Comic reviews: X-Factor #39



You think Final Crisis #7 was the big issue to keep an eye on in January? Think again.

I’ll admit I was starting to take X-Factor for granted. I’d skipped some of the Secret Invasion tie-ins issues and wasn’t terribly thrilled that Darwin, who came from the X-Men: Deadly Genesis mini-series (part of Marvel’s recent “make Xavier morally ambiguous through heavy retcons” campaign), was joining the group. Moreover, it seemed that every big Marvel event lately has forced X-Factor to change its direction, making it feel like the book had lost its focus. Oh sure, Peter David’s trademark sharp dialogue and characterization were still around and the book was still generally good. Except it had been a while since X-Factor had been GREAT.

Well, that changes with X-Factor #39. Peter David has said this issue and the next two were going to be big. So big, in fact, that he’s asked numerous times online and in the recap page of #39 that fans DON’T spoil the major events of this issue. So I’ll start by explaining what’s happened previously: after a night of drunken shenanigans, Jamie Maddox and a dupe of his got their freak on with Monet and Siryn. One of them (even Jamie’s not sure which) got Siryn pregnant. Now Siryn’s water has broken, meaning she has to get to the hospital right away. Fellow X-Factor member Rictor is ready to help, but the problem is, they were just in the middle of a tense conversation with Valerie Cooper (remember her?), who’s got a ton of armed federal agents waiting outside. There’s a shoot-out between Rictor and the agents, someone gets seriously hurt by a ricochet and Siryn still needs to have that baby.

This issue is the aftermath of all that. Which I can’t really talk too much about. I can tell you that the dialogue and character interactions are as strong as ever, as is Peter David’s trademark wit. I can tell you that quite a few big questions get answered (“Will X-Factor work for Val Cooper again?” “Does Siryn have the baby?” and one more I alluded to earlier). I can also tell you that Valentine DeLandro returns as series penciller this issue and does a stellar job.

Oh, alright. I suppose I can tell you one more thing. I can tell you that there is a huge, very clever twist that’s going to change things in a big way for this series. You won’t see coming, yet it makes perfect sense: you might even slap yourself on the head afterwards for not guessing it earlier! If you haven’t been reading X-Factor regularly, then the twist might lose some of its impact. But if you’ve been onboard for a while, this is going to blow you away.

You know what? I’m gonna give this comic a FUDO. You’ve earned it, X-Factor!


9 Responses to “Comic reviews: X-Factor #39”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Me and hypergraffic (Volcano Rob) talk more about the issue and the big twist (without spoiling anything)

    Volcano R o b (12:30:38 AM): OMG YOU FINALLY READ X-FACTOR 39!!!
    Gokitalo (12:30:43 AM): I KNOWZ
    Gokitalo (12:30:46 AM): IT WAS SO AWESOME
    Volcano R o b (12:31:12 AM): I swear to god I was one muscle spasm away from shitting my PANTS after I read it
    Volcano R o b (12:31:31 AM): I really wanted to review it, but I’m glad you did lol
    Gokitalo (12:31:47 AM): Your review probably would have been better than mine!
    Volcano R o b (12:32:20 AM): lol i dont know how to review comics
    Gokitalo (12:32:39 AM): Although you review animated series, dare I use the pun, Marvelously
    Volcano R o b (12:32:45 AM): *bows8
    Volcano R o b (12:33:26 AM): I have a mini-review for Batman Brave Bold later…
    Volcano R o b (12:33:27 AM): anyway
    Volcano R o b (12:33:30 AM): OMFG
    Gokitalo (12:33:47 AM): Yeeeees?
    Volcano R o b (12:34:10 AM): Peter David came so close to making me cry
    Volcano R o b (12:34:13 AM): I was like literally
    Volcano R o b (12:34:15 AM): shocked
    Volcano R o b (12:34:33 AM): its the most awesome, unexpected, non-cliche twist i’ve seen in comics in… forever
    Gokitalo (12:35:01 AM): Me too, man
    Gokitalo (12:35:10 AM): Peter David is GOOD
    Gokitalo (12:35:24 AM): He can be so clever like that
    Volcano R o b (12:35:53 AM): Im not a fan of his superhero stuff…
    Volcano R o b (12:36:07 AM): But this… whatever… style… its perfect for him
    Gokitalo (12:36:25 AM): Yes it is
    Gokitalo (12:36:43 AM): It’s like… superhero noir
    Volcano R o b (12:36:56 AM): I wish I could’ve stopped reading and clapped for him. lol
    Volcano R o b (12:37:01 AM): it is, but not like Powers
    Volcano R o b (12:37:14 AM): its… established superheroes noir.
    Volcano R o b (12:38:40 AM): and really, its like… what else can you even say about the twist
    Volcano R o b (12:38:55 AM): its so… “it is what it is”
    Volcano R o b (12:39:07 AM): and what can possibly happen next?
    Volcano R o b (12:39:33 AM): its not like… oh, Onslaught is Xavier… lets go back and look for clues, or how do they defeat him…
    Volcano R o b (12:39:46 AM): its like… no… the [SPOILER REMOVED]. and thats it.
    Gokitalo (12:40:25 AM): Exactly
    Gokitalo (12:40:37 AM): Dude, we should post this chat
    Gokitalo (12:40:47 AM): … only we’d spoil it
    Volcano R o b (12:41:16 AM): well.
    Volcano R o b (12:41:21 AM): you could just take out my last line. lol
    Gokitalo (12:41:25 AM): Hahaha, true
    Gokitalo (12:48:38 AM): Speaking of which, it was SO NICE to have the regular artist back on X-Factor again
    Volcano R o b (12:49:09 AM): yeah, loving him
    Gokitalo (12:49:49 AM): His name is Valentine. I bet chicks love that
    Volcano R o b (12:50:06 AM): hell yeah

  2. hypergraffic Says:

    Alright Goki, THANK GOD someone posted about this.

    First off, Valentine DeLandro? Perfection for X-Factor. Faces, body language, all excellent for a series that needs to make heavy use of such things.

    Second, you’re right, the huge cross-overs had taken a lot of focus away from X-Factor’s core story. The She-Hulk cross-over was a snore-fest. And I’m still not convinced about Darwin and Longshot being on the team, so we’ll see.

    But this issue just puts Peter David squarely back in control of the book.

    The world has no choice but to LOVE this issue. It is simply one of the most unexpected, unimaginable, clever, shocking, jaw-dropping twists in comics HISTORY.

    I’m salivating for the next issues.

  3. spiffyithaca Says:

    Um, damn. I’ll go buy it then, just so I can join the circle jerk before your guys’ dicks are out of commission.

  4. gokitalo Says:

    You can’t let us down like you did last time, man. That was an embarrassment.

  5. hypergraffic Says:

    Too late, Spiff, I’m spent.

  6. dillonmania Says:

    Valentine is awesome. I see him once or twice a year at the cons here, and have gotten him to do three great sketches for me. He’s really nice and very humble.

    Here is my gallery of Rogues sketches, two of them by him! He also did a Pyro sketch that’s on my FF site.

  7. dillonmania Says:

    PS, I hope you guys will post pictures.

  8. gokitalo Says:

    … hands are kind of full, Lia…

    P.S. that Piper sketch is awesome

  9. Checking In With The Big Two With Uncle Spiffy (Part Uno) « Goki’s Giving Groin Says:

    […] was X-Factor #39 really that […]

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