Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review # 93: "X-Factor - 'The End of X-Factor'"

Despite its relaunch with a new cast as part of "All-New Marvel NOW," I'm sad to see "X-Factor" go. For a series that featured superpowered mutants, cross-dimensional action stars, demonic battles, time travel, Irish mythology, Norse mythology and a space troll, this has such a human feel to it. From start to finish, "X-Factor" has been episodic storytelling at its finest and its high level of consistency is an amazing feat.

"The End of X-Factor" doesn't provide all the answers to questions that had lingered throughout its many ongoing plots. It's not perfect as a few stories feel like they're too short. However, as conclusions go, it's damn satisfying. The six issues focus on a handful of characters at a time in the immediate aftermath of the Hell on Earth War, providing a form of closure for each. Wolfsbane confronts her sins and deals with the loss of her son by confiding in Father John Madrox; Darwin confesses his love for Monet; we FINALLY find out the connection between Shatterstar and Longshot (and oh BOY is that a doozie.)

There are two arcs that function less as epilogues and have a lot more storytelling to do. One sets up the "X-Factor" relaunch quite nicely as Polaris - stressed out over the events of Hell on Earth War that has been wiped from the memory of most New Yorkers - goes to a bar. Drinking + Magnetic Powers = Bad News. With police unable to stop her, an Avenger steps in: none other than Lorna's half-brother Quicksilver, who himself has X-Factor issues to resolve. I can't tell you how glad I am to know that Pietro is once again under Peter David's pen and I hope David doesn't relinquish that control for a lonnng time.

The other arc is the biggie: the fate of Layla Miller and the demon-possessed Jamie Madrox. With the amount of dues ex machina David has employed in this series, I should have seen what happened in the final issue coming. I didn't, but I don't think it would have diminished the smile on my face either way. Make no mistake - a MAJOR plot thread is left hanging regarding Jamie's personal history, but the one David sews up more than compensates. It's a moment of beauty.

Hats off to Peter David, Valentine De Landro, Leonard Kirk and the many others who worked on "X-Factor Investigations." Looking forward to the new chapter.

Rating: 8/10

1 comment:

  1. One of the hardest things about quitting comics was knowing I would miss so many great Peter David stories. His original run on _X-Factor_ as a favorite, and I didn't know he went back to it, and regret not being there to read it. Thank you for giving those of us who couldn't see it a glimpse of what we were missing :)