My first introduction to witnessing an event as it took place was the Civil War/Infinite Crisis year. Back then, I was a little bit younger, and apparently I didnâ€™t mind the mass of books that you had to buy to keep up with what was happening. I was blissfully unaware of the sheer greed that went with such an event and the need to tie-in as much as humanly possible to make as much money.
So when I saw the Secret Invasion banner on top of my X-Factor this past week, I was crestfallen. Not entirely surprised, just disappointed.
What was worse, was the introduction of Larry Stroman on art for the book. Even after Iâ€™ve read through the book twice, I am still no closer to working out if I liked his art or not. But Iâ€™ll get to that in a moment.
The first problem I have was the storyline, or lack thereof. X-Factor has removed themselves to Detroit, where unbeknown to the majority of the team (except apparently Guido, for some unknown reason), they are still at the beck and call of Val Cooper and O*N*E. Theresa is pregnant with Jamieâ€™s baby, and they have managed to build a nice little reputation for themselves in their new home.
However Val Cooper gives Jamie a 24 hour deadline to wrap up their newest case, the search for one Armando Munoz. Our young fugitive is, of course, a mutant, and his father â€“ an ex-deadbeat â€“ is desperate to locate him. However, by the end of the book, young Armando somehow manages to have found himself in with a Skrull, who is being chased by Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), who if I guess, is working for the Initiative, knows that Armandoâ€™s friend â€“ Longshot â€“ is a Skrull, and is working with a lass named Jazinda.
Itâ€™s all very confusing, and I only know most of that thanks to some supposition and some good old fashioned Wikipediaing. But what annoys me is that the book continues next month in She-Hulk #31, another Peter David book, a book that Iâ€™m not buying, and a book I am completely out of my depth on.
Back to the art.Â Now, itâ€™s not a new thing for people to be upset with Larry Stromanâ€™s artwork. From what I hear, you either love him or you hate him. Myself, I am nothing but baffled. There are some panels which I love for their stylized action and bodies, and there are others where faces look just like theyâ€™ve been made out of clay (I kept seeing Clayface from the Batman cartoons).Â Â And more often than not, these came together in one panel where the bodies and action were great, and the faces wereâ€¦ hideous.
Itâ€™s capped off by the last page, a nice big splash page, of She-Hulk running in. Since when was she Asian? Or is that an alien? Is she a Skrull? Did I miss something? And who is that person with their mouth open?
Sadly, as much as I love X-Factor, I have to give X-Factor #33 a disappointing 2 out of 5 Stars. The only redeeming quality was the dialogue and inner monologues of Davidâ€™s characters. I would like to excuse him as being the puppet of Marvel and their desire to cross everything over with Secret Invasion, but on the other hand, I know what Peter David is capable of, and this is so far below it, I am saddened. If youâ€™re not reading it, and want to know if this is necessary for Secret Invasion, donâ€™t worry, youâ€™re not missing out on anything.