[One Man’s Worth] – Factor X #2

We start off with a glimpse inside the pens in which Apocalypse keeps both humans and mutants who have been deemed unworthy.  We learn that the brains (and literally only the brains) of six telepaths are what keep the prisoners too dazed to dream of uprising or escape.  Magneto appears among them to take two of the prisoners to escape, but unfortunately for her, Polaris is not included among them.

Meanwhile, Cyclops and Havok go before Apocalypse, who apparently thinks he’s auditioning for a play, because seriously he could not be any more dramatic in his speeches if he tried.  They once again remind us that Sinister has defected, but Apocalypse is certain that it will not be a problem for him.  Havok is a kiss up but Cyclops dares to speak up in front of Apocalypse, so he gains his respect.  This of course makes Havok insanely jealous.

The brothers leave and have a discussion about power.  Havok wants it, but Cyclops is only concerned with being the good soldier and following orders.  Because you know, that’s kind of his thing (recent developments in the comics not withstanding). The brothers part ways and Havok heads to speak to the Guthries about the prison breakout.  While their security systems can’t identify Magneto, they know Polaris saw him, so they go to speak with her.

The irony here is that in the main continuity, Havok and Polars are lovers. But here he slaps her when she tells him the truth, because I guess he can’t believe Magneto made it through their defenses.  She reacts by using what little powers she has left to move the iron in his blood, before the Guthries taze her.  They bring her to Beast so he can dig through her mind and see exactly what she saw of the breakout.  He explains to them and us that Lorna thinks Magneto is her father because her real parents died in the cullings and the trauma had her hold on to the belief that Magneto was her real father.  She and Rogue formed an alliance for a while, but something apparently soured between them because Rogue ended up stealing half her powers away from her.  But none of that explains why Lorna calls Havok Alex and asks him why he’s doing this to her, as if her madness somehow allowed her to know of their connection in the main reality.

Meanwhile Cyclops meets up with the Bedlam Brothers, who tell him they can’t find any evidence of where Sinister is now.  Angel literally drops in on them because he’s heard the news and he can’t help but think that a war with Europe would be bad for his business.

Alex has retreated to Angel’s club to see Scarlett once again, and he assures her that he’s going to get Cyclops out of the way so he can be in line to replace Sinister as Horseman.  He leaves and Scarlett gets a phone call.  We don’t know who’s on the other end, but it’s clear she’s actually there as an agent for the Human High Council.

Beast is torturing Lorna to get her memories out but her powers interfere with his equipment.  He threatens to perform brain surgery on her, but Cyclops interrupts.    He reminds Beast about the treaty with the humans that forbids genetic experimentation.  Beast scoffs, saying that the treaty is nothing more than a charade and he shouldn’t have to follow it.  Cyclops responds by destroying Beast’s equipment with his laser beams.  As he goes to leave the room, Lorna looks at him, but she sees him as Magneto, in the same cloaked fashion that she saw him earlier.  Is Cyclops the one helping the prisoners escape?

Yes, yes he is.  He comes back for her later and guides her out the pens, even attacking Northstar and Aurora when they show up to stop him.  He guides Lorna into the hands of the Underground movement while Havok watches  from far away, confident that he now has the way to overthrow his brother once and for all.

The misdirect of Magnet builds to a good reveal that, yes, even in this reality, Cyclops is still a good guy, but there’s still a lot of rehashing here that feels completely unnecessary for a second issue.  It feels like padding because that’s exactly what it is.  More than anything I’m really confused by Polaris seeming to know Havok here.  I honestly can’t remember if it comes up again or not, but since she’s free of the pens now I would think not.  Overall it’s not a terrible issue, and if I didn’t hate Summers brother drama so much I might have enjoyed it a bit more.

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