Strong Guy Reborn #1

Issue Date: 
September 1997
Story Title: 
the Heart of the Matter

Todd Dazago (Script), Andy Smith (Pencils), Art Thibert (Inker), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (Letters), Matt Webb (Colors), Kelly Corvese (Editor), Bob Harras (Roadie)

Brief Description: 

The Jorkens and the Kronts have been at war for six thousand years, both sides fighting to capture a moon called Yordel. However, both sides have separately devised a plan to end the war. Strong Guy and Lila Cheney are on a beach relaxing. Strong Guy tells her of his problems after he came out of his recent coma. When he looks away, however, a portal opens up behind Lila and a couple of frog-like aliens kidnap her. They take her to Tyno, who explains he is the leader of the Jorkens and he wants her to teleport a bomb to the Kronts home world. Lila tells him no and teleports away. She goes back to the beach and convinces Strong Guy to join her on her rock tour of the universe. At one of her concerts, Strong Guy fights an alien named Kree-tor, who is the newest recruit to Lila’s tour crew. After the fight, the Jorkens kidnap Kree-tor, mistaking him for Strong Guy. They then contact Lila and tell her they have her boyfriend. Believing that they have Strong Guy, Lila teleports away to save him. Meanwhile, in the prison cell, Kree-tor is kidnapped again by the Kronts. When Strong Guy realizes where Lila has gone, he races off in a spaceship to save her. Lila finds out that the Jorken’s prisoner has been taken by the Kronts and races off to the Kront home world to save him. Strong Guy and Lila both crash their spaceships on the Kront home world and are captured by the Kront leader. After being threatened by the leader, they manage to defeat him and escape. As they leave the planet in another spaceship, both the Kronts and the Jorkens fire missiles aimed at homing devices they believe are on the spaceship. The missiles hit the moon Yordel instead, annihilating it. Back on Earth, Lila continues her concert but it is interrupted by the Kronts and Jorkens, who are now working together to kill the two of them. As they open fire, Lila and Guido run towards another spaceship to escape.

Full Summary: 

In deep space, the war between the Jorkens and the Kronts rages on. As of last Wednesday, it has now been going on for six millennia with both factions battling for possession of the moon Yordel. The moon itself is a barren and untouched hunk of rock that neither side really cares about, except for the fact the other side wants it. Both sides have made plans to step up their stratagems for acquiring the moon due to the anniversary of the conflict. Each side wants the total annihilation of the other… and of course to capture to moon. The odds of both factions coming up with the same plan are approximately 3,720 to 1… you’ll never guess what they came up with.

(Jones Beach, Long Island)

Guido Carosella aka Strong Guy is sunbathing on the beach alongside his friend, Lila Cheney. Lila asks Guido what he wants to do. He looks away and tells her that everything has been happening so fast recently… or at least that’s the way it seems to him. Next to him is a big sandcastle with sand sculptures of his X-Factor teammates around it. He tells Lila that, when he was with X-Factor, everything was rosy. Sure they were hated and feared by a world they sought to protect, but they were a team… a family. But then things started to go wrong. Guido crushes the sand sculptor of Jamie Madrox aka the Multiple Man as he tells Lila that Jamie had died. He crushes Wolfsbane’s sculpture because she was heartbroken at Jamie’s death so left the team and joined Excalibur. Moving onto Havok, he crushes the sculpture and he tells her that Havok left the team to form his own Brotherhood of Mutants. Finally, he gets to the sculpture of himself and crushes that too, because he was in a coma for the past few months due to his heart attack. His heart wasn’t able to handle the stress of his ever-expanding, absorbing muscle and it finally spanked him good.

Standing up, he tells her that, when he came out of the coma, the world around him had changed… it was only a few months but it seemed like years had passed. X-Factor isn’t his X-Factor anymore and he doesn’t know if he fits in. Does he go back to being plain old Guido Carosella, rich guy and consort to the starlets? Or does he stay as Strong Guy and hook up with X-Factor or another mutant team?

Lila gets up and tells him that, as Lila Cheney the intergalactic rock star, she was hoping he would come back and work for her. She could really use his help and she would love to have him around. As she says this, a small flash of light appears behind her, accompanied by a ping sound. As Guido looks away and starts examining one of the sandcastlesm he tells Lila that she doesn’t need him, she is more than capable of taking care of herself. Plus she didn’t say please. Standing behind Guido with her hands on her hips, she starts to tell him off, not realizing a portal has opened up behind her.

