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Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Women Like, Part Three, Part Two

(Nicky's newest installment of What Women Like ran a bit long, so one of the books she intended to discuss as the finale for her third installment was omitted. It ran so long, in fact, that it could justify a post of its own! Therefore I bring you now the original, lost ending to What Women Like Part Three! Take it away, Nicky!)

So hey, me again. Think of this as a little addendum to the previous post. It was actually supposed to be included with that one, but I got a little carried away. And when I get excited, I get extra-verbose. And considering how much I babble under normal circumstances...

Well, suffice it to say, this part got a bit long. So instead of chopping out all the good bits and trying to cram it in with the previous post, I made big puppy-dog eyes and pouted and lo, I was granted a second post with which to ramble on enthusiastically about one last super-comic...

X-Factor is written by Peter David, and I'm not alone in thinking him one of the masters of superhero comics that make you think. You're thinking here, too--and laughing, and cringing, and frowning in confusion, and gaping, and snickering, and...well, pretty much everything. (Did I mention snickering? Because when you're not reeling from the twists, you'll definitely be snickering. The man has a serious way with words!) And yes, I know, it's part of the X-Universe, there's so much continuity, years of back story, you won't know what's going on, etc., etc...

Don't worry about it.

Yes, they deal with the occasional bit of fall-out and cross-over crap from the rest of the X-'Verse, but not too much. X-Factor does more of its own thing, and you shouldn't have any problems following it without following the rest of the X-'Verse. And if you are an X-Men fan and you aren't reading X-Factor yet...shame on you! You're missing a great comic--and did I mention the art yet? I didn't? Well, shame on me, because it's pretty much always been awesome. The book starts with Ryan Sook on the penciling duties, which is a thing of beauty; the latest issue's got Sebastian Fiumara, which is a thing of beauty, and all the issues in between? Come on, you can guess, can't you? Thing of beauty. Yep. Saw that coming, right?

Well, you won't see anything coming in X-Factor (except for, you know, the stuff that you do see coming and can't wait for it to get there), because Peter David likes to toy with his readers by making their brains do calisthenics. It's okay, you'll enjoy it. Exercise is good for you...when it comes in comic book form, at least. And he'll definitely give you a work out. David says that X-Factor is "written in the Socratic method: For every answer that's presented, more questions are the result." That's probably the best way to describe how this books works, actually. (How weird, the writer knows what kind of book he writes. Go figure.) But I think it's probably time for me to stop babbling on under the pretense that I sound clever and tell you about the book itself, yes?

Okay, listen up: ladies, this is what you want out of super hero comics. Gentlemen, this is what you want out of super hero comics. It's the perfect mixture of action and drama by which I mean that it's really hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. These aren't just super-heroes, these are people, and they are screwed-up, emotionally damaged, selfless, self-interested, terminally confused people that also have super powers (for the most part) which they use to save the day (for the most part).

The girls are (at the moment) outnumbered on the team this time, it's true--but when the guy in charge can make as many duplicates of himself as he wants to, clearly numbers count for very little. And just because there's more guys than gals in X-Factor doesn't mean the ladies let themselves be overlooked. At all. Between Banshee-formerly-known-as-Siren and her Irish pipes, M as in Monet as in ma'am or perhaps your majesty if she prefers, and Layla Miller who "knows stuff" and can list Doctor Doom as one of her BFFs, this team has all the girl power anyone can handle, and that's without the on-again, off-again presence of Rahne Sinclair-better-known-as-Wolfsbane who just came back with some interesting baggage of her own.

And did I mention Peter David? He's in fine form here with his Mutant Detective Agency, maybe the finest he's ever been in, but I'm biased by the fact that I love this comic. Which I didn't expect to; not really caring particularly about any of the characters, I picked it up at the relaunch after House of M because I am a sucker for cross-overs. I thought I'd drop it after the cross-over ended...silly me! Little did I know that X-Factor is actually a sort of literary drug, and now I'm an addict. Oh well. When the drug's this good, one really can't complain. But don't take my word for it; come find out for yourself. Then come back for your next fix, you'll need it.

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