X-Factor Finally Back On Track
After reading and reviewing the last couple issues, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, an actual X-Factor issue! Where those were basically Iceman solo stories, this actually showcases the entire team. I love the idea that X-Factor is the First Class team in their 90s forms. And so we finally get to see this X-Factor in Whilce Portacio’s glory.
Not only does Iceman finally get help from his friends, so does Whilce. Legends, Chris Claremont and Jim Lee stretched out their hands and picked this book up where it needed to be. Claremont, who wrote the script, was known for taking the ball from Stan Lee and forming a sub-universe of X-Men. And while not quite a legend at this point, Jim Lee would eventually go on to the X-Men relaunch that provided the basis for the animated series. It’s just too bad he was only on plotting duties. I’m sure he wasn’t allowed to show Whilce up just yet.
X-Factor… starring Apocalypse
This issue kicked off a new arc with the classic villain, Apocalypse; “Endgame: Part 1.” Hmmm, where have I heard that recently? Mister Blue Lips sends out a new team of baddies. These are definitely not the Four Horsemen. Perhaps the most interesting of them is Tusk: a troll-looking dude that grows three smaller dudes off his back. Or as Iceman puts it, “popping out of his back like baby gremlins.”
Though, X-Factor is not who Apocalypse is really after. They are just obstacles to his true objective. “However, they are not your target,” he tells his team. “But instead the ship they call both home and friend – who must be taught, once and for all, the final, terrible fate of those who dare betray…..Apocalypse!” (extra credit to letterer, Michael Heisler, for really emphasizing the villain’s name). I’m reminded of an episode of the cartoon where Beast fell in love with the A.I. of Apocalypse’s ship. Usually, there’s a footnote that explains past discrepancies. But without one, I’m only going to assume that what happened between Apocalypse and “Ship” were along the lines of the events of that episode.
Apocalypse Vs X-Factor
Before the climactic showdown between X-Factor and Apocalypse’s team, though, we get a peak into our heroes’ private lives. We’re reminded of Iceman and Opel’s relationship. Yes, the same one that veered us off into Japan for a couple issues. Archangel makes out with his girlfriend. And Beast….well, he’s blow-drying his fur.
Of course, we all know about Jean and Cyclops. Good thing Wolverine isn’t around to wedge himself in between. Jean listens to Cyclops brood. He may seem like he’s a strict and headstrong leader. But anyone who’s spent some time with the X-Men know he’s pretty emo. Luckily, Jean is still alive at that point. So we don’t have to hear him crying about that. However, Cyk still carries the weight of other, fallen mutants on his shoulders. “I don’t want any more tombstones, Jean,” he tells her. “Any more Thunderbirds, Cyphers, or Warlocks. Not for the New Mutants, not for the X-Men, not for us.”
Would’ve been better with Jim Lee on the Case
The only thing that would have made this comic better was if Jim Lee would have offered his true talents. Whilce Portacio is a decent artist. And it was neat how he made the ship resemble a golden bird. But you know how great that ship would have looked in Lee’s pencils?
You can grab your copy of X-Factor #65 from your local comic store or via Comixology.