Better Living Through Graphic Storytelling
A Comics Blog About Shit We Like
22 March 2007
peter david made me do it.
i was never one for favorites. i like the things i like, and i dislike things i dislike, but favorites are so transitory that they never made sense to me. i was the kid whose favorite colors were "red! and green! oh, and blue!"

but, currently, and with ease, x-factor is my favorite superhero comic. and peter david has asked his readership for a favor, double the sales in a month. so i'm doing my part, however small.


read it. every month. don't wait for the trade. don't download it off the internet. buy it.

there is no book out there like this one. it's tight in all the right ways. it even manages to be totally connected to marvel's continuity without it fucking the whole book up. i mean the fact that one of the key players has her origins (however vaguely) in house of m and that pietro maximoff (quicksilver), who could easily be the lynch-pin to every major mutant story for the foreseeable future, hangs around without either of those things bogging the book down is amazing. (you definitely don't need to read house of m to read this book, in fact, don't, it sucks.) and it's pretty much the only marvel comic i can think of that tied itself into civil war without totally disrupting the narrative flow of the series. it seems like any obstacle you through in peter david's path he just turns into another twist in the road.
and you know why?
because peter david knows how to write a comic book. better than you. and better than 95% of the industry. he knows how to pace each issue. he knows how to pace whole arcs. and he knows how to write them so they flow together. no issue of x-factor is an awkward fit with the rest. i've reread the series a few times, and i've never been disappointed. even as the storylines grow and development and drop away and build up, it always works. there's no vacillation between good issues and awesome issues. the quality is so consistently high that the only issue that is of any lower quality is still a great fucking comic book.
i've heard complaints about the art in x-factor. (it doesn't help that this month's issue has the weakest yet, though it's still better than a michael turner or a jim lee.) i disagree with most of the complaints, except those that bemoan the lack of a consistent artist for any length of time. which is an impediment, but david and editor andy schmidt seem to know just which artists to pick. and they're good, the overall tone rarely changes. and while none of them are banner names (though ryan sook should be), they are share common trait, their characters emote. and not in the "open mouth = shock" kind of crap. i mean that i know the pain in the characters eyes. there are a few moments of joy in this book that made me have a better day. in fact, this book makes all my days better.
i could easily go into how great and well-defined the characters are, or how they have actual moral dilemmas and solve them in realistic and human ways, or how there are fairly sweeping changes that seem perfectly reasonable (a real achievement in superhero comics), or any of the other things that make x-factor the best superhero comic being published right now, but i'm finished. i've done my part. everything about this book is good. what more can i say?

go out. buy the trades. get the back issues. buy the MADROX miniseries that preceded the series. but most of all, buy issue 18. buy two copies. because peter david told me to tell you.