Review: X-Factor #213

Published on January 11th, 2011

I’ve been a big fan of X-Factor since I started reading comics those many years ago, but I didn’t think it got really good until Multiple Man had that mini-series and he restarted the team as a detective agency. I like this book because it’s been mostly separate from the other X-Books unless they do something as big as Messiah Complex, I think it’s cool to have a team of mutants that aren’t obsessing about the extinction of the species.

xfactor213So this issue is kind of an epilogue to the last storyline where X-Factor went to rescue a troll from Hela (Goddess of the Underworld) that she had tricked the team into capturing for her. The only way for X-Factor to defeat Hela was to have Darwin go up against her and use his evolution powers which ended up making him the embodiment of death for him to survive. So while the team ended up winning the battle the whole thing has really messed with Darwin’s head.

We find Darwin enjoying a high stakes game of poker in a casino. He decides to go all in, but his opponent refuses to call unless Darwin removes his sunglasses. After a fair warning Darwin takes them off and suddenly the other player goes insane, pulls a gun out and starts blasting away at Darwin. Darwin’s powers keep the bullets from harming him and he chases after the shooter. He catches the guy and we get a glimpse of Darwin’s eyes that are all black with skulls inside. The guy freaks out and Darwin tells him to go to the police and confess to every murder he’s ever committed, and if he doesn’t Darwin will come back for his soul. Then Madrox shows up and pulls Darwin out of the casino and sneaks him outside before the police find him. Once outside Madrox does his best to calm Darwin down, but he doesn’t want to hear anything about it. Darwin then gives Madrox his belt buckle to indicate his resignation from the team. Madrox tries to stop him, but Darwin just walks away.

Back at the hotel the rest of the team is waiting for Madrox and Darwin, when Jamie shows up alone Theresa goes off on him about how he should have done something to help their friend. Madrox explodes back going into a tirade about how he’s screwed up everything, and he’s responsible for all their troubles. Then Pip the Troll appears out of nowhere offering Madrox a beer, and expresses his desire to join the team in gratitude for them saving him. Madrox says they need Pip to leave the room to give the team a chance to discuss it. The second Pip leaves X-Factor teleports back to New York leaving him behind. Once they arrive in New York, Pip shows up again (he’s magic). X-Factor eventually allows Pip to stay once he helps Rictor find Wolfsbane so that the two can talk and get over the whole “Wolfsbane lied about Rictor being the father of her baby thing.” The book ends with Pip talking on the phone with an unknown person who makes it clear that Pip is being forced to infiltrate X-Factor for an as yet unknown reason.

As I said before I’ve been a big fan of this book, but I gotta say X-Factor (as most of the other X-Books) just hasn’t been that good since Second Coming ended. I’ve been mostly annoyed by Wolfsbane’s whole pregnancy thing, but I think that was just a problem Peter David inherited once the last X-Force book ended so I don’t really blame him. I think the main problem is a lack of action. The first part of this issue was cool with Darwin and his dealing with his new death powers, but once they got back to New York I started feeling bored. On a positive note I thought throwing Pip into this book as a regular character was an awful idea, but he’s funny, and the fact that he’s there as a spy could lead to something pretty interesting. I’m looking forward to the next issue because the preview cover has Darwin on it and right now he’s the most interesting character, I’m hoping that the next storyline will be a much needed pick-up for the book.

Ken Zeider