X-Factor (1st series) #112

Issue Date: 
July 1995
Story Title: 
Unnecessary Evils

John Francis Moore (writer), Jeff Matsuda (guest penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver (colors), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Havok has been kidnapped from Department H and his plane was forced to land in Tokyo. Delusional and with his power out of control, he make his way of the country, beset by his treacherous ex-lover, Scarlet McKenzie. X-Factor, an unwilling Mystique and Wild Child have followed to be attacked by crimelord Tatsu’o’s cybernetic Samurai, a diversion so that the assassin Fatale will have time enough to find Havok. X-Factor, Havok and Scarlet finally all converge in a club. Before Havok’s power totally goes out of control, Fatale appears behind him and collapses. Back in Atlanta, the mercenary Random receives a mystery call. Afterwards, he “absorbs” his roommate and dissolves.

Full Summary: 

New Tokyo International airport:

A chartered Lear jet of Canadian registry attempts an unregistered landing. Its landing gear fails to deploy before the jet hits the tarmac. The plane careens wildly before mercifully coming to a halt. Moments later, the side of the downed craft blows open with an explosive force from within and a dazed, seemingly dizzy man emerges from the smoking wreckage. His real name is Alex Summers. But right now he is living up to his code name - Havok.

Tokyo, seven hours later: Over the rooftops of the Nihonbashi district fly four cybernetically enhanced members of the Dragon Claw’s Yakuza clan. They locate their prey and attack the four Westerners: Forge, Polaris, Wild Child and Mystique, currently all that’s left of X-Factor.

Mystique identifies the Yakuza as belonging to the crime lord Tatsu’o, making Lorna Dane wonder what the Yakuza have to do with Havok’s disappearance. Forge addresses the men in Japanese, telling them they have no quarrel with them. They just want to find a friend in need, Wild Child tells him not to waste his breath and is correct, for one of the Yakuza hits Forge, telling him they have no friends in Japan. He cannot even help himself. Wild Child attacks one of the men violently threatening him for ruining his duster.

Another cyber-samurai blasts Mystique’s gun and tells her that she should surrender. Mystique transforms into Tatsu’o, shouting how dare he treat his lord in such a fashion? While the man is dumbfounded, Mystique kicks him in the face and reveals that she met the real Tatsu’o in Hong Kong three years ago. She never Forgets a face, especially those of the rich and powerful.

The other two Samurai order Polaris and Forge to leave Japan. Their friend will never return to them. When Alex’s life is in danger? Polaris states. She doesn’t think so. She creates a focused electro-magnetic pulse that slags the circuitry in the cyborgs’ armors. However, they react more intensively than she’d intended as the men are cybernetically bonded to their armors.

Mystique grabs one of the beaten men and threatens him with a blade, demanding answers. Forge tells her that coercion’s not their style. Mystique snaps he’d better make up his mind. If they want her in the game, they’d better learn to live with the way she operates. The Samurai scoffs that he doesn’t fear death, until Mystique threatens to cut every chip and wire out of his body unless he tells them why Tatsu’o sent him. Tasu’o cares nothing about them, he finally reveals, they were sent as a favor to one of his associates. He doesn’t know the name though. The mutants decide to split up and look for Alex.

At the airport, the two Canadian pilots are being retained and questioned by airport officials concerning the puzzling crash and the police is looking for the mysterious man who was seen stumbling from the wreckage. A shadowy woman walks among the crowed. Old debts were called to buy her time. Fortunately, customs is far easier to bypass there than it would in Genosha. Out there, she is simply another tourist, losing herself in the crowd. As she fades into the background, light bending around her body, Fatale is confident she will keep her adversary from claiming the contested mutant.

Tokyo station. Oblivious to the danger of an onrushing train, Alex Summers walks across the tracks, trying to shake off the constant static in his head. Fragmented pieces of recent memory cloud his mind. In Madripoor, he watched Strong Guy level a building and then collapse, the strain on his massive heart too great. He remembers panicking in the interior of the Wyoming Dam, energy building up inside of him… exploding uncontrollably… blacking out … then he sees himself in the emergency ward of Canada’s Department H slipping in and out of consciousness. He wakes up on a plane, sedate, kidnapped, bound – bound for where? The train rushes past him – barely and for a moment reality intrudes. What is he doing in Japan?

She hopes he is not trying to kill himself, a voice announces. There’s so much for her and him to do together, the sweet-faced redhead continues. He stops in his tracks, assaulted by a wave of buried memory… a bar in Mexico… the taste of cheap beer… the hint of perfume … a red sports car… her hair flowing in the hot Santa Ana wind. Chernobyl, the reactor accident…

Scarlett?! he shouts disbelieving. He remembers how she died. Is this the touch of a dead woman? she asks, as she grabs his hand. Havok dimly remembers that she was on the plane that brought him here. Scarlett explains that actually they were meant to fly to Genosha, but Alex awakened too soon and knocked out the controls. She wanted to get him there for his own good, she assures him and asks him to trust her.

