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X-Factor #42 (1989, July)

June 8, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Simonson, Adams, Milgrom, Vincent, and Rosen, “All That Glitters. . . .”

All That Glitters . . .

I really like this cover.

X-Factor’s unconscious and chained up, and the trolls prepare to use Tom Jones to change everything to gold so they can take over England. They leave behind Phay, the troll who mostly speaks in quotes, then leave Phay and Phummm to guard X-Factor. Phay, in T-Rex form, tries to step on baby Christopher, because that’s what happens when you bring a baby into battle. Luckily, Christopher creates a force bubble to protect himself. Jean wakes up and is badass.

X-Factor #42

Jean throwing T-Rexes will never not be awesome.

The awakened X-Factor quickly deals with Phay and Phummm, then goes looking for the others. They’re going to have Tom convert the White Tower, part of the Tower of London, to gold. Phough slices a dog, and Tom ends its suffering by converting it to gold, which gets the trolls to change their plan. Instead, they’ll convert the Queen. Unfortunately, she’s not in. And then the police show up, and dawn’s approaching, so the trolls head back home. As they fly back on their flying carpet, X-Factor finds them, and an aerial fight breaks out, and the trolls fall and smash into some tunnels just as the sun rises. Lucky break for them. X-Factor follows, and at Tom’s suggestion, Scott blows a hole in the roof to let in . . .

X-Factor #42

Yeah, that was obvious.

While Phay, Phough and Phumm distract X-Factor, Phee and Phy smash into Tom’s house and take his mother hostage, to force him to cooperate. He does something he’s dreaded doing, and turns the two trolls to gold. Tom promises to go to college and become a molecular biochemist, take the name Alchemist, win a Nobel Prize, and then return the trolls to normal. Tom’s mother tries to figure out what to do with two gold trolls taking up space in her basement. Pretty reasonable concern, actually. Beast suggests they be put out in Hyde Park, where they’re turned to lead so they won’t be stolen.

And that’s that. Bobby and Hank note that the trolls’ plan was pretty silly, as a massive influx of gold would have caused people to descend on England, and would be followed by a devastating drop in gold prices, causing stock market crashes around the world. And then Jean makes one of the most wildly inaccurate predictions ever:

X-Factor #42

Sure. “Normal.” Giant guns and metal arms are “normal,” right?

So this was fun. This two-part story was just really fun. Trolls popping up! Because why not? Trolls are a fun random villain for X-Factor to go up against. And the trolls themselves are all great. I love Phay throwing quotes around, and the others all come across as intelligent, too. Not at all what one would expect of trolls. Which makes them a lot more interesting and entertaining. Tom’s cool. He’s a good kid. All in all, this story is a good low-stakes breather, with pretty much no larger story impact. With one exception: I believe this is the first time we see Christopher’s protective bubble. That’s going to be a big thing over the next little while.

The art is wonderful. Adams does a great job. Fun and cartoonish and fantastic and just great.

There’s really not a lot that can actually be said about this story. Except that it’s really good and worth checking out.

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