed him.

Full Summary: 

Manhattan, the moodiest island in the world. Through darkest of night, it never sleeps, but offers itself to all comers, glittering, decked in lights, seductive with a dangerous, wanton charm. And yet, each morning, it rises like a miracle, fresh, renewed and splendid as a yet-unbroken promise. But now the city, in a less-loving mood, crouches angry and cloud-shrouded, above the choppy waters of the East River, sullen and treacherous….

The wind blows a newspaper page up high, past a tramway cable, where Warren “Archangel” Worthington is standing. He grabs the newspaper and sees a photo of himself and his X-Factor teammates, with the headline X-FACTOR: Heroes or Menace? ‘Garbage!’ Archangel exclaims as he screws the newspaper up into a ball and tosses it away, when, suddenly, a voice calls ‘Hey - Archangel!’. ‘What -?’ Warren exclaims, surprised as he looks down and sees the tram, under the wire he stands on, filled with civilians, reporters and camera crews. This is the tramline between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, but even so, Warren was not expecting visitors to this place where he is perched.

‘Hey, Archangel, wanna tell the press why you claim to be Warren Worthington, the mutant millionaire?’ one reporter asks. ‘Worthington’s wings were amputated. He died in an explosion. So what’s the story?’ another asks, while a third exclaims ‘Are you really a mutant - born with that weird genetic structure we hear so much about?’. ‘You say you’re Warren Worthington, but he wasn’t blue - can you elucidate…?’ another asks, while someone tells that reporter to quit shoving. ‘I got as much right to a story as you do!’ the reporter retorts. ‘Any comment on the allegation that while you were marauding around the city you were outta you mind on drugs?’ another reporter asks.

‘What about the clear and present danger you mutant cowboys pose to society?’ another reporter asks, while another exclaims ‘Will the city press formal charges against you?’. Suddenly though, the doors begin to close on the tram, and the reporters and camera crews get into a bit of a tussle. One of them yells at another to jam the door. ‘Me? I got the camera - you jam it!’ the camera operator retorts. Two of the reporters however have fallen and are plummeting to the water below, still fighting as they fall. ‘Quit shoving I said!’ one of them exclaims.

Warren sees the reporters falling, and realizes that a fall from that height could shatter their spines or break their necks. ‘Seconds ago, I’d have gladly boiled those bloodhounds in oil. But now…’ Warren admits to himself as he swoops down and collects the two reporters, pulling them upwards. ‘And we got an exclusive!’ the balding reporter exclaims as he holds his microphone to Warren’s face, asking him if he wants to tell the good people of New York about this thing he has going with the lady cop, the one he saved from vampires. ‘Exclusive?’ Warren replies, before swooping back down towards the water, and telling the reporters that they are getting zip, as he drops them, from a safe distance, into the water. Luckily, the Coast Guard boat is nearby, and someone from the boat yells ‘People in the water…toss them the life preservers!’

Watching from the bridge, is X-Factor’s ally, and world-famous reporter, Trish Tilby, who exclaims ‘Archangel’s got some temper!’. Trish is with her camera crew, and they have the invaluable knack of being at the right place at the right time, which means for now, the 59th Street Bridge, where they can get the best shots in town. ‘Who’s he dunk, Trish?’ Trish’s camera guy asks. ‘Charlie Grant…Liz Barnes. They work for The Enquirer’ Trish replies, adding that Charlie and Liz probably deserved it. ‘There’ve been times when I’d have done worse to them myself’ Trish admits. ‘but not in front of the cameras’ Trish’s camera guy asks. ‘No…not in front of the cameras’ Trish replies.

As her crew load their camera gear into the back of their van, Trish remarks that Archangel got power and speed when he became that blue demon, but that he lost his elegance and his presence. ‘When I think of the way Worthington used to twist the media around his little finger…’ Trish adds, while he camera guy tells her that she must know how that tape of him dropping Charlie and Liz into the water is going to look. ‘Like an assault. No matter how eloquent the voiceover…our viewers will see a blue-faced homicidal mutie trying to drown some innocent humans’ Trish remarks. As they get into the front of the van and drive along the bridge, the camera guy asks ‘And if we don’t run it?’ ‘We get scooped by every other station in town. We’ve gotta run it, Chuck. It’s what they pay us for!’ Trish exclaims.

