Tuesday, December 31, 2013
12 Days of X-Mas Day 7: X-Factor #43 (1989)
First of all, Paul Smith's art is pretty fine. It is a bit cartoony, but the emotion on the faces is clear and the acting is strong. The alien planet is a bit on the generic side, but I'm not sure if that is Smith's fault or not.
It seems that X-Factor is required to always have one crazy person on the team. Jean Grey is up to the plate in this. It seems she's absorbed the memories of the Phoenix and of Madelyne Pryor, understandably making her go a bit bonkers. Of course, when she tries to rocket into space, killing her teammates, that is more than a "bit" bonkers.
One thing I'm pleasantly reminded of in this issue is the fun idea for Ship. Louise Simonson wrote X-Factor's new headquarters as half-puppy, half-servant. You couldn't help but pull for the sentient ship after the team freed him from Apocalypse. Ship's childlike responses made the entire team act more responsibly.
I also like that Warren Worthington is back and acting normally. Sure, he's got his souped-up Archangel powers, but he's clearly back to being the character we know and love. So overall, not a bad transition. He got new, better powers, a modern look, and in a few years the creators will reveal that he isn't even bald! That's just a skullcap that he wears for years straight!
As for the plot itself, it involves the team getting involved in some weird conflict between beautiful people and monsters. Of course, there are varied motivations and outlooks among these aliens, but that is to make sure the mutant metaphor is laid on pretty thick.
Maybe this story goes downhill in the subsequent issues, but as an opening chapter, this held up just fine. This is a FAIR comic.