X-Factor #13 (1987, February)
The issue actually starts with some backstory. It explains that, a while ago, Master Mold was imprinted with Steven Lang’s mind, and then his space station was destroyed, and he fell into the Bering Strait.
At X-Factor HQ, Scott says goodbye to the kids. Then he heads over to the hospital to check on Angel and say goodbye to Jean. In the hospital, Jean and Angel are talking, with Jean moaning about how she hurts the men around her. Angel comforts her, and Scott leaves after overhearing just a bit of it, because of course he did. Man, I am so glad this is the last we’ll see of that in this book, the whole thing with Scott overhearing and misinterpreting things between Jean and Angel. Anyway, Jean realizes he was there and rushes down to see him off before his cab leaves, giving him a kiss before sending him to look for his wife, because that’s not a mixed message at all.
A little later, Hodge goes to see Angel and tell him he’s been subpoenaed for fraud over hiding his X-Factor holdings. Angel says X-Factor would be better off if he was dead. Foreshadowing!
In Alaska, Scott finds his house for sale, and reflects that he knows about being alone. He blasts the lock off the door, and his power is detected by Master Mold. He detects it belongs to one of The Twelve. Yep, The Twelve! This is the first time we hear about this. Certainly not the last. It becomes something of a recurring subplot over the next few years, a mystery that pops up again and again, usually with some slight inconsistencies each time. When it actually ends up being resolved, it’s . . . not good. Anyway, the house is empty.
Later, he gets a call from Beast, who talks about how hectic the base is with all the new mutants. He tells Scott about all the crazy crap going on, but Scott says he needs to find Maddie. As well he should. He was a dick about abandoning her, so he should try to make things right. Meanwhile, Master Mold starts rebuilding himself from an oil rig.
Scott heads to the realty office, and is told Mr. Summers filed the paperwork to sell the house. He yells at the secretary, and a cop takes him down to the station. As he leaves the station later, another officer says there’s no computer records about Maddie and Nathan. Meanwhile, Master Mold keeps repairing itself.
Scott goes to the offices of North Star Airways. The guy working there says he has no records of a Madelyne Pryor. We also find out that the airline was bought out by a big conglomerate that kicked out all the old staff. He keeps checking around, but can’t find anything anywhere. Even the hospital has no record of his son’s birth. Which they wouldn’t, since he was born at the X-Mansion. Oops. Someone’s gone to the effort of erasing all evidence of Madelyne’s existence. As he searches through some newspaper files about the plane crash Maddie walked away from, he finds an article about the Starcore 1 crash where Jean became Phoenix. He freaks out just a little.
Later on, back at the house, he freaks out a lot. He starts blasting up the house. Maddie appears, but it’s just an hallucination, and he blasts her. He sees her turn into Phoenix, then Jean, then Phoenix again, with them saying Maddie was only ever a manifestation of the Phoenix. Even he starts to think she never existed, until one of his blasts uncovers one of the baby’s rattles.
Elsewhere, some cops find a redheaded woman washed up on shore. They think it might be Scott’s wife. And Master Mold is on his way to find and kill Scott.
This is actually a pretty interesting issue. It sets up a neat mystery, and then has Scott descend into madness. I should note that this won’t be the last of his hallucinations. Even now that he knows he didn’t just dream up Maddie, he stays a little crazy for a little longer. We also get a little more of Angel’s plot, and the repercussions of the information Mystique leaked. That plot’s pretty good, too, and is on its way to somewhere big.
Walter Simonson’s art is good. He’s a lot more restrained, compared to his Thor work. Which is probably the right way to go for this book. I’m not a big fan of his non-Thor artwork, to be honest. I don’t know what it is, but his art works on Thor in a way that it doesn’t work for me elsewhere.
Overall, this is a good issue that’s part of a fairly important ongoing plot.