Comic Book Review: X-Factor #19

X-Factor is one of The Revolution’s favorite Marvel titles. David always delivers a well written issue full of great dialogue and a commitment to character growth. There is no doubt in my mind that X-Factor #19 is going to be another good read. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Khoi Pham
Inker: Sandu Florea

Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: We begin with Jamie holding one of his dupes who was poisoned by Fatale. The dupe doesn’t mind embracing his death. Jamie worries that lately his dupes have been too death obsessed. And Jamie himself was ready to let the “Reverend Maddox” put a cap in his head. Jamie wonders what is wrong with his survival instinct lately.

Jamie absorbs his poisoned dupe and then Jamie collapses to the floor. Rictor stands next to Jamie’s body completely confused.

We cut to Rahne and Strong Guy where Rahne is trying to pick up a scent. Rahne snaps at Guido. Guido comments that he is worried about how Rahne has been acting lately when in wolf form. That she may decide to stay in that form permanently. Rahne says she has been worrying about that, too. Rahne then tells Guido that she caught the scent.

We hop over to Monet and Siryn squaring off against Marrow, Fatale and Blob. They begin to brawl. During the brawl, Siryn blasts Blob. Blob flies high into the air and lands over on the nearby alley where Rictor and Madrox are located. We see Madrox standing up when Blob then falls on top of him and splits Madrox into several dupes.

Rictor races around the corner to help Monet and Siryn and gets taken down by a ricocheted bullet from Fatale’s gun. Monet and Siryn kick ass on Fatale and Marrow and take both of the villains down and out. Monet tends to Siryn’s stab wound and tells her that she needs medical attention. We see a mysterious figure pull Rictor into the alley, pick him up and walk away with him.

We shift to Rahne following the trail of the scent all the way to Quicksilver’s building. Our heroes knew that Pietro would be mixed up in all of this somehow. Suddenly, Guido is attacked by Nils Styger, otherwise known as Abyss. Abyss throws Guido several blocks through the air.

We then see Reaper arriving on the scene carrying Rictor over his shoulder. Rahne and Reaper begin to brawl. Callisto then joins the fight. Callisto calls Rahne a sell out for working for the same government that was responsible for M-Day. Rahne says that Callisto is wrong. That it wasn’t the government responsible for M-Day. However, before Rahne can tell Callisto that Scarlet Witch caused M-Day, Quicksilver grabs Rahne from behind. Rahne collapses to the ground and transforms back to her human form.

Quicksilver orders Reaper and Callisto to dispose of Rahne as they see fit. Reaper throws Rahne down a manhole into the sewer. Reaper then sees a piece of paper that fell out of Rahne’s pocket that says she should go climb down a manhole at the intersection of Bachman and 5th. Callisto comments that it is the wrong address, but close enough. Quicksilver then grabs Rictor’s unconscious body and drags him into Quicksilver’s building.

We shift back to X-Factor’s brownstone where Siryn is getting treatment for her wound. Blob says that he won’t tell them anything. Monet then comments that she is going to pull the information from Blob’s mind. That it will be like strip-mining. That Blob’s mind will be just smoking ruins inside his skull. Monet then asks again where X-Cell’s location is and where they got their weapons.

We cut back to Quicksilver with Rictor. Rictor wakes up and Quicksilver tells Rictor that he has been watching out for Rictor. Quicksilver says that Rictor can’t leave yet until he hears what Quicksilver has to offer. We see Abyss, Reaper, Marrow, Fatale and Callisto on the other side of the closed door ready to attack if Rictor tries to escape from the room.

Quicksilver tells Rictor that they can save the former mutants. That the former mutants that weren’t worthy can be purified through Rictor. That evolution stems from nature and that Rictor has a connection to nature. That power or no, the connection still resides inside of Rictor. That with Quicksilver’s help that connection can be used for the salvation of the mutant race. Rictor tells Quicksilver to tell him more. End of issue.

The Good: X-Factor #19 was another good read. David continues to crank out consistently good issues each and every month on X-Factor. David serves up a well paced and plotted issue. David gives us enough action to liven up his dialogue heavy story. I love that David has a clear vision and direction for this title. David is clearly building up to a huge event involving Quicksilver and the ex-mutants who were robbed of their powers by M-Day.

Of course, David delivers his usual excellently crafted dialogue. Each member of X-Factor has their own distinct external voice. The dialogue has a wonderful natural flow and makes this issue a pleasant read. The great dialogue and well developed characters lend to plenty of chemistry between the various members of X-Factor. There are very few titles on the market that have the incredible level of chemistry between teammates that you find on X-Factor. David has made X-Factor more than just a super team. They are really a family with all the dysfunctions that your typical family has.

David continues his strong commitment to character development. David is eternally growing the characters of all the various members of X-Factor. In this issue, we see Rahne, Jamie and Rictor all further evolve in this issue.

David has been building up to Rahne dealing with feeling more at home in her wolf form than in her human form. At some point, this has to tie into what is going on over in Wolverine. We know that Wolverine is a Lupine and evidently so are other characters in the Marvel Universe including Rahne.

Jamie, being the star of this title, continues to grow and grow with each issue. It suddenly dawns on Jamie that he has a serious problem with his survival instinct. Is Jamie suicidal? Does he have a deathwish? Clearly, something is going on inside of Jamie’s fractured mind that is causing him to act in a decidedly unbalanced manner. I’m interested to see what David has in store for Jamie.

But, the biggest development in X-Factor #19 is that David finally heats up the Quicksilver/Rictor plotline. David has been slowly building up to this moment. I am completely captivated by this plotline and cannot wait to see what Quicksilver has planned for Rictor.

I’m glad that David is dealing with the remnants of M-Day. This storyline has been largely ignored by Marvel and that is a shame. There is plenty of potential with this storyline and it is necessary that Marvel follow up on this long dangling plotline.

David’s version of Quicksilver is excellent. Quicksilver is such an oily and snake-ish villain. Quicksilver comes across much differently than his father Magneto. Quicksilver operates through manipulation and lies. Magneto was more straightforward. Magneto operated as an authoritarian dictator.

Of course, they do have some similarities. Both father and son believe that what they are doing is helping mutantkind and both men have god-complexes. However, it seems that Quicksilver doesn’t truly love and care for his people like Magneto does. I like that David is contrasting the different styles between Quicksilver and Magneto. It helps bring Quicksilver out of his father’s shadow and give him his own unique style and image.

The Bad: I just don’t dig the style of artwork that Khoi Pham and Sandu Florea are giving us on this title. I find their art to be rather drab and dull. The faces are poorly sketched and lack any personality. The artwork continues to be the Achilles’ heel of what is an excellently written title. If Marvel would just put some quality artwork on X-Factor then you would have one truly amazing title.

Overall: X-Factor #19 was a good read and is leading up to what should be a wild ride involving Quicksilver’s plan for Rictor. X-Factor continues to fly under the radar and, in my opinion, is the best X-title that Marvel has on the market right now. I don’t even think it is close. X-Factor is definitely worth your hard earned money.

3 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: X-Factor #19

  1. The art isn’t as good as Raimondi’s (he’s back on the title soon), but I think it’s much better than the stuff we had between Sook’s departure and Raimondi’s arrival.

  2. I agree with IslandLiberal about the artwork. Raimondi’s art was what got me into X-Factor and I am glad to know he’s coming back. I can’t wait to see what happens between Rictor and Quicksilver and how this will play out with the other characters. Great review Rokk, I am awaiting your X-Men #199 review now.

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