Overview

X-Factor #19

Review

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X-Factor #19

Credits

  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Khoi Pham
  • Inks: Sandu Florea
  • Colors: Chris Sotomayor
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 16, 2007

X-Factor faces the activist group X-Cell who count many familiar faces in their ranks. While in the background Quicksilver plots. Just what has he in store for Rictor?

X-Cell are convinced that M-Day, the event that saw the mutant population of the Marvel Universe "decimated," was engineered by the U.S. government. In conflict with both the army and the X-Factor team it seems that no one can persuade them their conspiracy theories are paranoid. Just to complicate matters, the X-Cell’s leader Elijah has struck a pact with Quicksilver to help restore lost mutant powers. The former Avenger has, in turn, targeted Rictor in order to achieve his aims.

The wonderful thing about X-Factor is that you don’t need to be an X-fan in any way, shape or form to love this title month after month. Peter David’s ever witty scripting and character-led stories make this book the cream of the mutant crop. The heart of this comic is its strength of characterization. David gives the cast very real problems and hang-ups that make them instantly identifiable and sympathetic, even if they do have a host of unworldly powers.

This month follows up on the events of M-Day by looking at how one group of survivors has dealt with their loss. A number of old favorites pop up in the ranks of the X-Cell including former X-Man Marrow, the Blob, Reaper, Callisto and Abyss. While this episode is more action-oriented than some recent issues, the trademark black humor of this book is still in evidence and there’s plenty of added character development.

Khoi Pham’s pencils capture the street level feel of this issue effectively without ever compromising the more fantastical elements. There are some great character touches in his art as well, particularly in the facial expressions of the assembled players, that really accentuate David’s interplay between the heroes/villains.

There’s not a single character in this book that David has failed to make me care about. I felt for Guido when he was forced to kill against his will and worry about Theresa’s denial over her father’s death. He’s making me fear for Rahne and Jamie as they begin to give in to their wolf sides and nihilism respectively. We’ve seen more depth than could ever have been imagined in the formerly one-dimensional and arrogant Monet. Even Layla Miller, she who irritatingly "knows stuff," has grown on me to such an extent that she’s gone from serious Scrappy Doo nuisance value to just about my favorite member of the book!

Notice something about that last paragraph? I referred to most of the characters by their first names rather than their codenames. That’s the beauty of X-Factor. It’s a book about people first and costumes second.

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