X-Factor (4th series) #9

Issue Date: 
July 2021
Story Title: 
Interlude: DJ Mark's Mixtape of Mojoverse Beats to Make Out To

Leah Williams (writer), David Baldeon (artist), Israel Silva (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Ivan Shavrin (cover artist), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Nick Russell (production), Shannon Andrews Ballesteros (assistant editor), Jake Thomas (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

While Polaris watches over Siryn, keeping her grounded in the real world, the rest of X-Factor, thanks to Rachel's chronoskimming abilities, walk through Siryn's memories in a quest to help rid her of the Morrigan. Specifically, they come to a memory of the Founders Party on Krakoa, where Siryn was seen partying with other mutants, while a mysterious object watched her. However, a geas – an obstruction placed there to prevent any further intrusion into Siryn's memories prevents them from going further back. Kyle arrives at the Boneyard and Rachel is annoyed at having to facilitate a conversation between him and Northstar, so she pulls Kyle into the memory so that he and Northstar can have their discussion, before returning him to reality. Rachel propels her teammates forward and they find the geas, which appears as a large dark heart. Eye-Boy uses his newfound expanded powers to ascertain that a magic is behind this. Northstar tells Eye-Boy that they must keep his newfound powers to himself, before a booming voice offers a cryptic riddle which may help X-Factor in defeating the Morrigan. Prodigy analyzes the riddle and tells Northstar that he thinks the person they need to defeat the Morrigan is Shatterstar. X-Factor leave Siryn's mind, and Northstar points out that they were planning to rescue Shatterstar from Mojoworld anyway, although X-Factor are banned from returning to the Mojoverse. So they devise a plan to enlist some friends, starting with DJ, Dazzler and Lila Cheney who perform a concert on Mojoworld, assisted by Surge and Wind Dancer. Surge cuts off the recording devices monitoring the concert, while Wind Dancer keeps any one from trying to leave the concert by catching them in small tornados. Mirage, Magik, Karma, Wolfsbane and Warpath, with the help of some younger mutants, arrive and begin to cause trouble by destroying the cloning lab, and confronting Mojo directly. Mojo is already distraught that his content empire is offline, before Magik confronts him and gives him an ultimatum – sign a peace deal with Krakoa or else. The concert finishes, and mutants held prisoner on Mojoworld are welcomed to Krakoa. Shatterstar is with them. He is about to say something to Dazzler, but instead just thanks her for the rescue. Magik appoints Wind Dancer as ambassador to Mojo World, and Northstar thanks Mirage for her help, suggesting they have much to catch up on. Northstar then asks Shatterstar if he knows why he is here, and Shatterstar confirms that he is here to kill. He finds the Morrigan at an arena, and when he starts to fight it, Rictor, all the way on the other side of the world in Excalibur's lighthouse, detects something happening to him, and to Krakoa. As he fights the Morrigan, Shatterstar discovers the deal Siryn made with her – to kill herself a thousand times over in a thousand ways to prevent the Morrigan from killing her mutant friends, because now that mutants have escaped death, the Morrigan has lost her control, her power, no one fears her anymore. Eventually, Shatterstar is able to kill Siryn and the Morrigan – but with the Morrigan's dying breath, she tells Shatterstar that to the victor go the spoils. Something happens to Shatterstar, and he thinks of his beloved Rictor.

Full Summary: 

'Are we sure this is Siryn's memory?' someone asks. 'It's her' Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige responds as the members of X-Factor walk through Siryn's memories. Rachel reports that she is still psychically supressing the Morrigan, as Polaris' electromagnetic beatdown made her fairly compliant – for now. 'Is this how your chronoskimming normally appears?' Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar asks, looking at the strange reality around him. 'No... normally I have total recall' Rachel explains as they walk through a strange redness. Daken pops his claws and points out that Rachel has total recall of their powers in her chronoskimming, at least. David Alleyne a.k.a. Prodigy tells Rachel that this is unbelievable and asks her if she has any idea what she has done. 'My... job?' Rachel asks. 'You made us into a mutant circuit' Prodigy explains, before Northstar declares that they have to move, and asks David if he has any thoughts on where they go from here. 'We should go back to before the resurrection protocols were established. Stuff was... a bit looser then' David suggests.