‘Stupid! Stupid!’ Warren tells himself as he soars across Manhattan, admitting that he should not have lost his temper that way. ‘But I saw red!’ he exclaims, wondering how the reporter found out about Charlotte Jones. ‘What makes him think we have a thing going? I’ve hardly spoken to her!’ Warren tells himself. But, Warren admits that he and Charlotte have shared so much more than words. ‘The mental contact the Ravens forged between us brought me as close to her as I’ve ever been to anyone!’ Warren hopes that the news reporters don’t start hounding Charlotte like they have been him.

Continuing to soar across the sky, Warren thinks that flying used to bring him peace, but now all he does is think the same thoughts - thoughts of pain and loss. ‘My parents…Candy…both gone! My body transformed into this mockery! Sometimes I don’t even know who I am myself! Is it the dark, brooding Archangel, or millionaire playboy, good old Warren Worthington?’ Warren tells himself to stop this, exclaiming that his mind is on a treadmill. Warren wonders where he has flown to, until he looks around and realizes that he is in Brooklyn, but he wonders why. ‘Why does it look familiar?’ he asks himself, before realizing that he is following Charlotte Jones’ route home.

‘I know her, but she doesn’t really know me. Our mental contact wasn’t a two way street. She sees the weapon that’s my body, but only suspects the quagmire that’s my mind and soul. ‘And yet…she’s not afraid. In spite of everything, she trust me!’ Warren realizes. ‘I almost killed her and still, she trusts me!’. Warren exclaims that he has seen Charlotte’s courage, he knows her pain, he has visited the dark corners of her soul. ‘But…I didn’t mean to come to her home!’ he tells himself. ‘Except…I need…to…warn her…of what they might say…about us!’ Warren stutters. ‘To tell her, even if she despises me as a mental peeping tom…a psychic voyeur…that I never met a soul like hers before!’.

Warren reaches Charlotte’s apartment, and lands on the fire-escape, and examining the surroundings, he decides that everything is smaller than he thought it would be. ‘Oh no, even here I cant escape that trash!’ Warren exclaims as he sees the television on in Charlotte’s apartment, with an image of him on the screen, as an announcer exclaims ‘…reporters allegedly pushed from the tramway to Roosevelt Island by the mutant Archangel…were rescued by a passing yacht’.

Warren taps on the window, ‘Excuse me…?’ he calls out to an elderly woman watching the television. The old woman approaches the window, shouting ‘Just what do you think you’re doing here, mister high and mighty Archangel…dragging my grandson’s mother out into the night…after vampires yet…and her still in her nightgown…now don’t you go denying it!’ the old woman exclaims as she grabs a broom and opens the window, swatting Archangel with the broom. Warren realizes that this is Charlotte’s mother-in-law and decides that she seems smaller, too.

‘I heard it from her own lips. And little Timmy scared to death…why, if I hadn’t been here, he -’ the old woman rants, until Charlotte rushes over, ‘Mama…mama…calm down, your blood pressure!’ she tells her mother-in-law, pulling her away from Warren. ‘It’s him making it high, honey! Of all the brazen nerve…’ she exclaims. Suddenly, Charlotte’s son, Timmy, on crutches, enters the kitchen, calling out ‘Grandma, Grandma, what is it? What’s happening -’ he is cut off mid-sentence, and his eyes light up when he sees Warren. ‘Kawabunga! It’s Archangel!’

‘See, son, I told you I knew him!’ the comely Charlotte tells Timmy, who asks why Archangel is just standing out on the fire escape. ‘Why, indeed?’ Charlotte replies, before telling Warren that it is wonderful to see him, and asking him inside. Archangel climbs through the fire escape window, apologizing to Charlotte’s mother-in-law for entering this way, but pointing out that under the circumstances, it seemed wiser than using the front door. The old woman just folds her arms and frowns, before asking Charlotte what she is doing flirting with rich, crazy trash, ‘And my son not three years in his grave and by a white man’s bullet too!’

