The Season of the Witch
Credits: Howard Mackie (writer), Cary Nord (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Gina Going (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters)
Summary: Suspicious of Madelyne’s behavior, Havok and Elektra take Scotty away on a trip. They’re confronted by the Brute and a group of demons serving Madelyne. Meanwhile, Bloodstorm and Ice-Man attempt to fight off Madelyne’s demons, but are soon possessed and forced into joining her side.
Better Than X-Factor?: The art is. The plot’s too thin to fill an entire issue, but I guess a needlessly padded story is preferable to an unnecessarily complicated and utterly nonsensical one, so it also reads better than Mackie’s average X-Factor issue. One of Mackie’s old traits is starting to emerge -- the inability to keep long-running subplots consistent. Little Scotty is supposed to be suspicious about Havok, since he’s the only one who knows for certain that this Havok isn’t his father. Mackie blunted that subplot a bit by having Havok confess this to the other cast members early on, but at this point in the story they still don’t believe him, so Scotty’s skepticism does have some value. As of this issue, his nanny Elektra is wholly convinced that Scotty loves Havok now, while he previously “respected” him, but felt no love. Maybe this is a clue that this reality’s Havok wasn’t a saint, or a sign that Scotty himself has some issues. Regardless, Scotty’s opinion on Havok has radically changed in-between issues for no apparent reason, which is needlessly jarring. As for the main plot, the cast fights demons and that’s essentially it. Nord’s well suited for this kind of story, yet the demons are left in darkness for the entire issue. That’s an odd decision, one that doesn’t help the already too flimsy story at all.