Rachel tells her teammates that that will take some time, as even though she is anchored to Siryn's mind, the lack of detail makes it hard to know exactly which direction to explore. 'It's that way' Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy reports as he leads the team down another direction. Rachel, Northstar, Daken, Prodigy and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora follow, as Eye-Boy suddenly announces that he can see Siryn's memories of the Founders' Party. 'Why do you all look surprised?' Eye-Boy asks. The team looks out over the memory of the party, and they see a large eyeball hanging above the party. 'That...doesn't seem normal' Eye-Boy utters. Rachel asks him why she can see the Morrigan now, too, and as he looks out at Siryn, dancing happily, Trevor explains that it is because they are viewing it through Siryn's memory. Northstar then tells the others that he doesn't recall this obstruction being at the Founders' Party, either. Daken asks the others if they think it is the Morrigan's doing, and Eye-Boy tells him 'Without a doubt'. Rachel suddenly asks what a “geas” is.

In the real world, the members of X-Factor are in their headquarters, the Boneyard, standing in the kitchen, while Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris sits next to Theresa Rourke a.k.a. Siryn at the kitchen bench. 'What?' Lorna asks. 'There's...something like a psychic barrier keeping us from going any further back in Siryn's memories' Rachel explains, adding that anytime she tries to push through, she can't get anything except “geas” screeching in her head. 'So, what is that?' Rachel asks.

Back inside Siryn's memories, Daken and Prodigy look up at some large barrier. 'God-powered gag order' Daken remarks. Prodigy reports that it is an ancient form of magical contract from Irish folklore – a riddle or a set of conditions imposed by a super-powered being onto a mortal in order to achieve a goal. 'That's exactly what I said, except you made a choice to be annoying' Daken states, folding his arms. 'Mr Snikt, sir, I do believe I offered the context-rich version of what you said, but okay' Prodigy replies.

In the real world Lorna turns as Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier enters the kitchen. 'Oh, hey, Kyle' Lorna smiles. Kyle greets Lorna and asks her if she is working. 'Yeah...everyone is chronoskimming inside Siryn's mind right now' Lorna replies casually. 'Except you?' Kyle asks. In Siryn's memories, 'You guys stay here. Be right back' Rachel begins. Northstar starts to call out to her, but Rachel returns to her body, where Lorna asks her if everything is okay. 'What? Yeah' Rachel replies, before greeting Kyle. 'Hi, Rachel' Kyle responds, before Rachel announces that she has a terrible idea. 'I'm all ears' Northstar announces. 'Trevor, no -' Prodigy begins, while Eye-Boy grins as he jokes 'I'm all eyes!' 'Ugh' Daken mutters. Rachel explains that the geas is affecting Siryn, but technically they have access to the Morrigan's memories in here, too – they're just another level down. Lorna asks Rachel what she is suggesting.

Rachel reports that she wants to softball the geas into the Morrigan's memories, and that she has to stay behind in Siryn's memories to keep the Morrigan subdued, and Lorna has to continue keeping her electromagnetic goddess beatdown on standby out here in the physical world just in case. 'You'll be the tether' Rachel explains. 'Like a telepathic daisy chain. Two layers deep' Lorna remarks. 'Exactly. Okay the-' Rachel starts to say, before Kyle turns to her and asks her if she is headed back to Jean-Paul. 'Ask him what he wants for dinner. Tell him I don't feel like cooking' Kyle tells Rachel. 'I – we're working' Rachel replies. 'No, I know. Ask my husband what he wants to do about dinner tonight' Kyle tells her again. Frowning, Rachel's psychic form turns to Northstar and tells him that Kyle wants to know what he wants to do for dinner, as he doesn't feel like cooking. 'Oh... I have no preference. I'll cook, or we could order out. Ask him what he's in the mood for' Northstar tells Rachel.

Rachel glances at Kyle, 'He wants to know wh – wait a minute... no' Rachel declares as she suddenly pulls Kyle in Siryn's memories. 'Okay, talk' she tells him. 'What the $%#&!' Kyle exclaims. 'Really, Rachel?' Northstar asks as he goes over to his husband. 'What?' Rachel asks. 'Bonjour, Kyle!' Aurora calls out to her brother-in-law. 'Hello, Aurora' Kyle answers. Northstar flies up above Kyle and tells him that they have to finish up here, and that he can just use his card and order whatever he wants. 'Let's see what you can get delivered to Krakoa from anywhere in the world. Impress me!' Jean-Paul tells Kyle. 'Too easy. I already impress you. Let's see what I can get that makes you regret this offer' Kyle suggests. 'Deal. All this human wealth and yet I have nothing to spend it on save philanthropy and you. I love you' Northstar tells Kyle as he speeds down and kisses him on his face.

Rachel warns her teammates that it is going to be significantly weirder on that side, and she uses her powers to push Northstar, Aurora, Daken, Eye-Boy and Prodigy onwards through Sirny's memories. A moment later, they stand on a slope that looks out towards what can only be described as a large black heart. 'That... would be our geas, I take it?' Northstar asks. 'Yeah, that big weird thing's coated in enchantment' Eye-Boy remarks, to which Northstar asks him if he can see through sorcerery. Eye-Boy explains that he can't exactly see through sorcerery, not what is actually behind the enchantment, but he can always see if a spell has been cast, as magic leaves a very obvious visual residue. Northstar then tells Eye-Boy that the specifics of all his vast and various sight capabilities are to be X-Factor-only privileged information. Aurora calls out to Daken as he pops his claws, and raises them to the black heart, suggesting that it looks like it could use a blood sacrifice. 'Did you even once pause to wonder if feeding the enchantment was a good idea? What, exactly, is your goal?' Northstar asks. 'Waking it up' Daken explains. 'And why is that a wise course of action?' Northstar asks.

A mystical symbol suddenly glows on the surface around X-Factor, and a strange voice calls out: 'A FATHER TO HIS FATHER, A WARRIOR WHO IS NO KILLER, A TRAVELER WHO GOES NOWHERE, A SECRET KEEPER WHO SHARES EVERYTHING. BRING AN IMPOSSIBILITY TO BATTLE AND WIN, AND ONLY THEN WILL THE MORRIGAN ADMIT DEFEAT...'. Daken smiles, 'Oh, wow. I wonder who had the brilliant idea to learn how we finally defeat the Morrigan' he smirks. Northstar quotes part of the riddle: “A father to his father” and remarks 'That doesn't exist! Who -' before Prodigy quickly tells him that it is Shatterstar. Referring to “A secret keeper who divulges everything” Prodigy explains that Shatterstar livestreams every second of his life, but has a neural net implant that keeps him from speaking freely. Northstar asks Prodigy to explains the rest on the way back, and the heroes turn and make their way back to Rachel.

Prodigy continues with the explanation, “A warrior who is no killer. A traveler who goes nowhere” is in relation to Shatterstar being an imprisoned gladiator who is forced to kill for spectacle – a dimension-jumping, time-traveling, teleporting gladiator who is stuck there. 'As for the father thing...not my business to tell. But I've stood near enough to Rictor to learn a whole lot of information I have no business knowing about Shatterstar. You just have to trust me' Prodigy assures Northstar as they return their minds to their bodies in the real world. Northstar, back in his body, sighs and points out that they were planning to rescue Shatterstar anyway. 'Hi, Polaris! We just learned Shatterstar's the key to defeating the Morrigan!' Eye-Boy calls out to Lorna, who reminds the rest of X-Factor that they are still banned from the Mojoverse, and suggests they will have to send help. Aurora offers to help, but remarks that known associates of X-Factor have already been warned that they will be shot on sight should they try to enter. “Known associates” Northstar quotes, before announcing that he has an idea. Kyle kisses Northstar as Northstar turns to him and asks him what the name is of that child he was telling him about – the one with an advanced form of acoustikinesis.

'Does this make me an X-Man now?' Mark Sheppard a.k.a. DJ grins as he appears on a television screen, where he is introduced as “the drummer”. The screen moves to Lila Cheney who is billed as “the guitarist” as she strums her guitar and tells DJ 'Sure thing, kid'. Sofia Mantega a.k.a. Wind Dancer is billed as “the band manager” and Noriko Ashika a.k.a. Surge as “the ringer” as they appear on the screen, standing just off of a stage. Wind Dancer announces that they are ready, and Surge calls out 'Cue us up, superstar!' 'One, two – one, two, three, four!' Alison Blaire a.k.a. Dazzler grins, billed as “the lead vocalist” as the camera moves to her – then suddenly, the television screen cuts out, as Surge blasts some equipment with her energy powers. Dazzler begins to sing, 'Give me a sign, baby... if I should make you mine! Been wasting time lately – pretending it's all fine! Living like, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine...'

Wind Dancer creates a small tornado that sweeps up several citizens of the Mojoverse, as hundreds more of them watch the stage, where Dazzler, Lila and DJ are performing. Warpath appears near the back of the crowd and announces that the band has got them distracted, while Wind Dancer has cycloned all of them in together. '... all right, team. Let's free some livestreamers and make Mojo a deal he can't refuse' Warpath suggests as Dust, Anole, Nature Girl, Rain Boy and another mutant appear behind him.

From his arena where he is forced to fight for the enjoyment of the Mojoverse citizens, Shatterstar stops and looks up as he hears Dazzler singing: 'Tell me what's real, baby – are ya feeling lost? Muted by your fears, maybe? Thinking you'll get caught? Afraid of who you'll cross, you'll cross, you'll cross...well, here's the good news, baby – you're not alone'. One of Wind Dancer's tornados sweep around Shatterstar, while in another part of Mojoworld, a cloning lab, Wolfsbane observes as other mutants begin to destroy the cloning tanks, and Magik announces that she will handle the clone mother. In his control room, Mojo begins screaming as his screens go blank. 'My content empire! It's offline!' he shrieks. 'That's his worst fear?' Karma asks as she and Dani Moonstar stand behind him 'He thinks it is...' Dani smiles, while in her studio, Spiral watches the concert on a screen, He-Lix and Ginny Guzman are with her.

Magik enters Mojo's control room and informs Dani and Karma that she handled the clone mother, before asking them how the negotiations are going. 'Good' Dani replies. 'Good' Magik tells her, before raising her Soulsword and slashing it across Mojo's spider-like legs, causing his gluttonous form to collapse to the ground. 'Saw that crock $#%& show you made about me' Magik declares as she then puts the tip of her sword on Mojo's blubber. Mojo looks nervous, but is unable to move. Magik informs him that her X-Corp friends told her that she is supposed to threaten him with a lawsuit for the unauthorized use of her likeness, but she thinks she is going to threaten him the old-fashioned way. Magik tells Mojo that her demands are simply – no more slavery, no more hostages, no more attempts at getting his hands on mutant DNA – and no more telling their stories without them. 'You wretched worm' she adds, warning him that, or else, she, Karma and Mirage will come back here, and then they will do it the hard way. 'You're partners with Krakoa now. Sign the $#%& dotted line' Magik smiles as she hands Mojo a pen.

The concert is still underway, and Warpath is on the stage, pushing someone back into the crowd when they try to climb up onto the stage. Dazzler continues singing, 'They lied and said you're crazy – so I'm taking you home. We're gonna take you home, you home, you home... we're gonna make it... home'. She finishes the song and looks up, 'You're all free now' she smiles.

Soon, a gateway on Krakoa opens and former Mojoworld prisoners step through onto Krakoa. Magik walks with Wind Dancer and tells her that they needed someone to keep tabs on Mojo, so she nelisted her as Krakoa's official envoy to the Mojoverse. 'What?' Wind Dancer exclaims. 'What? You're babysitting the Mojoverse now' Magik declares. 'Congrats on your new resume punch-up, ambassador'. Northstar arrives and approaches Dazzler, Lila and DJ, as he thanks Dazzler. 'Anytime, Jean-Paul. I'd stay and chat, but we've got to get ready for the Hellfire Gala' she explains. 'I'd heard – can't wait. We'll see you there' Northstar replies. Shatterstar suddenly calls out to Dazzler, asking her to wait. 'What's up?' Dazzler asks as she turns to him. '...nothing. Never mind. Uh, thank you. For the rescue' Shatterstar tells her. 'Of course. You're one of us!' Dazzler waves at Shatterstar. Northstar turns to Mirage and Karma and thanks them both. 'A pleasure. Let's catch up soon?' Dani replies. Northstar tells them that he missed them both so much, and that brunch is on him.

'Hello, Shatterstar' Northstar remarks as Shatterstar approaches him. 'Hello, Northstar' Shatterstar replies. Northstar welcomes him to Krakoa, and asks him if he knows why he is here. 'To kill' Shatterstar answers. 'To kill death, to be exact'.

Shatterstar soon arrives at the arena on Krakoa, where he calls out 'Siryn?' as he sees his former X-Force teammate sitting in the center of the arena. But Siryn spins around to face Shatterstar – she looks mad, and is clearly possessed, as her form shifts into a murder of crows that flock around Shatterstar – and the arena suddenly lifts out of the ground, rising up over the rest of the island.

At Braddock Lighthouse on the other side of the world, the lighthouse too suddenly rises up from the coast where it usually perches. 'Ric? You good, sugah?' Rogue calls out, assuming Rictor's powers are doing this. 'Something's happening. To the earth. To me. To Krakoa' Rictor responds.

Shatterstar grabs his double-edge swords and starts hacking away at the birds. Siryn can be heard calling out: 'Morrigan, no, please – you can't!' But the Morrigan snaps back: 'I can. I will' as they then plummet through the base of the arena, and into Siryn's memories of the Founder's Party as Shatterstar watches a dangerous encounter play out before him as the Morrigan fights him:

in Siryn's memories:

'No! You deny us access to a deathless race? When we're already disappearing?' the Morrigan asks. 'They're my friends! They're my people!' Siryn replies. 'Your people would understand' the Morrigan tells her. 'Understand why you're murdering them?' Siryn asks as she unleashes a powerful sonic scream in an attempt to keep the Morrigan at bay. The Morrigan appears behind Siryn, aiming her spear at her, she tells her that mutants already understand sacrifice. 'One mass sacrifice a year, and we get to live! They would do so willingly for us!' the Morrigan explains. 'For me, maybe – they have no need of you' Siryn retorts.