‘Archangel’s not a white man, Grandma, he’s a blue man. And he’s a mutant an he can fly!’ Timmy exclaims, smiling. ‘Mama, please!’ Charlotte exclaims to her mother-in-law, before Warren tells Charlotte that he didn’t mean to cause her any problems, and offers to leave. Btu Charlotte puts her hands to Warren’s chest and tells him ‘No. We have so much to talk about’. Warren realizes that Mrs Jones sees him as he was, while Timmy sees him as he is. ‘How does Charlotte see me?’ he wonders. ‘You’re sure?’ Warren asks Charlotte, smiling, before adding that if her mother-in-law can see him as a man at all, then she is way ahead of most of New York.

Suddenly, Timmy slaps his hand against his forehead, declaring that the dudes at school are never going to believe this. ‘You keep your mouth shut about this, you hear, boy!? This and those vampire things, too!’ Timmy’s Grandma tells him, exclaiming that church folks are not going to understand, and that it is nobody’s business but theirs anyway. Charlotte then exclaims ‘Look, Mama. Warren’s my friend, and I’ve invited him for coffee…’. The old woman puts her hands on her hips, ‘Coffee, now, but one thing leads to another…I been around the block more than once and I got eyes to se…’ she rambles on, while Timmy exclaims ‘Yeah! And we got chocolate milk and donuts too! Oh, wow! Archangel!’

Meanwhile, X-Factor’s giant sentient ship hovers over Manhattan’s skyline like a guardian angel. Inside are X-Factor’s other members, who, like Archangel, were all born with mutant abilities. ‘Is this really necessary?’ Scott “Cyclops” Summers asks, as he watches tests being performed on his infant son, Nathan Christopher. Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey comforts Scott, telling him that although it is never-wracking to watch, he knows as well as she does that this is necessary. Energy beams are blasted at young Nathan Christopher, who sits inside a force field, happily looking at a book.

Bobby “Iceman” Drake asks Dr. Hank “Beast” McCoy if he thinks that is enough, to which Hank agrees, and tells Bobby to switch the power off. Jean reminds Scott that the energy pulses aren’t even powerful enough to tickle Christopher if the field fails. ‘That’s what worries me!’ Scott exclaims, remarking that his son is only a baby, so what happens if he is distracted and lets up his telekinetic shield in a moment of danger? Hank reminds Scott that they have known for some time now that Nathan Christopher’s force field can withstand enormous pressure, but that they have to understand its nature, and if they are able to help him learn to control it.

Hank announces that he wants to test a theory and asks Jean to telekinetically lower Christopher in his field to the floor. Jean does so, but as Christopher is placed on the ground, he begins to bounce away in his force field. ‘I can’t! His field always rejects my power!’ Jean exclaims, to which Hank replies that, considering Nathan’s genetic background, he suspects that Nathan’s power is based on telekinetics. ‘Telekinetics…from my genetic structure, borne by my clone, Madelyne’ Jean utters as she takes hold of Christopher.

Christopher drops his shield and takes Jean’s hand while Hank remarks that the fact Nathan’s field repels Jeans, suggests it even more strongly. ‘He has so much power already. In time, what will he become?’ Cyclops asks. Jean picks the baby up and holds him close, telling him that he is going to be something wonderful, ‘Aren’t you, baby doll?’. Jean adds that they are going to teach him to control his power, but that first he needs to take a nap. Scott and Jean then leave the lab, carrying Nathan.

Hank turns to Bobby and points out that, thanks to their confrontation with Ahab, Jean and Scott seem almost back to normal. ‘I wonder…is that wedding bells I hear?’ the handsome Bobby replies as he switches to his ice-form. ‘Probably just a ringing in your wars caused by icy build-up’ Hank replies, adding that things seem so calm now, so prosaic. He adds that it is almost hard to believe that X-Factor just confronted a future where mutants were feared and exterminated.

Iceman then says to his friend ‘Yeah, but ask yourself, good buddy, is your girlfriend Trish Tilby really responsible for what might maybe possible someday happen?’. Hank just frowns. ‘And if you decide she’s not…’ Bobby begins as he creates an ice-sled. ‘You think I owe her an apology’ Hank admits. ‘You said it, pal, not me’. Bobby replies, declaring that mutants and humans can coexist in perfect harmony. ‘Look at me and Opal!’ he exclaims, referring to his own girlfriend, and announcing that he is going to take her ice-sledding for the first time. ‘Wish me luck!’ Bobby calls out as he slides away.

