Last week, I had a new Iconographies at PopMatters looking back at The Last of the Greats and simultaneously lamenting and celebrating its incompleteness. This week, my latest "1987 And All That" went up on CSBG discussing X-Factor #12-23.
Something I Failed to Mention
The focus of my X-Factor review was how terrible life was and seemingly had to be for the stars of that book. So many of their decisions were reckless, self-defeating, and/or destructive, but the series doesn't really give them any better options, either. Having said that (and I said it a lot in the CSBG column), Louise Simonson was careful to sprinkle in positivity occasionally, so that X-Factor wasn't 100% doom and gloom. Often this just meant having the team defeat a villain or villains in combat, but the more effective uplifting material was non-violent and centered on the children who X-Factor takes care of. I'm thinking in particular of the issue—#20, which I already praised as having the best art—where the kids go to Central Park to undo damage done there by Iceman in a fight with the Horsemen of Apocalypse. Though at first they sort of screw it up, mostly because Rusty goes alone and has no plan and almost gets himself killed, ultimately they're able to come together and use their powers intelligently and in concert to melt all the leftover ice and return the park to normal. They also leave some ice behind on purpose, sculpted into large letters with a pro-mutant message (I forget the exact wording and the issue is in the other room, but it's something like, "You shall know them by their deeds. Mutants were here.") It's a major moment of growth for the young characters, and an especially heartwarming beat of happiness in a title that spends most of its time in darker territory.