Issue: X-Factor: Nation X #1 – one-shot
Release Date: January 6, 2010
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Valentine de Landro
Inker: Pat Davidson
Colorist: Jeremy Cox
Cover: Christian MacNevin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“When superhumanity needs a detective agency, they call upon Madrox the Multiple Man and his mutant team of investigators … X-Factor.”
Reading this one-shot, I was reminded of how and why I almost bankrupted my parents as a pre-teen fan of the X-books: if you miss an issue or two of one of the ten billion X-titles, you will have no freaking clue what’s going on when you finally do pick up an issue in one of the ten billion X-titles.
The issue starts off with a narrative by an old woman writing in a book in the middle of a Warsaw ghetto in 1943. The ghetto is in the process of being “cleared out”, and the old woman (who turns out to be “Crone, scribe of The Others”) makes a note in her book that this event is almost over but that it will happen again because that’s what humanity does.
The whole issue is basically an argument between Madrox (who is keeping X-Factor out on Manhattan) and Scott (who is letting any mutant, evil or otherwise, take refuge on Utopia, outside of San Francisco) about their different takes on how mutants should proceed now that they’re an “endangered species.” Madrox thinks mutants should be out there, a part of society, just like they always had been. Scott thinks all mutants need to basically isolate themselves on this island floating outside of San Francisco to ensure they survive.
Madrox has an interesting perspective that Scott doesn’t about Utopia: Utopia is the reason for Bishop’s reality. A self-imposed isolation causes the mutant camps and tattoos in that future. I have read the issues where Scott sends Madrox clones and Layla Miller forward in time to two different realities, but I missed the issue(s) where this revelation happened. I also must have missed the issue(s) where Madrox was able to bring Layla back to the current timeline/reality. So that was confusing. Also confusing: Magneto living on Utopia along side Professor X (who was dead last time I read).
Another thing I found myself confused about was, exactly how many kids is Scott going to have? I mean, he’s got about as many kids as there are X-titles at this point and he kind of doesn’t seem to really consider them his children. Yet, at the mention of a daughter named “Ruby” in the future Layla was stuck in, he’s all choked up on the idea.
During the ensuing battle between the mutants and Crone (because you know there has to be at least one battle in an X-comic), she points out that both sides of this discussion will ultimately fail because that’s how it always goes. History is cyclical and the same things happen again and again because humanity is always looking to subjugate whatever they see as inferior (whether that’s other humans or animals, etc.).
That was interesting and all, but I was more interested in the old characters meeting up again and catching up with each other (some a little more in depth than others). Really didn’t care about the characters who have been introduced more recently, and a small part of me was hoping this would degrade into an issue where they X-peoples broke out the short-shorts, gloves and baseball bats for a quick game.
Speaking of the ’90s, I was particularly interested to see Shatterstar in this issue. I concur with Tabitha: that upgrade he got in the costume/hair department was a seriously HUGE step in the hot direction. I have always liked the idea of that character for some reason, but the look just wasn’t working for me. Kudos on whoever decided to change him up, but was he always gay/bisexual? And when did Rictor come out of the closet? I miss out on all the big stuff when I skip an issue or two.
Rating: 2.5 / 5 Stars