Friday, January 3, 2014
12 Days of X-Mas: Day 10: X-Factor #122 (1996)
After bouncing through a variety of creators for the last dozen or so issues, this issue is the start of the last era of the first volume of X-Factor. Howard Mackie and Jeff Matsuda make some effort to amp up the excitment with some jumping around and dynamic art, but there is no way to salvage this book.
The biggest problem is the dregs that make up the roster. Val Cooper is now a gun-waiving agent, Forge, Polaris, and Wildchild are the only active members in this issue. Mystique is around, sort of being bad but still part of the team. And Sabretooth shows up, letting the others know that he'll be on the team too. Can you imagine a more boring group of leads to anchor a comic? Who were people coming to see? Mystique? Sabretooth? Ugh!
There are some offhanded comments about battling government agencies or factions, but there is barely any real plot to sink in to. The narrator lays on some purple prose about how the team really watches each other's backs, but that doesn't really come through in the dialogue or characterization.
As I said, Matsuda's manga-inspired art is fun. He's no Joe Mad, but his attempt to look similar pays off. the tech has a nice '90's look to it, and the "updated" costumes are ultra-modern too.
Unfortunately, with this weak team, it isn't surprising this book got cancelled. Probably for being EVIL.