X-Factor #11


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X-Factor #11


  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Renato Arlem & Roy Allen Martinez
  • Inks: Renato Arlem & Roy Allen Martinez
  • Colors: Jose Villarrubia
  • Story Title: X?d Out, Part 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 20, 2006

Jamie Madrox and his crew of mismatched pseudo-detectives take on their toughest enemy yet—Strong Guy?!!

You read it right folks, but after the surprise ending of issue #10 that statement should be no . . . er, uh, surprise. The ever lovable Strong Guy shocked us all by murdering an innocent man in issue #10. In #11 things only get worse for everyone’s favorite mutant detectives. Some strange facts about Jamie’s origin and the mysterious Damien Tryp’s connection to it come to the forefront while Quicksilver, who has found a home in Mutant Town, shows up with some new powers . . . .

When reading X-Factor you can tell Peter David not only is a storyteller extraordinaire, but he loves these characters he writes, particularly Jamie, Rahne, and Guido, who he defined on his first run with the original X-Factor. In this, only the second time he has been able to write these characters for any long amount of time, David leaves the few negative aspects of his original run in the dust and brings a noirish, darkly comic tone to what can only be called the best X-book out there. Comparisons to the Angel television series aside, the book is distinct, original, and fun to read. You never know what you’re going to get, but you do know, with David at the helm, it will shock, amuse, and sometimes scare you. Not only that, but you will grow to love these characters as much as David does, even M, who really isn’t that likeable.

The downside to X-Factor is the seeming revolving door of artists. Not one of them has been bad at what they do, and their styles are all similar enough to tolerate the incessant changes, however, it is beginning to grind on my sensibilities. Renato Arlem has a dark style that goes with the overall tone of David’s words, and he seems to be focused on putting his heroes in the real world, creating vivid backgrounds—cityscapes, decorated walls, and destroyed buildings are all clearly displayed in a shady world that only X-Factor can inhabit.

Roy Allen Martinez does the art chores for the flashback sequence in this issue, and his work is at least as nice as Arlem’s or even Ryan Sook’s (cover artist this issue). Additionally, evidenced by his six issue stint on Son of M, we all know he can hold his own month to month for at least six months—something I don’t believe any artist on X-Factor has been able to do. Maybe it is time to give his fine lines and clear images a more permanent home.

X-Factor, despite its artistic revolving door, is the first one you pull out of the bag every time it is released, thanks mostly to Peter David and his seemingly limitless supply of, to borrow a word from one of my fellow Frontiersmen, "story."

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