|X-Factor (1st series) #236|| || |
Issue Date: July 2012
Story Title: X-Treme Measures part 2
Staff: Peter David (writer), Leonard Kirk (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), David Yardin (cover artist), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
In their current headquarters, located in Lord Defender’s basement, the X-Ceptional called Far Sight finds himself accosted by a spectral Damien Tryp Sr., the man responsible for all of Far Sight’s predictions. However, having already seen too much, Far Sight doesn’t want further visions, something which Tryp states isn’t an option. Meanwhile, on patrol, Lord Defender and Madrox (disguised as “Multitask”), find the “west side serial groper.” However, the joy of their collar is ruined by a radio communication from Alfonse, who announces via Buzzkill’s walkie-talkie that he’s dead. Unfortunately, Alfonse seems incapable of providing his location, so Madrox breaks his cover and uses his powers to create a cadre of dupes to cover the area at once. At that moment, Shatterstar finds himself at the mercy of the mysterious warrior but quickly extricates himself and the battle is joined. During their combat, the warrior finally reveals his name: Scattershot of Mojoworld. Declaring their battle with weapons to be tiring, Shatterstar challenges his foe to weaponless combat, swearing on his honor not to use his own. However, when Scattershot seems to have the upper hand, Shatterstar utilizes a loophole and uses Scattershot’s weapon, shooting him point blank. Madrox and Lord Defender arrive shortly thereafter, just before Scattershot’s corpse is teleported back to Mojoworld. Meanwhile, back at the X-Ceptionals’ HQ, the team has lost another member, Far Sight, who is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and whose suicide note reads that he “didn’t want to see any more!”
In the unfinished basement of Lord Defender’s house, Far Sight sits cross-legged before his electrically lit crystal ball. Holding his hands over his ears, Far Sight asks the other person in the room why they are doing this. Why are they showing him these things? It’s what he wanted, isn’t it? Damian Tryp Sr. replies. The “visions” that he had weren’t good enough; he wanted more. And he came to give him more. Oldest saying in the world. Be careful what you wish for… You might get it, Far Sight replies sheepishly.
Just so, Tryp rejoins. Doesn’t he wish to know it all? Know what happens to the X-Ceptionals? It’s all quite dramatic. Recoiling in horror, Fart Sight exclaims no, he doesn’t. As Try reaches out with a spectral hand, pointing out that he wanted this, Far Sight yells for Tryp to take it back. Nothing can be taken back… ever, Tryp replies. With that, Tryp passes his spectral hand into the brain of Far Sight, who watches in petrified horror as tears stream down his face.
“YOU SICK… DISGUSTING…!” a blonde yells to a man who races away from her, chucking as he does so. A moment later, however, a trash can rolls out from an alley, tripping him in his path. Before he can recover, the man finds a boot placed upon his chest, the boot of Lord Defender. Caught in the act and matching the description, Lord Defender proclaims. Looks like they’ve nailed the west side groper.
Flanked by Madrox (in his guise as “Multitask”), Lord Defender is joined by the blonde who races up to them and asks if he’s that guy she was reading about. Lord something…? Told “Lord Defender,” she remarks that she thought he was just some kind of publicity seeking freak, but instead he got this perv! Don’t worry, she then tells him, she’ll take it from there. With that, she begins to kick him repeatedly in the stomach. He likes to feel things? How does he like feeling that? As Madrox pulls her away, she orders him to let go. She hasn’t broken any of his bones yet!
Nearby, Lord Defender takes out his walkie-talkie, noting that Buzzkill’s going to be so angry. Asked why, he tells “Multitask” that for one thing Buzzkill’s going to owe him twenty bucks. With that, he calls over the walkie-talkie, calling for Buzzkill, only to have the familiar and panicked voice of Alfonse announce that Buzzkill’s dead. Shocked, Lord Defender trips over his response, causing Alfonse to reiterate and then add that the guy who was with him… he’s next!