Peering out of the portal are two green skinned, frog-like beings. They grab Lila and yank her through the portal without Guido noticing. As the portal closes with another ping sound, Guido turns around and assumes she used her own teleporting powers to disappear.

Meanwhile, in the throne room on the Jorken mother ship, the leader of the Jorkens and his guards await Lila’s arrival. The room has large computers around the walls and the floor is covered in lily pads. A pink flash of light appears before them accompanied by the ominous ping sound. Lila and her waist-high captors materialize before the king and he introduces himself as Tyno, leader of the Jorkens. Before he can finish his introductory speech, Lila cuts him off and demands to know what she is doing there.

Continuing with his speech, Tyno tells her the Jorkens has been battle for countless eons for what is rightfully theirs… the pristine moon of Yordel. He points to a computer screen and shows Lila footage of one of the many space battles for the moon. He continues and tells them they battle for the moon with their enemies the Kronts. With a smile on his face, he tells Lila that now she is on their side she can teleport a Dylaxian bomb into the palace on the Kront throne world and blow them to smithereens.

Lila looks at the Tyno and clarifies a few things. They kidnapped her because she is a teleporter. Tyno confirms this and says it’s so she can teleport the bomb to the Kronts. Lila continues and says they kidnapped her knowing she is able to teleport anywhere in the universe. A little confused Tyno agrees as Lila goes on and asks if they are really that dim to believe they can kidnap and teleporter. With that, Lila uses her powers and disappears with a puff of smoke. Stunned and confused, the Tyno asks an advisor where she went, at which point the advisor wonders aloud, in poor grammar, if she didn’t understand Tyno’s English.

With another puff of smoke, Lila appears back on the beach next to Guido and immediately starts yelling about the fact she was just kidnapped by aliens. Guido points out that she doesn’t need him as she can just pop right back out of it. As Guido starts to muse on his situation again, Lila grabs him by the arms and teleports him away, telling him he is going on her concert tour.

On their computer monitors, the Jorkens are watching the situation on the beach and realize that they cannot kidnap Lila. But they can kidnap her big boyfriend and blackmail her into teleporting the bomb for them.

(Sometime Later)

Strong Guy is fighting a large, bulky blue alien. Around the two is a crowd comprised up of many alien races but they all chant “Kree-tor.” The two muscle-bound beings punch each other with force until Kree-tor staggers back to the wall and holds his hand to his torso. As one of the spectators ask if it’s over, Strong Guy says he thought he was going to have to open up a can of industrial strength whoop-ass. With that, his opponent roars and runs forward towards him. Strong Guy dodges and sticks out his foot, sending the behemoth crashing forwards into a table.

With Kree-tor lying on the ground, Strong Guy raises his hands and announces that Kree-tor is hired and welcomes him to the Lila Cheney intergalactic rock and roll show. Strong Guy helps Kree-tor up and gets Tommy, a small balding man in a grey suit, to tell everybody that the open security position has been filled. As Strong Guy walks away with some of the other bodyguards, Tommy meets with Kree-tor… neither group noticing a familiar pink flash and pinging sound. A portal opens and two Jorkens look out of it. They look around and, after a little confusion, grab Kree-tor, mistaking him for Strong Guy. Not noticing the kidnapping, Tommy turns around to see where Kree-tor has gone and gets worried when he can’t see him.

At that moment, Lila is on stage doing a sound check. She stops singing her song as she keeps hearing a pinging sound. Rebo, who is in the sound booth, says he isn’t picking up anything that side and it must be coming from the stage. Suddenly another ping sound is heard and a portal opens next to Lila. Inside the portal is a computer monitor with Tyno on it. He greets Lila and tells her that he has abducted the one she care for the most… the one she calls Strong One. Realizing that he has kidnapped Strong Guy, Lila starts to get angry at Tyno. But he cuts her off and tells her that if she wants to see Guido alive she will do the Jorken’s bidding. The Jorken’s portal closes with a ping and Lila immediately teleports away as well.

On the Jorken’s throne ship, one of the guards asks Tyno if they really have Strong Guy. He tells him that they do and that he is down in the detention bay. In the detention bay, Kree-tor is being held hostage by two of the Jorken guards, who have guns pointed at him. A pinging sound is heard and a yellow portal opens up behind Kree-tor. A huge brown hand reaches through, grabs Kree-tor and pulls him through the portal. The portal closes and the two guards realize that they are going to be in trouble.

