REVIEW: X-Factor #230 (X-Men Regenesis)

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The final series in Marvel’s X-Men line to reach the Regenesis rebranding might be the most difficult one for me to review. I’m an unapologetic fan of Peter David, X-Factor, and Havok so  I had high expectations going in. I can honestly say that X-Factor #230 took me a bit by surprise with its approach and I should never have doubted how David would handle his book being a little more connected to the rest of the X-titles after several years of making its own way.

Spoilers for X-Factor #230 will follow.

Peter David’s X-Factor Investigations entered Regenesis on the heels of Madrox’s surprising death last issue. Issue #229 was fantastic and Madrox finding himself bouncing through alternate timelines that we haven’t seen before is a great twist on his apparent demise. Finding himself in strange universes is nothing new for the Multiple Man after his experiences with Layla Miller dating back to Messiah Complex. His absence from the team dynamic was certainly felt here as he’s become such a huge character and a big part of why X-Factor is so successful. Peter David clearly has a plan in store and I’m really interested to see how it all plays out.

The rest of the team is in disarray mourning his death in their own ways as Wolverine comes calling. David manages the guest appearance perfectly, keeping Wolverine’s panel time minimal while still using his presence to drive the story forward. Logan is there to put the team on retainer now that he’s reopened a school on the grounds of Xavier’s, but he also has Havok and Polaris in tow to help get X-Factor back on track in Madrox’s absence. I’m looking forward to their inclusion in the cast going forward, but seeing them show up on the last page in full costume didn’t fit with X-Factor‘s current aesthetic. One of the things I really appreciate about X-Factor is that the uniforms resemble street clothes that are stylized rather than spandex costumes. Seeing Havok and Polaris on the cover for the next issue front and center in their over-the-top super hero garb against the backdrop of the rest of the team in leather jackets makes for a silly juxtaposition. I’m hoping we’ll see some redesigns for Havok and Polaris in particular.

Emanuela Luppacchino, Guillermo Ortego and Matt Milla have put together a great looking issue. The action scenes are light here and it’s more than made up for with convincing emotion from the characters, particularly Layla. Their depictions of the entire cast are excellent and I’d be happy to see this team stick around or alternate arcs with Leonard Kirk who was introduced as the series’ regular artist last Fall.

As a jumping on point under the X-Men Regenesis banner, X-Factor #230 established the status quo nicely but as a regular reader I’m not entirely sure how accessible it will be to new readers. There’s a lot going on, and a lot of intriguing conflicts and questions arise that are very much in line with what we see month to month in this title, plus there’s Wolverine. Peter David brought all of these elements together nicely here and I’ll certainly be back for more.

Read more about X-Men: Regenesis on MyLatestDistraction.
and keep up with our reviews as each of the X-titles enter this new era.

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