An Awesome Tale
The current run of, "X-Factor," has continuously impressed me since it first started in the aftermath of that House of M business (and technically a bit before it as the, "Madrox," mini-series led directly into the series). It has survived a re-numbering because of how when it hit issue #50 the next one became #200, the culling of other comics hasn't affected it, and Peter David has continued to craft a complex tale, weaving in and out members of the cast as needed--or as Marvel editorial demands, such as when it needs a certain character for some other comic. Despite everything that could work against it this comic just had another great issue with #242 and maintains its ability to be wonderful.
I loved David's introduction of Damian Tryp who disappeared in the 12th issue only to reappear once the series hit its 40s to reveal a time-travel story-line that wasn't making sense due to various characters' motivations being unclear was intentionally that way, as he was orchestrating everything--seriously, that reveal made me squeal with joy. I am amazed how he took a character such as Darwin who was kind of lame if with a cool power and turned him into first an interesting fellow, and now a death-machine since his battles with a Norse God (yeah, it's a little complicated). Then of course he revealed that the long-hinted at gay relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar did exist, and now the series has two characters who are fully-formed and interesting people whom are also gay--not dominated by that aspect when it comes to telling stories about them.
Those above examples are just three of the numerous great things David has done (I didn't even mention how he took the character of Layla Miller and turned her from a plot macguffin into a fascinating individual). I truly love, "X-Factor," and the way David let's the characters grow and change, such as Strong Guy going from a sweet gentle-giant to a creepy and literally soulless soon-to-be-villain--if the plot turn out the way it's been foreshadowed. This is just such awesome stuff.
The series has suffered art-wise at times, with some really good artists and some bad-to-terrible ones. Luckily, since Leonard Kirk came on awhile ago the comic has had a much more consistent look that also compliments the story-telling. Oh, and speaking of story-telling did I forget to discuss how this comic also can be hilarious?
Yes, so often comics are busy being super-dark and gritty that no humor sneaks in. David doesn't do that, letting the jokes fly. He never over-does it, however, letting the important moments of the plot still play a major role when it's time to be serious.
I always say if I could get only one comic, it would be, "X-Factor". This is why I pray it isn't destroyed in the upcoming Marvel NOW! re-launch. Hopefully this book will be one of the titles that keeps its numbering and continues on (like Daredevil apparently will be) or this series again has a renumbering but continues on the same even if it has a #1 by the title.
"X-Factor," you are superb.