Thursday, June 5, 2008

X-FACTOR #109 – December 1994

The Waking
Credits: John Francis Moore (plot), Todd Dezago (script), Jan Duursema (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver (colors)

Mystique tries to choke Legion, but is stopped by his telekinetic blast. She escapes from the hospital room and leads X-Factor on a chase through Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, Legion goes to sleep and has a mental conversation with Destiny. She tells him to give a message to Mystique. Legion promises to find a way to make everything right and mentally contacts his father. At the Tel Aviv Marina, Mystique meets up with Avalanche. When X-Factor catches up with them, Avalanche uses his powers to create a tidal wave. Havok is able to block the water while Wolfsbane and Forge chase Mystique. Legion suddenly appears and lifts Mystique into a telekinetic bubble with him. He enters her mind and gives her Destiny’s cryptic message about reality changing. When the rest of X-Factor arrives and attacks Legion, he makes the entire team disappear. He leaves Mystique, promising to make everything better.

Creative Differences
Lots of word balloons and captions look doctored in this issue. The first page has a lot of awkward-looking exposition that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the lettering. Gabrielle Haller’s dialogue on page eighteen has been altered to say that Legion is imagining a conversation with his father, which connects the story to Uncanny X-Men #319. On page twenty-two, an added balloon clarifies that Avalanche is now in custody, and some of Legion’s dialogue when he sends X-Factor away on page twenty-nine is altered.

This doesn’t work nearly as well as the previous issue, as it’s mainly an extended chase scene with a contrived ending. Mystique’s plan to avenge her friend’s death in the last issue was at least relatable, but now she’s back to her role as heartless murderer. The only depth given to Mystique is when she briefly considers saving Val Cooper from drowning because she’s been “useful” to her. Of course, she ends up leaving her to die anyway. Her desire to kill Legion was at least understandable, but now she’s just a generic villain on the run from the good guys. Any complexity the story might’ve had is gone. There is an attempt to use Forge’s past with Mystique, but she comes across as such a loon it doesn’t work either. Since the story just ends with Legion teleporting everyone off anyway, it looks like Moore should’ve just skipped another Mystique issue and gone ahead with next issue’s Lila Cheney story.

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