X-FACTOR #47

Review by: Bedhead

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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

From the first page of X-Factor 47: “…Meanwhile a Cortex-controlled Monet, attempting to kill Lenore (and thus as you’ve doubtless figured out by now, make sure that Hecat’e of the Summers Rebellion is never born) winds up squaring off against Siryin, only to have their dust-up interrupted by the time-displaced Sentinels.” Man, when the recap needs a recap you know you’re in trouble.

Like a whole bunch of other people, I was a huge fan of the beginning of Peter David’s re-launch of X-Factor, which at the time was a character driven, pseudo-noir book focusing on the b-level players of the X-verse. The title began as a novel and modern take on mutants, expressing the alienation that defines the X-books through smaller often humorous moments rather than the standard space-battle-followed-by-whiny-Cyclops/Storm-speech. However as the series progressed it seemed to oddly simultaneously regress into typical X-fare—all these poor fascinating characters drowning under a flood of Messiah Revolution Wars and whatnot. And thus, like a whole bunch of other people, I dropped the book.

Now though, I’d heard some rumblings that the series was returning to original form and decided to pick up the latest issue and have a quick peek. Oh my. Despite having read a significant amount of this run, I had no idea what the heck was going on in these pages. Half the issue took place in a an apocalyptic future; half of the issue (seemingly unrelated—maybe?) took place during a battle between a bunch of unfamiliar blue characters. Oh and Longshot AND Shatterstar were somehow involved. It was like David was free basing some late 80s Claremont and attempting furtively scribbling down a script before his high wore off. Now that’s not to say the issue was bad, or that every issue should be someone’s first; I’m strongly of the opinion that one of the joys of comics is diving head first into a pungent pile of continuity and enjoying the confusion of the stink. The writing and art in this particular comic were both above average, and if you’ve been following all these characters and plot lines all this time, more power to you brother, because this looks like good X-fun. That said, as a more casual fan who was hoping to find that subtle spark of character David was nursing in the first few arcs of this series, I was disappointed to come across a huge blazing X-ferno fueled by incongruous time-jumps, modified Sentinels, repeated references to long-forgotten mutants, and all the like. The issue was fine. It was more than fine, it was good; but it was good in the way X-books are always good not in the way X-Factor used to be good, through the emphasis of moments over action, character over continuity. So for now, I’m not going to invest in figuring out what this was; but as soon as David quits the Claremont pipe, I’m there. Man, I am there.

(New policy: If I give a bad review, I’m going to recommend a superior work by the same creator. For David, I’d recommend his Spider-Man Sin-Eater story line from the early 80s (Spectacular 107-110), still one of the best Spidey plot lines ever.)

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 3 - Good

Comments

  1. There’s supposed to be paragraph breaks in the above.

    Not sure why I can’t get them to work.   

  2. Here’s the review with breaks:

    From the first page of X-Factor 47:  “…Meanwhile a Cortex-controlled Monet, attempting to kill Lenore (and thus as you’ve doubtless figured out by now, make sure that Hecat’e of the Summers Rebellion is never born) winds up squaring off against Siryin, only to have their dust-up interrupted by the time-displaced Sentinels.”  Man, when the recap needs a recap you know you’re in trouble.

     

    Like a whole bunch of other people, I was a huge fan of the beginning of Peter David’s re-launch of X-Factor, which at the time was a character driven, pseudo-noir book focusing on the b-level players of the X-verse.  The title began as a novel and modern take on mutants, expressing the alienation that defines the X-books through smaller often humorous moments rather than the standard space-battle-followed-by-whiny-Cyclops/Storm-speech.  However as the series progressed it seemed to oddly simultaneously regress into typical X-fare—all these poor fascinating characters drowning under a flood of Messiah Revolution Wars and whatnot.  And thus, like a whole bunch of other people, I dropped the book. 

     

    Now though, I’d heard some rumblings that the series was returning to original form and decided to pick up the latest issue and have a quick peek.  Oh my.  Despite having read a significant amount of this run, I had no idea what the heck was going on in these pages.  Half the issue took place in a an apocalyptic future; half of the issue (seemingly unrelated—maybe?) took place during a battle between a bunch of unfamiliar blue characters.  Oh and Longshot AND Shatterstar were somehow involved.  It was like David was free basing some late 80s Claremont and attempting furtively scribbling down a script before his high wore off.  Now that’s not to say the issue was bad, or that every issue should be someone’s first; I’m strongly of the opinion that one of the joys of comics is diving head first into a pungent pile of continuity and enjoying the confusion of the stink.  The writing and art in this particular comic were both above average, and if you’ve been following all these characters and plot lines all this time, more power to you brother, because this looks like good X-fun.  That said, as a more casual fan who was hoping to find that subtle spark of character David was nursing in the first few arcs of this series, I was disappointed to come across a huge blazing X-ferno fueled by incongruous time-jumps, modified Sentinels, repeated references to long-forgotten mutants, and all the like.  The issue was fine.  It was more than fine, it was good; but it was good in the way X-books are always good not in the way X-Factor used to be good, through the emphasis of moments over action, character over continuity.  So for now, I’m not going to invest in figuring out what this was; but as soon as David quits the Claremont pipe, I’m there.  Man, I am there.  

     

    (New policy:  If I give a bad review, I’m going to recommend a superior work by the same creator.  For David, I’d recommend his Spider-Man Sin-Eater story line from the early 80s (Spectacular 107-110), still one of the best Spidey plot lines ever.)    

     

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