Peter David’s multiple runs on X-Factor were some of the most fun X-comics ever. In X-Factor Visionaries by Peter David Vol. 3, collecting X-Factor (1986) #79-83 and Annual #7, we get some of that fun through a combination of quirky comedy and dramatic superheroics where X-Factor takes on a girl gang, a brotherhood of evil mutants, and paperwork. Here’s my review.
X-Factor Visionaries by Peter David Vol. 3
Story: Peter David
Art: Darick Robertson, Joe Madureira, Jim Fern, Larry Stroman, Rurik Tyler, and Mark Pacella
Inks: Andrew Pepoy and Al Milgrom
That One Time Val Cooper Fought Paperwork
The collection starts with X-Factor (1986) Annual #7. Like most 64-page annuals from the ’90s, we get three stories that ultimately don’t impact the larger storyline of the book but are still quite entertaining… to some extent.
The first story is the third part of Shattershot, a story about Spiral who wants to save Mojoworld or something. It’s hard to care about a story if you haven’t read its first two parts. My bad. This one was written by Fabian Nicieza, not Peter David.
The second story features Valerie Cooper, government liaison in mutant affairs, fighting paperwork. It’s all a dream of course, but it could have easily been a real mutant who can control paper. It’s silly.
The last story in the annual is clearly a reference to Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Cal & Guido is a story about bullying and the most interesting thing about it is that it was drawn by Joe Madureira.
Both Peter David stories are not as serious as the Spiral one and they barely featured X-Factor, but they’re amusing enough.
My Temperature’s High, Hell’s Belles
The highlight of this collection comes in X-Factor #79-81 with Quicksilver and Multiple Man having a great side adventure as they try to solve a murder mystery involving a mutant while the rest of X-Factor play bodyguard to a former supervillain who’s being hunted by her former running buddies, Cyber’s girl gang Hell’s Belles.
There’s a good mix of suspense, romance, comedy, and action that culminates in a good old fashioned brawl between two mutant teams.
This is what makes Peter David’s X-Factor so great. He tells relatively simple stories but infuses them with so much character that can make you laugh or say “d’awww”. He has the best handle on these characters, specifically Multiple Man, Quicksilver, and Strong Guy.
He inserts a few goofy gags in there for good measure. Peter David is awesome. Party on, Peter!
Larry Stroman is also great. I like his work better here than in Peter David’s second run on X-Factor. Here, his art is more dynamic and has more energy. Too bad he only did two issues in this whole collection.
The last two issues included in this X-Factor Visionaries volume, X-Factor #82-83, has the team fighting Toad’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and babysitting a bunch of Genoshan refugees called the X-Patriots. It’s alright. Not bad, but it’s kind of boring.
This collection is a bit inconsistent with the art and the villains aren’t that compelling, but Peter David brings it all together with great character work and some truly entertaining things.
Not counting the Shattershot story in the annual, there are four separate stories in this collection, so we’ll rank them separately in The List.
X-Factor #79-81 goes above the first issue of The Avengers as the new #8 because there’s more meat to the X-Factor members here than the original Avengers in their first accidental adventure.
The rest of the stories fill out the bottom of the list, unfortunately, with the X-Patriots story being #13, Cal & Guido landing at #14, and Val’s paperwork nightmare occupying the #15 spot.
The whole collection gets a middle of the road rating.
X-Factor Visionaries by Peter David Vol. 3 is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.