X-Factor #15: Whose Death is it, Anyway?

In the hospital, a horrified Warren awakens to find his wings amputated.

Scott is called to the morgue to identify the dead body. Because she’s a redhead, the police are almost certain the deceased is Maddie. Scott is not totally convinced, and is determined to get to the bottom of this.

At the X-Factor complex, Boom Boom makes it known that she feels not a lot of training is happening, but a lot of “slave labour” is. Hank receives a call from Scott. Artie picks up the distress and projects his thoughts to Rusty, Skids and Boom Boom. The four youngsters listen in on the conversation. Scott is calling for help to find out what had happened to Maddie. Hank meanwhile has bad news of his own: the surgeons have amputated Warren’s wings.

This upsets Artie greatly as Warren was hurt trying to save him. Rusty and Skids console Artie. Masque walks in, and he, envious of mutants able to pass as humans is not sorry for what happened to Warren. Boom Boom steps in to chase Masque off before he upsets Artie even more. A fight breaks out but Hank quickly breaks it up. Even though she was standing up for Artie, Hank punishes Boom Boom for resorting to violence.

Jean walks into Warren’s room to find him watching the news regarding himself. She quickly turns the television off, not wanting negative publicity to upset Warren. He feels worthless without his wings and has had enough of Jean and his friends constantly coddling him and wants to be left alone.

Worried that Warren might take his own life, she phones Scott for help. But Scott is overwhelmed and preoccupied with preparing for Maddie’s funeral and finding her murderer. He is unable to return to New York as he feels he owes Maddie this justice as he feels guilty for pushing her to her death. Angrily, he rebuts in his defence that Warren, at least, is still “alive”.

Hank finds that Caliban has gathered some Morlocks in the lower levels, ready to return to the alleys. They found other surviving Morlocks and wish to rejoin them. Hank reasons that it is safer to bring the survivors here. But the young charges under the care of X-Factor are not too happy about that and quickly point out the injustice of Boom Boom’s punishment for a fight Masque instigated.

Masque does not care for abiding by anyone’s rules and attacks Hank. Caliban challenges Masque to a duel without powers for Masque to “put”Hank’s face back. With Leech’s help, Masque is unable to cheat and Caliban defeats Masque. Hank understands that there is nothing more X-Factor can do for the Morlocks but let them return home. Skids though decides to stay with X-Factor.

Scott broods over Maddie’s grave. With Maddie dead and buried, Scott’s conscience tells him to let her go and try to save the life of Warren while he still can. He rushes back to New York.

Meanwhile, Warren decides to escape from the hospital. X-Factor is financially taken care of and his trial will only expose his friends as mutants. He makes his way to the airport to “fly” for “one last time”.

Hovering over Manhattan, Apocalypse gathers his three horsemen: Pestilence, Famine and War. the time has come to choose Death.

Jean finds out from the hospital that Warren disappeared. Jean realises that Warren wished to die. Bobby had suddenly gone missing as well, but with no time to find him, Hank and Jean rush to the airport by helicopter. Scott arrived from Anchorage in time to meet Jean and Hank. But they are too late and watch helplessly as Warren plane takes off over the ocean and explodes in midair.

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