Best of 6/18: X-Factor #32

by

I’m going to try this out for reviews, see how I like it.

Comics for June 18, 2008

The Best:

X-FACTOR #32

Writer Peter David has turned X-Factor into one of the best books on the market, and issue #32, “X-it Strategy,” doesn’t disappoint.

The issue opens in the continued carnage of MutantTown, following the events of recent issues, and it ends with a possible new direction for the team and book. In the last issue, David gave readers a hint of the return of Val Cooper, one of the more complex and interesting characters from his first run. Here, Val is back in full force, a development that could have serious ramifications for the team who once reluctantly took her governmental sponsorship.

Also in this issue, readers get a moment they’ve been waiting for the past several issues. You’ll know it when you see it. After all the buildup, it almost came too easily, but it worked.

As always with David, strong characterization and witty dialogue provide the main strengths here. He continues to delve deeper into the psyche of Jamie Madrox, The Multiple Man, who has become one of the more sympathetic characters you’ll find.

The art is ably provided by the talented Valentine de Landro. De Landro isn’t an artist who blows you away often, but is consistently good and particularly gifted at displaying emotion in facial features.

To sum up, X-Factor #32 provides (seemingly) an end to this chapter of the team’s life, and it’s an issue that fans are sure to enjoy. If you haven’t been able to get into the book yet, look for next month’s issue as a potentially good jump-on point.

The Rest:

SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR #2

The second chapter of this limited series gives us more on one of Marvel’s most famous Skrulls, Lyja. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, this issue has a lot of good nods to the complex history of Marvel’s First Family. At the same time, it would be fair to say some of the interactions feel forced, and some of the developments come too easily. Artist Barry Kitson is good with action scenes and capturing the cosmic scope, but his characters often look vacant.

Overall, this is a pretty good issue, but it certainly falls short of being a can’t-miss. If nothing else, it’s good to see Marvel revisiting Lyja, a great character who has been left in Limbo for a good 10 years. Hopefully she won’t return to that abyss after the conclusion to this mini next month.

SECRET INVASION: WHO DO YOU TRUST?

More Secret Invasion? I know, it seems excessive for a crossover that has gotten off to a fairly underwhelming start, but this one-shot from the week of June 11 does have some worthwhile things to offer. With five stories by different writers and artists covering an assortment of characters from across the Marvel Universe, chances are this probably has something you’ll be interested in.

It begins with a Captain Marvel story that I didn’t particularly care for, followed by a decent but bland story on Agent Brand. The final two stories involve Marvel Boy and the Agents of Atlas, respectively. I’m only fairly familiar with these characters, but their stories were somewhat intriguing.

However, what made this worth the buy for me, and I suspect for most other people, is the third story, “Wonder Man & The Beast: Seems Like Old Times.” The story features a break in the fighting between heroes and Skrulls disguised as heroes, as an old version of Beast and the current version of Wonder Man team up in a story that truly does feel like “old times.” The two (former?) best friends embark on a light-hearted adventure, soon falling back into their old rapport despite neither knowing for sure if his friend (or himself) is real or a Skrull. Written by Christos N. Gage with good art by Mike Perkins, this is a fun romp that will make you hope that Hank and Simon end up on the same superteam again.

 

That’s all for this week folks. Until next time, don’t forget to make your fertile dogs and cats have lots of unprotected sex.

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5 Responses to “Best of 6/18: X-Factor #32”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    I definitely liked “Who Do You Trust?” more than you. I enjoyed Captain Marvel and Brand’s, and then derived some enjoyment from the Atlas and Marvel Boy one’s, but you’re definitely right that the Wonder Man and Beast story was by far the best and made it all worth it. Beast is the only thing that makes Wonder Man a worthwhile human being (I think he sucks).

    FF was okay, and I liked Human Torch/Lyja stuff, but….meh. I liked the first one more with the Lyja cliffhanger, than this one, and I don’t think I’ll be around for the conclusion. But good point about Kitson and the vacant stare thing, I think he does that a lot, despite being excellent most always.

    If you could suck off PAD or Morrison, who would it be? 😉

    And I did like X-Factor, but I just didn’t like it THAT much and wasn’t too interested beyond anything going on except Madrox and Layla, which is a pretty significant thing, but eh, I can’t buy everything. The art is good though, agreed.

  2. Gokitalo Says:

    Ooh, I need to snag those. Maybe not the Fantastic Four Secret Invasion tie-in, but X-Factor is always a treat and I’ve heard many good things about Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? particularly the Beast/Wonder Man story. Those two are just great together.

  3. davidry214 Says:

    Oh, it’d easily be Morrison, though I’d suck off both if possible, of course. PAD can be inconsistent though, and has been known to follow up brilliance with the occassional touch of crap. That was certainly a problem on Captain Marvel, though happily I’ve seen no sign of it here. I’m not sure I’ve read much Morrison I didn’t love.

    As for X-Factor, I can see how it might not grab you. I think it’s just that I’m more attached to these characters from back in the day. You and I have talked a couple times about passing up on books that might be good in (unsuccessful) attempts to keep our buying lists under control.

    Along those same lines, I would guess I’m a much bigger Wonder Man fan. He is certainly at his best with Beast, but when written write, he’s pretty cool in his own right. I thought Busiek did well with him, especially early on his run.

  4. spiffyithaca Says:

    Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve only seen him written poorly, from the middle of Busiek’s run to Bendis, who doesn’t really do anything with him, and I’ve been fine with that. At the most I see him as another Cyclops: a powerful character with leadership skills and a high profile romance, but pretty bland and annoying a lot of the time.

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    And also, he has a terrible name. Wonder Man? Yuck

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