X-Factor #40 (1989, May)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today . . . sigh. This is not a great day. OK. OK, I can do this. So. By Simonson, Rob Lie-*hulp*. Rob Liefe*uuuulp*. Sorry. Just felt a little nauseous. I’m OK. All right. Deep breath. By Simonson, (heavy sigh) Rob Liefeld (shudder), Milgrom, Tom Vincent and Joe Rosen, “Dust To Dust.”
So, yeah. Rob Fucking Liefeld. Or, as he’s more commonly known, LIIIIIEEEEEFEEEEEELLLLLDDD! This isn’t quite Liefeld’s first Marvel work, but it’s near enough. And it is his first work in the X-Men, the franchise he’ll become famous for. Between UXM introducing Jubilee, New Mutants introducing a huge plot point that will be dropped before it goes anywhere, and X-Factor introducing Rob Liefeld, it kinda feels like this month is the start of the ’90s. But man, Rob Liefeld. Ugh. This is gonna be rough. OK. We can get through this together. Are you ready? Let’s do this.
The issue starts with X-Factor leaving a church after Maddie’s funeral. It’s weird. Aside from Scott, Maddie didn’t know anyone from X-Factor. But she spent months with the X-Men, who didn’t show up. One could assume the X-Men skipped because they’re still trying to keep anyone from knowing they’re alive, I suppose, but it’s still odd. And it gets weirder when Hank implies Maddie had some connection to X-Factor. No, never. I don’t think she ever interacted with any of them on-panel. Oh well. The team is being watched by Nanny and Orphan-Maker. They plan on killing X-Factor and taking Christopher, and the dozen babies from Inferno.
Regardless, Liefeld sucks ass.
X-Factor returns to Ship and what the shit:
That’s Jean’s mother, for the record. Yeah, Liefeld’s a terrible artist. Bobby takes Taki, Leech and Artie back to school. The rest of the team leaves with the babies, to take them to Washington so they can be returned to their homes. Chris is left with Jean’s parents on Ship, with Scott saying they can’t take him everywhere. Heh, pretty soon, they will. On the plane, Jean worries about the babies, who have already been attacked and exploited because they’re mutants, even though their powers haven’t manifested yet.
The plane is caught by Nanny and the Orphan-Maker, so now, it’s fight time! During the fight, Beast somehow ends up smashing the control panel on Nanny’s ship, and I have no idea how that even happened. Archangel also slashes at Nanny, thinking she’s a robot, but nope, she’s not. The ship falls, and Orphan-Maker explains Nanny’s origin. She was a scientist, and a mutant, and the Right used her technology to hunt mutants, and they sealed her up in an egg to force her to keep working for them, but she escaped. Then she found Orphan-Maker and saved him from Sinister, who was going to destroy him for being too powerful and uncontrollable. Sadly, we never do learn what his mutant power was. They show up a couple more times, but the last time they were seen was an issue of Generation X. It’s been over 20 years since they showed up, and I find that a bit of a shame. Might be fun if they were brought back.
Anyway, Jean tears open a wall and finds Joey and Galen, her nephew and niece, who are still under Nanny’s mind-control. Nanny and Orphan-Maker teleport away. The DC police, and Freedom Force, show up to help unload the children. Mystique says Rusty’s been furloughed into X-Factor’s care until it’s time for him to stand trial. Jean wonders about her sister, Sara. We’re still a good five years from learning what happened to her, though. Joey and Galen are given to Jean’s parents to take care of.
So. This issue. The writing’s fine, actually. There’s some stuff I find odd. Hank’s comment that Maddie only had X-Factor, and some occasional awkward bits of dialogue. That was a common problem with Simonson’s writing. She wasn’t great at natural dialogue. It could often by stilted and awkward. There is a fair bit of that here. I might actually be more forgiving of the writing here than I normally would be, though, because she got saddled with such a horrible artist.
If I’m honest, by Liefeld standards, this isn’t actually all that bad. There is far, far, far worse to come. Don’t get me wrong, this is still bad. It’s still ugly, with creepy faces that get ALL THE LINES, weird poses, undetailed (and often completely absent) backgrounds, and a host of other problems, even before you get to the feet. I honestly do not get the appeal of Liefeld’s art. I really don’t. I have never understand it, I will never understand it. I’ve seen people say that it looks cool when you read quickly, but I think it still looks terrible even when you’re just flipping through. It’s eye-catching, I suppose I should give it that much, but it’s eye-catching in a “what the hell is that?” kind of way. So I just do not get why people ever liked him. I don’t get why anyone gave him work, or why readers liked his work, or how Liefeld became so huge. The guy appeared in freaking Levi’s commercials! That’s how big a deal Liefeld was! He, along with a few other artists, defined the art style of comics for most of the ’90s. And. He. Was. Terrible. I don’t get it. At all.
Anyway, this comic’s mostly forgettable and skippable.