Inside the baby’s room, Jean places Christopher into his protective crib as she thinks to herself that she loves the baby as much as if she had borne him herself. She admits that she loves Scott, and wants to marry him, but that she cannot, as she would rather die than be trapped in an endless loop of memories and events created by the Phoenix / Madelyne conundrum. Scott tidies his son’s clothes, while Jean continues with her thoughts: ‘Memories that aren’t even mine are destroying my chance for happiness!’ Jean wonders if she has to let these memories that aren’t hers destroy her chance for happiness. ‘Don’t I still have the right to choose?’ she wonders.

Watching the baby, Jean thinks that Christopher is different, a wild card, for in the future that Ahab showed them, he doesn’t exist. ‘Does that mean that the future is wide open after all?’ Jean wonders. Scott watches Jean, thinking to himself ‘I look at her face. I know what she’s thinking. How she’s feeling. I love her…and I’d rather die than lose her. And now I know that my one chance not to lose her is to let her go’.

Scott walks up to Jean, and tells her that when he asked her to marry him, he didn’t mean for it to make her miserable. ‘To make us both miserable!’ he exclaims, putting an arm around her, suggesting that they just forget about it, to try and pretend that he never opened his big mouth. ‘Let’s just go back to the way we were before’. Jean looks at Scott and replies ‘All right. We’ll try. For now. And who knows…next time, Scott, I might be the one to propose to you!’

Meanwhile, in the editing room of W-ARC TV, ‘…Archangel plunged from the cable in a rescue attempt that…darn!’ Trish Tilby exclaims. ‘It still doesn’t work, no matter what I say, they see…’ she begins, ‘…a blue homicidal maniac attacking reporters…! Nope, it still doesn’t work!’ Trish’s camera guy exclaims. Suddenly, a voice exclaims ‘What do you mean it doesn’t work? Trish…it was great!’ Trish turns and sees Paul, her boss and ex-husband enter the editing room. ‘Great? Paul, this is a distortion!’ Trish replies. But Paul points out that Trish didn’t stage it, she reported it, there is a difference, before asking Trish to come into his office as he has something important he wants to discuss with her.

Soon, Trish lies back in a comfortable chair in Paul’s big office, as Paul asks her if she wants come coffee. ‘Still taking it black?’ he asks. ‘Yeah. Look, I’m not sure we should run it’ Trish replies as she kicks her shoes off across the large office. ‘Why not? Everybody will have visuals, but ours are the best!’ Paul exclaims, telling Trish that she has an instinct for a shot. ‘Of course we’ll run it!’ he tells her, before approaching her and handing her some coffee, while Trish replies that their very presence created this news. ‘If we hadn’t been there…’ her voice trails off.

‘Paul, I have fourteen weeks of vacation coming. I need time off, I need to think…!’ Trish exclaims. ‘Time off. You?’ Paul asks, surprised, before telling Trish that the reporters’ presence there may have forced Archangel’s reaction, sure, but it was nevertheless a telling reaction, from an important and powerful segment of their citizenry. Trish replies that she may be too close to this to be objective, but she is now beginning to see Hank’s point of view. ‘We have a responsibility…’ she begins, to which Paul interrupts: ‘To what?’ he asks. ‘Suppress unattractive truths?’

‘But truth is so many things…’ Trish replies. ‘A conundrum that will be debated by philosophers long after we are dead!’ Paul sits on his desk as he reminds Trish that they are newsmen, that they can only tell what they see, and let the chips fall where they may. ‘It’s not like you to be so down. What is it, hon? Is it Hank? I can’t believe you’re stuck on that gorilla!’ Paul declares, exclaiming that he cannot believe the Beast has Trish rattled like this. ‘It’s not him, it’s all of this. It’s all mixed up together!’ Trish declares, sitting up in the chair, she admits hat she and Hank had a fight, but telling Paul that Hank is not a gorilla. ‘He’s a prize-winning biochemist, who just happens to be a mutant!’

‘I would have thought you would know better than to judge a man by the color…or amount…of his hair!’ Trish exclaims. Paul laughs, and replies ‘Same old Trish - scratch her and she goes for the jugular. You sure you won’t marry me again…?’ Paul asks. Trish grabs Paul by his tie and asks ‘Is that the important thing you had to ask me?’ ‘No. Forget the vacation. Lying on the beach would drive you nuts in two days’ Paul replies, before telling Trish he has something better to offer: ‘A special assignment in India’ he announces. ‘You’re the best we have for this particular job…you do look tired, babe. I suspect a change of scene would do you good…’ Paul remarks.

