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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – X

Today, we feature a comic book run that did pretty well on the voting, but not good enough to make the Top 100.



It’s actually quite remarkable to see how well the return of Peter David to the characters he made so popular back in 1991 is going.

A few years back, when it was announced that David was going to write a mini-series starring Jamie Madrox, one of the members of David’s X-Factor team, I thought two things.

1. That should be cool, I liked his first run of X-Factor


2. That won’t sell very well.

It probably says something about comic fans that my second point will often pop into our heads when we hear of a new title. New Iron Man title? That can’t last. Nextwave? Sounds awesome, but will it even last a year?

Anyhow, the Madrox mini-series WAS good, and in it, David introduced a new take on his old characters. There was still humor present, but the series as a whole was much darker. Also, the hook of the book was different – Madrox was now the head of a private investigation firm called X-Factor, and his former teammates Rahne and Guido worked for him.

A pleasant surprise occurred after the mini-series ended, there was enough of a reaction to the series that it was given an ongoing series, this time called X-Factor, spinning out of the events of House of M, where mutants everywhere lost their mutant powers.

In X-Factor, Madrox’s firm grew with the addition of the mutants M and Siryn, plus Layla Miller, a plot device from House of M. The former mutant, Rictor, was also involved. There was also a new hook for this series, each Madrox dupe now had their own personalities!! This was a lot of fun.

So was the title, even though it has been pretty dreary, plot-wise. The characters themselves, however, are a ton of fun. David has crafted some pretty intricate characterizations out of all them, so it’s almost like winding up a toy car and seeing it race. The characters are so well-developed, you can almost sit back and just let them go.

Ryan Sook was the original artist on the book, but he bailed pretty quickly. Dennis Calero filled in for him (and continued Sook’s worst designing idea ever – Wolfsbane’s giant wolf head – ARGH!).

The current artist is the same artist who started the whole shbang (the Madrox mini-series), Pablo Raimondi.

Anyhow, it is a good book. You should give it a shot.


Thank you Brian. X-Factor is one of the few books that I really look forward to each month.

The biggest X-factor in the game of life is NFL SuperPro.

Andrew Collins

April 17, 2008 at 6:58 am

Just read the new issue and it was superb as always. Really enjoying X-Factor, it’s one of my favorites each month as well. A little unsure of what to think about Larry Stroman returning as the book’s regular artist though. His old stuff never did much for me.

And what a beautiful cover by Sook for issue #1. The artists, like Calero and Raimondi, have done a solid job, but man, I wish Sook could have stayed on the book longer AND gotten his issues out on time…sigh…

This is one of my favorite books, month in, month out. I dread the day when it’s gone.

I’m afraid I never finished reading the Madrox mini-series (only 2 or 3 issues) and didn’t plan on buying X-Factor. Heard good praises, so eventually I read the first trade and it was excellent.
Then months ago I started reading the book – for free – due to my “job” (http://www.wizarduniverse.com/041608xmenroundup2.html) and I’m now in love with it. No doubt the best and most entertaining X-book out there, generally too.

I really enjoyed X-Factor. Is it safe to come back after all the Messiah Complex stuff?

Damn, that Marvel Knights cover is beautiful!

Stephane Savoie

April 17, 2008 at 11:41 am

It IS a sad statement that you can predict which series will get cancelled.
On a positive note, it’s really nice when they don’t! Blue Beetle, Iron Fist, Avengers Initiative, Manhunter (kinda)…

I’d just like to say that Xemnu the Titan was robbed for the X-slot. Robbed!

Also, at a glance I thought you were giving it to madroX, which would have been reaching a bit.


April 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

X-Factor is also one of my favs, though I did have to stop buying it because of messiah complex (god,I hate crossovers).But,know I’m back even though Rahne’s gone : (

As far as crossovers go, though, Messiah Complex was pretty darn good. And Peter David is doing a great job of using the plot threads he was left with…

I just began reading this mag since I heard that one of my favorite Marvel characters (Longshot) will be joining it in July and I didn’t want to start reading in the middle of whatever storyline he’s introduced in. Needless to say, I am already enjoying the series and am eagerly anticipating Longsjot’s arrival.

Love David’s X-factor (both versions). Apart from, as you said, the crappy redesign of Rahne in her wolf form, it’s still a great book (too bad she got sent to the shitfest that is X-force, tho). I love many of the mutant C-list characters, so it’s great that David too Rictor, Siryn, and M and added them to the cast, imo they are great, underutilized characters. Longshot should be an interesting addition. And given that David took a plot device like Layla Miller and fleshed her out and made her an intriguing, interesting character as well, gives him extra points also. Easily the best X-book on the market now, and one of the better ones ever.

Peter David may be the best writer around. I still haven’t been able to get into X-Factor yet, though– none of the odd issues I’ve checked out have grabbed my attention. I still intend to buy one every now and then, though, because it’s got to get into a good storyline sooner or later. It took me awhile to get into his recent She-Hulk, but I really started to enjoy it just before it ended. Same with Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man. If I do start enjoying X-Factor, it won’t be immediately cancelled, will it?

Why do I bother leaving comments on posts this old? Is anybody besides me reading this?

I’m here, Mary.

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