Friday, April 18, 2008

X-FACTOR #103 – June 1994

Friends and Family
Credits: J. M. DeMatteis and Todd Dezago (plot), Todd Dezago (script), Jan Duursema (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Starkings/Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver (colorist)

Random takes Guido and Wolfsbane to visit Guido’s aunt and uncle in upstate New York. They ask Random to stay, but he refuses. In Hawaii, Polaris tracks down Havok. She tells him that she’ll support whatever decision he makes, and if he quits the team, she’ll join him. The two spend a romantic day together while Polaris tries to assuage his guilt over Madrox’s death. The entire time, they’re being watched by a mysterious woman. In Washington, Val Cooper submits a report about Madrox’s death, but refuses to confirm to the government that he had the Legacy Virus. She leads them to believe that the disease has been quarantined in Genosha. Wolfsbane gets a sudden feeling that something’s wrong with Havok, but Guido reminds her that Haven cured her of her connection to him. Back in Hawaii, Polaris discovers that Havok has been possessed by Malice.

“Huh?” Moment
Random implies that the house they’re visiting must belong to poor people, but it looks like a nice two-story home to me. Since Guido tells him that he’s rich but his family isn’t, I think we’re really supposed to believe that this house is a lot more humble than it is.

J. M. DeMatteis’ run on the title approaches its end, as Todd Dezago (in his first pro work, I think), co-writes this issue. Ever since the end of the Peter David run, I’ve noticed that the storylines in this book tend to evolve pretty slowly, and this issue is no exception. Most of the issue consists of character-based scenes, as the Malice storyline continues to build leisurely. Guido’s cousin is given a very brief scene where he questions whether or not he’ll grow up to be normal, but I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be foreshadowing for a future storyline or just Claremont-style monologuing. Val Cooper is also given a brief scene that raises an interesting idea -- should the X-teams keep the Legacy Virus a secret? Since the various X-teams are obviously coming from a pro-mutant perspective, it’s not surprising that they would try to keep the disease quiet in order to prevent more hysteria. That’s also an elitist point of view, though, assuming that the public can’t handle the truth. If the Virus has spread to America, you could also make the argument that the X-teams have an obligation to alert the Centers for Disease Control, at least. This idea is only brought up once again, from what I can remember, in X-Men Prime. The moral implications are just given lip service, and it seems like the concept is brought up mainly to create conflict between Beast and his reporter girlfriend. It’s too bad the writers never really explored the idea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a cute issue. The definition of downtime, but enjoyable nonetheless. The scenes at Guido's family's home were actually very good. The book was hitting a nice groove at this point, and even if it wasn't as exciting as David's work on the title, it was a hell of a lot better than what Howard Mackie had in store after AoA.

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