Comic Book Review: X-Factor #10

X-Factor has become one of the Revolution’s favorite titles to read. Peter David is quietly constructing an amazing comic book. This title is flying under the radar and I hope that last issues Civil War tie-in issue lured new readers to this title who will stay for the long haul. I fully expect X-Factor #10 to be another quality read. All right, let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Renato Arlem
Inker: Jose Villarrubia

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: This issue starts with a flashback scene waaaay back to the year 1347 in Wales. A group of angry locals threaten to burn down the house of a man if he doesn’t turn over his son, Dai, who they call a “changeling.” (He must be a mutant.) The angry mob thinks that Dai and his powers are responsible for the plague. (Yeah, certainly not the rats.) The angry townspeople torch the man’s house. The boy uses his air power to stop the fire, but that just feeds the flames and sets the entire village one fire. Suddenly, the boy is up on a mountainside watching his village in flames. Next to him is Mr. Tryp of Singularity. Tryp tells Dai that the village isn’t on fire and no one is dead. Dai looks back at the village and everything is fine. Tryp tells Dai that this is just the beginning.

We then shift to Mr. Tryp standing in the same suit and position in his office. His secretary tells him that Dr. Henry Buchanon has called in sick which is odd since he has never missed a day of work. Mr. Tryp tells his secretary to give him Mr. C’s phone number since he may need to call him.

We cut to Dr. Buchanon at home with his wife. Dr. Buchanon tells his wife to leave and go stay at her sister’s house. That Singularity is going to be coming after him. That they have powerful allies in government and they won’t let him simply quit or retire.

We shift to Madrox getting out of bed slightly hung over from the drinking last night. He stumbles to the bathroom where he meets one of his dupes coming out of the bathroom. The dupe tells Madrox that he bumped into a wall last night and that is how the dupe formed. Madrox then sucks the dupe back into himself. Siryn then comes out of her room and plants a big smooch on Madrox. She tells him that he was incredible last night. Siryn then leaves a stunned Madrox standing in the hallway. Then Monet comes out of her room. She slinks up to Madrox and tells him that she now knows why he is called Multiple Man and that he can count on seeing her later. (Wow! Madrox’s dupe was one busy boy last night!)

Madrox then runs into Layla. Madrox asked if anything happened between them last night. Layla responds that nothing happened and that she is saving herself for their wedding night.

We then cut to Dr. Buchanon running down the street a block away from X-Factor’s brownstone. Strong Guy comes to his aid and protects him from a bazooka blast from a car chasing Dr. Buchanon.

We shift to Dr. Buchanan in X-Factor’s brownstone informing them that he used to work for Singularity and now they are trying to kill him. He tells them that Singularity had him working on a virus that kills mutants. Dr. Buchanon tells him that he has all sorts of memos, notes and CD-ROMs that he smuggled out of Singularity stored in a safe at a bank downtown. Madrox tells Guido to escort Dr. Buchanan to the bank to retrieve this information.

We cut to Rictor talking to Pietro. Quicksilver tells Rictor that he can restore his powers. Rictor says no thanks since everyone who gets their powers restored by Quicksilver always ends messed up as their powers are all out of wack. Quicksilver responds that it is not him. That people who are not deserving and who are twisted inside make their newly restored powers twisted. That if a person is of pure heart and soul then their powers will be restored as normal.

We shift to Guido driving Dr. Buchanan to the bank. Guido’s cell phone rings and he answers it. Guido suddenly punches Dr. Buchanan in the face instantly killing him. Guido says into his cell phone that it is done and that he has to hang up now. We see that the man on the other end of the line is Mr. Tryp! He says thanks Mr. C for his work and tells him to take the corpse to their rendezvous point. End of issue.

The Good: David serves up another great read. It is incredible what David is doing on this title. X-Factor is an incredible read. It is a shame that it isn’t getting more recognition. The strength of X-Factor is the amazing character development and dialogue that David is delivering each and every issue. X-Factor is a rarity in the comic industry. Action scenes are far and few between in this title. Instead of relying on flashy art and big slugfests, David is constructing his story around strong characterization, dialogue and chemistry between the different characters. David is creating a story that reads more like literature than a comic book. X-Factor is a refreshing change of pace from the normal comic book that relies more on “hot” artists and massive fight scenes to sell issues.

The flashback scene in this issue was an odd an unexpected. For Mr. Tryp to be standing next to Dai in the past furthers the mysteriousness of Mr. Tryp’s character. I can’t wait to learn just exactly who or what Mr. Tryp is.

