or, three issues later and there are still no â€œsave Laylaâ€ plans
A new month of comics dawns and I get to return to one of my favorites, X-Factor. But, as the sub-heading suggests, I am a little troubled at the lack of â€œLaylaâ€ that Iâ€™m finding in these issues (though, she at least got a mention this time around).
That being said, I canâ€™t help but love this comic. X-Factor arenâ€™t overly fond of authority, and that is just the way I like it
Starting off as the comic starts off, who is Arcade? I literally canâ€™t remember him, and so while I hurry off to Wikipedia, can someone please tell me, is he supposed to look that smarmy? â€¦ OK, so apparently Arcade made his first appearance in â€˜Marvel Team-Up #65â€ back in January of 1978, and is described as a â€˜combination of evil genius and hitman, Arcade affects a manner of dress and speech that makes him appear to be a comedic character. This is part of his overall theme, which extends into his preferred method of murder, an underground funhouse of colorful deathtraps, usually decked out in cheery colors and disguised as an amusement park, which he has dubbed “Murderworld”.â€™
His â€œcome out of nowhereâ€ appearance though didnâ€™t affect me as it might have. His character was well played, not overly thrust in to the middle so that we had to remember every aspect of his character, and didnâ€™t demonstrate that campy â€œBatmanâ€ style of villainy that I feared (ie, a giant swinging axe).
Either way, it quickly getâ€™s much better than the sleazy oily front cover, and Monet makes a fantastic entrance, with a beautiful hero-shot at the bottom of page two; though, not an overly effective entrance as we find out turning over the page.
Thus enter Arcade, accompanied by ex-Purifier Taylor, who has apparently called upon Arcadeâ€™s services as hitman.
This is where Iâ€™ll take a moment to touch on the art of this issue, because it is really up to a high standard. The introduction of Arcade could have been horribly done, but it is remarkably subtle. That one shot depicts every aspect you need to know about him. Heâ€™s a â€œRiddler-esqueâ€ type villain, but with this fantastic view of fashion. His hair is close cropped, his suit immaculate, and to top it all off he has space invader socks and converse shoes.
What follows next is a series of pages which just keep you turning pages, even though you probably know what is going to happen. A not so unexpected â€œlady pushing a pram that later pulls out a gunâ€ that could have been pulled directly from a Get Smart episode had me laughing.
Iâ€™m still not certain how Rictor got himself free (did I mention there were spoilers?) and someone named Kaitlin misjudgedâ€¦ something, or other, which once again gave us an insight in to Arcade; this time highlighting his maliciousness.
Some robots and a nice save by Syren later, and a seriously tripped out Monet â€“ remember, sheâ€™s just been electrocuted, that explains the hair â€“ introduce Valerie Cooper from O*N*E (how she manages to get the *â€™s in to her vocabulary is beyond me), and weâ€™re left with a fantastic cliff hanger.
Iâ€™m not certain how this is going to go next issue, but you damned well better believe that Iâ€™m gonna be there waiting for it! Issue number 30 getâ€™s a 4 out of 5 for the art, and a similar 4 out of 5 for the story (you donâ€™t need to be a math genius to see the overall on that one).
X-Factor is without a doubt one of the best Marvel books out there. Head back to issue 28 if you want to pick up the series, although, you could probably manage to get the TPBâ€™s by the time issue 31 comes out.