X-Factor Annual #9

Issue Date: 
May 1994
Story Title: 
Contact (1st story); Cleaning House (2nd story)

1st story:J.M DeMatteis (writer), Matt Broome (penciler). Steve Moncuse, Terry Austin (inkers), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Janice Chiang (letterer)
2nd story: Matthew Friedman & Amy Meyer (writers), Kerry Gammill (penciler), Hilary Barta (inker), Richard Starkins (letterer), Ashley Posella (colorist)
Kelly Corvese (editor), Jaye Gardner (assistant editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

1st story: Late at night, several members of X-Factor and Random are to guard a SHIELD shipment. Of course things go wrong and said shipment, the incredibly powerful Professor Power, is freed. Despite X-Factor’s best efforts, Power (who hates Professor Xavier with a vengeance) escapes and they fear that he will try to kill Xavier. Meanwhile, Xavier meets Haven on the astral plane. He still blames her for the death of Multiple Man. Haven tries to make him see she isn’t a common terrorist and shares her life story with him. How she grew up privileged in India and tried to end people’s suffering, how her campaign to bring about the Dark Age is meant to speed up humanity’s eventual rebirth. However, there are some facts she doesn’t come clean about, nor can she convince Xavier. She breaks off contact and withdraws to her temple to pray along with her unborn child, the true mutant inside her with whom she is plotting her goals. Among these goals is freeing Power, who is mean to take care of Xavier…

2nd story: Strong Guy cleans out Multiple Man’s room after his death, but cannot face the memories and his own feelings of guilt over his friend’s death.

Full Summary: 

1st story:
Xavier’s School: It’s one in the morning and Charles Xavier sits there, restless, his thoughts consumed by the mutant terrorist Haven, who caused the death of Jamie Madrox. He roves the mental ethers, seeking to ensnare her and instead finds Haven waiting for him on the astral plane.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C., in the middle of the night, X-Factor (Forge, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane as well as the hired hand Random) are brought to the Roosevelt Foundation. Isn’t Roosevelt dead? a sleepy Guido demands. He’s gonna be dead if he doesn’t move that fat butt of his, Random warns him. The upper levels of the building are a charity organization. But the lower levels, where the team is heading, is a top secret SHIELD research center. Think they’re gonna meet Robert Vaughn? Guido wonders. Not UNCLE, Random corrects him, SHIELD! Forge asks Guido to spare them the humor. Rahne points out he cannot blame Guido for being punchy. And remind them why he got them up in the middle of the night and dragged them here without telling them what their assignment is…

Guido wonders what the coffin-like object is the SHIELD agents are guarding. Forge tells them the information is classified. But they have to guard the canister while it is being transported to a nearby airfield and then out to another SHIELD facility in Utah. Random doesn’t care if they have to guard it all the way to the moon, as long as there is a paycheck when they are done. How patriotic, a newcomer, an attractive African-American woman with a long ponytail mocks. Hiring bounty hunters? she asks Forge. What’s next: paroled murderers? Identifying her as Agent Daniels, he tells her how pleasant it is to see her again while she bluntly assures him the feeling isn’t mutual. As she stated during the briefing, her people can handle this without his muties getting in the way. The Pentagon obviously didn’t agree, Forge points out.

Daniels suggests the group to make themselves useful and get the canister to the parking garage. Hefting the canister, Random and Guido are for once in agreement regarding Daniel’s personality. Shifting to her wolf form, Rahne follows them. Daniels needles that, while she can understand the other muties’ presence, what possible use can Forge be? He shows her a little device he cobbled up this morning; he calls it his rendition of a Swiss army knife. It has a variety of uses. He demonstrates by switching to an antigrav setting, allowing the canister to float. Was it alright he did that? Forge asks mockingly or is written permission required? Heaven know he doesn’t want to be getting irate calls from Nick Fury. Just get the bloody thing into the truck! she hisses.

Rahne and Guido are greeted by a friendlier young man named Chuck Rose, who gushes at them and even flirts with Rahne. Daniels orders him to get in the truck. His job is to steer, not fraternize with the freaks. Didn’t her mother ever teach her simple manners? Wolfsbane snarls at her. She can be exceedingly polite when she is dealing with human beings, Daniels retorts. Later in the truck, Forge tries to be diplomatic, suggesting they cease the hostilities. He is sure they all regret the things they said. She doesn’t regret anything! Daniels cuts him off. There is nothing in her orders about being civil to them.

