Credits: Howard Mackie (writer), Jeff Matsuda (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver & Malibu (colors)
Summary: A young mutant named Trevor Chase is attacked by Friends of Humanity members. They claim that they learned about him through Raven, which is the civilian identity Mystique has used for two years while training Trevor. Elsewhere, the members of X-Factor are shackled and taken to a government building for a debriefing. Mystique escapes and goes to the hospital to visit Trevor. She then steals Trevor’s case file from the police and tracks down the local Friends of Humanity headquarters. She terrorizes the members and demands to know who ordered the attack on Trevor. Forge is excused from the debriefing and sent to find Mystique. He soon finds her by Trevor’s side at the hospital, where she privately declares that Graydon Creed will die.
Continuity Notes: Trevor’s mutant ability is described as the power to “alter transpatial realities”. There are two shadowy figures in this issue. One is the government agent who is smoking a cigar and looking on as X-Factor is brought in for questioning. The other is Bastion, who is interrogating each member of X-Factor about Shard (whose existence the team is still trying to keep secret). After his identity is revealed, Val Cooper assures Bastion that he has her full cooperation.
Review: I’m not sure what else I could say about X-Factor at this point. It’s not very good. This issue continues the “evil government forces conspire against the team” storyline, which has already gone too far, as the cast is shown shackled before they enter a debriefing. It’s absurd to think that any of the team members would stand for this in the first place, and Mackie puts no effort into showing how the cast feels about the incident anyway. Would any of these characters just shrug their shoulders and accept the fact that their superiors want to put them in chains for no reason? As for last issue’s cliffhanger that had the Dark Beast declaring that he would save the mortally wounded Polaris, it’s simply ignored. Polaris just declares that she’s okay and recovering nicely. The Dark Beast isn’t even seen or referenced in this issue. Fine then. Who needs issue-to-issue continuity? There is a nice idea here, as it’s revealed that Rogue isn’t the only young mutant Mystique has aided through the years. This makes sense, and it works well with her previous characterization. However, Mackie’s scripting is so awkward and clunky it’s hard to care about the boy, or buy into Mystique’s anger over his attack.