Meanwhile, Guido is backstage at the concert helping the crew set up. He is holding up a huge speaker as other crew members use ropes to steady it. Tommy runs towards Guido, yelling at him and trying to explain what happened. Guido tells Tommy to slow down and eventually Tommy explains that Kree-tor was just there one minute and gone the next… with a ping. Realizing what the ping meant, Guido drops the speaker, which sends the other crew members flying, and he rushes away to check on Lila.

Guido runs into Rebo, a tiny blue alien wearing sunglasses and a beret. He tells Rebo that he has to find Lila but Rebo tells her she has gone. He explains that some frog told her that they have her boyfriend, so she teleported off to the rescue. Alarmed, Guido runs off as Rebo tells Tommy that the show starts in twenty minutes.

In-between splutters, Tyno orders his guards to release the prisoner. Lila has lifted the small leader of the Jorken’s off the floor by his throat. She tells him that she is sick and tired off all the nonsense and she has to do a gig in twenty minutes so she has no time for his stupid games. She demands that he hand over Strong Guy and then threatens that, if she ever sees him again, then she will teleport him to the farthest reaches of space.

Just then, one of the guards enters and tells them they have a problem… the big guy has been kidnapped by the Kronts. Exasperated, Lila tells them that they are pathetic as they can’t even get a kidnapping right. She tells Tyno to give her one of their ships… she is going to the Kront home world.

Elsewhere, Strong Guy is zipping through space is a small saucer-shaped spaceship towards the Jorken home world. He worries about getting to Lila on time but has figured out what is going on. Lila went off to rescue him little realizing that it was Kree-tor. As he nears the Jorken, something flashes past him and he realizes that it was Lila in another spaceship. He turns his ship around and goes after Lila to let her know he is alright.

In the Jorken throne room, Tyno asks one of his guards if they managed to plant the homing device in the spaceship before Lila took it. The guard confirms they did and pleased Tyno tells his guards that the plan is to send the Dylaxian bomb to the Kront world using the homing device on Lila’s ship.

As Lila gets near the Kront world, she enters a battlefield full of warring Kront and Jorken spaceships. As lasers fire and explosions occur all around her, she dodges them all and continues on… determined not to miss the final concert of her tour, which kicks off in fifteen minutes. As Lila makes it through the battlefield and gets to the Kront world, Guido is hot on her trail and admires her from afar. He gets his ship close to hers and yells for her but she can’t hear him, heading towards the Kront palace instead. Guido suddenly realizes she is on a crash course for the place and headed there at great speed. He starts to get worried until he watches her teleport out of the cockpit and lets the ship crash into the palace. As he follows the ship, he realizes he too is coming in too fast and hasn’t got time to pull up. He braces himself as his ship slams into the ground with a loud smash which sends debris flying up in the air.

Guido emerges from the debris a few moments later in agony due to him absorbing the physical damage from the crash. He is desperate for a way to let out the energy he has absorbed as his muscles bulge and cause him great pain. Just then, a group of Kront soldiers finds the crash-site and Guido and order him to halt. The Kront soldiers are twice the size of Guido but that doesn’t stop him from charging at them and taking them on. As fists and bodies fly around in a swirl of dust, Lila suddenly teleports in and distracts Guido. One of the Kront soldiers takes the opportunity and electrocutes the both of them.

As Lila regains consciousness she finds herself a prisoner of the Kronts. They have her, Guido and Kree-tor held in position high off the ground on an energy wall. Their hands and feet encased in energy globes. Guido welcomes Lila and introduces her to Kree-tor and explains their situation. Lila asks him what he is doing there, as she thought he was already a hostage. Guido explains how the Jorken’s kidnapped Kree-tor by accident and how he went after Lila when she mistakenly went after Kree-tor. He tells her that he has also hired Kree-tor and she welcomes him to the team.

Lila asks what the time is, as she has a show in a few minutes. Kree-tor explains that the Kronts have no concept of time, so they took her watch as they thought it was a talisman of great power. A giant, brown-skinned alien wearing a crown enters the room and announces himself as Ulek, king of the Kronts. Ulek explains that he knows who Lila is and about her powers. He tells her she is going to aid them with their plan to destroy the Jorken home world or else he will dip her into the vat of pustelic acid he is holding. He tells her that he friend will be dipped in first and then finally her. He gets up close to her and lets her know that he also has her watch, which he is wearing on his wrist.

