Getting on Post X-Tinction Agenda
Artist, While Portactio is known for co-founding Image Comics. He created Wetworks with WildC.A.T.s‘s Brandon Choi, and also worked on Spawn. Like most of the Image founders, Marvel is where he got his footing. Along with X-Factor, he did Uncanny X-Men and Punisher, and even helped create the popular mutant, Bishop.
The X-Factor title was a chance to reunite the original, first class X-Men: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel – However, in their Nineties’ forms. Jean Grey has been through her Phoenix phase. Beast is blue and furry. And Angel is now Archangel, wearing the armor Apocalypse cursed him with.
More Iceman, Less X-Factor
Though the title of this issue may say “X-Factor,” this was very much an Iceman story. While on a date, Bobby’s girlfriend is kidnapped. I’m used to him being with Polaris. But I suppose that was in the later X-Factor books, where the team strayed away from the First Class set-up. This girlfriend was Opel Tanaka, a character I was unfamiliar with.
These kidnappers are a pack of purple, cyberpunk suit-wearing soldiers with weird dragon tattoos on their faces. They claim to be a part of the Yakuza, and are working for Opel’s grandfather.
As Beast confirms that the Yakuza are the Japanese mafia, X-Factor travels to Japan to pay Wolverine’s wife a visit. Mariko was a major part of The Wolverine. She was played by Tao Okamoto, who also played Lex Luthor’s assistant/bodyguard, Mercy Graves, in Batman v Superman. As Mariko explains Opel’s family and the Yakuza, I’m reminded of Shredder in Hell. Opel’s grandfather, the leader of the Yakuza, is known as “The Dragon.” In the current TMNT spin-off, Shredder’s father-in-law, also referred to as such, embodies the Turtle villain in the afterlife.
Iceman vs the Yakuza
Bobby comes to his girlfriend’s rescue. Mariko tells him not to call attention to himself. Of course, he grows overzealous, and transforms into his ice form. You think he’d listen? Besides, if he didn’t, we wouldn’t see this stellar climax battle in all of Portactio’s greatness. I like how Portactio draws Iceman. He really defines his ice texture with the curved outlines.
The story was interesting, but it wasn’t extravagant. The art was great, thanks to the legendary Portacio. Still, it has the mundane, choppy look of the Nineties. Pick up your copy via the Marvel Unlimited app or from your local Comic Book Shop.
How did we rate X-Factor #63? 5 Sodas
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90s Reflection Series.
Nebraska native living with his wife and two dogs. Author of Hostage 100 and Full Steam Ahead. Allen also co-hosts the Fatty/Slim Podcast.