Another two-issue storyline neatly, beautifully wrapped up by Peter David! I could get used to this, it’s a very interesting change of pace from the usual American 5-8 issue arcs. It isn’t that I dislike longer-form storylines, it’s just that this is so novel and it creates an interesting sense of pacing and newness from one issue to the next. Last issue, I complained of a certain predictability of the revelation of Georgia Dakei’s powers and her anti-mutant parentage, but this issue takes that in some interesting, new directions AND, seemingly, gives the team another member. Which is a delightfully unexpected development, if it proves true. This issue actually mostly focuses on Georgia and her father with X-Factor facilitating things and saving lives, as well as having Georgia test the limits of her powers. We also see Harrison Snow, Serval Industries CEO, make an unexpected and INCREDIBLY sinister appearance. There seems to be far, far more than simple, general scumbaggery to that particular character, but the hand hasn’t been tipped yet. We also get some amazingly, hilariously honest dialog about the survival chances of students at the various X-Men academies from Danger and Warlock.
Carmine Di Giandomenico solidifies an incredible, consistent run on this series with his ultra-detailed characters, especially their faces, and keeps the pacing and action completely frantic and frenetic. The transitions from one scene to the next are seamless, and I love the fast-paced rescue mission contrasted against Snow’s cool, ultra-kempt demeanor. Lee Loughridge’s colors stand out and compliment Di Giandomenico art perfectly, as they always do, bursting with color and tinting to indicate both setting and tone. It’s both practical and beautiful.
There are definite turns that make it LESS well-trod ground, but adding in the notion of being tested by God does little to differentiate Georgia’s father from past villains like William Stryker. Alongside that is a general tone of the main cast being relegated to the background, particularly Polaris. She has a couple of great moments, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen from her before, and it feels like she’s just here to wrap things up a little too neatly.
This issue presents us with an interesting, unexpected development and still grows the team in an organic way, even if the team itself takes something of a backseat. I get that on a team of this size, not everyone can have the spotlight all the time but, I also feel like there’s been a better balance in previous issues. The ones who ARE in the spotlight, however, are incredibly entertaining (looking at you, robotic group members) and this is another great ending to a brief arc that leaves so much potential for the next storyline, so I’m ultimately still waiting anxiously for the team’s further development. Also I have to give kudos to Peter David and Di Giandomenico for more truth in bizarre covers. And just what IS going on with Harrison Snow?? SERIOUSLY!