Comic Book Review: X-Factor #8: Civil War

X-Factor #8 is yet another Civil War tie-in. Quicksilver makes his return to X-Factor in this issue. That should be interesting. The Revolution has really enjoyed David’s run on X-Factor and issue #8 should be no exception. Let’s crank this review up.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Dennis Calero

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

Synopsis: The issue starts with Siryn, Guido and Madrox discussing that Quicksilver might be in Mutant Town. Madrox says that Cyclops told him that Quicksilver was dangerous and to contact the X-Men and let them handle him. Guido asks Madrox if he thinks that Cyclops is lying. Madrox says that he doesn’t know. Madrox and Guido leave the brownstone. On the outside steps they pass Layla who is reading a thick book. Guido asks her if she is reading Harry Potter. Layla responds that she is reading Atlas Shrugged.

We then cut to Siryn, Rictor and Monet talking. Siryn mentions how J. J. Jameson’s editorial supporting the Registration Act is as idiotic as he is. Siryn continues that the Registration Act represents a slow erosion of freedom. Rictor says the roots of the Act are in the Mutant Registration Act so they should be united with groups like the X-Men and stand against the Registration Act. Siryn then stated that she doesn’t know what is up with the X-Men. That the other day it appeared that Cyclops recognized Layla, but then acted like he didn’t.

Layla then enters the room. The phone rings and it is Madrox. He tells Siryn to talk to other high profile super heroes to find out what they know about Decimation. Siryn hangs up the phone and asks Layla if she knows anything about the X-Men possibly holding back information about Decimation. Layla asks them if they would believe her. Rictor answers that he probably wouldn’t. Therefore, Layla leaves the room and goes back out to the front steps. There she runs into a dupe of Madrox. She tells him that everyone is upstairs. We then see Siryn flying off with Layla looking up at her saying “I’m sorry.”

The Madrox dupe enters the room where Rictor and Monet are hanging out. The Dupe says that he is working on behalf of the government and is here to sign them up pursuant to the Registration Act. Rictor and Monet laugh at Dupe. The Dupe then shows them his I.D. and says he is Jamie Madrox: agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We cut back to outside the brownstone where a mutant flies over Layla. The mutant claims that Quicksilver gave him his powers back. Then the mutant realizes that he can’t land and just continues to fly off higher and higher out of control.

We then shift over to Madrox and Guido paying a visit to Modern Labs which is a skuzzy little lab. Dr. Modern tells Madrox that he analyzed the tissue samples. Dr. Modern says that Damian Tryp is a sub-species. That he is different from mutants and humans. Madrox then asks Dr. Modern about the sample for the son Tryp, Jr. Dr. Modern replies that the two samples that Madrox gave him are exact DNA matches. That they are the same guy. (Cool. I didn’t see that coming.)

We then cut to Siryn helping Spider-Man take down a bad guy. The two then meet on a rooftop and debate the Registration Act. Then Siryn uses her voice powers to put Spider-Man into a trance and asks him to tell her everything he knows about Decimation. The hypnotized Spider-Man readily agrees.

We shift back to the X-Factor brownstone where Rahne walks past Layla and enters the building. A disfigured mutant who looks like he is melting comes up to Layla and says it is her fault that he did this to him.

We then follow Rahne walking into Monet and Rictor signing the Registration forms. Madrox’s Dupe explains to Rahne that Madrox dispatched him to study espionage a long time ago and Val Cooper made him a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. Rahne asks Rictor and Monet why they signed the Registration papers. Rictor said he didn’t care since he is now powerless. Monet says she didn’t care because she has nothing to hide.

We then cut back to Layla and the dying mutant. The melting mutant dissolves into a gooey puddle. Madrox’s dupe leaves the brownstone and tells Layla that it looks like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Layla answers that she does. The dupe asks how she deals with that. Layla says that she shrugs. (Nice reference to the beginning scene.)

We then cut to Siryn calling Madrox and telling him that Spider-Man told her everything. Siryn rants that Cyclops lied to them and that the X-Men know about what happened in Decimation. Siryn wants to go to the X-Mansion and knock some heads. Madrox tells Siryn to calm down and meet him back at the brownstone.

We shift back to Layla sitting on the steps of the brownstone. Quicksilver approaches her and asks Layla if he knows her. Layla answers that she is his nemesis. Quicksilver then threatens Layla. Layla is nonplussed by his threats. Layla tells Quicksilver that they are waiting for him upstairs. Quicksilver then enters X-Factor’s brownstone. End of issue.

The Good: I thought that X-Factor #8 was a great issue! David serves up a strong issue and by far the best of the Civil War tie-in issues. Of course, this issue was barely a Civil War tie-in. We had the Madrox Dupe signing up Rictor and Monet under the Registration Act. We had Siryn talk a little to Spider-Man about it. That’s it. I think that X-Factor #8 is more of a Decimation tie-in than a Civil War tie-in.

I love David’s writing on this issue. David expertly combines dark and serious themes with subtle and sly humor mixed in at unexpected moments. This style of writing makes X-Factor an off-beat story that is highly entertaining to read. It is the little things like Layla mentioning that she is reading “Atlas Shrugged” in the beginning and then referencing the book at the end of the issue in her discussion with Madrox’s dupe.

David also delivers excellent dialogue. The dialogue is natural and has great rhythm. David is also great at cranking out sarcastic and humorous dialogue. David’s dialogue makes X-Factor a fast and enjoyable read. David also has an excellent feel for each of the characters. David has given each character their own unique voice. David also does a great job continuing to develop and grow these characters with each issue. For example, the more I read Layla the more I like her. With the first five issues of X-Factor, I really wasn’t a big fan of Layla at all. However, David has a done a nice job developing her character more and more with each issue. Now, I think Layla is an interesting and wonderful character.

David has also done well developing Madrox into a more complex and interesting character. Siryn and Rictor have also gotten nice development. I am enjoying the chemistry and interaction of the members of X-Factor. David has assembled a great cast and they make for an odd and off-beat team. These characters are a refreshing break from the standard team books that you get in X-Men, Avengers, JLA, etc.

David dropped a pretty big bomb on us with the revelation that the DNA samples from Tryp and his son, Junior come from the same man! I can’t wait to see where David goes with this. I guess it is possible that Tryp cloned himself.

David then dropped a smaller bomb by having Siryn find out everything that Spider-Man knew about Decimation. This confirms her suspicion that the X-Men have been lying to them. This is going to make for a seriously interesting plotline. I can’t wait to see the misfits of X-Factor lock horns with the celebrities in the X-Men.

David does a good job hooking the reader at the end of this issue with the arrival of Quicksilver at X-Factor’s brownstone. I thought the conversation between Quicksilver and Layla was perfect. I cannot wait to read the next issue to see what happens next. David definitely has me ready to read the next issue right now!

David kicks up the pace of the story in this issue. And that was necessary. David’s story is starting to become more focused and directed. I think X-Factor #8 may be the best issue so far in this series.

I am really becoming a fan of Dennis Calero’s artwork. At first, I was not sold on Calero’s art. But, now I love it. I think Calero’s art meshes perfectly with the tone and mood that David is setting in this story. Calero gives X-Factor a unique look that fits its off-beat story.

The Bad: My only complaint is that David has really ignored up to this point would be Guido and Monet. David really needs to spend some time focusing and developing these two a little bit more.

Overall: X-Factor #8 was a great read. David is really cranking up this story and each issue gets better and better. I seriously recommend X-Factor. It is one of the best and most unique comic books on the market. The only people that may not like this title are readers that prefer fast past action packed comics. Other than those readers, I think everyone else would enjoy this title.