Saturday, August 10, 2013

Factor X #1

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I bet you'd never guess in a million years which title this used to be.  Moving the X from the front to the back of the title is such a huge change.  Havok was starring in that title at the time, and Beast and Cyclops were members of the original X-Factor team, so they at least chose the right group of characters to follow here.

The issue starts as a group of mutants named Artemiz, Phantazia, Newt, Dominic, and Pyro are trying to escape Apocalypse's prison camps, but are stopped by Cyclops, Havok, Northstar and Aurora.
This version of Pyro does not have the special equipment he has in the main universe, and every time he uses his powers, he badly burns himself. While Cyclops tries to capture the escapees peacefully, the others are more than happy to kill them.

We cut to Sinister alone with his thoughts, thinking about how he was so close to engineering a newer better race of mutants, but then Apocalypse started this war with the humans. He's going to have to escape the citadel and put into actions his plans to takeover.

We find out that two more mutants are directly under Sinister's guard, Elizabeth and Sam Guthrie. They're in charge of keeping the mutants held inside the pens from escaping. After scolding them for letting the few escape, Scott moves on to go to see Sinister while Alex goes to check up with Beast.

Sinister narrates to us that it was he and McCoy who designed the Infinites, the soldiers we've seen fighting for Apocalypse all through out these issues so far. Somehow, this version of Beast still has his delightful enthusiasm and charm while also being deliciously evil. Alex meanwhile, wishes to take his brother's place as Sinister's favorite.

We're introduced to the Bedlam Brothers, another of Sinister's group. They bicker amongst each other but seem to truly care about each other, which is something we can't say about the Summers brothers. The Bedlam Brothers head to Heaven to party, and Alex also shows up but he's here to see the singer, Scarlett McKenzie. She's a human, so he's really not supposed to be seeing her, but the heart wants what it wants.

When the three of them return home, they find Cyclops waiting outside Sinister's door wishing to be let in. One of the Bedlam brothers picks the psychic lock for him, and when they open the door they find the place empty and all the equipment trashed. Cyclops claims leadership, but Havok plans to change that.

Once again, we get an issue that is more introduction than anything else. Since we've already seen hints at Sinister, Cyclops, Havok, and Beast before now a lot of it feels particularly tedious. I'm really, really glad I've only got one more first issue left.

4 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    So what happened to Polaris in this world?

    (If you've already mentioned it earlier in this series, consider me properly embarrassed to have forgotten!)

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    1. We'll see her in this series in a future issue. :) She's only been briefly mentioned before now, in that Rogue permanently absorbed some of her powers.

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  2. Sinister's captions drone on for longer stretches than the needs to, but I really the story being told here. Yes, we're getting a lot of new elements, but it's also putting a new perspective on many of them. The actual nature of Beast's work and the breeding pens. The relationship between Cyclops and Havok which is about to boil over. The reason why Sinister skips out. While most of the issues until now have been fun in a 90s EXTREEEEME way, this one feels very grounded, taking a quieter and more philosophical look at the world they're in. The contrast you point out between the Bedlams and the Summers is great stuff, as is Havok's hypocritical relationship with a human, or the tragic cameos of the mutants up front, or Apocalypse's replacement for Lady Liberty, or Scott suddenly realizing his leader, the man who raise him, has left him on his own.

    I was pulled into this issue in a way I didn't expect, and found it far richer and intelligent that the ones around it. Partially due to the writing of John Francis Moore (who I've never read before, but this has me curious to seek out more) and Steve Epting's art, which has a far less exaggerated style more at home in the 70s or 80s, and helps give this installment a more timeless feel.

    Also, Magneto and Gambit are nowhere to be seen, so yay! :D

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    Replies
    1. Gah, made some changes to my opening line, leaving it full of typos. >.<

      Should be: "Sinister's captions drone on for longer stretches than they need to, but I really like the story being told here."

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