Sunday, 19 July 2009

X-Factor #46 review

This title got a lot of publicity last month due to Rictor and Shatterstar snogging after many years or hints and fan speculation. They're still snogging as we join them this issue. That doesn't make them interesting, though. Layla Miller is interesting and happily she gets lots of play here, in a terrific scene with an elderly Marvel villain. Yes, we're still spending half of each issue 80 years in the future, in the type of dystopia that has me dropping the X-books every few years. I thought X-Factor was meant to be the X-book for people who don't like X-books, but for months it's been future Cyclops, future Cyclops's daughter, future Sentinels . . . and this issue ends with another X-Men character showing up, one of the dullest ever to see print.

Thankfully, the future storyline has at last started to be fun, even if that's mainly because I'm laughing at an old bad guy's infirmities. Also, it turns out to be connected to the present day assignment accepted by Monet, Theresa and chums, and it looks like things will be wrapping up soon. I do hope so, I like X-Factor when it's going its own way, a little Noir here, off-kilter superheroics the rest of the time.

As ever, Peter David's script is a witty wee thing, and thankfully not as self-conscious here as at odd moments in recent issues (such as when Jamie Madrox observed that nobody cries in Noir; to us it's Noir, to characters it should simply be crap weather, chiaroscuro lighting and French mood swings).

Despite the interior credits, the penciller here is Valentine De Landro, and with inker Pat Davidson he produces a great-looking comic. Their techno-organic Monet is a fine new take on an X-books staple, their aged villain is far scarier than the same chap at his peak and their Darwin is . . . squidgy.

Convoluted as this storyline is, David's recaps allow new readers to come on board, and the book is even gaining a lettercol soon, giving me a chance to write in and demand Siryn's name is changed to the terribly logical She-Banshee. Feel free to do the same.

8 comments:

  1. The cover credit is actually right. Valentine De Landro was the artist for this issue. They mistakenly listed Marco Santucci on the inside credits.

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  2. Let's switch that round, shall we. . . you're my favourite!

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  3. This is why I dropped X Factor. I discovered I didn't know what was going on because I didn't buy all the other X books.

    And do we know anything about Layla Wotsit? Or is she just still an irritating "mystery" who just "knows stuff?"

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  4. She now knows how to shag Jamie, having been aged to adulthood. Goodness, that's never happened before.

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  5. Re. your "to us it's Noir, to characters it should simply be crap weather, chiaroscuro lighting and French mood swings" observation...

    I was just the other day reading an interview with PAD where he said that the whole drive of Jamie's character is that he's trying to live noir in a world that's very much not. So I think he intended that line as an insight into the character rather than a meta-commentary on the story.

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  6. Yeah, I came across that interview yesterday. Typical. This review is falling apart!

    Seriously, though, I don't like seeing Jamie get too self-conscious about the Noir bit. Certainly the Madrox mini that preceded this X-Factor run seemed a serious attempt at a Noir-influenced comic, rather than a comic playing with our feeling towards the film genre.

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  7. "She-Banshee"? Why not just go with Ban-She?

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  8. Ha, that works too ...I was just riffing on Marvel's having a She-Hulk or two, and having had a She-Thing!

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