Started reading Mutant X, an ongoing series from 1999 that lasted 32 issues. A little backstory is in order. Howard Mackie was writing X-Factor until it ended with issue 149. In that final issue, Havok is aboard an airplane with some kind of time space rift machine and in order to save everybody he crashes the plane and "dies" in the explosion. Cliffhanger ending in the final issue!!
So this Mutant X series picks up in an alternate universe where Cyclops died in the original plane crash with his parents and Alex was the sole survivor. Alex goes on to be the leader of the X-Men instead of Cyclops. In this universe, mutants are not hated and feared and the X-Men are just as beloved as the Avengers.
This world's Havok has branched off from the X-Men(led by Magneto in this world) and formed The Six. The Six are Havok; Madeline Pryor AKA Marvel Woman; Bloodstorm, Ororo who was bitten by Dracula and is now a vampire; Iceman, Bobby was overpowered by Loki and can't turn his powers off; Brute, Hank McCoy experimented on himself once too much and is now a green monster with Childlike intellect; and the Fallen, Warren experimented on by Apocalypse but with a demonic visage and leathery wings instead of metal.
As the Six are fighting an anti-mutant crackpot Nick Fury and his Sentinels, Havok takes a shot meant for his wife Maddie and is killed. His body falls into the river, and when they recover him, it's the 616 Havok wondering how he got there and if this is some sort of trick.
I have to say, this book is pretty good. I looked up Howard Mackie to see what else he's done. I knew him from the 1990 Ghost Rider series, and apart from X-Factor, he also was writing (along with John Byrne) the two rebooted Spider-Man series from 1999 also. Which I've stated previously are some crap stories plot wise. I noticed that his tenure on those two books and this series all ended about the same time, which is when the Harras/Quesada regime change happened. Sounds like somebody backed the wrong horse! But that's pure speculation. It looks like he didn't write much until Harras had him come back for the New52 series Ravagers.
This turned out to be better than expected. Here're the first 12 issues and the '99 Annual. Issue 12's letter page said it was conceived as a 12 issue maxi series, but it proved popular enough, after the 12th issue it became an ongoing. Anyway, here are the issue synopses.
1. Havok is killed and ressurrected. The issue sets up the alternate universe premise and intros the main characters. They fight Fury again and defeat him. At the end, Alex and Maddie's six year old son, Scotty, figures out the new guy isn't really his dad.
2. The Six and the Fantastic Four(who werent bombarded with Cosmic Rays, theyre just adventurers in special suits) team up to fight some alien bugs. We find out there's tension because Alex and Sue had an affair or something. Alex tells Reed he's from another dimension. Rees does tests and finds nothing conclusive, so everyone thinks Alex is crazy.
3. In trying to prove he's a different Alex, Havok tries flying to the Summers' home in Alaska, not realizing the US is hostile towards Canada. The Blackbird gets shot down. The Six are attacked by feral Wolverine, Sabretooth, and WildChild. Eventually, Evil Alpha Flight shows up and tells them to get the fuck out of Canada.
4. We start to get the idea that Maddie is not right in the head as her Goblin Queen persona peeks out and scares the shit out of Scotty and Alex.
5. Norman Osborn, the Goblin King uses his clone army bred to look like demons and goblins against NYC. A six armed Man-Spider teams up with the Six to stop him. Maddie and Fallen get Norman alone to execute him and Spidey tries to stop them, so Fallen kills BOTH OF THEM! Brute witnesses the double murder, but since he's slow now, they pin the deaths on him.
6. The Brute's trial becomes a real circus as anti-mutant hysteria starts up again. And somebody sends ninjas and Bullseye to kill Hank in the courthouse. Maddie pulls some mystic mumbo on Hank so that he regains his intellect, and immediately confesses to the murders and demands to be executed.
7. After Brute's execution, Alex doesn't trust Maddie anymore, so he, Scotty and the nanny, Elektra(yes, Elektra is their nanny) take off. Maddie uses Goblin Queen demon mojo or whatever to corrupt Ororo and Bobby, so the Six are all evil now. A not quite as dead as you thought Brute stops Alex to try and get Scotty back, but he and Elektra fight off some demons.
8. Maddie takes over President Kelly and mind fucks the FF into joining her expanding power base. Only Ben Grimm escapes. Alex, Scotty, and Elektra arrive at the empty X-Mansion. Cerebro/Warlock explains Magneto and the X-Men are in space helping/fighting the Shi'ar. Alex heads back to NYC to figure out what's wrong with Maddie and all hell breaks loose in...
'99 Annual. The Goblin Queen takes over the US, installs Reed Richards as her puppet
president, and gives Nick Fury control of Sentinel technology. A bunch of cool looking alternate versions of heroes like Stingray, Yellowjacket, Firestar, Vendetta(his first and only appearance ever) and Dr. Strange(who is also now Man-Thing) gather to stop Maddie from getting the Nexus of All Realities. Alex ends up destroying it so she doesn't get it, but it's also his chance to get back home.
9. Now that The Six have taken over America, Ben Grimm leads Alex to an underground resistance army led by Mole Man and his GF Callisto. Sentinels show up and there's a big fight, but the Sentinels get crushed on the last page...Magneto's back, y'all!
10. The X-Men are back and put up a fight against the Sentinels. Polaris, armored Quicksilver, Rogue(sportin' both Ms Marvel and Colossus' powers), and Nightcrawler. Rees Richards designs a better Sentinel that can house demonic souls.
11. After they retreat back to the X-Mansion to regroup, Ororo shows up and kidnaps Scotty to reunite him with his mom. Brute has a change of heart and Fallen tries to kill him when he attempts to rescue the boy. The Goblin Queen reverts back to Maddie just long enough to allow Brute and Scotty to escape back to the mansion.
12. All out war conclusion. Dr. Doom leads the UN forces against the US controlled by Maddie's demonic Sentinels. The remaining heroes all join in the fight. Scotty uses his latent psyche powers(which are rare in this world) to uncloud Ororo and Bobby's minds and destroy the Goblin Queen Entity possessing his mother. Reed goes into hiding, the Fallen is defeated, and Maddie is...missing. After the epic conclusion Alex is trying to figure whether to stay in this world or get back to his own.
"Say Jim! Whoo! That is a bad outfit! Whoooo!"