A short distance away, a recovered Shatterstar remains on the floor of the alley, glaring up at the hulking, purple-skinned warrior pointing the high-tech handgun at him. However, the moment the warrior pulls the trigger, Shatterstar is already in motion, rolling to his side and evading the projectile. To his surprise, the projectile was neither a bullet nor an energy projection but a flechette-like spike which embeds itself in the ground next to him.
Though confused at it for a moment, Shatterstar dismisses it for more important issues, like the warriors’ legs. Wrapping his legs around one of the warrior’s, Shatterstar twists his own legs and thus topples the hulking figure. As he crashes into the alley floor, Shatterstar extends his twin blades and proposes to display the generosity the warrior never could… and end this now! However, the would-be fatal blow is parried by the warrior, who blocks it with his wrist guard. “Nice try,” the two warriors say to each other through gritted teeth. Unfortunately for Shatterstar, the strange warrior has the next move, kicking Shatterstar far and away.
As the warrior returns to his, he finds himself the target of two police officers, whose patrol car has blocked off the alley. Their weapons drawn, one of the officers orders the warrior to drop his weapon and put his hands over his head. He doesn’t want to say it a second time. “Wish granted,” the warrior retorts, firing two pistols and killing both officers.
“Monster!” Shatterstar exclaims, returning to the scene, this time with both sets of blades unsheathed. To this, the warrior tells Shatterstar that he doesn’t learn, punctuating it by tossing the patrol car at him. Already in motion, Shatterstar uses his momentum by dropping to his knees and skidding along the ground, maintaining his balance with one set of blades while bisecting the patrol car with the other.
“Great warrior. Great protector,” the warrior smiles to Shatterstar. He’s killed three people in the last five minutes while he’s done nothing. Pointing his rifle to the terrified Alfonse, the warrior asks Shaterstar if he thinks he can save this one. What he thinks, Shatterstar replies, is that all this wielding of weapons… is extremely tiring. He swears, on his honor, he won’t use his. With that, Shatterstar retracts his blades. How… attractive, the warrior responds, returning his rifle to the holster strapped to his back.
As the two prepare for hand-to-hand combat, Shatterstar notes that he still doesn’t know who he’s fighting. Sure, he does, the mystery warrior replies. He must have figured it out. Asked how so, the warrior replies visual cues, if nothing else. Oh, all right, he says with a smile. The name’s Scattershot. And Mojo says… smile for the camera. “NYAAAARH!!” the enraged Shatterstar vocalizes, launching himself at Scattershot.
Some distance away, Lord Defender calls to Alfonse over the walkie-talkie, asking him to give his position. Not getting a response, Lord Defender turns to Madrox, noting that they know their general patrol radius. They have to spread out and find them… Voicing his agreement, “Multitask” begins stomping his foot. At first, Lord Defender believes he’s throwing a tantrum but, a moment later, a cadre of dupes pop into existence and are immediately instructed to spread out. As they do so in all directions, Lord Defender is aghast. Stuttering, he remarks that he thought the shirt was a cheap Multiple Man knockoff. He… he thought he was some kind of super hero imitator! Truth to tell, Madrox grins, in many ways… he kind of is.
Back in the alley, Shatterstar deftly avoids a powerful blow from Scattershot, which shatters the ground. As he continues to do so, he asks if that is what this is about. Mojo bringing one of this cursed “reality” shows there? As he fends off a kick to the head, Scattershot asks if Shatterstar thinks this is a recent development? Has he looked at the Fall television lineup lately? Not to mention Bravo and A&E. Finally grabbing Shatterstar, Scattershot tosses his foe through the plate glass window of a convenience store. Moving in for the finish, he asks Shatterstar (or Shat, can he call him Shat?) to look on whose behalf he’s fighting for. Responding to the name question, Shatterstar responds in the negative, not unless he wants an even more painful death.
