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Although I’m a pretty big X-fan who will try just about anything “X” once, I had been reluctant to give “X-Factor” a try because it was written by Peter David. Over the years, I had found David’s work to be more miss than hit. What I read of his run on “Hulk” was OK, although it didn’t knock me out. I thought his work on the last volume of “X-Factor,” the one with Polaris and Havok on the team, was just plain boring. Ditto for his writing on “Captain Marvel.” But I leafed through a copy of “X-Factor” about five or six issues ago, and it looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a shot. I was shocked to discover that this title is really very good. I don’t know whether it is because Peter David has matured as a writer, or perhaps he’s working with more congenial editors now, but to my mind, his writing has improved tremendously. The Summers Rebellion plotline that is occurring in the future is quite involving. Lots of comic book writers get confused by the logic of time travel stories, but David has a handle on it, and I think his idea of “Doomlocks” is very cool. I like the exploration of the nature of Jamie Madrox’ duplicates. David has always tried to include humor in his writing, but it has often felt forced in the past. The last few issues of “X-Factor” have actually included some funny writing. I loved Layla’s use of deadpan humor with Scott Summers in this issue. I know the topic of homosexuality makes some comic readers feel “icky,” but I think David may be onto something very original, for the comic book industry, in the way he is portraying Rictor and Shatterstar. This may be comicdom’s first attractive, even sexy gay male couple in a relationship. Anole is not attractive. Hulkling is certainly not sexy. Northstar is sexy, but I don’t think he has ever had a relationship, and he once had a crush on the heterosexual Ice Man. And to compliment all of this interesting, new, original writing is some pretty good art. DeLandro is particularly good with facial expressions on Syrin, Monet and Shatterstar.
Art: 5 - Excellent