Back at Charlotte’s apartment in Brooklyn, Charlotte remarks that it is getting late, and she needs to get ready for work. ‘You two men talk out here for a while’ she tells Warren and Timmy as she leaves them in the lounge. Timmy tells Archangel that his Grandma said he used to be white. ‘So how did you get blue?’ he asks. Warren explains that a bad guy changed him, kind of like magic. ‘Yeah, I know about bad guys. One of them killed my Daddy…and he hurt my spine’ Timmy replies, before telling Archangel that he used to be the fastest runner in his class, but now he cannot run at all. ‘Except in my dreams. In my dreams I can run faster than the wind!’ he exclaims.

‘I know…how it is with dreams’ Warren replies, while Timmy informs him that he is learning to walk again, with crutches and braces of course. ‘Wanna see me walk again?’ Timmy asks as he grabs his crutches and gets off the sofa - only to trip on a toy truck which is on the floor. Warren darts up and catches the surprised Timmy. Timmy thanks Archangel, whispering that his mom is always telling him to put his toys away or else that will happen. ‘You won’t tell her, will you?’ he asks quietly.

From her bedroom, Charlotte calls out ‘Timmy, what was that, did you fall? Are you all right?’ she asks. Warren replies that Timmy is fine, and explains that one of the trucks just skidded. ‘Thanks, Mommy worries, you know’ Timmy tells Archangel, adding that he sometimes used to hear his mother cry at night after his Daddy died. ‘But then she quit being a nurse and started being a cop…and Grandma came to live with us and Mommy works at night so I don’t hear her cry anymore’ Timmy explains, before asking Archangel if they ever call him names. ‘Yeah. Sometimes’ Warren replies.

‘That worries Mommy too. Sometimes kids look at my crutches and call me “crip”, or “four-legs” Timmy reveals, adding that some of them don’t want him around, as he makes them feel funny, sort of scared. ‘But some people get used to me being different real fast. Some people don’t mind’ Timmy explains. Warren looks sad as Timmy talks, ‘Not everybody…but Mom says they’re the special people…and the others don’t count’. Timmy adds that his Mom tells him he has to give them all a chance, because there are more special people in the world than the other kind.

Warren tells Timmy that his Mom is right. ‘Maybe you can’t run right now…but if you ask your Mom, I’ll take you out with me and we could fly…’ Warren offers. ‘Me…fly…? Oh, wow! Mommeeee!’ Timmy calls out.

Meanwhile, dusk has arrived, it almost dark beneath a cloudless sky. The Beast sits on the ledge of a building and sees the moon reflecting in the windows of the W-ARC’s new building. Hank tells himself that some of the reporters seem to think that mutants have nothing better to do than sit around and howl at the moon. ‘And I fit the part, don’t I?’ he adds, declaring that he hates the whole media freak show, but like it or not, Trish is a part of it. ‘The whole thing plays to the worst in people, the part that looks for someone different…to blame for all the ills in the world…someone to hate’.

Hank realizes that mutants could easily become the focus of people’s fears again - the target of their rage…and then the future would be upon them before they know it, and destroy them all. ‘On the other hand, does hiding prejudice by looking the other way make it go away?’ he wonders. ‘We’re dancing, blindfolded on the lip of the volcano…and if we don’t know to be careful, we might all easily slip and fall in!’ Hank declares. ‘Reporters, when they do their jobs right, notice things and sound the warning. We need them to nose around where they’re not wanted…to ask questions…to discover the skeletons in society’s closets. They sound the warning when something has gone wrong!’ Hank exclaims as he leaps from his perch over to the W-ARC building, deciding that to censor reporters could be unthinkable.

Hank lands on the side of the W-ARC building and pulls himself up, telling himself that Trish is in there somewhere, doing her job, and as much as he hates to admit it, Bobby is right. ‘I owe Trish an apology!’ Hank admits. ‘I…don’t want to lose her…’ he realizes, however, he soon climbs past Paul’s office, and is shocked by what he sees inside: Trish kissing a pleased-with-himself Paul on the cheek. ‘Thank you, Paul. I knew you’d understand!’ Trish exclaims, adding that she best go and polish the Archangel piece, as it airs in twenty minutes. Trish reveals that she has thought of an angle that would meet both their criteria, and bids her ex-husband goodbye. ‘Send me a postcard from India’ Paul tells Trish. ‘I’ll send you better than that…as you well know’ Trish replies.

