Monday, October 15, 2007

X-FACTOR ANNUAL #7 – 1992


The Historians of Tales to Come (Shattershot Part Three)
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Joe Quesada (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Richard Starkings (letters), Kevin Tinsley (colors)


Summary
Spiral is on a rampage, trying to find Arize. As a former member of Freedom Force, Val Cooper feels obligated to stop her former employee. X-Factor locates Spiral as she is about to kill Arize. After defeating her, X-Factor convinces Spiral to explain why she wants to kill him. She explains that she was once Longshot’s human ally, Ricochet Rita, and that Mojo will force Arize to transform her into Spiral in the future. Spiral and Arize decide to change the future together by stopping Mojo now and teleport to Mojoworld.


Continuity Note
There is a reference to Quicksilver’s power being used against him, which was a subplot that had already been resolved at this point. You could say that this story takes place before that was resolved in X-Factor #75, except that issue showed Moira McTaggert still living with the X-Men, which was months before Bishop joined the X-Men, and Bishop already was an X-Man in the previous chapter of this storyline. Isn’t continuity fun?


Review
An improvement over the previous chapter, but it’s still not very good. There’s an attempt to mimic the team’s humorous interactions from the monthly series, but it doesn’t really work. Having Val Cooper reference Spiral’s past with Freedom Force is a good justification for using this team, but this still doesn’t feel like an issue of X-Factor. In fact, this chapter doesn’t even seem to have a lot to do with the previous two chapters of this storyline. After two issues, all that’s been established is that Arize has escaped Mojoworld and is plotting to overthrow Mojo. Now, Spiral suddenly shows up, determined to stop her own creation and end Mojo’s reign. If she feels that way, why is she hunting Longshot for Mojo in X-Men, and why did she agree to teleport his men to Earth in the first part of this story? I vaguely recall that Spiral’s conflicting views on Mojo are an established aspect of her character, but that idea isn’t stated clearly here. Spiral also makes some comments about being created as Longshot’s savior, which doesn’t coincide with the backstory she gives a few pages later.


This is the first time Joe Quesada shows up as artist, several months before he takes over the monthly series. I’ve heard a few people say that Quesada’s early art was heavily Mignola-influenced, but to me it looks more like a combination of Michael Golden, Bart Sears, and Todd McFarlane. He’s able to pull off the early ‘90s “exaggerate everything” mentality without sacrificing storytelling or composition. Speaking of future superstar artists, Darick Robertson and Joe Madureira draw the two goofy back-up stories.

I should point out that I've never read X-Force Annual #1, the final part of this storyline. If what I've read is true, the story shifts a hundred years into the future and doesn't resolve anything from this story arc. Is this true? I can't say that it would surprise me, but I'd be curious to know if it's true.

4 comments:

Mischa KK Bagley said...

G. Kendall:

Fantastic analysis. But, you know, at the end of the day it's all just about the story.

My thoughts, anyway.

Mischa.

http://theconfessionofthepantherwoman.blogspot.com

Sex, drugs, and metamorphosis.

Lorin said...

In regards to the X-Force annual, yes, it jumps ahead in time, but I remember digging the hell out of it when I was 12.

LurkerWithout said...

The X-Force annual has it so Shatterstar has taken over Mojoworld and now forces the spineless race that Mojo is to fight in the gladiator games. Arize is still a rebel but against the current regime. He recruits the "current" version of X-Force, which is set 10 or so years ahead. I just remember it includes Katie Power as Powerpax, using all her siblings powers (something her brother does briefly during his membership in the New Warriors)...

Trotsky said...

wow! darick robertson in this issue. I wonder if his work was as forgettable as it was on New Warriors. I remember the X-Force/New Warriors mini-crossover and i revisited it after becoming a fan of Transmet and was floored to see that Robertson was the penciler of New Warriors. He must not have been very inspired because his art is simply boring and utterly forgettable which is quite in contrast to his stunning pencils on Transmetropolitan.

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