Happy New Year!
Now this is the start of the good stuff.
I’m proud to say I realized in 1991 that this was going to be a good run. Sure, it has a lot of oddball stuff going on here. There is a subplot about an un-openable jar of mayonnaise, after all. That is not even mentioning the totally insane art stylings of Larry Stroman. I’d never seen anything like his art before, and I’m not sure I have again. He’s not my favorite artist by any means, but there is no denying the striking impression of his art.
This is the era of X-books right after X-Tinction Agenda, where Havok is still empathically bonded to Wolfesbane after their time in Genosha. That naturally complicates things with Polaris, Havok’s normal girlfriend. Havok and Polaris are the core of the team, with Havok getting most of the panel time. Filling in the ranks are Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox) and Strong Guy (Guido). Val Cooper, long-time supporting player in the X-books is the government liaison. Cooper is a lot more central to the team than a lot of the government administrator-characters tend to be; it is clear that Peter David liked her.
The last guy to join is Quicksilver. Pietro is another character that David characterized from then on. Smug, superior, and ultra-confident, the Quicksilver we know and love today made his first appearance here. Quicksilver was sort of a favorite of mine until he got messed up during the Civil War era, and my affection for the character really started here.
David has gone on to be the writer most associated with X-Factor. He’s written it for dozens of issues at this point. In this, his entry into the franchise, his focus on Madrox is not there yet. Madrox is the character I most associate with David now, and while Madrox does have something to do with the aforementioned mayo jar; the issue also ends with Jamie getting shot.
That’s right, the “they keep killing Madrox!” plot was right there in David’s first issue. While there is no real physical conflict in this particular issue, the potential set up here is clear enough to make this a GOOD comic.