And now, debuting today, it’s “Jump Into the Deep End.”

What these posts are going to be about are just me jumping back into series that I used to read regularly, but ended up dropping along the way for a variety of reasons. These will be much more condensed posts, mainly discussing the the differing contexts of when I last read the book, why I stopped reading, and if this single, out of context issue is enough to bring me back into the series.

 

Today’s series: X-Factor by Peter David
Issue number: #256
Last issue read: #26
Space between: 90 (X-Factor changed numbering to 200 after Issue 50)

What I First Liked About “X-Factor”

This book first launched by writer Peter David following “Decimation,” a story arc that came after the 2005’s “House of M” mini-series that brought the once 100,000+ mutant population down to 198. It stars Jaime Maddrox, the Multiple Man.

Reason for dropping: Crossover story line

There is a ridiculous amount of space between these two issues. When I stopped reading, it was during 2008s “Messiah Complex” story line that ran through all X-Men titles and saw the birth of Hope, the first mutant since the “House of M” mini-series that was the initial catalyst for “X-Factor.”

I liked the series quite a bit when it first came out. It was funny and intriguing and featured a well rounded cast of characters. But soon, as the other titles and story lines of the X-universe bled into it that it dampened my excitement for “X-Factor” as a whole and I ended up dropping it.

Why I Went Back: Impending cancellation

There are always books that you want to get back to and “X-Factor” has always been that for me. But time and my wallet made that harder to do as more and more back issues of the series began to pile up and I wrote it off as a lost cause. But, with news that the series was being cancelled this summer following the current storyline, I decided it was time to get back into it.

Thoughts Going Back In

Whoa. I jumped off this title in the middle of a crazy chaotic story line about the possible end of mutants and came back for the last chapter of a story arc titled “Hell on Earth War.” Our friends at X-Factor are now fighting Mephesto, the Marvel Universe equivalent of Satan. Layla Miller, the 10-year-old break-out star of the book when I was last reading it, has somehow aged to 21 years old. The team is still intact, but Maddrox is now a giant demon and team member Strong Guy seems to have betrayed the group of his own free will (when the book first started, Strong Guy betrayed the team after having his mind taken over). But even with all these massive changes, the group dynamic that I originally loved about the book remains intact. This is still one big mutant family trying to keep itself together.

Will/Would I Go Back?

Yes.

The sign of a strong, engaging book is seldom found in the story being told. Comics has had some crazy (and crazy awesome) stories over the years, but it is always the characters and their interaction/reactions that keep readers engaged. So while I know very little of what was going on in “X-Factor” #256, I knew the characters and that made all the difference. Peter David is a seasoned writer and knows what brings people back, so it’s no surprise that he has been able to keep that up in the span of 90 issues, but still a welcome surprise. I’m going to need some much needed context to know what I was reading and why it was happening, but I know that I will have a good time reading it.