Overview

X-Factor #15

Review

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X-Factor #15

Credits

  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Pablo Raimondi
  • Inks: Pablo Raimondi
  • Colors: Brian Reber
  • Story Title: Multiple Issues, pt. 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 24, 2007

Hydra just mistakenly kidnapped Jamie in place of one of his duplicates. This may mean bad news for Jamie but it’s worse for Hydra.

Perhaps one of the most striking things about this latest incarnation of X-Factor is the degree to which Peter David has successfully mixed lighter and darker elements. Comedy and tragedy have walked hand in hand so far but with this issue the scales tip a bit more to the dark side.

Last issue saw Jamie Madrox deciding to pull himself together – literally. With duplicates that have been roaming free for years Jamie has finally decided the time has come to bring them all in. His quest gets off to an appropriately rocky start as his attempt to reclaim a version of himself turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent failed only to be compounded by being kidnapped by Hydra who mistook him for said S.H.I.E.L.D. agent! Now he finds himself in Hydra’s clutches, being subjected to psychological torture and brainwashing in order to turn him into their latest weapon. Jamie Madrox has his demons and Hydra is going to find them although both Hydra and Jamie may wish they had not. Meanwhile, Monet and Siryn mend some fences on a Paris shopping trip. They also discover that hate for even former mutants knows no boundaries. Can these two prevent an international incident.... or will they start one?

While there is still quite a bit of humor in this issue, things take a decidedly darker turn with Madrox’s torture and its aftermath. The usual undercurrent of comedy is part of what makes the more dramatic points of this series hit so hard. Dropping most of those comedic elements drives up the intensity of this story as well as increasing a sense of dread, danger, and imminent tragedy. Whatever may come of all of this the reader walks away with a feeling that it won’t be good. Which, almost perversely, is good for the reader. We are drawn in and made to fear for our hapless hero.

Once again Pablo Raimondi handles the art this issue. His more realistic style is a good fit for X-Factor. His work on the Hydra torturer, Doctor Locke, is a study in creepiness and menace. His work in the last third of the issue also creates a definite sinister atmosphere.

Under Peter David’s careful plotting this title has become a comic book filled with surprises. If you like stories with unforeseen twists, dark corners, bright humor, skeletons in closets, and high stakes then you need to be picking up X-Factor.

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