X-Factor #258

Posted by Undeadpool (678 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

When Peter David said he was going to tie up all the character-specific plot threads in his last arc of X-Factor, I assumed he meant that he was going to keep that to the main cast, but apparently he had other ideas. Or perhaps it WAS his as the character is John Maddox, one of Jamie’s dupes sent into the world who found God and became a priest, even starting a family. Because he had an established life, Jamie relented on re-absorbing him, and he’s been in his small corner of the world ever since, a very occasional player in X-Factor’s life. This time, however, tragedy strikes when a disgruntled former parishioner arrives with murderous intent in the midst of a service. Rahne stops the massacre before it goes too far, but her wolf form is more deranged and aggressive than even its usual self, so when she arrives in John’s office after things have settled down, he’s hardly surprised to hear her life has been one of hardship. David writes these characters with an incredible amount of nuance and subtlety. Rahne’s a difficult character to write, pious to the point of annoying those around her, but conflicted due to her mutation and the madness it brings, along with the self-loathing. David has always leaned into these things, rather than writing around them, which makes the character feel far more defined and consistent. It all comes to a definite head here, and like in previous issues, if no one else ever uses the character again, she meets a very satisfying, long-term fate.

Neil Edwards and Carmen Carnero handle pencils with Jay Leisten and Matt Milla on inks and colors, and they seem like the right team for this mellow, understated book. This is a book that’s very light on action, though for sure it starts high-octane, there are really only about three pages of it throughout. It’s good, then, that these artists’ strength lies in facial features and more relaxed poses. Again, it’s a subtle thing, but the fact that characters, in their calmer moments, aren’t just rigidly standing and flapping their mouths is something that’s often taken for granted. It’s not that the characters are “relaxed,” but they seem to simply be conversing.

The Bad

As good as the art is, occasional panels look awkward (especially in the face), and Rahne’s wolf form has two very, very different looking versions. One looks as it usually does, the other one looks a bit more like a were-lion.

The Verdict

To get this out of the way: the earlier massacre mentioned happens in a church and, while it’s stopped fairly quickly, it’s not without casualties and, since we have lately been shining a spotlight on more realistic portrayals of violence, there was definitely something very “real” about the opening of the book. Maybe it's recent, unfortunate, events in the news, but you may want to put the kids to bed before picking this one up. Though it wasn’t as graphic as the other title we’ve talked about on the podcast, this bears mentioning. It certainly isn’t a judgement either way, it obviously didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book, but it definitely bears mentioning.

The book is tremendously enjoyable with the characters being absolutely top-notch. Peter David is truly giving these characters a glorious send-off, spotlighting both, so far, with not only apt, but improved and even different, looks at their characters. This issue, though, does something special as it’s one of the few I’d recommend even with little interest in the storyline. It stands very well on its own, and is, very simply, a great, character-driven story.

#1 Posted by Mercy_ (92752 posts) - - Show Bio

I need to get home, get caught up on the last seven issues (have them all, just haven't read them) and then read this. So sad about this book coming to an end, though :(

#3 Posted by Vulshock (166 posts) - - Show Bio

I like how we are getting endings to some of the characters in case they are going to be in limbo.
I hope Madrox will be his normal self before David ends his run.

#4 Edited by ThePRez (456 posts) - - Show Bio

this was really a great issue

#5 Edited by ptigrusmagus (496 posts) - - Show Bio

Wish I had been reading this series, only hear good things.

#6 Posted by Icon (2234 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm going to miss this series. It was not just one of the best X-books of the past decade, but one of the best period.

#7 Posted by clayscarface (122 posts) - - Show Bio

Seeing this come to an end and hearing such amazing things about it, I'm really tempted to start a backfill of some of the trades...anyone know what a good jumping-on point would be with this?

#8 Posted by SolthesunGod (313 posts) - - Show Bio

Generally really enjoyed this the only problem was I felt it was too short. I thought PAD needed a few extra pages but aside from that, great issue and a logical endpoint for Rahne.

#9 Edited by papad1992 (7015 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this issue... it was sort of a farewell issue to Rahne, as who knows when she'd be utilized again. I almost popped a tear after reading this... because out of all the series that I've read that have come to an end, this series' end feels very surreal and definite. I'm going to miss this series and Rahne too...

#10 Posted by Chesapeake (2330 posts) - - Show Bio

It was a good issue. I felt Wolfsbane was a little easy about everything that just happend to her. I liked she found a place in company of a friend.

#11 Posted by RedX17 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

On one hand I'm sad that it could be a LONG time till she is ever used again, but on the other hand, this is one of the best ways for her character to go out. EVER.

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