Why I picked this comic:
It’s another one in the history of the X-titles and it was either this or the New Mutants OGN I think this was a better choice. This was the return of the original batch of X-Men who were my introduction to the team, so I will always have a place in my heart for them.
The Comic Itself:
X-Factor 1: November 1985
Third Genesis was written and inked by Bob Layton, pencilled and inked by Jackson Guice Wein with more inks by Josef Rubenstein.
It opens in Anchorage, Alaska with retired X-Man Scott ‘Cyclops’ Summers struggling to adapt to life as husband and father to his wife Madeline Pryor-Summers and their son Nathan Christopher. It’s not going well.
In Colarado Warren ‘Angel’ Worthington III is saying goodbye to his houseguests and fellow ex-X-Men Dr Hank ‘Beast’ McCoy and Bobby ‘Iceman’ Drake who are leaving the capes and tights life for new opportunities in New York.
With the Fantastic Four in New York is another former X-Man, Jean ‘Marvel Girl’ Grey, who was long thought dead since the Dark Phoenix Saga when she was seen sacrificing her life. It turns out that Jean was replaced by the Phoenix entity after her battle in space with Stephen Lang and the X-Sentinels. No time since has passed for her (about 100 issues of X-Men for everyone else) and she is eager to get back to her old life. However Charles Xavier is offworld and the X-Men are now allied with Magneto, so the Fantastic Four connect her with someone else, Warren Worthington III.
Warren invites Bobby and Hank aren’t having the best time with their new lives. The blue and hirsuite Hank can’t get a job as a researcher or academic because of his public status as a mutant and Bobby is working as an accountant and both leap at the chance to go back to the costumed lives they so recently walked away from. Warren also calls Scott, telling him everything. With nary a look back at his wife and son, Scott leaves with ultimatum of “If you walk out now, don’t come back.” ringing in his ears.
Scott arrives in New York and sees Jean, but can’t bring himself to tell her all of the things that have happened since her apparent death. Jean wants to do the mutant superhero thing with no Xavier at the school and so there’s a vacuum in the helping young mutants thing. While no one is looking a clearly distraught Scott leaves. The rest of them however, start planning.
Weeks pass, Scott has been wandering for weeks, messed up by the current circumstances. The love of his life died, he grieved, he mourned and then he moved on, he met someone else, fell in love and married. Now the love of his life is alive and well, as though no time has passed. The team find him and convince him to come back with them, which he does. So we now have the original 5 X-Men back together again, where they belong.
As we go along, we also see the story of anxious junior sailor Russell ‘Rusty’ Collins who is on shore leave with his boss Chief Fisher. Fisher wants to get Rusty laid, to loosen him up and pushes him towards good-girl girl Emma La Porte. Rusty isn’t keen, Emma and Fisher push and that stress, activates Rusty’s mutant power which relates to fire and this burns Emma as Rusty can’t control this power. He is arrested by MPs, but Fisher is out for blood. Most people are as anti-mutant hysteria has spread across the world, making things worse for the mutants.
This heightened bigotry gives Warren and his old college room-mate Cameron Hodge an idea. They form a mutant deterrent agency known as X-Factor so that people who let them know about mutants and they can go deal with them. Sort of a mutant based Ghostbusters. In reality, they will rescue and train these new mutants, just as they were trained and their operating costs will be handled by the bigots that hire them to deal with the mutant ‘problem’ in the first place. If that seems weird and a bit dodgy to you? You are not alone.
After an attempted murder in his prison cell, Rusty escapes and is on the run. Chief Fisher calls X-Factor and Warren, Jean and Scott show up and get the details. They then get into matching multicolour uniforms and along with Bobby and Hank go after Rusty in costume and subdue him. The battle is fierce and the danger is real, but Scott proves that this is where he should be and saves the team, so that the team can save Rusty. When Rusty is contained they then give Fisher a bill for $42,000.
The team free Rusty and offer to help him manage his ability. Cyclops is only at home it seems leading the team and they decide to keep going.
3am in Anchorage, Madeline Pryor-Summers waits for her absent husband to call.
The Thoughts of The MIGHTY Rosie
Question 1: Have you heard of this property before? Yes of course.
Question 2: What were you expecting? I don’t know.
Question 3: What did you think of the cover? Yeah, don’t like it, very trashy, busy with bold covers that hurt the eyes.
Question 4: What did you think of the story? …I get the story that they were trying to tell, but wasn’t nicely done. Here is your new wife and baby and you just drop them all in a heartbeat, I didn’t like that. Why marry this over woman who is THE SPITTIING IMAGE of his dead girlfriend? Yeah that’s healthy, why not deal with that particular problem before you have a kid?
Question 5: What did you think of the art? Scratchy, didn’t like it.
Question 6: What did you think of the dialogue? (Sigh) I just overall didn’t like the writing and how the story was told. It’s probably the worst first issue I have read.
Question 7: Does it make sense? No!
Question 8: Was it accessible to a new reader? No! (Note, the issue was preceeded by two comics setting it up, so this wasn’t surprising) If you’re a therapist it’s a great social study.
Question 9: Did you enjoy it? No! Again, this is one of the worst comics I have ever read.
Question 10: Would you read the next issue? I am kind of offended that you even feel the need to ask that question.
Question 11: What would you do differently? Burn it. Burn it all.
Next time: Right now, I honestly don’t know, I think I broke her.