In the Beginning
Credits: J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Greg Luzniak (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Richard Starkings (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist)
X-Factor rescues the survivors of a terrorist attack in Washington. Havok demands answers from Forge about which government agency sent Random to kill Polaris. Random is fired from his government role after allowing Polaris to live, and an order goes out to kill him. Reflecting on recent events, Polaris figures out that Madrox has been infected with the Mutate’s virus. Suddenly, she is attacked by armored men and rescued by the mysterious Haven.
I Love the ‘90s
Actual lines from the comic: “We should have seen it coming after the mess at the World Trade Center. It was only a matter of time before the terrorist bombs would reach Washington.” “Used to be this kind of thing only happened ‘somewhere else’. We were the United States of America -- the impregnable fortress – no one would ever dare try a stunt like this. Didn’t take long for our illusions to get shattered, did it?”
After scripting the previous four issues, DeMatteis finally takes over the plotting as well. The previous issues have had rather thin plots, and while this issue does feel padded, an actual storyline is starting to emerge. After his run with Keith Giffen on Justice League, DeMatteis seems like a logical choice for this title. He can certainly write humorous comics, and if Marvel wanted to increase the melodrama in the series, he could pull that off, too. X-Factor is now officially humorless at this point, with several pages dedicated to characters anguishing over terrorist attacks, disease, and the general state of the world. DeMatteis pulls it off pretty well, but I think it would’ve been more interesting to see him continue on the irreverent path Peter David began during his run. There were already plenty of X-books filled with page after page of characters feeling angsty, why was X-Factor dragged into this?