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X-Factor #1 (1985) - Reaper Madness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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X-Factor #1 (1985) [Mar. 28th, 2011|08:14 pm]
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[mood |pleasedpleased]

From Comic Book Movie's fan casting.

Writer: Bob Layton
Penciller: Jackson Guice

The art's okay, but nothing to write to you guys about.
The colouring was bright and realistic, lending the whole thing that open, welcoming feel that's so lacking these days. Though the reproduction leaves something to be desired... a few too many blobs and spills.
But all comics should be dark, claustrophobic, and filtered... Don't you see that?
... not listening!

Cyclops forgets a Pryor engagement and loses his Cable privileges.
Angel, Iceman, and Beast stop being so defensive.
Jean Grey... It's Jean. She comes back from the dead.
Rusty Collins gets hot for teacher... she teaches things they would not teach me of in college...
Mutants are persecuted. More.

This series began with a simple premise: Bring back the original X-Men. (For the CD, the originals are Marvel Girl, Beast, Cyclops, Angel, and Iceman. They looked like this:

from tqn... whatever that is.)

You probably know Beast better in his blue furred version. Same guy.

Tell them about Scott.
Quiet, you! I'm getting to it!

A reasonably good idea, if you discount the fact that the originals never sold well. That's why #s 66-93 were reprints of the issues before them.

I love what Scott does here.
Quiet! What is wrong with you?

Anyway, the team forms a company of mutant-hunters, cashing in on the anti-mutant paranoia. Only, they're really helping the mutants they catch (and fleecing the mutant-haters while they're at it).
This brings up one of the problems the X-Men have always had. Their PR (in-universe) is worth nothing.
This is from the ad X-Factor ran for themselves:
"They live in secret and plan to destroy the very lives of us normal people!" (No, not gamers, mutants!)
Love it! It's brilliant!
I'm not trying to hear that.

This would be a really stupid bit of writing... except that the guy who designed the ads - and started airing them before telling X-Factor - was secretly working against mutants. Yep, a secretly anti-mutant bigot working within a secretly pro-mutant organisation masquerading as a public anti-mutant group...
Can you get me his phone number?

This comic spends time getting to know the characters before throwing them into the action. We see them being people; Scott and Madelyne living their lives. The other three guys going their separate ways, looking for jobs. Jean trying to cope with her biggest resurrection (which actually happened in the Fantastic Four.)

You learn a bit about Rusty Collins, the pyro they have to hunt down, before they hunt him down.
Hunting him down is good...
They save him from bigots.
You're no fun.

It's fun, and draws you in, and is full of character.

Ah, the 80s. Could they do no wrong?

Of course they could... but let's look at this one.
Yes, Scott.

This issue is the beginning of the end for Cyclops. This is the one where he deserts his wife and son because Jean's back.

It was the beginning of his character derailment. Not as bad as the time he gets with an enemy over Jean's dead body - literally (they're on her grave at the time), but bad. At least here, it gives the impression he's always loyal to Jean. Dance with the one who brung ya!
Bah! Loyalty... just go after the first pretty face you see, I say...
That's the thing. Scott's wife looked exactly like Jean (so why did everybody recognise Jean instantly, and not assume she was Madelyne?) Why not just replace Jean with her? Beacuse she has no powers? Give her some. (They did, eventually.) Or, just have her there powerless.
Or, better yet, betray your wife for your old girlfriend.
Don't make me come over there.

The worst part? How long did it take Scott to tell Jean he was married?
Yee-haw, I knew the boy had it in him!
S'rously, I don't know. By the end of issue 1, she didn't know.

This is a good issue, far better than most of the... stuff...
say it!
No. You know what I mean.
say it!
Okay... than most of the Batman and Robin that's out these days.
Hah! And I thought you wouldn't swear!
Shut up.

The comic didn't interest me at the time, because the premise was whatever-ish (I hadn't been holding out for the return of the originals), and because the things that make it so great today were normal for comics then.
It's only got one problem, but it's a major one.

If you have the means, I recommend picking one up.
It... doesn't suck.