Beast is wide-eyed with horror, ‘It’s Paul Burton, Trish’s ex-husband. Head of the news department!’ he thinks to himself, before leaping away. ‘She kissed him. It seems so obvious, seeing them together. She still…cares for him. They speak the same language. Have the same goals’ Hank realizes, thinking to himself that if it was up to Paul, mutants would be in the headline news every night. ‘Our…antics are dramatic. They sell advertising. The whole thing stinks!’ Hank decides that, to make matters worse, Paul is such a handsome devil. ‘What chance have I got with Trish against him?’ he wonders.

Not far away, Archangel soars across the sky, carrying Charlotte in his arms, with Charlotte admitting that she cannot feel quite as ecstatic about flying as Timmy does, ‘But thank you anyhow for the lift’ she tells Warren. Warren replies that this is the least he can do, considering he helped to make her late. Charlotte remarks that, knowing her son, Timmy will talk about Warren’s visit and that flight non-stop for the next month. Warren replies that Timmy is a special kid, and remarks that Timmy told him she used to be a nurse. ‘Why’d you switch?’ he asks. ‘I thought you were inside my head. I thought you knew everything about me’ Charlotte asks. ‘Some of it I got…but most of it’s getting hazing, fading like a dream’ Warren explains.

(Flashback illustrations narrated by Charlotte Jones)
Charlotte reveals that she was a trauma nurse. ‘Guys on the street would blow each other away, I’d help patch them up…and in no time they’d be back in the hospital. It was like a war out there. Then my husband was killed…’ Charlotte remarks that it was so dumb the way it happened, that George was a cop, but he was off duty that night. Charlotte explains that there had been a parents’ night at Timmy’s school, the three of them were walking home, and George and Timmy were racing each other down the side walk. ‘You should have seen that kid run’ Charlotte whispers.

‘Then, out of nowhere, guys with automatic weapons were gunning each other down…some drug war…and George and Timmy were caught in the middle. George was killed’. Charlotte explains. Charlotte tells Warren that one of the bullets nearly severed Timmy’s spine, and after that, she couldn’t think straight. ‘My life was shattered. I was sick of patching up goons. I just…wanted them off the street’. Charlotte explains that is why she became a cop, like her husband had been, it seemed right, and the pay is better, they need the money to pay for Timmy’s physical therapy.

‘I should have asked’ Warren thinks to himself, realizing that Charlotte seems distant and sad now, while earlier she was happy. Warren hopes that he can make Charlotte smile again, thinking that she has such a wonderful smile. Suddenly, Warren sees Iceman on an ice-sled nearby. ‘Say, Charlotte, there’s Iceman with his girlfriend, Opal! Come on! Let’s surprise them! Hold on tight!’ he tells Charlotte as he swoops down and begins flying around Bobby and Opal on the ice-sled. ‘Yo, Bobby, how’s it going?’ Warren asks. ‘Eep! What was that!?’ Opal Tanaka gasps. ‘Holy cow…Warren! He actually buzzed me…like in the old days!’ Bobby exclaims.

Bobby smiles as he watches Warren, realizing that his friend is laughing. ‘What’s got into him?’ Bobby wonders, before seeing Charlotte Jones in Warren’s arms, and asks Opal if she thinks this is the start of something. Opal replies that she hopes so, telling Bobby that from what he has told her, Angel deserves some happiness.

‘So, what’d you think?’ Warren asks Charlotte as they approach her station. Charlotte replies that it was fun, in a gut-wrenching sort of way. ‘Like the roller coaster at Coney Island - only worse. Next time you do that, do me a favor, warn me first!’ Charlotte exclaims. Warren asks if there will be a next time. ‘You don’t mind if I visit you again?’ he asks, adding that Timmy is really something, ‘Quite the philosopher. We really hit it off, and you…’ his voice trails off, as Charlotte exclaims that she is almost late for work. ‘Put me down around the back, okay?’ she asks, remarking that if the guys see her arrive like this, she will never hear the end of it.

