Thursday, February 14, 2019
X-amining X-Factor #110
In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles aliens in Madripoor.
Plot: John Francis Moore
Script: Todd DeZago
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inks: Al Milgrom
Colors: Matt Webb
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
On the planet Boh-tan-ee, a hooded figure learns her quarry has gone to Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, X-Factor suddenly appears in Madripoor, teleported there by Legion. They land atop a spaceship floating in the bay, from which emerges a massive rock-like alien. Strong Guy battles the creature, during which he is captured by a mysterious figure in a trenchcoat. Meanwhile, Mystique is flying to Paris from Israel, steadfast in her desire for revenge on Legion. Back in Madripoor, the electrical energy of the alien creature affects both Polaris' and Havok's powers, while Strong Guy finds himself a captive of the alien Jornick, who is using an image inducer to appear human. Just then, Lila Cheney teleports in, telling Strong Guy that Jornick has robbed her treasure hoard, including a music box she needs to avert a war. But Jornick reveals he sold the box, leaving Lila despondent over her fate. Elsewhere, the rest of X-Factor struggles to stop the destruction wrought by the creature released by Jornick, until Strong Guy and Lila arrive, and Lila teleports the beast back to its home planet. Upon her return to Earth, however, she finds a massive spaceship in the skies above Madripoor waiting for her, and she tells Strong Guy they're in big trouble now.
Firsts and Other Notables
Lila Cheney, who last appeared at Scott & Jean's wedding in X-Men #30, pops up in this issue. She'll stick around through next issue.
X-Factor arrives in Madripoor, teleported there by Legion; Havok theorizes this is because Legion knew about Jornick & Lila and figured they would keep X-Factor busy and out of Legion's hair.
Mystique appears briefly, stewing on her thwarted plans for vengeance; she sits out the next issue before appearing in X-Men: Prime, after which she'll return for issue #112, beginning a long run in the series that will more or less carry through to the end of the book.
A Work in Progress
Thanks to his time bodyguarding Lila Cheney, Guido rightly points out he has experience dealing with aliens.
Jornick’s image inducer is D’Baaran, the species whose planet Dark Phoenix destroyed.
It's in the Mail
The letter column teases four new X-Factor members joining in the coming year, saying there will be “someone old, someone new, someone borrowed and someone blue. I believe those work out to be Wild Child, Shard, Sabretooth & Mystique (or possibly Sabretooth as the old and Wild Child the borrowed), all of whom will join the team over the next year.
As with the previous issue, this once again feels a bit like X-Factor - the team/concept - is getting lost in their own book. Everything over the last few issues certainly follow on logically from one another: X-Factor is tasked with hunting down Mystique (who led their government-backed mutant team forebears), which leads them to encounter Legion, who in turn sends them to Madripoor for the events of this issue. But even with Strong Guy offering a connection to Lila and the extra-terrestrial elements of this issue, it still feels like we're a far cry from "team of mutants that works for the US government while expressing a greater-than-average dose of humor and/or psychological angst" when the majority of the issue is spent on generic action as the team fights an alien rock monster in an Asian city. Granted, some of the pushback against this idea may be triggered by hindsight, knowing that this particular iteration of the team will shortly be blown up by the transition into and out of "Age of Apocalypse", and thus, this is less a harmless diversion from the series' usual fare, and rather the last gasp of, essentially, the entirety of the "All New, All Different" X-Factor as we know it. Of course, it's not entirely fair to blame this issue for changes wrought in future ones, but nevertheless, it's hard not to read this, knowing what's coming, and not feel like the pages could have been used for something better - or, at least, more X-Factor-y.
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