Wednesday, January 6, 2010

X-Factor: Nation X #1 Review

Writer: Peter David
Artist: Valentine De Landro
This issue is basically about X-Factor visiting Utopia, critiquing it, and leaving. Which feels a lot like David telling Fraction that his writing is total shit. Not complaining for a second though, I am ALL OVER IT. But seriously, sometimes it seemed to cross over from X-Factor's feelings to just saying, "This Utopia is a shit plan!" Makes me like David more anyway.

What can be seen in the preview is basically this women, the Crone Scribe of The Others I think it was, looking over the Holocaust, she uses people's blood as ink for her book which she uses to take notes on noteworthy events in history. She comes into play later. Then X-Factor shows up, fabulous group shot included (below) and it begs a few question. A. Where is Layla during 200, why is she there now? B. Why is Siryn with the group again all of a sudden? Is this supposed to be after the current arc? If someone could answer those question, that'd be more
than great.
A lot of the issue is X-Factor meeting up with X-Men, old friends and new, and working out their problems. And it was all pretty gay. Yes, that does mean that Rictor and Shatterstar finally got to talk. Zero resolution, but we'll go over that in a bit. Pixie and Northstar show up and introduce themselves to Shatterstar. As you can see in the panel, you can guess where that was going. Again.

It doesn't matter because apparently he's not Jean Paul's type anyway. Too bad, would've been better than who he actually did manage to kiss. Also, remember my gay comment about Iceman? Ok, most of my gay calling in this blog is just to spice up my boredom with the macho males of X-Men. Iceman, however, has been seriously discussed as possibly gay on other blogs, boards, and the almighty Scans_Daily. And I happen to think this was a wonderful example of David poking fun at that for all us speculators:

Too bad this isn't the person he ended up kissing either.
David, consider your gay and female fans, which I'm sure you have quite a few of, unserviced. (Play on fan service)
This leads to a serious discussion between Rictor and Shatterstar that I think was complete shit. As can be seen in the panel on the right, Shatterstar offers up an example, one that I think is totally unrelated, but Rictor argues it as if it is the legitimate reason.
What the hell?
The reason why Rictor is bristling is Shatterstar is basically being a manwhore and Rictor loves him. I'm not sure that they're in a relationship currently, but even so, if my ex was around I wouldn't be so rude as to be a hoe around him, given that we're on good terms like they are.
Honestly, this kissing thing really ruins the almighty kiss Shatterstar had with Rictor. As I had mentioned earlier, it basically devalued it as something not to be taken as serious
and I think that's a huge insult to the gay community who started this book again because of that kiss (I put it on my blog once that happened). Honestly, something like this should be saved for the hetero characters who already have healthy representations in the media as opposed to gay characters who have very little and it's not often remembered when it does happen. Besides, Longshot later on does a lame version of what Shatterstar's doing in this issue with Dazzler. Let him have that whole charming thing, let's have Shatterstar and Rictor be a legitimate couple with relatistic problems.

Back to the story, Shatterstar ends up kissing Boom Boom. She's thrilled to see her X-Teammate and so they go to catch up:
Loving the Mommie Dearest reference, but not using gay as a negative word. Tabitha of all people too, who I remember as that X-Force member with the butch haircut. Also, it seems Shatterstar targets pseudo-lesbians and gay, or possibly gay, doesn't it? Val Cooper, Boom Boom, Iceman, Rictor, and Northstar? Missing anyone?

Anyway, for anyone with me on the outrage of the misuse of Ricstar, it doesn't improve. There's no resolution to the deal, just Shatterstar talking to Boom Boom, which includes a spread eagle panel of him, with Rictor saying nothing. Yeah, that panel freaks me out too.

Back with Madrox, it turns out Layla's only aged five years since we last saw her. Unexpected considering she looks to me like mid- to late- 20's and I figured we were supposed to take it like that if we were going to take the Layla/Madrox idea seriously. I figured her originally to be 13/14, so I guess that would mean now she's 18/19? Anyone have any real numbers on her age? Madrox explains why he doesn't want to be lumped in with everyone else since it makes them all look like villains, Cyclops defends it, then Emma Frost, Magneto, and Namor, all ex-villains, walk in with Magneto saying, "Welcome to our brotherhood."

