WARNING: This article contains spoilers for X-Men Blue #28 by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Rain Beredo and VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
When Marvel Comics launched its first Marvel NOW! publishing initiative in 2012, the flagship title fell to writer Rick Remender and artist John Cassaday's Uncanny Avengers, which combined Avengers and X-Men into one superhero team for the very first time. In a surprising move, instead of Captain America being chosen as the team's leader, the mutant Havok was given the responsibility of being the public face for the Unity Squad.
Havok isn't a rookie when it comes to taking a leadership position, having led the government-sanctioned X-Factor and space pirate Starjammers. Living in the shadow of his brother, Scott Summers (Cyclops), Havok has always felt the need to prove himself, which only intensified when he realized he'd be giving orders to the likes of Thor and Captain America. All the self-doubt aside, Havok did his best to keep the Unity Squad from imploding, with his fall from grace occurring in Marvel's 2014 AXIS event series.
The premise behind AXIS saw the Red Skull, now calling himself the Red Onslaught, use his stolen mental powers from the remains of Professor Charles Xavier to control the world. When Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch teamed up to cast an inversion spell to separate Red Skull from Xavier's brain, it resulted in many heroes and villains having their personalities flipped. For example, good guys like Havok and Tony Stark developed more extreme personalities, while Sabretooth, a bloodthirsty villain, started behaving with a moral compass.
Havok would keep this new persona going forward, eventually teaming up with Emma Frost in a scheme to finally make mutants the dominant species on the planet Earth. In order to accomplish this, the duo paired themselves with Miss Sinister and Bastion to unleash the Mothervine virus.
With the majority of the X-Men stuck in space, Polaris worked together with Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm to recruit Daken, Xorn and Gazing Nightshade to strike at the Mothervine cabal. Emma eventually came to her senses and turned on Miss Sinister, but Havok's inversion kept him on his evil path. The only way they could bring the old Havok back involved Emma Frost using Polaris' memories of the man she once loved to overwrite the inversion.
And with that, Havok's old personality is finally back. While the reaction to those around him would be to celebrate, Havok is actually sad -- not because his true self is back in control, but because he can feel his dark persona screaming under the surface to be released.
Now that matter is resolved, all that's left is to undo the damage done to Havok's face. Magneto turned to Exodus and Elixir to stop Mothervine from spreading across the globe, but the source also needed to be dealt with. As Elixir removes Mothervine from Jimmy Hudson's bloodstream, the healer also takes care of Havok's physical scarrings.
"It's a fresh start," Polaris tells Havok. No longer a captive in his own body, Havok is set to rejoin the X-Men again. His next appearance comes in Astonishing X-Men #13 from the creative team of writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Greg Land, which also introduces an all-new lineup with Havok and Beast as co-leaders.
KEEP READING: Magneto Will Face a Major Turning Point in X-Men Blue