The scene with Madrox in the hallway being complimented on his sexual prowess by Siryn and Monet was hilarious. David always manages to deliver plenty of humor to keep this title from being too serious. And Layla’s response to Madrox that she is saving herself for him on their wedding night was classic! Layla is such an odd and interesting character. I love how she always manages to aggravate Madrox with little comments like this one. And having Madrox sleeping with not one but two teammates will certainly provide entertainment in the upcoming issues. David is such a master at crafting wonderful interaction between the various members of X-Factor. There are so many layers and with this scene, David adds yet another layer to the already complex and stressful life of Jamie Madrox.

The scene where Dr. Buchanan reveals to X-Factor that Singularity has had him working on a virus that kills mutants was unexpected. Singularity becomes more interesting and sinister with each issue. Singularity was a group that completely failed to interest me in the first several issues of X-Factor. However, with the past couple of issues, Singularity has gotten my interest and curiosity more and more. Between Mr. Tryp’s mysterious powers and time traveling abilities and this revelation of Singularity developing a virus targeting mutants, I am very interested to learn more about Singularity and their purpose.

The scene between Quicksilver and Rictor was more excellent character development by David. Pietro keeps acting more and more like his father, Magneto, with his god-like complex and imperious attitude. I thought it was a neat twist that Quicksilver is blaming the mutants for their powers being out of whack whenever he restores them instead of himself. Is Quicksilver correct? Could it really be a reflection on the dark and undeserving nature of the mutants that perverts their restored mutant abilities? Or is Quicksilver in denial and creating any excuse possible to blame these mutants’ powers going awry? I’m interested to see where David takes this plotline.

This scene leads me to another enjoyable aspect of David’s X-Factor. David is about the only writer in the Marvel Universe who is trying to take the House of M events and build off of them and create an interesting storyline dealing with the aftermath of Decimation. Everyone else in the Marvel Universe has forgotten House of M and Decimation and is obsessed with the newest latest storyline dominating the Marvel Universe: Civil War. Kudos to David for trying to make something interesting out of House of M and Decimation.

My favorite scene is definitely the final scene. David drops a huge bomb on the reader with having Guido kill Dr. Buchanan with one punch and the revelation that Guido is the “Mr. C” that Mr. Tryp refers to in the beginning of the issue and that he carried out the killing on behalf of Mr. Tryp. Wow. That was just an incredible ending. My guess, and hope, is that Guido is being controlled by Mr. Tryp. That Tryp has the ability to control people just with the sound of his voice. I hope that this is the case, since I actually really like Guido and don’t want to see him turn heel and be a villain. At any rate, this is a very cool twist and definitely gets me excited to read the next issue.

The Bad: I am just not a fan of Renato Arlem’s artwork. It is boring, lacks detail and is too sloppy for my tastes. It also doesn’t have the dark edgy and funky style of Ryan Sook or Denis Calero that works so well on X-Factor. Instead of edgy or funky, Arlem’s artwork just looks weak, sketchy and unimpressive.

X-Factor has been plagued by a lack of consistency in the art department. Ryan Sook was the artist for #1, Denis Calero was the artists for #2 and #3, Ryan Sook came back for #4, Denis Calero came back for #5, Ariel Olivetti stepped in for the art on #6, Denis Calero returned for #7, Ryan Sook returned for #8 and #9. Now Arlem handled the art chores in issue #10. And it isn’t going to get any better. Roy Allen Martinez is the artist for #11, Arlem is the artist for #12 and Pablo Raimandi is the artist for #13.

That is just ridiculous. That is a total of 7 different artists in the first 13 issues. C’mon Marvel. You just can’t do that to a new title. Imagine if X-Factor had one artist who delivered strong and consistent artwork to match David’s superlative writing. This book would be even that much better than it already is. Personally, I would put this artist merry-go-round to rest and I’d make Denis Calero the permanent artist for X-Factor. Calero’s style matches the offbeat and dark mood of X-Factor perfectly. I honestly think that X-Factor is flowering and thriving in spite of Marvel’s efforts on this title.

Overall: X-Factor #10 was another excellent issue. David continues to impress me with this writing on this title. If you like strong character development, interesting character studies and excellent dialogue then do yourself a favor and check out X-Factor. Even if you are not a fan of any of Marvel’s X-titles, you should still give X-Factor a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Of course, if you prefer “hot” artwork and big fight scenes and break neck speed pacing then X-Factor is definitely not a title that you would enjoy.

3 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: X-Factor #10

  1. I agree with you on this 100%. Another great X-Factor story. I don’t have the issue in front on me so I won’t comment on the recent issue’s art, but I will say that the inconsistencies have been annoying.

  2. As a result of the Revolutions constant love of this book I have ordered the new X-Factor hardcover. You win this time… 🙂

  3. Dennis Calero here. Thanks for the kind words and I hope you guys continue to support Peter and Andy by buying X-Factor.

    To correct:
    1 Ryan
    2-4 1/2 me 1/2 Ryan
    5 Me
    6 Me
    7 Fill in
    8 Me
    9 Me


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