MAVERICK: Page 3 of 7

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27th June 2013


Even so, Maverick's condition weakened him physically, and he was nowhere near his peak when a strike team came to his safe house to kidnap him. A team of scientists had theorized that the healing factors of the Weapon X agents could potentially be used as a cure for the Legacy Virus, and that Maverick would make an ideal sample as a possessor of this factor who had already been exposed to Legacy. Despite the very real possibility of a cure, Maverick still recruited Wolverine to invade the installation, rescue the previously captured Deadpool, and stop the science team from holding the world hostage by concocting and then ransoming the only viable cure for the Legacy Virus. Deadpool escaped in the melee, but sent a sample of his genetic code to the Xavier mansion for study, and Beast independently determined it did not hold a cure. As he left, Maverick vowed not to lose hope and to continue searching for a cure as best he could. [Wolverine Annual '95]
Still, the virus continued to spread, horrifically scarring his face and at times leaving him almost too weak to move. He made an appointment with a doctor in New York willing to treat the Legacy Virus when he came across a group of anti-mutant terrorists planning to bomb the clinic, and threatening a young mutant named Chris Bradley and his family. After Maverick saved the civilians and Chris helped him disable the bomb, the two formed a rudimentary bond and Maverick gave Chris his address in case he ever needed anything. Chris had stayed briefly with the X-Men when he first learned of his mutation and infection, but they stopped keeping in touch with his family. After the Friends of Humanity torched the Bradley house, Chris ran off to see Maverick, unwittingly bringing Iceman of the X-Men along as well. After some skirmishing with the FoH, Maverick ultimately offered to help relocate Chris and his family to Florida under assumed identities, giving them a chance to start over and live with a semblance of peace while looking for a cure. He left Chris a chatterbox communicator to get in touch with him if he ever needed to. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #15]

Later, North was sleeping off a particularly bad phase of the virus progression in Ottawa when he was awakened by a Russian telepath named Elena Ivanova rummaging through his head. Elena was a former KGB agent and the daughter of Soviet Super-Cosmonaut Epsilon Red. Elena was born through Cessarian section decades earlier when Creed murdered her pregnant mother just to spite her father. The traumatic experience of her birth activated her natural psi-talents, and Elena retained a full-sensory memory of her mother's death as her earliest recollection. Hating Creed literally all her life, she began a quest to take revenge on the monster and wished to enlist Maverick's aid in the search.

Her inquest had to wait, though, since Omega Red had tracked her in order to find Maverick and the C-Synth. Getting into a car chase with Arkady, Maverick and Elena were aided by John Wraith, who had also been watching out for Maverick. The chase ultimately led the players to the abandoned Weapon X complex, where Maverick had hidden the C-Synth. Turning the facility's containment cells against Omega Red and surreptitiously calling in an airstrike by the Canadian military slowed the Super-Soldier down long enough for North and his friends to make a clean getaway. As the dust settled, Maverick informed Elena that Sabretooth was currently being housed in Falls Edge, Virginia at the X-Factor compound, after which he passed out from his infection. Touched by the dying man's plight, Elena decided to put off her revenge for the moment, and help tend to Maverick in his final days so that he did not have to die alone. [Maverick one-shot]
While resting in a Quebec hotel, North received an alarm signal that one of his safe houses was compromised. Looking to prevent his various armaments from falling into the wrong hands, Maverick was caught in an explosion the burglars left as a trap. Making his way back to Elena at the hotel, Maverick succumbed to his injuries and the final stages of the Legacy Virus, flatlining on the bed. Desperate to keep him alive, Elena used her telepathic powers to reach straight into his mind and force him back to life. Amazingly, her efforts proved even more effective than she could have imagined. Her probing somehow reactivated Maverick's mutant powers, while at the same time undoing Aldo Ferro's memory-warp and sending the Legacy Virus itself into remission. Maverick was now stronger, more capable, and thinking more clearly than he had been in months, if not years. Even his scars healed over in a matter of hours.

Moments after his revival, however, Maverick and Elena were assaulted by Hammer and Sickle, operatives of Ivan "the Terrible" Pushkin, the crime boss who had arranged the earlier explosion at the safe house. Thanks to his newly developed ability to expel varying levels of heat and force from absorbed kinetic energy, Maverick and Elena were able to escape and make it to the home of his weapon supplier friend, Isabel. After placing an order for new tech and finding a place to lay low for the night, North was contacted on his "chatterbox" by Chris Bradley, who was having trouble adjusting to his new life and new identity down in Florida. Maverick reluctantly withheld news of his remission from Chris, unsure of how to break it to the boy that he might now be free of the disease that was their common bond. [Maverick #1]

