X-Men Legends (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
September 2021
Story Title: 

Peter David (writer), Todd Nauck (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Nauck & Rosenberg (cover), Christopher, Nauck & Rosenberg (variant covers) Mark Basso (editor), Jordan D. White (senior editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

On Christmas Eve, the Latverian embassy in Washington DC is attacked by a group of mutant terrorists with “witch” names. They kill some staff members and take the rest hostage, demanding Doom be ousted from power in Latveria. Val Cooper gathers an unwilling Havok and Polaris, who are joined by Quicksilver coming from the moon. Before they have an actual plan, they see that their fellow members Strong Guy and Multiple Man are attacking the embassy. Havok and Polaris join them to learn his was a distraction, allowing Wolfsbane to sneak in. Unfortunately, Wolfsbane is quickly made, confronted with horrible visions and captured. Later X-Factor explain in a Senate hearing what happened.

Full Summary: 

Washington DC, the Capitol:
A hearing is taking place in the Senate.
Dr. Valerie Cooper is called to testify. She announces she thinks that this is a waste of time. X-Factor has already submitted its report regarding the events at the Latverian embassy. The senator points out this is a hearing. Val interrupts that it’s a publicity stunt! It’s part of this government’s continued effort to vilify mutants. If the Avengers had handled this, they’d be given medals. But it was mutants, so naturally suspicion rules.

The senator slams down his gavel and orders her to contain herself to answering questions. Are she and her team ready for some tough questions? Bring it on! Val snaps back.

One of the senators states they are looking at events from last December 24th at the Latverian embassy.

Valerie Cooper’s narration / flashback:
Val continues one would think that it would have been closed because of the holiday. But Latveria doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so it was open. It was late in the day and they weren’t expecting trouble, which is when four masked costumed beings with superpowers entered attacking the guards.

The leader kills the receptionist with an energy blast. One of his comrades asks if that was necessary. He retorts that a fatality up front ensures fewer further down.

They dare! an angry voice booms as Dr. Doom shouts they will regret that and fires an energy blast at them. A third member, a woman called Imbolc, identifies him as a Doombot and creates a shield of red energy. She orders their leader, Samhain, to take him. Samhain destroys it with his green energy. He orders the others to round everyone in the embassy up and tells the fourth member, Lughnasa to secure the door. He creates a shield to do so. Samhain orders the second woman, Beltane with him as they walk up.

X-Factor leader Havok explains their names were Samhain, Beltane, Lughnasa and Imbolc. The names of the four witches’ sabbats. When asked if they were witches, Havok replies they were mutants. There are quite a few in Latveria. When X-Factor were alerted to the situation, they were ready to move in.

Actually, Polaris and Havok berated Val Cooper for ruining their planned vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

Val shows them the video of Samhain in which he explains that they are planning to change Latveria. They are calling upon the United States to join them, oust Victor von Doom from power, and change their country into a democracy. If the US refuses, they will take several steps, starting with killing everyone in the embassy. They have 24 hours to meet their demands, or people start dying.

And that’s when X-Factor were brought in to handle it, the senator states. No, Havok replies. The senator asks he thought X-Factor was created as a first response team to situation that involved mutants. Havok explains the UN didn’t see it that way. Since the situation involved an embassy and demands to change a nation’s status, the UN got involved. And they went to the Avengers.

And they went to X-Factor? the senator asks the next member of X-Factor, Quicksilver, who explains since it involved Doom and Latveria, the Avengers fobbed the case off to the Fantastic Four. And they came to X-Factor claiming since mutants were involved, this made it their problem.

The senator points out, the FF told them a very different story. The Avengers said they were battling a Skrull invasion. The FF were battling… Impatiently Quicksilver interrupts, he is sure they had their reasons, but he doesn’t believe them. Why not? he is asked. Quicksilver believes they didn’t want the negative publicity. Don’t they watch TV or read newspapers? Said news shows J. Jonah Jameson calling the Latverian terrorists heroes for standing up to the premier villain in the world. With public reaction turning to favor the terrorists the FF fobbed the case off to the mutants. Who cares about their reputation?

The senator still doesn’t believe that interpretation. And where was Quicksilver, when this was going on? Elsewhere, Pietro replies curtly.

Namely asleep in his quarters in Attilan on the moon, until his wife Crystal shakes him awake telling him it is a call from X-Factor. Displeased, Pietro complains he told them he was going away for a few days for a break. It seems they need him, Crystal replies.

In the townhouse, Havok impatiently wonders where the rest of the team is. Bringing a plate of donuts, Val tells him they will be along soon. The next moment, she drops the plate when Lockjaw teleports in with Quicksilver, who informs her she is very jumpy. He is aware of the case and asks what he is supposed to do. Havok tells him he has a special assignment for him. He has a special assignment while the others are attacking the embassy? Pietro asks. Havok clarifies they are not attacking the embassy. Then what’s happening there? Pietro asks munching on a donut. Havok belatedly realizes he is pointing to a TV screen, where they see Strong Guy and a horde of Multiple Man’s dupes trying to storm the embassy.

Strong Guy runs right into the shield Imbolc has created in front the embassy. Madrox sends a swarm of dupes to get over the wall. Imbolc is about to panic. Lughnasa tells her the door is secure. What about the window? Imbolc states. The windows are polycarbonate security glass. Unbreakable. A moment later, Strong Guy breaks through them.

Samhain swears then fires his green energy blasts at him. Guido shouts at Madrox to get out. Samhain marvels at how he is able to resist his attack. He gives it all and Guido is thrown out of the embassy.

When Madrox asks if Guido is ok, Guido shouts at him to get back then tries to get rid of the kinetic energy by pounding the ground.

Polaris flies herself and Havok to join them. Havok demands what they were doing here while Lorna is worried about Guido. He explains they hit him with some mystic flame. If he were human, he’d be dead. As it was, he absorbed it, but it hurt.

Alex points out he is still waiting for an answer. Jamie tells him they had a plan. They saw the situation and figured they’d handle it. Alex shouts they came off with some half-baked plan that didn’t work. It worked fine, Jamie counters. They weren’t an attack, they were the distraction:

The present:
A distraction from her? a senator asks Wolfsbane, who explains she is the most stealthy. She was to scope out the area.

While she did that, she heard some things by eavesdropping on the imprisoned embassy staff. One of them announces he hopes they’ll get rid of Doom. Another sarcastically suggests he say that bit loud. His internal monitor devices might miss it. Yet another voice claims things are fine under Doom. Country’s never been more secure. What is he sniffing and can he have some? another asks sarcastically.

A voice behind Wolfsbane calls her name. It is a vision of a corpse-like Reverend Craig, calling her “daughter” and blaming her for his death. He calls her a monster. Rahne turns human and curls up on herself.

Beltane announces they have a prisoner and Samhain crows they have been handed a new tool against X-Factor. If they attack again, one of their own will be the next fatality…

Characters Involved: 

Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)
Dr. Valerie Cooper

Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasa, Samhain
Embassy staff

In the present:
Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all X-Factor)
Dr. Valerie Cooper

Story Notes: 

The story takes place after X-Factor (1st series) #75-76.

At the time of the story, Quicksilver and Crystal are actually estranged.

The vision Beltane creates for Wolfsbane is odd. At this point in time, Wolfsbane doesn’t yet know she is Reverend Craig's daughter and she doesn’t kill him until X-Force (3rd series) #6.

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