X-Factor #35 (1988, December)
In New York, Iceman and Beast are attacked by construction equipment. After they beat it, we cut to Nebraska, and the orphanage where Scott was raised. He and Jean go in, looking for his son. Scott has strange memories of his time there.
They head down to the infirmary, where no one sees them. But a little mutant girl, a telepath/telekinetic, senses them, and gets scared. Jean senses the fear of the basement, and a coffin. Scott has more memories of his time there, and of being bullied by a kid named Nathan.
Outside, Nanny’s ship is hovering, as she tells her Lost Boys (And Girls) about the mutant children inside, and the need to save them.
Back inside, Scott and Jean are descending an elevator shaft, as Scott says he sometimes hated Alex for being adopted, for being wanted, when Scott was told no one would want him. Jean senses something at the bottom of the shaft, but isn’t sure if it means her telepathy’s returning. They get to the bottom, and find a room filled with frozen babies. Cryogenically frozen. They’re not, like, sitting in a freezer or something. Scott wonders how he’ll know which baby is his son, but Jean says she’ll know, and he’s what she feels. She wonders why she can feel him, out of all the babies. They find him, and Scott calls him Christopher. Hey! Two comics in one month that name him! It only took three years! Jean and Scott start getting to work freeing him and the other babies.
Meanwhile: Demons! Also, Orphan-Maker! And the other kids! And a fight! Jean recognizes two of the kids as her niece and nephew. Scott blasts Nanny out through the roof, and Orphan-Maker tries to catch Jean with some pixie dust, which helps Jean figure out Nanny’s secret: She’s a weak telepath who uses a chemical to make subjects more suggestible. She then takes the fight out of the lab. The fight continues, physical and verbal, with Scott and Jean trying to convince Nanny they all want to protect the kids, and Nanny saying the parents can’t protect them. While they fight, the demons sneak into the lab to steal the babies.
One of Nanny’s kids – Gailyn, Jean’s niece – runs up to let Nanny know about the demons, and that ends the fight. Jean tries to chase Nanny to get Gailyn back, but Christopher starts crying, so she instead goes after him, but can’t find him.
This is a good issue. The opening with Beast and Iceman actually ends up feeling almost out-of-place, given the entire rest of the issue deals with the orphanage. I wonder if it might have been better to cut that opening scene? Still, the rest of the issue was great. It was really tense, and went into Scott’s origin really effectively. It was really sad, seeing what his life was like in the orphanage. And it was nice, seeing Jean comfort Scott. The hints of her telepathic abilities return was cool, and her connection to Christopher was, I thought, a really cool touch. Maddie is a clone of Jean, which means, genetically, he is still Jean’s son, so it makes sense she’d have a connection to him. I do like Nanny and Orphan-Maker, so their presence was enjoyable for me, and it did give Jean some angst when she realized her niece and nephew were part of Nanny’s gang. So yeah, there’s a lot of good stuff in this issue.
The art is fine. Shoemaker doesn’t blow me away or anything. He’s fine. Just fine.
So, on the whole, good issue.