X-Factor #8 (1986, September)
I didn’t get much sleep last night. Oh well. And my Internet has been useless all day, which is why it’s taken me since 5 to get this damn thing posted. By Simonson and Marc Silvestri, “Lost and Found.”
Scott and Jean are in the tunnels beneath their headquarters, cleaning up the radiation left over by the two mutants from last issue. Apparently, radiation pretty much only covers the very top layer of whatever it touches. It doesn’t seep into things or anything like that. All you have to do to remove it is “vaporize only a molecule’s thickness” and a wall is completely radiation-free. Now, I’m no nuclear physicist, but that doesn’t really sound right, to me. Also, it’s unlikely the radiation being let off by the two mutants would’ve been strong enough to cause much contamination during the short period they were in those specific tunnels. It likely wouldn’t have raised the radiation levels much above the normal background levels. Oh well.
Anyway, Jean yells at Scott a little for not mentioning his wife. She asks to see a photo, of Maddie and their son. Jean says she always imagined they’d have a girl – a nice little reference to Rachel. Anyway, then she goes back to yelling at him, for both the secret and for abandoning Maddie. It was pretty dickish of him, so I’m on your side, Jean. Though I do have to wonder why you would wear high heels with a radiation suit. That seems like an odd choice. But I guess you need to really dedicate yourself to fashion.
Inside, the others are watching the TV report on the attack, and Vera’s interview. Beast complains about Trish Tilby covering the battle in a sensationalist manner. I just want to point out that what we see of her report is actually pretty much a straight statement of what happened. It seems like a pretty fair news report, and yet we’re obviously supposed to think Trish was wrong. Rusty is on hi way to get changed, when he overhears Hodge arguing with someone from the mayor’s office. Hodge is saying it was an attack on humankind, really pushing the anti-mutant line.
In the training room, Angel sees Jean walk past, and slams into an ice hoop. Then he remembers he has a girlfriend. Took him long enough to remember that. Rusty is still pining for Jean, and then worries he’ll be recognized from the TV. Angel and Iceman tell him not to worry.
Meanwhile, Freedom Force is watching the TV and trying to recognize Rusty. They’ve been tasked with finding and arresting him. Spider-Woman – the Julia Carpenter one, not Jessica Drew – actually does find him. That night, Hodge tells the team about a battle between mutant factions in Central Park. A footnote refers to UXM #209. They decide to check it out as X-Factor. After they suit up, Angel goes to talk to Jean, who tells him off for keeping Scott’s marriage a secret. Scott overhears them talking, and thinks Angel’s already made a move on her. This causes him to snap at Rusty for wanting to join along.
Rusty decides to follow anyway, since Artie shows him that X-Factor is being followed. He gets to the park just in time to see X-Factor and Freedom Force get in a fight. Mystique tells Spiral to grab Rusty, but Spiral senses Rachel’s power, and cuts out to chase her, instead. Destiny has trouble sensing anything around X-Factor, pointing to Jean as a “nexus of probabilities.”
Fighting, Rusty tries to escape, Spider-Woman catches him, then it’s Skids to the rescue. And Rusty immediately gets a crush on her. I can’t blame him, she’s cute.
And hey, Trish Tilby, who’s lost an ‘r’ from her name. Must have been some budget cuts in the news office. She gets knocked over by a stampeding crowd chasing Skids and Rusty. Rusty decides to stand up to them by surrounding himself with fire. Admittedly, he pulls off the badass moment. One of the few he gets in his life.
This issue’s a bit meh. It’s still a couple more issues before the series gets truly great. The opening scene feels a little off-balanced – Jean gets mad at Scott, then gets over it, then gets even madder. It just comes across weird. Angel’s a putz. Beast’s objections to Trish are bizarre, given what we see. The scene of Freedom Force talking about Rusty is too exposition-y – a necessary evil, but still a bit annoying. The little bit of Blob and Avalanche bickering is stupid. Just a really annoying bit. The best part of the issue isn’t even in this comic – it’s the almost-crossover with Uncanny X-Men. Especially Spiral pulling a “screw you guys, I’m outta here” on Freedom Force. That bit, I liked. The X-Factor/Freedom Force confrontation was incredibly dull, though. Just lots of standing around looking at each other. They may as well have been shouting “Come at me bro!” at each other.
The art was fine. It’s nowhere near as good as Silvestri’s UXM work. It seems a bit rushed. Maybe it’s an inking thing, because it just doesn’t look like Silvestri.
All in all, a pretty mediocre comic.