Random asks what’s in the canister. It’s big enough to hold a man. None of his bloody business! he is told. Rahne and Guido are more relaxed as they are riding in the front with Chuck. They are glad there are no super villains. This job is practically a vacation. Does Chuck know anything about the container? Rahne asks. Just that it’s headed for a top security facility in southern Utah, he tells them.

Suddenly, an energy wave rips through him and he screams in pain. Guido tells Rahne to grab the wheel. The truck drives into a girder. The group in the back hurries out. Guido tells them the driver took a hit but he doesn’t know what it was. Opposite stands a huge hulking form ready to attack. Daniels orders them to protect the canister at all costs.

On the astral plane, Haven observes that Xavier says nothing, just studies her, pushing gently at her mind, trying to find her motivations. She looks into his eyes and feels ashamed. She has wanted this meeting for long, she explains, but a mind like his is not easily captured. It was only when he reached out for her that she was able to reach back and draw him with her to this limbo realm between earth and oblivion. He tells her he knows that she has brought him not to attack him but to seek his understanding and forgiveness. He creates an image of Jamie Madrox. Xavier is not the one she should be asking for forgiveness. He is. Does she see how young he was? How full of life? Haven protests he was dying of the Legacy Virus. She tried to cure him. Her cure turned out to be worse than the disease, he counterd. Perhaps, she admits, perhaps a part of her died with him… She vows she is not his enemy. She has drawn such inspiration from his work with the X-Men. Without his example, she would never have dared walk this path. His path isn’t hers, he replies. Images of the X-Men’s enemies appear around them. She belongs with them. Magneto, Sinister, Apocalypse…

No! Haven protests. Those monsters only know hate. But he and she do what they do out of love for all mankind. Love expressed through world destruction? he scoffs. He would laugh if it weren’t so heartbreaking, because he knows she believes those words. Haven assures him it is her goal to unite men and mutants. She believes they aren’t different species but one and the same race, moving toward an evolutionary leap that will bring forth a new race, a new humanity that will…

Transform the world, he finishes her sentence. If she truly seeks his understanding, then open her mind to him. She refuses angrily. She will not be invaded! She calms down and apologizes for her outburst. There is no need to wrest the story of her life from her. She will gladly share it. Here, in this dimension where the ethers reflect thought and feeling he can bear witness to the events that made her. So, come with her to India, a land of contradiction where the people know unimaginable material poverty and inconceivable spiritual wealth…

Haven’s story:
She knew both. Her father was a diplomat, her mother a professor of philosophy. He was a Hindu… she a Zorastrian. But they embraced all spiritual paths. Her brother and she were taught that Rama, Krishna, Zoroaster, Abraham, Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed all spoke the same eternal truth. Love of God expressed through love of man. And her parents’ lives bore stunning testament to those works. They worked to better their nation, uplift the poor, heal the sick.

But she was their precious daughter, protected and sheltered. She lived a life of comfort while in the Bombay streets around her hopelessness was the norm. The very fact of her privileged life made her heart bleed all the more for those suffering around her. She was born gifted. Psychically sensitive, open to the feelings around her. Open to their pain. She could never shut it out. Xavier must understand what it is to be overwhelmed by suffering nor one’s own. Only in the depth of meditation and prayer did she find solace and hope. She devotes her life to helping those who suffer. And when did that change? Xavier asks. When did she turn away from compassion and towards murder? She is not a murderer! Haven cries. Xavier reminds her of the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives because of her. She betrayed her ideals and her parents! Haven vows he will pay for those words. Xavier warns her not to threaten him, they are in a realm of pure mind. And in the realm of mind… he turns into a giant.

In Washington, Random asks if Chuck, the driver, is all right. Forge warns Guido they need an attack plan, but Guido rushes at their foe who hits him hard. All under control, Guido insists, because he absorbs kinetic energy and, the harder he is hit, the harder he comes back! The giant sinks down from his blows. Just a sputtering little android! Guido mocks. He kinda thought he might be, considering he didn’t say anything. Most supervillains just keep talking! Random shoots at their foe, remarking that villains aren’t the only ones. He never met anybody who could mouth off like Carosella! Guido protests he could have finished him himself.