Ignoring this, Scattershot continues that these people… the humans… they vote on the fates of talent contestants as if the whole world has become one huge arena giving a thumbs up or down. They treat the ongoing struggles and personal traumas of their celebrities as if they’re unfolding for their entertainment. There’s not even a sense of outrage anymore! It’s the norm! He comes there and tries to tell himself that Mojo and his entertainment-obsessed, other-dimensional world is just some aberration. He thought he escaped Mojoverse? Baby, he’s soaking in it!
With that, Scattershot gains the upper hand in their struggle, forcing Shatterstar down into the pavement. Suddenly, before Scattershot can deliver a killing blow, a bullet ricochets off of his head. Turning to its source, he sees Alfonse, holding the police officer’s pistol. Announcing that he figured the cop didn’t need it no more, Alfonse opens fire again. This is a joke, right? a smiling Scattershot proclaims, his arms wide in disbelief. “That’s right! And you’re the punchline!” Shatterstar rejoins, kicking Scattershot in the chin. Taking a moment to consider his quip, Shatterstar frowns and opines that he’s been hanging around Madrox too long.
A double-fisted blow from Scattershot wakes Shatterstar from his deep thought, causing him to dodge it. The two trade blows, as well as bard, until Scattershot gains the upper hand, grabbing Shatterstar in a bear hug. “Hah! Too slow, old man! Way too slow!” Scattershot mocks. Too bad about his warrior’s honor, he continues. Shame he can’t use his weapon. Barely able to breathe, Shatterstar remarks that it is a shame… but he didn’t say he wouldn’t use his. Inferring the meaning, Scattershot looks down to his side holster and sees it empty. “Smile for Mojo, you son of a bitch,” Shatterstar grins. The next moment, Shatterstar fires Scattershot’s pistol, hitting him point-blank in the chest.
Arriving on the scene with Lord Defender, Madrox is asked by Alfonse where the hell they’ve been, to which he replies if Alfonse had been more coherent, they wouldn’t have had to send out a search party! He then asks Shatterstar if that’s the guy, which he confirms, just as Scattershot begins to digitize and teleport away. Told to stop him, Shatterstar responds that he can’t. It looks like he’s being recalled to Mojoworld. At least for the time being.
Nearby, Lord Defender kneels over the body of Buzzkill, calling him by his given name of Andrew. He got licks in for him, Alfsonse says, still holding the pistol. He should’ve seen it. Standing back up, Lord Defender replies that he can, if he wants. Receiving a confused reply, Lord Defender explains that Alfonse could be a worthy successor. He thinks Buzzkill would like that. Still confused, Alfonse asks if he means become one of them, which Lord Defender confirms. Because, he tells Alfonse, out of such circumstances are legends born. Legends that are…
Incredulous, Alfonse knocks Lord Defender’s arm off of his shoulder. Touch him again, he wants and he’ll shoot his freaking face off! As he walks away, Alfonse adds that he’s seen some screwed up crap in his life, but all of them… jeez! Undeterred by the outburst, Lord Defender remarks that a life of heroic vigilance is what awaits Alfonse. He’ll come to realize that. Not if he’s lucky, Madrox quips. To this, Lord Defender notes that there’s one way to know for sure. Asked what by Shatterstar, he replies that he’ll ask Far Sight.
Back in Lord Defender’s unfinished basement, Far Sight lies dead, the gun he used to end his own life lying a short distance from his hand. At the tips of his other hand lies a suicide note, reading “Didn’t want to see any more!”
Multiple Man (“Multitask”), Shatterstar (“Star Face”) (both all-X-Factor)
Buzzkill, Far Sight, Lord Defender (all X-Ceptionals)
Damien Tryp Sr.
“West Side Groper”
Blonde groping victim
Convenience store staff & patrons
Mojo is the tyrannical ruler of the Mojoverse, from which both Shatterstar & Longshot originate.
Bravo and A&E are both American cable networks, known for low budget, fringe reality shows.
Issue Summary written by: Douglas Mangum