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X-Factor #43 (1989, August)

July 15, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Simonson, Smith, Milgrom, Vincent, and Rosen, “Judgment War Part 1: Kidnapped.”

Judgment War Part 1: Kidnapped

This is an odd arc.

Ship rockets off into space. Jean is entranced by space and flies out. It is, of course, a terrible idea. There’s a daring rescue. Once she’s back inside, Scott asks what she was doing, and she remembers soaring through space. Phoenix’s memories.

X-Factor #43

This is why psychiatrists exist.

Then Ship goes into Hyperspace, and comes out above a planet, one that’s in the midst of a brutal war. Then there’s a giant Kirby-style space craft, and then a giant Celestial, big enough to hold Ship in the palm of its hand. Jean picks up some very vague feelings from it – surprise and satisfaction – and Scott asks if they should fight it. Dude, there are US states smaller than this guy, and you’re asking if you should fight it? No. No, Scott.

Then X-Factor is down on the planet, in the middle of a big battle. The sides are the Chosen and the Rejects. The Chosen look human, the Rejects look less human. But both sides are full of people with powers. So, big fight! During the fight, Archangel saves a hot chick, who gets angry at him for touching her, but who also thinks he’s beautiful. Then a dude, Rask, knocks him out and declares him a prisoner. Iceman also gets knocked out, in teamwork between a fire woman, Lev, and Rask. Jean gets hit with a telepathic whammy, which leaves Christopher unprotected. Scott gets knocked off a cliff. When a Celestial comes in for a landing, both sides break and retreat, with Beast joining the Rejects (who also take Jean as a prisoner), while Archangel and Iceman go with the prisoners (Archangel as a prisoner, Iceman, amnesiac, mistaken for a Chosen), and Scott’s left under the descending foot of a giant.

X-Factor #43

“Stepped on” is a pretty undignified death.

Yeah, this is a weird issue. Ship randomly flying off to another planet, where X-Factor gets dropped into the middle of a battle, leading them to be split among both sides. The Celestials are such an odd thing to put into an X-title, though interestingly, it’s not the last time the X-Men will have to deal with them. The Chosen/Reject war does have some pretty interesting aspects to it, which will be revealed as the arc goes on. We’ll also learn about Ship’s origin, which is the real purpose of this arc. Jean dealing with Phoenix and Maddie’s memories is a cool idea, and one that’s going to be handled really well in this arc. We get a little glimpse of it, but we’ll get more in future issues. This issue is primarily set-up, and feels like it, but it does the set-up efficiently and effectively. Also, Weezie’s dialogue is really good. It’s natural and believable. There’s some melodramatic dialogue from the Chosen, but there should be, and it contrasts well with the more normal dialogue X-Factor has.

The art is good. Smith does layouts, Milgrom does finishes, so it’s not as good as if Smith had done it himself. But it’s still good. Milgrom does a good job following Smith’s style. Milgrom was always better as an inker than a penciller, at least I thought so. Backgrounds are usually either very simple, or absent entirely, which is kinda boring. But facial expressions are clear and emotive.

Weird as this issue is, it’s pretty good.

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