Credits: J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Jan Duursema (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Richard Starkings & Jon Babcock (letterers), Glynis Oliver (colorist)
The members of X-Factor mourn the loss of Madrox. Havok, blaming himself for allowing Haven to “kill” Madrox, is the hardest hit. He skips the memorial service and goes to a diner. When the diner is robbed, he explodes in anger at the thief and blows out the building’s windows. Later that day, he finally visits Madrox’s grave. He asks Madrox to forgive him because he’ll never forgive himself. He tosses away his X-Factor membership card as he walks away.
It’s yet another “quiet” issue, but unlike most of the others from this era, it does have a very brief action scene. It’s a nice character issue, as DeMatteis has the cast reflect on death and loss, while developing a character arc for Havok. Some of the scenes are a little cliché, but most of it works. It’s interesting that both Madrox and Illyana were considered expendable enough to be killed, but important enough to have entire issues dedicated to mourning their memory. That’s got to be an odd level of popularity.
Aside from building up the Legacy Virus storyline, DeMatteis uses Madrox’s death to turn the focus on Havok. He’s been the least developed since the David/Stroman relaunch began, mainly serving as the straight man for jokes or the generic team leader. David played with his insecurities about living up to his brother’s reputation briefly, but left before the storyline went anywhere. Now that one of his teammates is dead, Havok is given a credible reason to doubt himself, opening the door for the first storyline to really focus on his character. I don’t even remember how exactly Havok rejoined the team (I think Polaris just talked him into it), but at least there was an effort to go beyond shock value and explore the avenues created by Madrox's death.