Review: X-Factor #214

Published on January 25th, 2011

So a couple weeks ago I wrote a review for X-Factor #213 and I was complaining a little bit about a lack of action, and I was just hoping the book would pick up again. Well my wish was just granted with X-factor #214, maybe not the best book I’ve read this week, but it was damn entertaining. It was just one of those books that was fun to read and was able to put a bright spot in my day. The book focuses solely on Darwin after the events of the last couple of issues, so for anyone who is a fan of the character you’re going to love this issue. The cover is a bit misleading though.

xfactor214We meet up with Darwin after he’s been wandering through the desert for who knows how long. Even though his mutant evolving powers makes it so he can survive without water the desert heat really makes him want some water, so he tries eating a cactus or two in an effort to find some. After a while Darwin decides to take a rest until out of nowhere this lady dressed up like an old west saloon girl shows up begging for help. Darwin being the hero he is agrees to help her, then he finds out she’s being chased by a fire-breathing dragon (seriously). Fortunately Darwin’s skin automatically thickens to protect himself from the dragon’s fire and talons and gives him some extra strength to fight the beast. Finally Darwin is able to snap the dragon’s jaw and kill it. Then Darwin picks up the saloon girl and goes in search of help for her.

Eventually Darwin happens across an old west ghost town, he then finds out from one of the townspeople that it was originally an old west movie set that’s been abandoned (including the old west wardrobe) and it’s become a home for squatters. Then the girl has a miraculous recovery as everyone in the town starts showing up to take a look at their new champion, and just as Darwin thinks things couldn’t be any weirder a man in the saloon, who is apparently the town sheriff, demands that Darwin come inside so he can take measure of Darwin before he kills him. Then everyone starts going off on how they need Darwin to kill the sheriff and set them free, so he goes into the saloon and just as he sits down to speak with the sheriff Darwin is shot in the stomach, he then stands up only to get his head blown off. Darwin gets back up to show us that his head just moved to his stomach and then regrows in its proper place. Darwin is pretty pissed at this point, but his confusion gets the better of him and he tries talking to the sheriff to figure out what’s going on.

The sheriff goes on to tell Darwin that the old west town is a staging area for Apocalypse (not the guy, the event) and that the end of the world is coming. The only way for Darwin to prevent this is for him to have an old fashioned showdown with the sheriff who has some guns that are actually capable of killing God so they should be able to take down Darwin despite his mutant powers. The two go out to the streets for their duel, and Darwin comes to the conclusion that he’s dreaming and it doesn’t really matter what happens. Then the sheriff tells Darwin that Wolfsbane is his mother and then shoots Darwin several times in the chest. As Darwin is lying on the ground he is warned that the Apocalypse will come and if he wants to prevent it he’s going to have to do better. Darwin wakes up some time later not sure if he was dreaming or not, then we see the gun he was given on the ground next to him.

Darwin is awesome. A lot of people don’t like him because he’s more difficult to kill than Wolverine, which takes away any suspense involving the character. The fun with Darwin is seeing how he’ll evolve to survive, like when his head got blown off and regrew on his stomach. You’re not gonna see Wolverine do that. It’s not about the suspense with Darwin, it’s about the fun of the character, and Peter David definitely understands this. You could argue that the story was just a dream sequence and didn’t really matter, but it did bring up the whole thing that Rahne’s child could be evil. And even if it’s not this was a great read that was as much fun as watching an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Ken Zeider