Comic Book Review: X-Factor #11

The Revolution has been raving about X-Factor for quite some time. Peter David is delivering one of the best reads on the market. Period. Marvel or DC. X-Factor is an excellent comic book. I fully expect X-Factor #11 to be another superb read. Let’s not waste any more time and do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Renato Arlem
Inker: Roy Allen Martinez

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with a flashback scene. We see Damian Tryp visiting Jamie Madrox’s parents. Damian is trying to convince Jamie’s parents to join Singularity rather than enrolling in Xavier’s school. Tryp says that Jamie is not a mutant. That Jamie was born with his powers, unlike mutants whose powers surface at puberty. Instead, Jamie is a changeling. A “Killcrop.” That name came from the middle ages since bad harvests were blamed on changelings. In the middle ages, people killed Killcrops at birth or as children. So nature adapted and hence you have mutants whose powers surface at puberty. Tryp reveals that he has varied Killcrop powers. One of them is the ability to manipulate the elements like wind.

Tryp leaves the Madrox home and crosses paths with Jamie who is a little boy. Jamie asks Tryp if he isn’t a mutant. Tryp then wipes Jamie’s memory of Tryp mentioning that Jamie is not a mutant. Tryp then wipes Jamie’s memory of Tryp and his visit to his house.

We snap back to the present where Guido is explaining that he lost Dr. Buchanan. Rahne then smells Dr. Buchanan’s blood on Guido’s hand. Jamie orders Monet to take down Guido. Monet searches into Guido’s mind and reveals that Guido is working for Singularity and that he killed Dr. Buchanan. Monet thinks that Singularity employed hypnosis to create another personality for Guido and to control him. That Monet’s probe brought that personality to the surface. Guido and X-Factor brawl. Guido grabs Rictor and threatens to crush Rictor’s head. Quicksilver then appears and touches Guido. Guido immediately collapses. Quicksilver reveals that his terragen mist powers can grant an ex-mutant his powers or it can temporarily disrupt the powers of a powered mutant and cause them to overload and pass out. Quicksilver then says that Rictor is his close friend and is now under his protection. If anyone messes with Rictor, then Quicksilver will deal with them harshly.

We cut to Layla confirming that Singularity called Guido’s cell phone just prior to him killing Dr. Buchanan. Jamie calls Dr. Buchanan’s wife in hopes that Dr. Buchanan stored his research at his house. Mrs. Buchanan informs Jamie that Dr. Buchanan did not keep any of his research at their house. She continues that she is totally packed up and is about to leave their house. Jamie doesn’t have the heart to tell Mrs. Buchanan that her husband is dead. Jamie says that Dr. Buchanan is at a secure location and is incommunicado. We see Mrs. Buchanan about to leave her house when Damian Tryp suddenly appears at her front door.

X-Factor decide to sneak into Singularity’s building. They call in a bomb threat. The police clear out Singularity’s building. Then Siryn and Rictor pose as part of the bomb squad and get into the building. They shut off all of the security cameras and recordings. Then Jamie, Monet and Rahne break into the top floor of the building. Monet actually grabs Jamie’s butt in this scene which totally stuns Rahne. The three heroes locate Dr. Buchanan’s office. They enter the office and come face to face with an old man who introduces himself as Damian Tryp. That he wants to explain to Jamie why Jamie is on the wrong side, why Singularity is trying to save the future of mankind and how Jamie’s activities may well destroy everything. End of issue.

The Good: X-Factor #11 was a fantastic read. David is doing a wonderful job writing this comic book. X-Factor is a refreshing breath of fresh air compared to the vast majority of comic books on the market. David delivers a story that has multi-faceted. The writing has humor, drama and action. The writing is intelligent and makes the reader think. And best of all, X-Factor relies on strong character development and interaction between the teammates to drive the story rather than mindless action. Right now, X-Factor is the class of the comic book world.

X-Factor #11 has a nice pace. David drops several bombs on the reader with this issue. The first is dropped on the reader at the very beginning. Madrox is not a mutant. He is a killcrop. And on top of that, Tryp has been monitoring Jamie since birth. I like the idea of a third species of human. The mutant/human storyline was always an analogy for white and black America. However, that view of America is extremely dated. America is no longer black and white. It has a blooming Hispanic population and an ever-growing Asian population. It is nice to see the X-Universe adapting to more accurately reflect the current state of America. Plus three groups battling it out makes for a more complex and interesting story.

David wisely addressed the Guido storyline rather than dragging it out over several issues. Once the reader knows the secret, a writer shouldn’t keep it too long from the other characters. Plus, it moves the story along at a nice pace and gets to the heart of the matter which is just how powerful Damian Tryp is and what he is planning.

The scene with Quicksilver was a bit odd. Evidently, Rictor has his own personal bodyguard. I’m not too sure where David is going with this plotline. I’m sure David has something very interesting in store for Quicksilver. I do like that Pietro can disrupt the powers of an active mutant. It certainly boosts Quicksilver’s power levels up a bit.

David delivered another bomb at the end of this story. Another Damian Tryp! This one an old man. That gives us three versions of Damian Tryp running around: a young one, a middle aged one and now an old one. This definitely hooked me and I can’t wait to read the next issue. I am interested to learn more about Tryp and his powers. It should be interesting to find out if Tryp and Singularity are truly villains and is their mission actually one that X-Factor should be helping out rather than opposing. David just continues to add layer after layer on to an already wonderfully complex and textured story. The reader never knows what is going to happen next with this title! The great thing about this story is that nothing is ever as it seems.

David’s masterful dialogue continues to impress me. Every issue has strong dialogue and X-Factor #11 is no exception. David has created excellent chemistry between the characters and their interactions with each other are enjoyable to read. What really makes David special are the little touches. The small throw away lines that make you chuckle. Monet’s off panel butt grab on Jamie. All those things that keep the story from being to somber and serious. With David’s complex and deep story, X-Factor could easily become too heavy. David wisely knows to lighten the story up a little bit at certain points without the story de-evolving into “bwa-hahaha” humor.

Arlem’s art is solid and his off-beat style is a perfect match for X-Factor’s mood and tone. I prefer that Calero stay as the permanent artist on this title. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Marvel is going to do that.

The Bad: No complaints at all.

Overall: X-Factor #11 was an outstanding read. David has really impressed me with his work on this title. I know that the “hot” writers are Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Ed Brubaker, Mark Millar and Brian Bendis and they seem to get all of the attention. They are all talented gentlemen; however, I firmly believe that David is the writer who is delivering the best written comic book currently on the market. David has demonstrated to me that he is as talented as anyone else in the comic industry.

X-Factor continues to fly under the radar. I wish this title would get the publicity that some of the less quality higher profile titles receive. I urge everyone to give this title a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: X-Factor #11

  1. I don’t know. I see three groups leading to a mess later on down the line. We already have a new species of some sort poping up over in regular X-men, and It won’t be long before another book jumps on the bandwagon and introduces their own race. In two months we already doubled from two to four. Let’s say the X-Men take in from all three, mutant killcrop and whatever the other truns out to be. Can we really keep track of who is what at that point.

    Also, how will this affect other players in the X world. Nightcrawler was born a with powers, does that mean that he is no no longer a mutant, but a killcrop. (It would make more sense than the whole Chuck Austin “Biblical mutant race” mess) Xavier has his powers in the womb, what would that make him. It’s all a going to get become a big mess before too long.

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