Ah, this is why I quit reading X-Factor. Crossovers.
Peter David does his best, but it is frustrating seeing outside crossovers become the main plot mover for a book that does so well hiding in the corner of the Marvel U. Having Bastion and his puppet Trask become obsessed with wiping out X-Factor might make for decent issues worth of conflict, but the motivation and resolution don’t exactly spring from this book.
Now, the other half of this conflict? The part involving Strong Guy and M taking on Dr. Strange villain Baron Mordo? Now that’s just fantastic. I love seeing non-powered family members interact with super-heroes, so seeing M rescue her Dad, followed by the interaction and discussion on what to do next? That’s my cup of tea.
The problem is that this collection is just so darn slight. Reading all the issues in arrow, I found myself much more interested in the things that happen right before and right after this story. Other than the Mordo stuff, this is a crossover chapter, a palate-cleansing exercise that lets David set up his enormous cast as he launches in to much more character-based stories over the next issues.
Valentine De Landro’s continues to tighten up. His take on the characters gets stronger and stronger as he continues working on the book. I also wonder if he’s photo-referencing at this point, because the faces in particular look much stronger in this GOOD collection.