One of my favorite recent discoveries has been that of X-Factor. The fractured reality that you are dealing in with these characters is something that is very hard to pen. However, Peter David has managed to put together a story that keeps me turning the pages month after month.

xfact029.jpgX-FACTOR #29

X-Factor 29 was no different, and in the wake of the X-Verse’s Messiah Complex (itself known as Divided We Stand), team X-Factor are the only solid mutant team in the world. (No, I’m not counting X-Force, because they’re all secretive and whatnot.)

Now, I do have a complaint at the moment, and it is nothing more than a fanboy-ish cry for someone to listen to me, me, ME! But I’ll get to that in a second, because it is important.

I feel compelled to give you a rundown of previous comics, but if I did that then … well, why are you reading this if you aren’t going to be reading the book at some point? Nevertheless, with Rahne Sinclair having left X-Factor – presumably to act as bait for X-Force – it wasn’t long before we would see a breakdown in team dynamics. Not that she was the heart or anything, but just the pebble that starts the landslide.

So naturally we open the book with Rictor burning a letter from Rahne soon to be followed by his exiting the team for what he hopes is good. Guido has been sacked as sheriff of Mutant Town, which is not a huge surprise, although it adds for a humorous scene at the top between Madrox and Guido.

And in a masterpiece of writing, and something that I have been hoping to see since the first time I could recognize a literary cliché, Peter David has foiled the miscommunication argument from the top.

Let me explain.

Inevitably in most TV shows or books where a couple is likely to have an argument. It’ll start with “I have something to tell you,” and then he’ll say “Yeah, I was expecting this,” but, he wasn’t, they’re on two different tangents, and naturally neither will actually name what it is they think the other is talking about. For once though, a writer has seen the stupidity of this and navigated around it nicely by allowing Monet to witness the miscommunication-fight (anyone got a better term?), compare it to “Three’s Company,” and diffuse Siryn’s anger; at least temporarily.

I’ve made it three-quarters of the way down the page, which means I can stop attempting to fill with inexplicable summary and get to the real heart of this comic; Layla Miller.

She is, possibly, and simply, one of the greatest comic characters ever devised. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, she’s always well drawn, cute and very much the tease-girl-next-door that would have likely been the fantasy of many a male if she was not a drawing (and even then…). But since the beginning of X-Factor 27 she’s been absent; stuck in the future with no real way of getting home.

I’m a romantic at heart, and the idle flirting she put Jamie through, informing him that they would be married and that she was saving herself for her wedding night got me so tangled up in that storyline that I have to see it through. But Peter David continues to hold her back from being brought back. Its great storytelling and I won’t fault him for that, but as I said, this is nothing more than a fanboy-ish plea.

How easily I could continue this ramble, but I won’t, for whose sake I don’t know nor care. This book is the epitome of the modern day comic, and is why I love them so much. You saw it coming, 5 out of 5; you will want to read this!


The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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  1. Everan
    March 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm — Reply

    Eh, judging from the info on Marvel’s website, they won’t bring Rahne back. X-Force… really, come on. That aside, I enjoy this book a lot. The opening sequence itself (with Rictor burning the letter) was like a punch in the gut. Wow.

  2. Baal
    March 16, 2008 at 11:13 pm — Reply

    anyone else think Layla will come back old enough to marry Jamie without a guardian’s permission or him going to jail?

  3. March 17, 2008 at 1:28 am — Reply

    The last 5 reviews have earned 5 out of 5 stars…

    I suspect that we need to start reading some stuff we hate to break even…

  4. Salieri
    March 17, 2008 at 8:24 am — Reply

    The bad news: Layla is getting replaced by (SPOILERS) Longshot within the team’s roster. Whether this is permanent or temporary, I do not know.

    The good news: PAD announced recently that he’s writing a Layla Miller one-shot to go with July’s Quicksilver.

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