Later, near the building that houses Opal’s loft in the Tribeca section of Manhattan, Opal walks towards her building, deciding that ice-sledding was fun. ‘Hungry though’ she tells herself, wondering what she will have for dinner, realizing that there is pizza in the fridge. ‘Don’t wanna forget the mail!’ Opal tells herself as she opens her mailbox and pulls out some envelopes. ‘Usual junk. Bills’ Opal mutters to herself as she flicks through the mail, until suddenly, she comes to something hand-addressed to her.

Opening the envelope, Opal finds photos of her when she was young. ‘But when?’ she wonders, unsure of the times the photos were taken. ‘Photocopies of some sort of…official documents…and a note scrawled in rough handwriting…spelling is terrible!’ Opal exclaims, before a look of horror spreads across her face as she reads the letter. ‘No. It can’t be. Why us someone doing this to me? What can this all mean?’ she wonders as she drops the letter and photographs to the floor.

Soon, below X-Factor’s Ship, reporters are waiting with their camera crews, ‘There he is! There’s Worthington!’ one of the exclaims, while another asks Archangel, who swoops overhead, to come down and give them a chance. ‘Worthington?’ Warren wonders, deciding that the reporters never give up. ‘The Worthington part of me is dead, no matter what they say - but this time it’s my choice. I no longer want to be Worthington’ Warren decides, realizing that being Worthington was too comfortable, it insulated him, blinded him to a lot of life. ‘It cushioned me from reality’.

Archangel tells himself that Worthington would never have had this relationship with Charlotte, or Timmy. ‘Funny, I didn’t tell her anything. What I think of her. How wonderful she was’ Warren realizes, remarking that they just talked about ordinary things. ‘Maybe that’s what we needed to do. I think she understood’ he decides. Dropping down towards the media, Warren realizes that there is no need to throw Worthington out entirely, ‘As Mrs Jones would say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat…and if Worthington was anything, he was smooth!’ Archangel exclaims, declaring that if Worthington knew anything, it was hot to deal with the media.

Archangel smiles as he walks over to the surprised media, ‘Gentlemen…gentlemen…one at a time and I’ll be glad to answer your questions…’ Warren announces.

Elsewhere, a mysterious figure watches Archangel and the media on monitors, hidden in the shadows, he exclaims ‘So, the monstrous Archangel at last is happy. Has reached some accommodation with the sharp-edged, lethal, terrible wings. But it won’t last. That I swear. Soon I will destroy him…as he destroyed me!’….

Characters Involved: 

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

Trish Tilby
Detective Charlotte Jones

Opal Tanaka
Nathan Christopher Summers

Timmy Jones
Charlotte’s Mother-in-Law
Paul Burton (Trish’s ex-husband)

Cameron Hodge (in shadows)

Charlie Grant & Liz Barnes (Reporters)
Trish’s Camera Crew
Police Officers
Other Reporters
Coast Guard

In Flashback Illustrations:
Charlotte Jones
George Jones
Timmy Jones
Charlotte’s Mother-in-Law

Medical Staff

In Photograph:
Opal as a child

In Newspaper Photo:
Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all X-Factor)

Story Notes: 

Warren’s (then Angel) wings were amputated by Court order in X-Factor (1st series) #14. He attempted suicide in #15, and made his first appearances as the Horseman of Death in #21-24.

Archangel was under the influence of drugs, and Crimson of the Ravens, and acted as a vigilante throughout the city in X-Factor (1st series) #54-58.

Archangel rescued Detective Charlotte Jones from the Ravens in X-Factor (1st series) #58 - although Charlotte equally rescued Archangel.

Archangel’s father was killed by operatives of the original Dazzler in Ka-Zar (1st series) #2, his mother died from an overdose of physician-administered drugs in X-Men The Hidden Years #15. Candy Southern was sadly murdered by The Right in X-Factor (1st series) #34.

Archangel saw into Charlotte Jones’ soul in X-Factor (1st series) #58.

X-Factor fought Ahab (the future version of Professor Rory Campbell) in X-Factor (1st series) Annual #5, which took place in the future Beast refers to.

The Beast and Trish Tilby have been having relationship issues since Trish began reporting on the Archangel problem over the last few issues.

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

The mysterious figure is of course Archangel’s nemesis, Cameron Hodge, who gets his revenge in the “X-Tinction Agenda” crossover.

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