Alexander Summers aka Havok is famous for being Scott Summers’ younger brother. Much like Scott, he had the same military brat experience and was thrown from the Summers’ plane that fateful day when they encountered the Shiar. Time went by and Alex was accosted by Mr. Sinister while in an orphanage. The interactions ended when Alex was adopted, thus sparing him most of the trauma that would later permeate Scott’s childhood. Alex got to go to college and work on his Master’s degree while Scott became the first leader of The X-Men. If anything, Alex is the polar opposite of Scott. That is until a battle with the Living Pharaoh forces him to adopt the Havok persona.
When Cyclops and Havok first reconnected, it was strange. Basically, Scott shows up to Alex’s college graduation and introduces himself as the long-lost brother that Alex lost when he was six. Alex plays this off as cool until a renegade Egyptologist and his cosmic energy death cult show up and kidnap. This is opposed to the crazed mutant psychologist dubbed Sauron who tried the same thing and ultimately turned into a Pterodactyl man. I love comics. In the same time frame, Larry Trask would use his newly rebuilt Sentinel program to fashion the classic Havok costume that we all love. That’s what happens to those second-tier mutants, the villains get to design their costumes and codenames.
Time marched on, Krakoa happened and Alex high-tailed it with Lorna Dane to New Mexico. An adventure to fight Arcade & Dr. Doom took place and then yadda yadda yadda it was the mid 1980s. Sure, Havok helped fight Proteus and took part in some Marvel guest spots, but nothing happened with him until Polaris was possessed by Malice. Fearing the worst, Havok re-joined The X-Men as it seemed his lady friend went crazy. Havok tried to put the moves on Madelyne Pryor after his brother dumped her for the newly returned Jean Grey. The X-Men get “killed” in Dallas, Havok joins them in the Outback, Inferno happens and then Havok goes through the Siege Perilous. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’ll be split down in future chapters.
Cyclops and Havok fighting each other has become old hat. The whole Summers powers cancel each other out becomes a plot point in “X-Tinction Agenda”, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. After all, there is something to the brothers that not a lot of people comment on. The only time that Scott is shown being favorable to Alex is when he’s giving his younger brother something or he’s putting himself in a position that Alex could die and Scott loses one of his last ties to a normal life. Alex takes everything in stride, as he slowly realizes over the years that he’s more powerful. But, he also feels restrained by his constant desire not to be his older brother.
After the X-Men went through the Siege Perilous, Havok ended up on Genosha. The amnesiac Alex was taken in by the Genosha government and trained to be an enforcer for their brutal regime that imprisoned and used mutant slave labor in a paper-thin allegory for Apartheid. When the Genoshan government kidnapped several members of the X-teams, Havok’s memory returned. Alex kept it secret from the government long enough to kill their leader Cameron Hodge. Now, Havok was left in a country to rebuild while dealing with the fact that one of the New Mutants had been psychically linked to him. Cyclops and Professor X approach Havok and offer up a chance to lead X-Factor and the poor guy takes it. All the while, trying to deal with the fact that Wolfsbane has been chemically altered to be his undying slave. But, more on that in a later chapter.
The time spent in Genosha was trying, but nothing compared to Alex fully taking over a role better suited to his brother. Alex’s X-Factor team was a collection of misfits and also-rans that didn’t make sense in other books. Madrox the Multiple Man was a holdover from the Muir Isle research days. Strong Guy used to be Lila Cheney’s bodyguard, but he was now stuck on Earth. Quicksilver was the dick that used to be in The Avengers. There was also his newly rediscovered lover Polaris and the werewolf chemically forced love slave dubbed Wolfsbane. Together, they fought Mr. Sinister, The Nasty Boys, Stryfe, the Pantheon and even The Hulk.
One of my favorite things of this era is how Havok took down the smart version of The Hulk by absorbing the Gamma Radiation that Hulk radiated and forcing it back into Banner in the form of cosmic blasts. It was the second time (first being in 1970) that Havok had managed to singlehandedly beat The Hulk to a standstill. The team fought through most of the forced early 90s Marvel crossovers. Eventually, they split up as the team began to crack apart under the strains of government interference and forced members. Alex would later leave the team after going Deep Cover and then being caught in a mysterious plane explosion.
This explosion knocked Alex into another reality dubbed “Mutant X”. It was terrible and I’m only covering it if there’s enough time at the end of this project. Alex returns as a comatose patient of Nurse Annie (really long last name). Annie and her basic bitch of a kid kept up a certain soap opera angle for Havok, while Marvel was spent trying to find a way to recoup the cool factor of Morrison’s X-Men run. Havok undergoes his awakening and efforts to rebuild his mind. Meanwhile, his pending marriage to Polaris falls apart and M-Day happens. When it rains, it pours.
Havok would also ultimately have to deal with his estranged younger brother Vulcan. Vulcan was one of the four mutants that Xavier put together as a team meant to rescue the original X-Men after they had been absorbed by Krakoa, the Living Island. Unfortunately, most of the team was killed and Vulcan was trapped in a coma like state for years. When Vulcan awoke, he killed Banshee and caused more damage before fleeing for the stars. Professor X grabs Havok and Polaris to lead a team to venture into Shiar space to track down Vulcan and bring him to justice. In Shiar space, Vulcan kills Emperor D’Ken who had killed Katherine Summers. Then, he overtakes the Empire and kills his real father Corsair (Christopher Summers).
Shit goes Shakespearean and then Havok is stuck with half of his team in space for a bit. There’s a lot of cosmic action, as Havok works as the new leader of the Starjammers for a bit. But, he ultimately ends up back on Earth. Havok sides with Wolverine during the X-Men Schism, which results in a return to X-Factor. Fortunately for the sake of retreads, Captain America asks him to establish a mutant oriented Avengers team in the wake of Cyclops’ murder of Professor X. Havok agrees.
Presently, Havok is the leader of the Uncanny Avengers. Working together with a team made of mutants and superhumans with mutants ties, Havok has become the Marvel Universe’s public face for better relations. Finally seen as the antithesis of his brother, Alex now leads a team where even Wolverine and Captain America answer to him. Unfortunately, there’s the whole matter of The Apocalypse Twins, Kang the Conqueror and the Red Skull to deal with in his new role. But, Havok is ready to show the world that Cyclops was Wrong.