X-Factor #32 (1988, September)
The Avengers – at this time, it consists of Thor, Black Knight, She-Hulk and Dr. Druid – have donated the site of Avengers Mansion (which was destroyed) to the city of New York. Some shadowy dudes in the crowd are muttering about how much the Avengers suck, then they beam back to their ship, where they turn into duplicates of the Avengers. They belong to an alien race named the Xartans, from an early Thor story. That story ended with them turning into mindless trees, but eventually, they reverted to normal. And now, they want vengeance. But then they pick up another spaceship.
Which happens to be Ship! Where X-Factor is worried about Hank. Bobby feels guilty, and Scott remains a big ball of angst.
The fake Avengers bust into Ship. Elsewhere, the kids are moping a bit about the prospect of being sent to a boarding school, then Ship locks them in their room. Scott, Jean and Bobby confront the fake Avengers, without knowing they’re fake. The kids figure out the Avengers aren’t real, partly through Artie’s telepathy, but mostly because Dr. Druid is on the TV. But Ship still won’t let the kids out. (Of course, Ship could easily relay the message itself, but oh well.)
I love Skids in the background there. She’s got a real “oh goddammit Boom-Boom” reaction. Back at the fight, the Xartan leader joins in, in the form of a big monster. Ship continues to put barriers in the path of the kids, since it feels guilty about Bobby. It didn’t protect Bobby, and Hank suffered as a result. The kids convince Ship to think for itself, rather than follow orders, and to allow them to help X-Factor. With Boom-Boom being awesome again.
“Oh, yeah, I’ll deal with Thor.” I can’t decide if this should be called Mjolboom or Boomnir. What do you guys think? Which sounds funnier? We then cut to Cameron Hodge contacting N’astirh to make a deal. Hodge will collect mutant babies for N’astirh, and in exchange, he’ll be protected from Death. And with that, X-Factor has stepped on the road to Inferno. And then, back to Ship, where Boom-Boom is gloating about the fact that she beat Thor. Man, Boom-Boom is just the best, isn’t she? Anyway, Scott and Jean are even more convinced the kids should be sent to a boarding school, and Jean raises a great point:
Yes, Xavier’s biggest mistake was in isolating mutants. That was a huge mistake. Mutants should be a part of society. Not hiding away from humanity, but living within it. Sadly, this epiphany can’t last long. The kids last about 5 minutes at the boarding school before they run off to fight demons. But that’s a story for another time.
This is a pretty decent issue. It’s got a very distinct filler feel to it. Obviously, I don’t know exactly what happened. My guess is that Walt Simonson fell behind schedule with the next issue, so DeFalco came up with a quick done-in-one story and brought in Steve Lightle to dash it out as quick as he could. The art definitely feels rushed at times. Steve Lightle is a talented artist, and he was capable of much better at this time, so yeah, definitely seems rushed. The art’s still fine, for the most part. There are some panels that are great. But most of it is only OK. A bit sloppy, but still clearly competent, and with some decent visual storytelling. I do still prefer it over Walt’s, but that’s personal preference.
Weezie’s writing is actually really good here. For all it’s a rushed filler, the quality of the writing is still as high as usual. The melodrama and the humour are well-balanced. There’s some nice feels moments, and some good tension in the action scenes.
So, yeah, this is a pretty decent done-on-one filler issue.