Issue(s): X-Factor #4
(I'm having a little trouble referring the X-Factor team when they are in costume. I know they eventually take on the name X-Terminators, but i prefer to reserve that name for the group of X-Factor kids, and in any event they aren't calling themselves that yet).
(Also, my partner min would like you to know that she objects to the Beast going around barefoot. If they can find shoes for Nightcrawler, the Beast should be able to cover up his feet as well.)
Tower escapes by shrinking, and he runs into another new mutant, named Frenzy.
Both Frenzy and Tower are working for a mysterious "master" who wants them to rescue Rusty Collins from X-Factor. Tower failed to do so, so now it's Frenzy's turn.
Like Tower, Frenzy's powers are not the most original. She's just super-strong and durable. Nothing wrong with that at all; it works well considering that like Tower she's just an underling. I'm also happy to have Bob Layton and company come up with these new mutants to fight X-Factor instead of suddenly reviving old Silver Age X-Men villains like, say, Mimic or Locust or El Tigre or Lucifer, which actually would have been the more logical thing to do now that the original team is back together (just like how Vanisher will resurface in this book fairly soon).
To complicate the fact that Rusty is being hunted, he's shown to be having trouble adjusting to life inside X-Factor, making a kind of faux paus about the Beast becoming "human" again...
...and then having an epic freakout when Artie is brought into the room while he's training.
The deformed Artie represents the worst about being a mutant, so it's understandable that he unsettles Rusty, although it surely doesn't make Artie feel good about himself.
In part due to the fact that Jean continues to be pretty hard on him, Rusty decides to run away. He runs into the awesome Chilly Dog...
..but unfortunately Rusty doesn't show Chilly Dog any presidents, and they don't get along too well. After Chilly Dog runs off, Frenzy approaches Rusty and tries to recruit him...
...and, failing that, takes him forcibly.
Meanwhile, Artie desperately tries to tell X-Factor that Rusty is in trouble...
...and so the X-Facternators show up to drive Frenzy off.
I often joke about Angel's lack of powers and in general it's noted that the original X-Men were a lot less powerful than the Giant-Size team. But i've always felt that the original team's advantage is the constant training that Xavier put them through, to the point where they work together as a unit under Cyclops' leadership. And Keith Pollard does a good job showing that.
When they return to the X-Factor compound, Rusty reconciles with Artie.
Meanwhile, we learn that Frenzy has to return home before the "withdrawal" begins.
Also in this issue, X-Factor goes on a mission that turns out to be a false alarm, but highlights the harm that their TV ads are doing.
And Scott gets an unpleasant reminder that he's ignoring his problems with Madelyne while testing Artie's powers.
And Warren is also reminded that he already has a woman in his life too.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Marvels: Eye of the Camera #5 shows this happening after the Hulk battle from Hulk #320-323.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAngel, Artie Maddicks, Beast, Cameron Hodge, Candy Southern, Chilly Dog, Cyclops, Frenzy, Iceman, Jean Grey, Rusty Collins, Timeshadow, Tower
This issue takes place a week after X-Factor #3. It's possible Angel's appearance in The Eternals (2nd series) #8 takes place between that issue and this one.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 9, 2013 10:30 PM
The "Characters Appearing" link for "Candy" leads to a Spider-Man character instead of Candy Southern. Probably not what you meant to do. lol!
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 9, 2013 10:34 PM
Fixed Candy. Thanks Jay.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 10, 2013 7:03 AM
I keep wondering, reading these reviews, how I underrated the first several issues so much in my memory. Maybe they were tainted by the problems with the premise. There is a lot of good stuff above. I love Jean's scene with the non-mutant kid; Jean establishing herself, surprisingly, as the taskmaster with the kids, when you would expect Scott to be that way (partly because he's always been no-nonsense, partly because he's so stressed); and Layton's willingness to show the unpleasant sides of the heroes. Warren is just awful in that phone call with Candy, whom we've seen being a great partner to him in various titles. "You're in charge, hon. I trust you. [click]." To say nothing of Scott's indulgent dithering over *his* love life. I don't like the characters more for acting in these ways, but it gives fullness to them.
Did they give an official name in the book to that Danger Room-esque training room in the compound? I was going to complain that that part's a little derivative. We had already seen, what, 8000 instances in X-MEN/NEW MUTANTS of a Danger Room workout that almost goes terribly wrong. But then I thought, well, how else would a kid learn to use powers such as Rusty's, other than high-tech simulations? And it makes sense that the original X-Men would stick with what they knew in setting up shop for themselves.
Posted by: Todd | December 10, 2013 7:33 AM
When I first heard about X-Factor having Scott break things off with Maddie I thought it was something like the Ms. Marvel lack-of-consent thing going on, but I'm pleasantly (for lack of better word) suprised to see that the ugliness was not ignored. I mean, Scott was TRYING to ignore it, but this was acknowleged pretty much immediately. It does also bring up one of the implications of a ressurection also...
Are these scans to imply that Angel has had some form of feelings for Jean? All-New X-Men has been going with the idea that Beast had some feelings he refused to act upon back in the original team's era. Its interesting to think that 3 out of 4 of the males had feelings of some sort for the sole female... Unless there's something about Bobby I don't know about? (Which would be interesting, considering how they acted in X-Men #1 upon her introduction.)
However, I must end this post with some dissapointment. You say that "After Chilly Dog runs off, Frenzy approaches Rusty and tries to recruit him..." Which I misread as recruiting Chilly Dog. Finding out that this was not the case put a blow to my morale.
Posted by: Max_Spider | December 12, 2013 8:07 AM
They are definitely hinting that Warren had interest in Jean, and he was Scott's rival in the Silver Age for a while, too.
And in belated response to Todd's question - so far no name for their training room, and it's actually pretty low tech at the moment. It's been stuff like Jean levitating sticks for Rusty to set on fire, or having him melt Iceman's frost.
Posted by: Chilly Fnord12 | December 12, 2013 4:44 PM
I was sort of annoyed that Bend is made it that Silver Age Beast had strong feelings for Jean....
Posted by: ChrisKafka | December 12, 2013 11:25 PM
Please, please, PLEASE add a tag for Chilly Dog. Maybe some future writer will take notice and bring him back.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | November 10, 2014 5:49 AM
In order to accomodate present times, he would need to change his name to Tofu Dog.
Layton specialized in characters speaking Noo Yawk.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 29, 2015 8:28 PM
I've always liked Frenzy and was glad she was used further throughout the years. She was even a member of the X-Men for a time. I bring her up in my review at my new website of ALL-NEW INHUMANS #1, as she's made her return in this issue, although she hasn't appeared since. http://comicheroreviews.blogspot.com/2016/09/here-be-all-new-inhumans-1.html
Posted by: Andrew Burke | September 10, 2016 4:17 PM
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