Credits: Howard Mackie (writer), Steve Epting (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering)
Havok travels to Alaska to sort through his emotions and is greeted there by his brother, Cyclops. Havok wants to be alone and leaves on his motorcycle, but Cyclops follows. They eventually meet in a bar, where Havok discusses his insecurities about his powers and his inability to live up to Cyclops’ example. After getting into a bar fight with a few rednecks, Cyclops reminds Havok that whatever happens, they’ll face the future together. Meanwhile, inside X-Factor’s new headquarters in Virginia, Mystique tries to access Forge’s files but can’t break his password. Wild Child watches the incident and threatens to tell Forge. Inside a holographic simulation, Forge is meditating when he sees an image of Naze, who tells him that he must answer his call. Mystique interrupts, which leads Forge to generate a hologram of Destiny. He’s still trying to deduce her prophesy that he and Mystique are destined to be together. Mystique asks Forge to consider that Destiny might’ve simply meant that they’re fated to be a romantic couple, but Forge refuses to accept that. Elsewhere, the Dark Beast recreates Random out of goo and orders him to bring back Havok.
According to this issue, Havok built a cabin the Alaskan wilderness that overlooks the field where he landed with Cyclops after their parents’ plane crashed when they were children. There’s also a hint that Mystique knows a dark secret about Wild Child.
After producing one decent issue after starting the new direction, John Francis Moore is already gone and replaced by Howard Mackie. Mackie had been doing work around the X-office for almost two years at this point, but this was his first monthly X-title. To say that his run on this book isn’t held in high regard by fandom would be an understatement. There’s nothing particularly terrible in this issue, even though it’s another talky issue that doesn’t really advance any of the storylines. A lot of the dialogue is fairly cliché and predictable, especially Cyclops’ pep talk to Havok, but there are only a few spots where it’s too clunky or awkward. Mackie seems to have gone out of his way to avoid showing any action in this issue, even setting up a bar fight scene and then skipping past the actual fight. I have no idea why he bothered to do this, especially since a few of the conversation scenes and double page spreads could’ve easily been cut to make room for a little action. Overall, there’s hardly anything going on here, but it’s inoffensive enough, and the art by Epting is nicely done.