Thursday, November 15, 2007

X-FACTOR #88 – March 1993

Random Violence/Time Out
Credits: Peter David (writer), Joe Quesada (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Ariane (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer) /Peter David (writer), Chris Batista (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Ariane (colorist), Lois Buhalis (letterer)

The X-Patriots have taken over the emergency ward of a hospital, demanding treatment for Taylor, who was beaten by an anti-mutant mob. Random, the mutant bounty hunter, is hired to apprehend the X-Patriots. After a brief fight with X-Factor, Havok doubles Random’s salary if he just goes away. X-Factor soon leaves with the X-Patriots to fly to their homeland of Genosha. On the plane ride, Wolfsbane attempts to seduce Madrox. Meanwhile, Quicksilver attempts to reconcile with his wife Crystal. Their remote cabin in the woods is being bugged.

Continuity Note
This is the first appearance of Random, a mutant with the ability to alter his powers to suit his needs. Random was intended to be a parody of the “tough guy loner” stereotype, but I don’t think editorial picked up on that.

Miscellaneous Note
The Statement of Ownership in this issue has average sales at 448,558 and the most recent number at 324,100. Most likely, this was filed before the X-Cutioner’s Song crossover began.

X-Factor finally moves on with the X-Patriots storyline, over six issues after it began. Unless I didn’t pick up on something while reading the X-Cutioner’s Song issues, there’s no reason for the X-Patriots to take Taylor from one hospital to another to demand treatment. He was given a hospital room right after his attack (that’s why X-Factor was already at the hospital when Xavier arrived). When the X-Patriots snuck out of the hospital, it was because they were under watch (since they’re not American citizens and the government was working to deport them), not due to Taylor’s lack of treatment. Now, they’ve left one hospital and have taken over another to get the treatment that Taylor was already receiving. Anyway, at least this storyline is moving again and the characters are finally going to Genosha. It’s not a bad issue, but it’s not as good as the earlier issues of the “All-New” era. This will turn out to be Peter David’s last storyline, as Scott Lobdell takes over the final installments. Just as one crossover interrupted the start of this story, another one will speed up the end of it.


James said...

"Random was intended to be a parody of the “tough guy loner” stereotype, but I don’t think editorial picked up on that."

Ironically, Peter David stated in a post to an AOL folder that he was pressured by editorial to drop Madrox from the book and replace him with Random. You can read the post here (you may have to scroll down a bit):

Yes, it is safe to say editorial didn't see the irony.

James said...

er, make that:

Also, this issue was my last for X-Factor. Even as a fresh-faced high school kid, I could tell that Peter David's efforts to create a strong narrative line from his first issue on was faltering by this point, from forced crossover business (and editorial interference, though I didn't know that at the time). It was the last X book I read until Grant Morrison started writing New X-Men years later. I did continute reading PD's Incredible Hulk, though (which was standing on a quality peak in 1993).

Luke said...

Random! I thought he was great when I read this issue as a kid. All megamacho and gunarm and all that. Distinctly I remember saying to myself, "he's going to be on the team." And sure enough, eventually he'd join up. I have a lot of fond memories of this period of X-Factor, so I am really enjoying your posts right now. Keep up the great work, dude!

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