Written by Peter David
Pencils by Leonard Kirk
Inks by Jay Leisten & Ed Tadeo
Colors by Matt Milla
Review by Joey Braccino
The Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica. Amelia Earhart. Princess Anastasia. Stonehenge. The briefcase from Pulp Fiction. Sailing Stones. The money from Fargo. The Bermuda Triangle. These are just a few things that remain a mystery to the people of Earth, but none hold a candle to just how awesome Peter David’s 100+ issue run on X-Factor can be, has been, will be, and will forever be. Issue #247 is yet another single issue that bends genre, refers abundantly to pop culture, and features character conflict, sci-fi action, magic, and romance. There’s also a police detective that I’m going to assume unintentionally resembles a conehead, but with Peter David and Company, it might be on purpose and we might be treated to some sort of Jamie Madrox/Dan Ackroyd crossover in the near future. Who knows?
We start this issue in Jamie Madrox and Layla Miller’s honeymoon suite. They were married off-panel after issue #245, and, because this is superhero comics, action and evil finds them before they can live happily ever after. David imbues all of the Madrox/Miller scenes with playful banter and innuendo, which help to justify the marriage between Madrox and a woman who, just a few years ago, was presented as a teenager to the Marvel U. Of course, there have been time-warps and rapid aging, but some readers (myself included) still remember Layla when she was a fresh-faced teenager running around during House of M. David has done some excellent work redefining Layla as a mystically empowered, cosmically aware adult, lending credence to the burgeoning relationship between her and Madrox.
What follows is an investigation into the mysterious decapitation of a Lincoln-impersonator (also the official at Madrox and Miller’s Vegas wedding) that takes Jamie to a Civil War convention. Hilarity ensues. David laces his script with Civil War jokes, film references, and double entendre; can you catch ‘em all? (See what I did there?)
Out of all the artists that have rotated on and off X-Factor since the renumbering a few years ago, Leonard Kirk is by far my favorite. His figure work is gorgeous and he effectively toes the line between superheroics and naturalism. Matt Milla and the inking team of Leisten and Tadeo accentuate Kirk’s work without overwhelming or overpowering the thin lines. Plus, how often do you get to draw zombified villains in Civil War garb?
Read this book. Any of the issues are perfect jumping on points, as Peter David has a knack for writing one-and-done stories that weave together into a larger, complex, self-referential mythos. Check it!