It’s Banshee’s turn at the plate in Breaking Points, and she knocks it out of the park with a touching, personal look at her character. The mysterious ‘guest’ she’s been hiding the past few issues is revealed, and by the end of the issue, her status quo is changed in a very significant way. It’s a sad change, but still cool in its way. Part of me thinks it’s a little too easy, and a little too apropos of nothing, but it definitely works. Throw in some good art and some strong appearances by the rest of the cast and you’ve got yourself a very nice issue of X-Factor.
Who could ask for anything more?
Comic rating: 4/5: Good!
For the most part, writer Peter David has been doing an acceptable job of cleaning house in X-Factor. I know that X-Factor is going to remain relatively untouched in Marvel NOW!, but that doesn’t mean he might not give it a fresh coat of paint or something. Ditching a few members of the bloated cast is a great idea, in my opinion, and he’s been doing a fine job in figuring out what to do with these guys. PAD takes a strong, hard look at Banshee in this issue, and the emotions that drive her, but he does so with a character he created only a few issues ago, a character that doesn’t have the history or the impact to be such a big deal in Banshee’s life, in my opinion. But it works. PAD shakes things up, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
PAD also manages to work his magic with Havok and Polaris, two characters who have definitely suffered from being suddenly, unceremoniously dropped into this comic. There are some continuity conflicts with Avengers vs. X-Men, but who cares? I’m curious to see if PAD will play any part in preparing Havok for his upcoming leadership position in Uncanny Avengers. He seems to be doing a nice job of preparing Polaris for her stay in X-Factor.
But more on that later. Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!
Forgive me for saying this, oh great comic book gods, but I think X-Factor is starting to show its age. If we take into account the renumbering, this current volume of X-Factor has published roughly 90 issues since 2005, and that’s not including the excellent MadroX miniseries that serves as an introduction. And all 90 issues have been written by the great Peter David. But after 90 issues starring essentially the same team members doing essentially the same thing, I’m starting to think this series is running a bit thin. Why do I say this? Because this one-off issue about Havok and Banshee teaming up to fight a real Banshee doesn’t really offer a whole heck of a lot.
Sure there is action and peril, but where is the character depth? Where is the exploration of the relationship between Havok and Banshee? Or more appropriately, where is the heart and soul of the comic?
Comic rating: 3/5: Alright.
Peter David is a master of character work. The early issues of this volume of X-Factor are a glorious examination of the Multiple Man character and the new headspace that David created for him. Not to mention all the twists, turns and relationships of the rest of the cast. Peter David is hailed as a genius for the character work he did with Quicksilver back in the now legendary X-Factor #87 from the 1993. And when Peter David is at the top of his game with this cast, he’s turned out some fantastic single issues. I was in stitches that time Multiple Man took the team to Las Vegas, because it was just such a fun and funny issue.
But after the last few issues, and especially this one, I’m just not feeling it anymore. They’re goods reads, I suppose. I enjoyed myself. But this issue is as bland as bland can get – except for a small scene between Strong Guy and Monet that captures that Peter David genius I’ve been talking about. That scene is stellar. But everything with Havok and Banshee is just boring. Maybe it’s the characters. It’s not like Havok and Banshee have any kind of history to draw on together. But as the writer, it’s Peter David’s job to provide an interesting relationship between these two characters, to make me care about them teaming up like this. And unfortunately, in that regard, he fails.
Full synopsis and more review after the jump!