He is talking to a ghost, Alex mumbles. First he loses control of his powers, now over his mind. Scarlett assures him she knows people who can help him. Firing a blast at her feet, Havok shouts at her to stop messing with his mind and leave him alone! He runs again…

Albany. In an unassuming house, the merc called Random asks his companion and roommate, Vera, to get the phone. As she doesn’t answer, he answers the phone himself. Hearing what the person at the other end has to say, Random drops the receiver
Vera rushes in asking who was on the phone. Without a word, he reaches out to the woman and starts absorbing her into himself. Then, he collapses into a purplish puddle. Sometimes you construct a life for yourself. Collect a paycheck. Come home. Order pizza. Watch cable. Fall asleep. And maybe the routine drowns out the little voice that says. “You’re kidding yourself. None of this is real.”

At the home of Yakuza boss, Tasu’o the Cyber-warriors wonder about what their leader will think of their failure. Tats’uo joins them, telling them to stop sulking. They have a guest. He introduces the grey-skinned lithe woman next to him as Fatale, one of Europe’s finest assassins. He offers her any assistance. She thanks him but she only required the men to buy her time until she arrived. Now that she has, she will make certain Alex Summers stays out of Scarlett McKenzie’s grasp by any means necessary.

In front of a movie theatre, one cop questions another on what he has heard of the case. The curious cop returns to the waiting Forge and changes back to Mystique. She informs him that they had reported an hour ago that an energy charged American had been wandering the tracks at Tokyo station.

Once they find Summers, she continues, she is out. X-Factor may have picked her up off the ground after she was ambushed in Dakota, but they both know she doesn’t belong in X-Factor. It’s either X-Factor or got to jail, Forge shoots back, so she doesn’t really have a choice. They are interrupted as a crowd of youngsters rushes out of the theatre. While Forge is momentarily diverted, Mystique disappears. She won’t get away that easily, Forge shouts and grabs one of the kids from the crowd. A little old for bobbysox, isn’t she? he gloats.

Returning to her true form, Mystique asks how he managed to pick her out. When they found her unconscious at that dam, Forge implanted a subcutaneous tracer that goes off every time she tries to change, he explains. Not missing a beat, Mystique turns into Storm. She bets he never puts his precious Ororo on a leash, she mocks. She should let him some time. They might both like it. Angrily, he tells her not to cross that line with her. Content that she has struck home she reminds him of their ‘lost lamb’ Havok.

Polaris and Wild Child, in the meantime, are searching the Ginza District. Wild Child informs Lorna that he can sense Havok’s energy patterns. He is nearby. Lorna replies that she’s glad Kyle was around Department H when Havok was kidnapped. He’s been a big help tracking Alex down. They wonder why Alex was able to escape his kidnappers and Lorna expresses her concerns that Alex has been delusional ever since he destroyed the dam. If they don’t get him into the containment suit, she’s carrying before his next uncontrollable episode, he’ll most likely take out moat of the Ginza Strip.

Alex wanders though the crowded Ginza Strip in a fever, the buildup of cosmic energy in his body raising his temperature to dangerous levels. He steps off the pavement, oblivious to the rush of oncoming traffic. He is hit by a car and the impact causes him to fall through a window into a club as well as jolt him back to reality. The club owner tells his bouncer to throw Alex out. Alex lashes out with his powers in return.

Sitting at the bar and reading a Manga is an unsurprised Yukio, She’d heard the rumor that a former X-Man was tearing up town and was betting he’d find his way to her sooner or later.
Alex glares with energy as he shouts at the people to flee – which they do – he cannot be responsible for what happens next.

Scarlet enters and Alex asks her if she hasn’t done enough damage by bringing him there. The crowd flees and X-Factor enters. Forge tells the others to get through without causing greater panic. His concern for the masses is touching but pointless, Mystique smirks. She says they plow the sheep. Lorna is just focused on Alex and cuts through the crowd passing the smirking Scarlet.

Delusional, Alex mutters that he cannot get away from Lorna She reminds him that his powers are affecting his mind. Too late, he mutters as the energy inside him builds. They can work through this, Lorna attempts to calm him. But he has to take the first step. She has brought his containment suit. It won’t work, he protests. This is not like before, when he was in College and the energy first started channeling through him. It’s so much worse.

Wild Child lunges at him, deciding to slap some sense into him. Instinctively, Alex lashes out with his powers, muttering an apology the next moment. Suddenly, the empty space behind him takes on a decidedly feminine form. Fatale tells him not to be so maudlin. She is damage control. Scarlet is startled. This changes everything. The man will not be happy when she tells him about the competition. A knife appears from Fatale’s wrist, as she tells Alex he has a difficult time right now. She stabs him in the back, as she adds that her way is far more merciful than the redhead’s.

Characters Involved: 

Forge, Havok, Mystique, Polaris, Wild Child (all X-Factor)



Vera (Random’s roommate)

Tatsu’o (Yakuza lord of the Dragon Clan)

Tasu’o’s cyber-warriors

Fatale (agent of the Black Beast)

Scarlett McKenzie(agent of the Sugar Man)

Japanese citizens

Story Notes: 

X-Factor recruited Mystique in X-Men Prime (the first issue after reality returned to normal after the Age of Apocalypse), at the same time that Havok lost control over his powers. The story of Wild Child’s recruitment was meant to be told at one point, but wasn’t.

Tatsu’o was introduced in X-Factor (1st series) #62-63. He is the grandfather of Iceman’s ex-girlfriend, Opal Tanaka.

Havok first met and fell for the femme fatale Scarlett in the Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown limited series. However, Scarlett died there.

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