Uhm…Terry? You grabbing my butt?
Peter David (“PAD”) creates another character focused book while setting the seeds for the next big X-Factor battle. A lot of lingering questions both old and new are answered in this chapter and a lot of development is granted to a few of the team members, particularly Layla, Monet, Havok, Polaris and Jamie.
PAD carefully crafts a confrontation between Layla and Monet which has been a-long-time coming. The scenes are emotional and engaging, but more importantly, they explain the theory behind Layla’s abilities and the future the pair will share. The description of Layla’s continuous skill to ‘know stuff’ and the anomalies they come with is somewhat confusing at first, but with a little investment and time spent reflecting on the words and the metaphor, it is both logical and understandable.
The book is a packed issue with a lot of different threads running through it. PAD does a great job of writing heavy character development but still supplying just enough mystery to tease the readers without overpowering the character allotted time.
Something I personally enjoyed was the panel time granted to Havok and Madrox. PAD cleverly skips the already-seen ‘hows and hellos’ of it all and gets straight to the fallout and where the relationship between the former and current leader of X-Factor goes from here. The dialogue exchanged reminds me of X-Factor Visionaries, something which I was pleased to see.
Leonard Kirk’s art is consistently good in this issue of X-Factor, something which modern day comics seem to lack. Each panel has the same amount of skill and care allotted to it and no obvious or cheap shortcuts are taken. However what has changed over time is the exact technique Kirk applies. At one stage his art reflected a sketcher’s style but here his pencils are much bolder and stronger, making it much easier to view such a large cast.
Finally, Kirk shows off his talents and why he is perfect for not just this issue, but the X-Factor series. Kirk is outstanding at depicting character emotions and the wide range of expressions is commendable. Not only is the artist skilled at the emotional side of the drawing spectrum, but his dynamic pages and action-orientated introductory panels are equally as great.
There is one spectacular page in particular which, with assistance from the wonderful Matt Milla is certainly poster-worthy art.
The cover to X-Factor #234 is very strong. It’s striking colours and use of a bold blue to isolate the main characters in this book is well thought out. The art accurately describes what to expect from the interiors and the concept leaves spectators wondering what exactly caused this impending clash of the two female characters. The cover is another thought-provoking accomplishment by David Yardin.
Overall, X-Factor #234 is unsurprisingly another strong issue – a must buy for any X-Factor fan.