Friday, July 9, 2010

Top 5 X-Factor Covers

The latest issue of X-Factor has one of the BEST comic book covers I've seen this year. Check it out: (art by David Yardin)

Like all great comic book covers, this image is eye-catching (danger and humor, in this case), tells part of a story, and is pretty enough to make into a poster.

For those of you uninformed, X-Factor is a comic branching out of the X-Men series. But unlike the main X-Men titles, X-Factor features some of the B-List heroes. This actually makes the title BETTER, because creators have more freedom to mess with these lesser-known characters. The stakes are higher and story lines unexpected, because you never know what may happen.

Anyway, for this edition of Top 5 Fridays, here are my
Top 5 X-Factor Covers

#5 - X-Factor (vol. 1) #71
(Larry Stroman, penciller)

This issue kicks off the second major group of X-Factor, bringing in the era of B-Listers. The ragtag bunch receives appropriate treatment through Larry Stroman's dizzying art, as first revealed in this cover.

#4 - X-Factor (vol. 1) #17
(Walter Simonson, penciller)

Of course, this title began its original run featuring the original five X-Men characters. (Sad to say, I missed this five-year stretch of stories.) But this cover is a favorite as it reminds me of some of the old G.I. Joe issues of the 1980s - high adventure, with Beast and Cyclops under attack and hanging from a helicopter. Riveting!

#3 - X-Factor (vol. 2) #1
(Ryan Sook, penciller)

This is the modern interpretation of the team. Rather than being a government sponsored mutant team, X-Factor becomes a noir-ish detective agency for mutants and super-heroes. Great set up, thanks to the Madrox mini-series (highly recommended!) and Ryan Sook's art. Too bad Mr. Sook didn't last a year on the title.

#2 - X-Factor (vol. 1) #130
(Jeff Matsuda, penciller)

Here's an example of a cover that got me to buy the comic. I hadn't been reading X-Factor for a while, mostly due to the change in cast. But I got drawn in by this dramatic image (excellent coloring) of Mystique holding smoldering rifle and the burnt image of villain Graydon Creed (her son!).

This was a big build-up--mutant hater Creed was running for president or something, mutant villain Mystique felt driven to knock him off, and the X-Factor team had to play damage control to avoid major repercussions. Or something like that. It sounded good, but the actual execution didn't pan out as well. (And the interior art was okay, by up and coming Jeff Matsuda, who later went on to work on the WB! The Batman Saturday morning cartoon.)

#1 - X-Factor (vol. 2) #18
(Pablo Raimondi, penciller)

The modern rendition of X-Factor here again, by AMAZING artist Pablo Raimondi. Raimondi, like Ryan Sook, didn't last long on the series; but what he did produce is some of the BEST comic book art in the last 10 years. Raimondi's detailed art first wowed me in his Madrox mini-series, and it continues with his X-Factor run--highlighting multiple characters and expressions, with both moving and hilarious results.

This cover encapsulates the nature of the X-Factor Investigations team, with the odd bunch of mutants overwhelmed by leader Jamie Madrox's multiple duplicates. Look closely at each "dupe" and notice how their individual personalities shine through--one of the quirks of Madrox (the Multiple Man)'s powers.

Quirky heroes. Quirky stories (thanks, Peter David!).

Great comic. And some great covers.

No comments:

Post a Comment