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Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I’m Reading Now: The Fly in the Ointment

When entering the world of comics there is so many comics that are out there it can sometimes become overwhelming. One particular area for me personally that was a maze of confusion and chaos was X-books. Upon entering comics, I was in the midst of infinite crisis and civil war. I, for a year or so, was almost an exclusive DC buyer. Just the sheer amount of titles that were considered X books blew my mind such as: Young X-Men, X-Force, Wolverine: First Class, Wolverine, Witchblade & Wolverine, Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate X-Men, New Exiles, New X-Men, Cable, Astonishing X-Men, X-Factor and many, many more. As I grew more and more into a comic lover, I began to embrace Marvel and came to love Captain America, Daredevil, and Punisher but X-books continue to scare me. I didn’t even know where to start. Well I jumped in headfirst and started reading Uncanny and Astonishing X-men. Which were good and all but just really not what I had expected or was hoping for. And then my good associate Capt. Cletus asked if I had read X-factor. I was unfamiliar by the book so I picked up the first installment of the third volume. It was a six issue miniseries entitled X-Factor: Madrox written by Peter David and art by Pablo Raimondi. I fell in love with this book. X-Factor is a great book with crime, mystery, suspense, comedy, and action. The lead character Jamie Madrox, the multiple-man, quickly became my favorite mutant in the marvel universe. He is not simply a man who splits into other people, but each individual character takes on a personality of Jamie, ranging from self-loathing to the incredibly heroic. Though Jamie is considered the main character, this book is also very much a team book. The X-factor team is composed of Jamie Madrox, M (Monet Yvette Clarisse Maria Therese St. Croix), Rictor, Siryn, Layla Miller (she knows stuff), Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane), and Guido Carosella (Strong Guy). This cast allows for great scenes and dialogue and Peter David intertwines comedy and story telling very well. Though the story is great, there are a few setbacks to the series. The series has a rotating cast of artists who ranged from great to not so great and the book is also plagued with tie-ins from Marvel spanning events such as Civil War and Secret Invasion. But all negatives aside I say with great confidence that this is the best X-Book on the shelves and has been since its premiere in 2005. This X-book seemingly came from nowhere, it was the fly in the ointment, the spanner in the works, it was the x-factor.

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