Maverick returned to Isabel's the next day to find it ransacked and Pushkin lying in wait for him. He and Elena were captured and taken to Pushkin's private labs, where his personal scientist used Elena's psi-powers to penetrate North's psychic defenses, reprogramming him to be highly susceptible to commands from Pushkin. When he awoke, Maverick was indeed easily convinced that Major Barrington, his old friend and employer, had actually been behind Ginetta's betrayal of him all those years ago, AND his infection with the Legacy Virus. Ivan the Terrible wanted Barrington dead for his own reasons, to keep the man from testifying at an inquest on organized crime. Filled with a mistaken lust for vengeance, Maverick was pointed towards Barrington's current location in Canada. [Maverick #1-2]

Assaulting the safe house, North fought his way past armed guards and two members of Alpha Flight, Vindicator and Puck, before coming face-to-face with his "betrayer." Luckily for his soul, Maverick managed to fight off the brainwashing at the last moment, and held back from executing the major. After exchanging information with Alpha Flight, they realized that Director of Foreign Affairs Pierre Cloche, who was also present at the safe house, would be an ideal secondary target for Pushkin's men. They succeeded in protecting Cloche from Pushkin's agent Sickle, and Maverick even cleaved out the butcher's eye with his own weapon, but his partner Hammer doubled back and finished the job on Barrington that Maverick had not. This left North with some unanswered questions, because even after shaking off the brainwashing he felt Pushkin's story about Barrington's involvement with Ginetta had a ring of truth to it, but the major was no longer in a position to confirm or deny the allegations. [Maverick #3]

After reuniting with Elena and Isabel, who had managed to track him down after escaping Pushkin's grasp, North realized his situation had put him out of touch with Chris Bradley for more than two weeks, and he tried contacted the boy only to discover Chris had run away from home. Maverick tracked him back to New York City, where he had fled in order to reconnect with his old girlfriend Donna, only to find Chris once again being hunted by the Friends of Humanity. They had the good fortune of running into Wolverine, which more than evened up the odds. After safely getting Chris back to his family in Florida, Maverick finally had the events of the last few days hit him, and he became emotionally exhausted. Sensing a need in one another, David and Elena sought comfort in each other's arms, and slept together that night. [Maverick #4] That moment was soured the next morning, when North discovered Elena had actively renewed her vendetta in tracking down Sabretooth. He even accused her of seducing him the night before in order to keep him distracted from her true intentions, and received a nice slap across the face for his insinuations. The argument got heated and Maverick stormed out of the hotel room to get some "air." He ended up beating up a group of thugs and getting into a nasty fistfight with the Blob. By the time he cooled down enough and returned to offer any assistance she needed for the search, Elena had already taken off on her own to confront Creed. [Maverick #5]

To make matters worse, Maverick's returning powers had become sporadic, flaring up or cutting out on him at the worse times. He made a trip down to Florida to visit Chris and take them both to be examined by an old friend, Dr. James Keller of the Navy SEALS. North learned that while his powers were "anchoring" his immune system to keep him in remission, his condition could revert back to critical virtually at any moment. At the appointment, Chris also discovered that Maverick had been keeping his remission from him, and Maverick had to leave to follow up on a lead on Elena before he and Chris could settle things properly between them. [Maverick #6]
Catching up with Creed and Elena in the tunnels under Manhattan, the resulting conflict was a disaster—Elena was seriously injured and fell into a coma after a psychic assault on Sabretooth's mind backfired, and Maverick barely managed to get rid of Creed and carry them both to safety. In addition, it turned out that Elena's psychic link with Maverick when his powers first resurfaced was a key factor to his remission, and her coma left North once again at the mercy of Legacy. Like most of the virus's victims, his powers became unstable, so that any kinetic charge he developed would now actively burn his hands until he released it. [Maverick #7-8]

Leaving Elena in the care of Chris Bradley's family, Maverick made a trip to Europe in order to dig up some leads about Ginetta and Major Barrington, and set to rest his nagging suspicions about Pushkin's concocted story about the major. While there, he was challenged by his old nemesis the Confessor and captured on behalf of Ivan Pushkin himself. [Maverick #9] Taken away to a private compound in Russia, Maverick was hauled into a dungeon alongside another enemy of Ivan the Terrible's, the current Red Guardian. Exchanging information, Maverick came to realize that Pushkin wanted him out of the way while he carried out a daring raid on A.I.M. and their weapons cache, stealing a supply of stealth missiles equipped with a biological warfare payload. Freeing themselves, North and the Red Guardian snuck on-board the transport plane carrying Pushkin's agents to the A.I.M. facility, including Hammer, Sickle and Omega Red himself. Making their way off the plane, the two heroes managed to fend off their attackers long enough to disarm the most dangerous biological weapons Pushkin was stealing. The goons still managed to retrieve a large number of additional armaments, though, and the Red Guardian was too badly injured to continue the fight. Maverick launched him to safety in an escape module, and leapt aboard Pushkin's plane as it was taking off. His infection, haywire powers, several serious wounds and exposure to Omega Red's death factor made North too weak to properly fight, however, and he was easily overcome by Sickle, who revenged himself on Maverick by gouging out his left eye, just as Maverick had taken his months earlier. North tumbled out of the plane, crashing down in the middle of the Alps, injured, half-blind and alone. [Maverick #10-12]