Suddenly, a second android grabs him from behind, but then sinks down in pain. Forge explains he disrupted his molecular structure. Random asks if Forge could make him such a gizmo. Would make bounty hunting a lot easier. Just a prototype, Forge replies. He hasn’t worked out the kinks yet. No problem, Random points out. He is a kinky kind a guy. Agent Daniels mockingly remarks they are probably proud of themselves. Why shouldn’t they be? Guido asks. They took those two androids apart. Daniels wanted one in one piece though, so they could study ´them. But they ruined that!

Wolfsbane suggests that maybe those two were a diversion. While they were fighting, someone else was at the canister. Like the big guy with the really big head? Guido suggests. Said weird guy corrects that he wasn’t after the canister but in it. At least his body was. His consciousness has been drifting in a non-corporeal state for some months now. Animating those android forms isn’t quite the same as merging with his own flesh and blood. He is Professor Power! And thanks to certain… friends of his who have rebuilt and redesigned this cybernetically augmented body the name has never been more fitting! He had planned to resurrect himself quietly and depart, but that was before he knew Xavier’s children would be at hand to greet him.

Random is the first to attack with an energy blast. He doesn’t even know this Xavier character, he informs Power, but he is standing between Random and his banc account and that makes this personal! Power blasts back. He claims not to know his own father, the self styled martyr of the mutant cause? Allow him to enlighten him. Charles Xavier is a cruel and heartless murderer! He killed Power’s son Matthew and Power long ago vowed to repay him by destroying his offspring in return. Which is why all of Xavier’s X-Men have to die! Only after Xavier mourns as Power has mourned, will he grant him his death!

Rahne angrily attacks him. Liar! she shouts and claws at Power’s eyes. Xavier is one of the most kind and decent men who has ever lived! Hiding his face, Power admits she is too young for this war. But Xavier has always insisted on sending off children to war. So her death will be on Xavier’s conscience, not his. He fires a blast at her that strangely is blocked, or not so strangely as Polaris reveals her presence. Rahne asks confused that she was supposed to go after Alex. Lorna Dane explains Forge thought something like this would happen and asked her to wait for the next day before leaving for Hawaii.

Oblivion’s edge:
Haven asks Xavier for forgiveness for her outburst. She can understand how he would view her as a murderer. She hopes he will see how wrong he is. 

Haven’s narration:
At eighteen, she left for Calcutta, where she worked with the poor, eventually using her wealth to erect a children’s hospital which she christened “Haven.” The children of Calcutta eventually gave that name to her and she did everything in her power to live up to it, but it went wrong when she met… His name doesn’t matter but she foolishly surrendered her heart to a man she hardly knew and began a love affair that distracted her from her true calling. She forgot the children, forgot everything except him, losing herself in a profoundly selfish love. He grew quickly tired of her and abandoned her. So began her dark night of the soul, a period of personal pain so intense that it’s inexpressible. But in that darkness she first glimpsed the light; first heard the voice within that spoke to her with power, conviction and an unassailable truth that she had never known.

He told her of the Mahapralaya, the coming destruction of three fourths of the world and the new humanity that would emerge thereafter. He told her that mutants were not a separate species but the first step in an evolutionary leap that all men will one day take. Soon she began to share his message with the world… writing books… lecturing and gathering her flock.

Xavier points out that her interest in mutantkind must have begun sooner. Her own mutant ability to travel between being and non-being must have manifested years earlier. Haven refuses to discuss this and is furious when she notices him probing her mind. Angrily, she reminds him in this realm she is his superior. With just a thought, she can strip away his form, his very being, and reduce him to nothing! She’s grown huge in comparison to him but Xavier fights back, suddenly having the upper hand. He warns her that his patience is wearing thin. The fact is she is a murderer and a terrorist. She has killed Jamie Madrox and thousands more seeking to bring about her Mahapralaya and the new humanity she imagines will follow…

It is not imagination, Haven insists. He doesn’t care! Xavier shouts. If there is to be a golden age where man and mutant become one, and he prays there will be, then he trusts God to bring it about without the help of a sad and twisted soul like her! She opened her heart to him and still he doesn’t understand? she asks sadly. He will, Xavier threatens. There is something she is hiding. A piece of her life’s puzzle that must be extracted from her mind… Get out of her mind! she shrieks and breaks contact. Xavier awakens in his study. He wonders what happened to her.

In Washington, Professor Power throws Polaris against the wall. Guido attacks but Power strikes back, calling him a blithering idiot. Blithering maybe, but not an idiot! Guido protests. He has a Mensa card to prove it! Power recalls Guido boasting of absorbing kinetic energy but that energy needs to be released. He keeps on pounding Strong Guy, refusing him the opportunity to release it. Polaris has rejoined Forge and Random, worrying about Strong Guy. If they don’t stop him, Guido is as good as dead. Forge vows nobody’s ever dying on his watch again and orders Random to create a distraction. For an extra five thousand, they can all go home and he’ll take this moron on himself! Random offers. He creates a weapon from his left arm and shoots Power.

Annoyed, Power tosses Guido aside, his rage now focused on Random. Guido lands on Random, who has to reconstitute himself. Power is weakened. He decides to retreat to heal himself and then return for Xavier and his offspring. Forge attacks him with the cellular disruptor, but Power grabs Forge’s bionic hand that is holding the disruptor and crushes both. He informs Forge that you can’t disrupt the cells in a dead body and this body’s been dead for years. Lorna magnetically attacks, threatening to blow him to pieces if he doesn’t surrender. Power shouts he will not have his son’s body defiled. Agent Williams agrees he is inhabiting the dead body of his kid and orders Polaris to take him apart.

Suddenly, the nice driver Chuck takes Daniels hostage and orders her to cut Power loose. His people went to a lot of trouble retrieving Powers’ consciousness and reconstructing that body. They will not see all their hard work ruined! Forge wants to know who he is working for, but Chuck refuses to reply, ordering him to call off Polaris. Daniels insists her life doesn’t matter. Just stop Power! Instead, Forge calls Polaris off. She protests she can take him down in two seconds. Chuck points out she would have to take down her forcefield, allowing Power to escape and he needs less than two seconds to remove Agent Daniels’ head.

Random points his gunarm at him, ready to take the chance. If Chuck pulls the trigger, so will he. Forge orders him to back off. They aren’t murderers. Maybe he isn’t, Random scoffs. So what’s it gonna be? he asks Chuck, cut her loose, or his and hers funerals? Chuck puts down the gun and the next moment Wolfsbane grapples with him. Power uses that chance to blast his alpha energies against the field. Lorna is forced to open it and, moments later, he is gone.

Daniels is furious he has gotten away. She orders X-Factor to go after him. When Guido points out he is gone, she calls him a freak and tells him she doesn’t want to hear excuses. Forge uses his device’s anti grav setting on her and drops her unceremoniously. He adds that, the next time she insults one of his people, he won’t sue this setting. Lorna grimly announces Power will be back and he won’t be coming after them. Guido glumly adds the nutjob won’t rest until he gets his slimy hands on Professor Xavier…

Haven secretly observes Xavier, curious to find if he got the information he tried to glean from her mind… her secret. That her lover left her pregnant. Another layer of the truth, namely that not Haven is the mutant, but her son is, a sentient fetus that lives and speaks within her. A symbiote who will never evolve beyond this stage, never be born, remaining forever inside her. The one within speaks to her thoughts. All these years they have been together, sharing their vision, teaching each other, planning. Xavier reached out, not looking for Haven’s mind, but his, and for an instant he sensed him. Haven returns to her temple in Northern India. She respects Xavier but she will kill him. Of all those arrayed against her, he and his X-Men are the ones she fears most, for they are the allies she wanted most. She enters the temple.

After the tragedy that ended Jamie Madrox’s life, she knew that she could never win him to her side. Therefore her son and she decided that steps be taken to remove Xavier. It saddens and sickens her. She’d rather want his help. Her operatives have unleashed Professor Power in the world again. No man alive hates Xavier more. He will not rest until Xavier is dead. She is disgusted with the path she has chosen. But they do what they must. His death… the deaths of ten thousand Xaviers will mean nothing once the Golden Age has come… once the New Humanity has followed, and the world knows true lasting peace. But on the day he dies, she will weep and say a prayer for his immortal soul. No, her son replies in her. They will weep. They will pray, and he suggests they pray now. 

2nd story:
“Don’t even think you’re getting past me!” Guido Carosella, threatens Wolfsbane. She tells him not to yell. She just came to see if he wanted some company while he cleared out— Sorry, he interrupts her, but when the cleaning muse called, he answered alone. He doesn’t have to do this alone, she assures him. If he can handle Mister Sinister and Apocalypse, the dust and clutter in Jamie’s room shouldn’t b e any problem he replies. “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to clean we go!

He enters Jamie’s room and shuts the door. Looks like the place hasn’t seen the light of day since the last time Havok laughed, Guido muses. Maybe not that long ago, he amends. He sighs, figuring there’s nothing wrong here, that packing, dusting and a Molotov cocktail wouldn’t take care of. He begins packing and sees a picture with Moira MacTaggert and a dozen Jamies. Below it is a packet of matches from Gran’ma’s bar ‘n’grill. Guido remembers he really let Jamie down that night he asked him to hang out at Gran’ma’s. Jamie sent one of his dupes instead of coming himself…

He tried calling the real Jamie but was too busy with the ladies. Maybe if he’d been paying attention, he would have known he was using his dupes as a mask. Hiding the pain. Hiding the truth…

Guido chides himself for being morbid. He needs some background noise. He switches on the TV to find a Buds Bunny cartoon. The last time he saw that show was when Jamie was going off the deep end, lashing out at everything and everyone. Guido turns off the TV and studies a picture instead. No matter what he does now, his head keeps replaying the night Jamie died. He just wishes he could have done something more to save him. When he saw him lying there, part of him had the urge to hit him make a dupe pop out and tell him whole thing was a joke. But there was no joke. And now there’s no laughter.

He begins to work on the bookcase which suddenly falls on him. Amongst the books he sees the book “Man, Mutant and the New Humanity” by Haven. He cries out her name. He guesses Jamie thought telling them about his disease would be a burden, so he turned to a stranger for help. He believed in what she wrote. Gave her his trust and in return for his faith she killed him. He crushes the book.

Suddenly, the others hear noises from Jamie’s room. Rahne runs upstairs to finds the room devastated and Guido sitting in the middle. She hugs him, telling him she knows. Let’s fix up this mess, she suggests. They begin to pick up pieces. Guido looks at the book, seeing Haven’s picture. He vows that nobody’s ever gonna hurt his family again.

Characters Involved: 

1st story:
Forge, Polaris, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)
Professor Xavier

Random Agent Daniels (Agent of SHIELD) Haven
Haven’s symbiont

Professor Power
Chuck Rose 

in narration:
younger Haven

2nd story.
Forge, Havok, Polaris, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor) in memory:
Multiple Man

Story Notes: 

The issue includes the following Pin-ups:
X-Factor, Xavier and Haven by Tom Raney
Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Magneto, Crystal, Val Cooper by Ian Churchill
X-Factor by Crake Hawbaker
Polaris and Havok by Steve Lightle

1st story:
The story takes place between X-Factor (1st series) #102 and 103.

Haven caused Madrox’ death in X-Factor (1st series) #100.

Robert Vaughn was the star of the TV spy show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E." upon which Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. was almost certainly based.

Professor Power was last seen in Spectacular Spider-Man (1st series) #99.

Mensa is an organization of people with a high IQ.

The artist wrongly depicts Forge’s left hand as bionic instead of his right.

The Mahapralaya is the great dissolution which will be followed by a new golden age.

While this story was meant to build Haven up to a major opponent, writer deMatteis soon left X-Factor and the character was dropped. She appeared one last time in X-Factor (1st series) #117 to give birth to her baby, which turned out to be the Adversary, Forge’s demonic arch- foe.

2nd story:
The cartoon “Buds Bunny” is obviously supposed to be Bugs Bunny.

The bar story occurred in issue # 95.

Jamie lashed out in # 96.

Haven inadvertently killed Jamie in #100.

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