'As I have no need of you. I demand what's due. I will kill them all – again and again. I will grow our power – with or without your consent!' the Morrigan snarls as she shoves the blade of her spear into Siryn's neck. 'Please don't hurt them... you can have me instead... I will do anything' Siryn utters. 'Anything?' the Morrigan asks as she shoves her blade deeper. 'Yes!' Siryn exclaims. 'In return for sparing the mutants... you shall swear upon a geas to carry out my will?' the Morrigan asks. 'YES!' Siryn promises. The Morrigan hovers over Siryn's body, and tells her that she demands Siryn perform a traditional ritual sacrifice on herself in her name, one for each death she is owed. 'A thousand deaths a thousand times a thousand ways... as many times as demanded!' the Morrigan declares.


'NO!' Shatterstar shouts as he leaps towards the Morrigan. 'You fool. Our power is waning! Our time here, dwindling!' the Morrigan utters. 'The darkness sings our name, each to each, and you would cede to him so easily?'

flashback images, narrated in the present:

The void called to the Morrigan – if they did not serve the mortal realm, then they shall serve nothing. Mutants have no need of a  death goddess now – nor their healing, nor their prowess in battle. But instead of losing everything, they could grow in power and renown. The Morrigan could reign with the dignity and supremacy with which she was once accustomed. All she has to do is sacrifice the mutants endlessly in her name. She was the first Morrigan. Humanity was still in its infancy – so recently did the last human paw itself out of the muck and mire and stagger upright. She was among the first sentries summoned by humanity to stand guard upon the edge between worlds seen and unseen – she decommissioned kings. A vision plays out of the Morrigan battling a large bull.


As the Morrigan concludes her story, Shatterstar shoves his blade through Siryn's body. 'Once upon a time. I... I was everything...' the Morrigan gasps. 'There are no kings in Krakoa' Shatterstar remarks as he lowers Siryn's unmoving body to the ground. 'This is an honorable end' he adds as he kisses Siryn's forehead, and a tear falls from Siryn's eyes. The piece of land begins to drop back down into Krakoa, and Shatterstar hugs Siryn, telling her that it is good to see her again. He lets her body lie on the ground and stands over her, when suddenly, Siryn's hand reaches up and grabs Shatterstar's. Shatterstar gasps, as Siryn's eyes go wide-eyed and crows fly from her mouth, as she utters 'To the victors...go the spoils'. Shatterstar screams as a red energy cuts his chest, and flows from him, through his memories – he remembers his first kiss with Rictor, and Rictor holding his wounded body. In the lighthouse, Rictor shares those memories too, wide-eyed as the energy strikes his chest, too. Shatterstar puts a hand on his heart and utters 'Julio... my love?

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Daken, Eye-Boy, Northstar, Polaris, Prestige, Prodigy IV (all X-Factor)



Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier

Rictor, Rogue (both Excalibur)

Karma, Magik, Mirage, Warpath, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)


Lila Cheney

Anole, DJ, Dust, Nature Girl, Rain Boy, Surge IV, Wind Dancer




Ginny Guzman


Citizens of Mojoworld




(in flashback)



(in flashback)



(in memories)

Rictor & Shatterstar

Story Notes: 

The Founders' Party took place in House of X #6.

This issue includes a text-message conversation between Northstar and Moonstar in which Northstar asks Dani if she keeps secrets from the Quiet Council, because he has learned that members of his squad are more powerful than the Council is  aware of, and he is concerned about misappropriation of their skills. Dani and Northstar plan to meet for dinner with Karma and Kyle to discuss.

Shatterstar's complicated origin, including how he can be a father to his father, was chronicled in X-Factor (1st series) #259.

Prodigy has spent time with Rictor, notably in New Mutants: Dead Souls, when Rictor was a member of Karma's corporate New Mutants team, and Prodigy worked as Karma's assistant.

X-Factor Investigations visited Mojoworld in X-Factor (4th series) #2-3, and were subsequently banned following their adventure there.

Kyle met DJ during the Academy-X students' party at the Boneyard in X-Factor (4th series) #5.

Northstar's friendship with Moonstar and Karma probably developed when they were all on the faculty at the Xavier School during the Academy-X era.


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