Lilsa lets out a little giggle and tells Ulek that she is not going to be pushed around by some little froggy guys or some big guy with a vat of acid. This angers Ulek and he starts the dipping. He advances on Guido first but Guido asks him for the time. Ulek obliges and looks at the watch on his wrist and in doing so pours the vat of acid all over himself. He screams as the acids burns him away until there is nothing left but a few body parts in a pool on the floor. Guido uses his strength and breaks the energy globes holding him in place. He then unplugs the energy wall, releasing the other two. As Lila walks over to the puddle of Ulek and picks up her watch, Guido tells her they might just make it to their show. Before they go, however, there is one thing they must do… With that, they disappear in a puff of smoke.

Moments later, they are sifting through the rubble of Lila’s crashed spaceship and Guido pulls out the homing device.

On the Jorken ship, Tyno orders his soldiers to lock onto the homing signal and fire all the weapons at once. Elsewhere, on a Kront ship, a soldier tells his men that Lila and her friends are stealing the ship they left for them. Once it returns to the Jorken world, then they will lock onto that ships homing device.

As the Kront ship flies away, Guido finds the homing device hidden beneath one of the seats.

The two leaders of the warring races ready their weapons and then give the order to fire. A flurry of missiles fly from both worlds towards their destinations… the Kronts’s towards the Jorken home world and the Jorken’s towards the Kront home world. But the best laid plans of both worlds go wrong as all the missiles veer off course and head toward Yordel, the very moon both races have been fighting over. As the missiles hit the target, the moon is completely annihilated by the resulting explosion to the horror of both factions.

In the Jorken throne world, Tyno realizes he has done this and the sole meaning of existence for generations of Jorken is now gone. On the Kront ship, the same realization is reached and both sides wonder that they will do now. On their ship, Guido tells Lila and Kree-tor that he figured he would take away the whole reason the two races were fighting.

About five minutes later, they are back at the concert. Guido is getting on with organizing the equipment backstage but Lila is trying to talk to him. She tells him that it’s the last concert of her tour and afterwards she will be headed to the other side of the universe. After trying to find the right words, she eventually says she doesn’t want him to go back to X-Factor because of his heart. Guido tells her to relax and tries to joke with her but she starts crying and tells him to think of his heart as it can’t take the stress. She tells him that she loves her life of travelling around the universe but it would be the same if he weren’t in it. She then tells him she loves him and she doesn’t know what she would do without him.

Guido tries to reassure her and tells her that Forge fixed his heart and now it’s better than ever. But it’s not about how his heart is… it’s more about where his heart is. He explains that X-Factor has changed so much recently and although Xavier’s dream still means much to him his heart isn’t in it anymore. It’s now about jumping all over the cosmos with his best pal. Delighted by his response, Lila hugs him but he reminds her that she has a show to do.

A few minutes later, as Lila plays on stage, Guido stands in the back and watches her. He thinks how he has never been happier and how star hopping with her will be nice and relaxing. Just at that moment, though, Lila stops singing and looks to the sky as an armada of Kront and Jorken ships flies overhead. A portal suddenly appears before her with a monitor in it. On the monitor, both Tyno and the new Kront leader appear. Tyno tells her that the two races are united as they don’t have a moon to fight over anymore. The Kront leader explains that their new goal is the total annihilation of Lila Cheney and Guido for the destruction of their moon. The ships overhead open fire which causes Lila and Strong Guy to run towards their nearby spaceship. Lila protests her innocence but Guido tells her to run and muses how low stress this life will be.

Characters Involved: 

Strong Guy

Lila Cheney

Tyno, leader of the Jorkens

Numerous Jorken soldiers




Numerous crew members of Lila’s concert

Unnamed aliens at stadium

Ulek, king of the Kronts

Numerous Kront soldiers

Unnamed Kront leader

Story Notes: 

The Multiple Man that Guido references as dying was in fact a duplicate and the Multiple Man prime would later turn up alive and well.

Lila’s reference to Kermit is obviously Kermit the Frog of the Muppets, who the Jorkens look very similar to.

Forge stimulated Strong Guy’s heart in X-factor (1st series) #136, making it stronger.

The spaceship Lila and Guido escape on at the end looks remarkably like the Millennium Falcon… Han Solo’s ship from the original Star Wars trilogy.

This comic also contains a number of puzzles and activities at the back of it.

Strong Guy and Lila would eventually part ways. Strong Guy would go on to join Multiple Man in his newly set up X-Factor Investigations (X-factor 3rd series). Little is mentioned about why he and Lila parted way except they had a falling out. As far as anyone is aware, Lila still continues to travel the universe as a rock star.

The Jorkens and the Kronts have not been seen since.

Strong Guy breaks the forth wall a number of times in this issue. This is unusual, as he has not done that before or since.

Issue Information: 
Written By: