Tuesday, October 2, 2007

X-FACTOR #80 – July 1992

Belles & Whistles
Credits: Peter David (writer), Larry Stroman (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Michael Heisler (letters), Glynis Oliver (colors)

With Polaris in the hospital, Havok, Wolfsbane, and Strong Guy guard Shrew, a former member of the Hell’s Belles. The Hell’s Belles (Flambé, Vague, Briquette, and Tremolo) are revealed to be working for Cyber, who hospitalized Polaris last issue. X-Factor tries to prevent them from capturing Shrew. While fighting Briquette, Strong Guy is scratched with Cyber’s poisoned claw.

I Love the ‘90s
Rahne has a dream that she’s the host of a TV show called “Rahne’s World”. Party time, x-cellent, this will never get old.

This issue introduces the Hell’s Belles, an all-female group of mutants. To put it mildly, these characters never caught on (although I was surprised to find out that they apparently showed up in New Avengers). A lot of people complain that there aren’t enough villains in the x-canon, so I’m not sure why Hell’s Belles and the Nasty Boys just disappeared after their initial appearances. Just like the Nasty Boys, I wonder if Hell’s Belles were considered not “serious” enough to be believable villains. I like their designs and think their powers would make them a credible challenge for any of the X-teams. It would have been interesting to see someone like Chris Bachalo’s interpretation of the characters. This is the middle part of a storyline so there’s not a lot to say about this specific issue. Another well-written, well-drawn issue of X-Factor.


Anonymous said...

The Belles I could see being developed more, the Nasty Boys, no. Of course I hate everything to do with Sinister and Apocalypse (and Cyber) so a bit biased.

Cove West said...

Cyber is kinda a poor man's Sabretooth, isn't he? He's one of those "angry, brutish killers" that were popping up everywhere in the '90s.

While I think the X-Men have a healthly number of villains (especially if you toss in supernatural and cosmic foes), has anyone ever noticed how little the spin-off villains cross over into other titles, especially XM and UXM? Cyber's a good example: a pretty major foe in WOLVERINE -- a series that has lasted more than 200 issues, remember -- yet he's rarely seen anywhere else.

Look at the JLA: Lex Luthor is a Superman villain, Joker is a Batman villain, Giganta is a WW villain, Zoom is a Flash villain (you get the point), and all routinely join forces to their JLA counterparts. Bishop, Gambit, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Cable, X-Man, Havok (as Mutant X), Mystique, Deadpool, and Wolverine have all had solo titles (CABLE (AND DEADPOOL), X-MAN, and WOLVERINE were quite enduring). Name someone who has emerged as an X-Men (not just solo) villain from any of them. Even the spin-off TEAM books aren't doing too hot; besides Stryfe and Selene from NEW MUTANTS and Apocalypse from X-FACTOR, no one else has made a mark. Other than UXM, none of the other X-titles are pulling their weight, villain-wise.

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