X-Factor #26: Casualties

Despite Cyclops’ attempt to convince the public they were the good guys, the police are still calling for their arrest. Angel rebels and flies away. The rest of X-Factor follows his suit and abandon the Ship. Some of the media try to sneak into the Ship but are denied entry as only mutants can enter it.

X-Factor go around the city to survey the damage that had been done. They see firefighters attempting to put out the fires in a building. An unexpected gas explosion puts everyone around the site in danger. X-Factor step in to save the firefighters.

Seeing their heroic efforts, a police sergeant alerts X-Factor of a building collapse and victims that needed their help, instead of arresting them. Beast rescues an elderly man, while Cyclops mistook a woman and child he and Marvel Girl rescued for his supposed dead wife Maddie. He admits to Marvel Girl that he had married Maddie because “she looked so much like [Jean]” and he wanted so badly to believe that “Maddie was [Jean] come back to life”.

While telekinetically transporting the injured to the hospital, Cyclops and Marvel Girl continue talking civilly about the subject of Maddie, where they previously had not done so. Cyclops felt guilty about not being able to love Maddie as she loved him because he still loved Jean and she was not Jean. He felt his life falling apart; he lost the right to lead the X-Men and ended up abandoning Maddie and his son immediately upon the news that Jean was alive. When he realised how he had wronged Maddie by leaving her, she had disappeared completely, except for what he assumed to be the dead body of his wife, and his son still missing.

Beast is seen wondering the halls of the hospital. Having used up so much strength that his intelligence is compromised, he is embarrassed to be seen and hides in a corner. Reporter Trish Tilby who is lightly injured, gives up her bed for another who needs it more than she does, encounters Beast in the hallway. She thanks Beast for saving her life, calling him a “hero”, moving him to tears. Beast blames himself for all the destruction that had happened. Iceman explains that Beast has suffered at the touch of Pestilence, and was tricked by Apocalypse to destroy the Ship. Iceman wants Trish to leave Beast alone; she had reported enough on Warren and caused the team misery. In her defence, Trish claims to only be going after the truth. She was against the “Mutant-hunter ad campaign”, and discovering Warren’s connections led to her relentless pursuit.

Fatigue soon got the better of Marvel Girl, and at Cyclops’ and a doctor’s urging, agreed to take a break and get some sleep. Leaving the injured in the capable hands of doctors and nurses at the hospital, Marvel Girl is ready to telekinetically take X-Factor home. The police quickly offer to give X-Factor a lift, seeing how exhausted they were. Marvel Girl is touched by a little girl’s offer of flowers. Dropping them off at the Ship, the police officer informed them the city was holding a parade in their honour.

Bobby and Hank go off to explore the Ship in search of beds, leaving Scott and Jean to share some intimate time alone. Later in the afternoon as they are getting ready to participate in the parade, they receive a pleasant surprise in the form of new costumes, compliments of a grateful designer whom they had saved.

Apocalypse watches on as X-Factor are warmly received in the streets of the city.

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