Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Neil Edwards
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Matt Milla
Review by Joey Braccino
Peter David’s epic X-Factor story reaches its penultimate issue, and man, oh man, do I wish we had more time together…
This week’s one-and-done wrap-up features the “resolution” to Darwin and Monet’s individual character arcs. The issue opens with Darwin scouring the Las Vegas underworld in search of Hela and her goons in an effort to get rid of the Death powers he has been harboring for the last 35 issues or so. The characterization and desperation is spot-on, and just when it seems like David would be “putting the toys back in the chest” with the Darwin character, Monet shows up and adds a new layer to the conflict.
While the ultimate resolution to the issue capitalizes on plot threads seeded long ago in the X-Factor mythos, everything seems rushed. Darwin gets a better chunk of the attention this issue, so his story rings a bit more true, but the Monet storyline—particularly since she was recently dead and revived by a scorned lover—is touched on far too briefly. There is an extremely poignant moment in which Monet questions mortality and heaven, but the potential for story there was lost considering recent revelations of her faith. Perhaps David will get the opportunity to work with these characters again in the near future, but there is still a lot left on the table considering there’s only one issue remaining.
Last issue, Neil Edward’s dynamic realism perfectly capture the superheroic antics of Polaris and Quicksilver. This time around, Edwards spends less time penciling explosions and high-flying action and is asked instead to focus more on talking heads and intercharacter drama. Fortunately, Edwards is more than up to the challenge. Blending the grit of the Warehouse District in Las Vegas with the mystical nature of Hela is no easy task, but Edwards’ dramatic staging and Matt Milla’s vibrant colors do the job.
Worth a look for long-time readers of X-Factor, but I can’t help shake the feeling that this “End of X-Factor” story arc just hasn’t been given enough time. We’ve got one more issue to go, and while I’m sure David will imbue it with the same emotional resonance, on-point characterization, and quick wit that the rest of the epic run has had, I’m still feeling a little let down in the grander scheme of things…