They continue to discuss things, Jamie brings up better points than Cyclops, hence the writer criticism feel that I support. Meanwhile Strong Guy is playing football with the students as he has the mentality of a child and therefore no real story. Darwin meets up with Professor Xavier and Siryn, Monet, and Longshot meet up with old friends Dani and Dazzler.
I happen to love the last panel, and I just have to say that David's humor is prime this issue. Also, do Monet and Dani have an irritation with each other? This is one of the rare times where I wish there'd be an editor box with, "It happened in ___ #324!" included.

Dani and Siryn go off to talk about Utopia, Siryn actually opens up about what happened with the baby to Dani. Siryn brings up a good Titanic comparison about the fate of the mutant species and she also says Utopia is basically moving the chairs, saving nothing really. Basically, David defeating all Fraction's point on why Utopia makes sense. Also, funny that Siryn should use the Titanic comparison consider the island is apparently constantly almost sinking.

In terms of Diva and Longshot, they reunite and Longshot is a cocky bastard and is like, "Sex now?" and Ali gives in. Which makes me miss the days (which I'm reading now in Essential X-Men Volume 9) where Dazzler wore the pants and Longshot was perpetually clueless. Probably could happen again, just get out some clippers for Diva and she'll back to having a personality and whatnot. Seriously, I think her extensions just are meant to repress any chance of her having a personality.

The rest of the issue is Layla finally forcing in Scott's face that Utopia will fail and he just ends up in denial. Btw, during this time there's a pretty attractive panel of Scott, minus the weird wavvy hair he has this issue. Seriously, who does your hair, gurrrll?

Anyway, issue ends with Darwin pissing off The Crone by stealing her book, she grows and there's a wonderful two-page X-Men fight panel. I think that David should really just write all the fight scenes for Fraction because his are considerably better. In the end, book is returned, X-Factor leaves, and nothing really changes except we get to see X-Factor see their friends again. Still, I say this book was worth it, especially since Rictor and Shatterstar are finally getting sort of addressed, and it's definitely worth the buy.


X-23 said...

Loved the issue! And the review.
Terry and Layla will be joining soon. This crossover takes place after the whole Invisible Woman has Vanished-deal. I don't know for sure, but it's logical. They are shown on the covers in new uniform after all, and the FF/X-Factor crossover is the beginning of new era, so i'm sure they will be back soon.
Plus - I was surprised by Layla's age, too. She could not been more than 14, so she's still a teenager! That's a big oops-bet-Madrox-didn't know it either-deal. Haha. Reminds me of "Trainspotting".

Mr. Hellfire said...

Thanks and makes sense, heh.
And yeah, I just think that Madrox should be sans love life if the alternative is a teenage girl he knew when she was 14. It's a bit much.

FSaker said...

Great description, Mr. Hellfire! But did Longshot and Dazzler just hug each other and that's it? I know Alison is a cameo queen and all, but damn, they used to be married! They deserve some relationship development.

Anyway, I've seen some preview pages of this issue, so unless they were removed from the actual issue, I'm surprised that you forgot to mention that in one of the pages (I guess it's the one where Shatterstar kisses Boom Boom) it seems that Tabitha remembered to put a very short dress but forgot to wear her underwear... Is Utopia getting its own Britney?

Mr. Hellfire said...

I skimmed my issue again very briefly and couldn't find the Boom boom thing, do you think you could post the panel?

FSaker said...

Nevermind, I just found out that Marvel corrected the panel by putting a balloon with lines in front of her lower area. This is the panel where originally she was shown with nothing underneath her dress (before the characters' lines were added):

I know that the panel without the lines was posted in websites and discussed at the X-Books forums, yet I'm not finding any link now... Sorry.

FSaker said...

NOW I found the page without the balloons:

Mr. Hellfire said...

Oh, haha, I see, well I will definitely mention this with her future appearances:P