X-Factor #131-135 (1997): Major changes to the team

These issues redirect X-Factor away from being government stooges, which I like.

It starts when Havok frees Dark Beast and Fatale from government imprisonment (both were captured by X-Factor) and they join his new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Then, X-Factor formally resigns from working for the government, which leads to an attempted arrest and then their escape. As part of his resignation, Forge hands over a CD-ROM that, of course, has a virus on it so he can hack the government’s systems.

The team is on the run, and while they are fleeing, the government tries to seize Forge’s tech from his base–meeting with all kinds of booby traps.

Meanwhile, Trevor Chase gets taken by an unknown kidnapper who tries to assassinate Mystique. Forge and Mystique try to escape and seem to die in a car crash, but they use this as a distraction to track down Trevor who, of course, was taken by the government. He’s rescued in the end, and is taken in by the team–but there’s something odd about him…

I honestly don’t know what this is about yet, but clearly he’s up to no good.

And Polaris, Sabretooth, Shard and Wildchild appear to be killed in a different explosion.

But, of course, there’s no sign of any bodies. Duh.

Turns out, this was all part of Forge and Polaris’ plan to take X-Factor “underground,” away from government supervision, so that maybe they can realign with Havok and his Brotherhood. This make sense–Havok’s actions with the Brotherhood have been hard to understand, but this makes sense of them–he’s trying to pull in “evil” (or fringe) mutants like Dark Beast and Madrox, so that they can be part of a larger X-Factor family that will publicly state a mission that “mutants police other mutants,” rather than working for Valerie Cooper.

Throughout this story is a Guido subplot, where he is freed from government custody as well, and rejoins the team.

Lots to cover in these issues, but I like where it’s all going.

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