Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Comics: The End of X-Factor

Back in the mid-'90's, the 5 original X-Men were joined together in their own group called X-Factor.  But then they were folded back into the original X-team leaving a roster wide open for the new X-Factor.  Writer Peter David decided not to use the A-List team members and instead drew from the fringes of the X-Universe.  And from that choice came the greatest of all the X-books, by far.

And now, sadly, Peter David has ended his series.  In the final issue he assured the readers that the decision to end now had nothing to do with his recent stroke.  But reading those words it reminded me that even though it is sad that the book is ending, I am happy for David's continued recovery.

I am also grateful that David did not end the series with an epic event.  Instead he took 6 issues to wrap up all of the character arcs for the members of the Team.

So how does it end?  Is it happy?  Is it sad?

The answer is yes and no.  Some characters seem to do very well.  Some are much worse off now that the end has come.  All of them are wounded from their time together and they care the obvious emotional scars in their finales.

The greatest compliment that I can give is that Peter David has given us a real ending.  If none of these characters ever showed up in another comic, I would be satisfied with where he has left them, though not necessarily happy.  Some endure such great loss that it still leaves me sad.  And for others, he gives just enough hope for the future that I can let them go.

These past few months, reading X-Factor has felt like saying goodbye to an old friend who is moving on.  We enjoy our time and we ask our final questions.

What is the exact relationship between Longshot and Shatterstar?
How does Rahne cope with tragedy and faith?
Is Layla Miller doomed to keep reliving the same life over and over?
What final fate awaits Guido and Jamie?

I wish I could give a more detailed description of the events in these finales, but that would ruin the surprises that David has in store for the reader.

I will miss X-Factor.  There was a time when I dropped every single other Marvel book except that one.  Someone might try to take up the mantle and continue tell the stories of the wallflowers of the Mutant Superhero Community.  But no one will ever be able to accomplish what David did.

Finale:  4 out of 5 stars
Series:  4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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