X-Factor annual #8
Issue(s): X-Factor annual #8
The story starts with a flashback paralleling Batman's origin, except that the movie they're leaving when the parents get shot is the Adam West Batman film and it's Random who kills them.
The incident leaves Charlie with a hatred of mutants. And he winds up going to the same school as Strong Guy, and was there when Strong Guy's powers manifested.
Pursuing his hatred, Charlie began dabbling in the occult. Fast forward to the present day, when he summons "Cloot".
Cloot is initially uninterested in making any kind of bargain with Charlie, but he perks up when Charlie mentions his grudge against X-Factor, in part because X-Factor were associates of the Hulk and in part because there's "a war shaping up between different aspects of the Nether Realms" and he's looking for warriors to form his army. Years later, Peter David will write a war between the Hell Lords in a later volume of X-Factor; given the timeframes that immortal entities operate in, this could very well be an early hint of that.
Anyway, Cloot turns Charlie into Charon ("You will serve as my ferryman... bringing me the doomed souls across the river in your great boat").
If you were wondering about the "recently deceased" that hate X-Factor so much, it's the three goofy Chalker brothers that we've seen get themselves killed in past issues of X-Factor. This is the first time they are actually facing X-Factor.
A running joke in this series is that everyone confuses X-Factor with X-Force, so X-Factor initially assume the bad guys have picked the wrong team. But Charon assures them that's not the case, and they get to fighting.
They are slightly less inept than the last time we saw them, but only slightly. I suppose just not defeating themselves before the battle starts counts as a win. But they all wind up (re-)dying grossly.
Even the main fight between Strong Guy and Charon is truncated. Charon says he just wants to kill Strong Guy instead of taking his soul, and that makes Cloot mad. Cloot also reveals that Charlie's parents were really a pimp and a prostitute, and he takes him to Hell.
The story ends on a goof.
It's an odd mix of silliness, seriousness, and Satanism. Too much on the silly side for my tastes, but it still manages to be one of the better annuals this year.
Back-up number one is a saga style recap of the X-Factor characters' history disguised as a story about Val Cooper reviewing their files. A vaguely menacing final panel showing Val smirking and talking about how she can put the information to good use indicates that this takes place while something is odd about her (after X-Factor #87).
A second back-up shows Strong Guy trying to help rescue people from a train wreck. Unfortunately everyone is already dead, but he manages to rescue a puppy.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP don't seem to consider this Cloot to be the same one that appears in the Hulk story, but the Appendix does and it's pretty clearly him - he looks the same and he references a grudge against the Hulk. And that means he's really Satannish.
The MCP have this story after X-Factor #91 and the back-ups directly after the main story. Polaris is wearing her new costume. Random only appears in a flashback so he isn't listed as a Character Appearing.
Crossover: 1993 Annuals
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCarnivore (Dick Chalker), Havok, Madrox the Multiple Man, Number One Fan (Rick Chalker), Polaris, Quicksilver, Satannish, Strong Guy, Valerie Cooper, Vic Chalker, Wolfsbane
As I recall, when Charon summons the Chalker Brothers, Strong Guy says something along the lines of "Only we could have a bunch of greatest enemies we've never heard of!" :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 19, 2016 2:18 PM
And then Rhane responds "Sir, are ye sure you haven't confused us with X-Force? Everybody else does."
Posted by: ChrisW | October 19, 2016 2:53 PM
Not that I want to start a serious social discussion here, but being a prostitute makes you damnation-worthy? I thought Peter David was too liberal for this kind of thing...
Anyway, Charon's parents were shot by Random years ago... Hmm. I suppose it doesn't square with the later reveal that Random is just a kid, does it?
Posted by: Piotr W | October 19, 2016 3:51 PM
I've had this comics for years and just realized that CHArlie RONalds = Charon.
Posted by: Bonez | October 19, 2016 6:12 PM
@Piotr- well, he's never called Random in the story. Maybe Random took elements of his bounty hunter persona from an existing super-villain he saw on TV or something?
Posted by: Michael | October 19, 2016 8:25 PM
Madrox will kill Mellencamp pretty much the same way in next year's Fatal Attractions crossover in a scene that is surprisingly gory for a code approved book.
Posted by: Red Comet | October 20, 2016 2:19 PM
Random could have been the 90's Punisher...luckily that didn't happen; instead, we got Deadpool.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | October 20, 2016 8:41 PM
Maybe Random took elements of his bounty hunter persona from an existing super-villain he saw on TV or something?
These being the X-Books, I'd have bet on a complex time-travel explanation, probably by Fabian Nicieza.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 22, 2016 10:23 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|