X-FACTOR #122-125 (1996)

See this is part of the problem with so many X-books and with editorial not putting a limit to the number of plotlines writers like Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell can dangle and allow to linger. When it was just Chris Claremont doing it in the pages of just Uncanny X-Men (or even in the pages of Uncanny + New Mutants), it was all manageable. But now we’re following up on things that happened in one-shots that served to relaunch the fleet of X-books after they were all cancelled and relaunched just a few months earlier.

In the post-Age of Apocalypse level setting comic X-Men Prime, a mystery figure tried to kill Mystique. Now in an X-Factor story, published a year later, Mystique finds out the one who attacked her was Hound (from Humanity’s Last Stand), who reveals that he is a mutant but has been forced to kill mutants. He doesn’t know why and he doesn’t know who did this to him.

See, that’s incredibly unsatisfying.

Anyway, the team fights him and Polaris is able to neutralize him.

The team also learns that Valerie Cooper groomed Sabretooth and has made him a member of X-Factor. Naturally, the team isn’t thrilled.

Issue #124 is largely a lot of foreshadowing about how Valerie Cooper is as much in the dark as the X-Factor members concerning the origins of Hound and what the government is really doing about the “mutant problem,” but if this is an attempt to build suspense it fails. As readers, we’ve seen time and again how the government has secret massacre plans for mutants, whether it’s Hound or Sentinels. I don’t know for sure because I’m reading these issues for the first time and writing about them in real time, but I’m betting that’s what’s going on here.

Also, based on the “heart” in the panel above, we can see that Wild Child has the hots for the AI being Shard.

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