The Longest Day
Credits: Scott Lobdell (plot), J. M. DeMatteis (script), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Richard Starkings (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist)
Havok and Wolfsbane travel to the X-Men’s mansion to console Colossus after Illyana’s death, and to have Professor Xavier examine Wolfsbane. Xavier tells Wolfsbane that she would have to revert to her human form as a mindless Mutate in order to be cured of her Genoshan programming. She asks Havok for a leave of absence so that she can travel to Muir Island and reflect on her condition. Meanwhile, Guido is kidnapped by his former employer, Lila Cheney, who wants him to go back to her rock ‘n roll lifestyle. He refuses out of loyalty to X-Factor. In Washington, Val Cooper is replaced as X-Factor’s liaison by Forge.
Havok finds a file on Xavier’s computer about the Mutant Underground. The Mutant Undergound is a group of humans secretly working to aid the cause of mutants. This is an idea Scott Lobdell plays with a few times, but it’s soon forgotten. Xavier refuses to tell Havok what’s in the file until the time is right, which seems odd to me (why keep this a secret from Havok?). The idea that Xavier is keeping secrets from his students still shows up in the titles today.
This may come as a shock to you, but this post-crossover issue is a quiet, talkative issue with no action. It’s interesting that X-Factor gets its talky issue before the crossover is even finished in the other titles. Maybe Marvel thought it would hurt the impact of the crossover if any of the spinoffs went on to other stories before it was finished. There are some attempts to incorporate Fatal Attractions into X-Factor’s continuity. Madrox feels guilty about killing an Acolyte, the government labels X-Factor their first defense against Magneto, and Val Cooper’s relationship with the team is strained after they learn of the new Sentinel project. With the exception of Cooper’s departure, none of these elements last for more than a few issues, though.
There’s very little going on in this issue, and most of the conversations between characters aren’t very exciting. It’s the type of issue that makes a big deal about a character changing costumes. Months after Peter David’s departure, the book’s still in a transition phase, with Scott Lobdell plotting and J. M. DeMatteis on his second issue of scripting. Terry Shoemaker does his usual competent job as the fill-in guy. I’m surprised he didn’t become the regular artist because it’s months before a permanent replacement for Joe Quesada is found. A fairly dull issue from an awkward time in the book’s history.