Cry Havok and let slip the dogs of war!
X-Factor (1986 1st Series) #72: Comic 7 out of 10: Per Marvel. Jamie Madrox’s murder is investigated by X-Factor, but Jamie himself turns up. He says only a dupe was shot. Havok and Polaris get together again, although Wolfsbane is obviously jealous. X-Factor is presented on a press conference, but someone steps out of the audience and claims to be Jamie Madrox and that X-Factor’s Madrox is an impostor.
The Good: I didn’t think I was going to keep all that many superhero comics, let alone pick up more. Superhero comics, in general, are not my cup of tea. In addition, the art style of the late eighties throughout the mid-nineties is also not something I tend to be a fan of. The harsh lines, the nihilism, the obvious attempts to be gritty and relevant.
I also have shown no previous interest in the X-Men. (Unlike, say, Batman or Punisher or The Tick as examples).
All that said, I really liked X-Factor. The writing is sharp and adult without being too snarky. It also successfully balances different storylines simultaneously as well as successfully giving us exposition without X-Factor feeling like an info dump.
It amazes me that X-Factor 72 came out the same year as DP7 #1. The comics appear to be from different decades. There is so much difference between not just the art style but in the storytelling chops as well.
The Bad: Marketing worthless crap for children? Marvel has you covered. For only $12.99 you can join WAM (Wild Agents of Marvel). You get a membership card, a certificate, a pen and stationary, and an exclusive catalog for suckers.
The promise is that you will be an “insider” and help influence the direction Marvel takes the characters. Basically, only one step away from calling that 900 number to vote whether Robin lives or dies. (Ask your parents’ permission)
Speaking of 900 numbers….
The Ugly: As much of a cash grab from children, the Wild Agents of Marvel is it can’t hold a candle to the 900-288-XMEN phone “game”. Mobile games and loot boxes can certainly trace their exploitative history directly back to this abomination.
You can read the details in the picture above. Clearly targeted to children whom I highly doubt got their parents’ permission. It is sad that Marvel not just was associated with such activity but actively promoted the same.
X-Factor (1986 1st Series) #72 cover: 3 out of 10 for this bit of a mess. Our main cast looks awful, to be blunt. Strong Man is looking like Chris Farley with idiot hair and Wolfsbane looks like a heretofore unknown porcupine themed character.
In Conclusion: X-Factor #72 is a well-known comic from a well known run in a well-known series in a well-known universe that… (I wonder how long I really could keep this going. I think jumping straight to universe has stunted my Guinness attempt here.) So we should take praise for the comic coming from a relative philistine more interested in the cleavage on the cover than the story within, with a raised eyebrow and a harrumph.
All that said X-Factor #72 is a good and competent read that provides hope for the further upcoming tale. (We shall see.)
Final Verdict: Keep and buy more
I picked up the trade X-Factor Epic Collection: All-New, All-Different X-Factor (X-Factor (1986-1998) Book 7 on Kindle for only $3.99. I am not married to digital comics (They do not show those ads for 900 numbers that hard copies do). But they are a nice way to read the comics and make for a much easier time to get screen grabs. Also you can’t beat $3.99 for a trade paperback.