X-Factor annual #7
Issue(s): X-Factor annual #7
I noted how Arize just kind of wandered off at the end of part two of this Shattershot crossover. "Crossover" is actually the wrong word, since none of the characters from the various teams involved in this event actually meet each other. But this annual is X-Factor's turn to meet Arize.
Fabian Nicieza does find a good reason for X-Factor to get involved. He uses the fact that Spiral was a member of the Freedom Force team that was the precursor to this government sponsored incarnation of X-Factor. Valerie Cooper managed Freedom Force, and now she manages X-Factor. And when (the crazy and Beetles-quoting) Spiral is reported to be on a rampage on the trail of Arize...
...Cooper takes a personal interest and travels along with X-Factor to try to stop/apprehend Spiral.
Strong Guy is HUGE!
This would have been a good opportunity to delve into the backstory of how Spiral wound up with Freedom Force in the first place, but the only background information on Freedom Force given here is that they were all "convicted felons that we were trying to reform", which doesn't seem to describe Spiral (or Spider-Woman).
Note that Spiral says that the fight against Mojo will last for over a hundred years, until a "male child of a human and Arize-spawn leads the way". We'll see in the final part of this event that that refers to Shatterstar, and it seems like a pretty strong hint that Dazzler and Longshot are the parents (and, again, the name of this event is "Shattershot"). But as Michael notes in the comments, Nicieza says that wasn't his intention. As Tuomas suggests, maybe Ricochet Rita was meant to be the mother, although that would mean that Longshot is two-timing Dazzler, who we'll learn is pregnant with his baby in X-Men #11. I guess it could be Rita and a different father from the Mojoverse.
Madrox suggests that Arize and Spiral try to break the loop of their destiny and go after Mojo, and they decide to do that.
X-Factor decide that it's "not our fight", so that's basically it.
There are two cute back-up stories, one with Madrox and Wolfsbane tricking Val into giving up some concert tickets...
...and the second a kind of Calvin & Hobbes pastiche...
...where Strong Guy helps out Calvin against the bully Moe until Calvin turns out to be just as much of a bully himself.
I didn't post a lot of scans, but Joe Quesada's art, while it looks good, if stylized, in some of the individual panels, is a huge mess when it comes to telling a story or illustrating fight sequences. But at least this portion of Shattershot feels like it has an impact. We learn a little bit about Spiral, and for a change it actually feels like something coherent is going on with the rebellion against Mojo. It's not much, and most of the issue is random filler (a rehash of the mayonnaise jar gag from the regular series, a lot of fighting), but it's a little more than the first two parts.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part three of Shattershot. Part four is in X-Force annual #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showArize, Havok, Madrox the Multiple Man, Major Domo, Mojo, Polaris, Quicksilver, Spiral, Strong Guy, Valerie Cooper, Wolfsbane
Man, I do love Spiral. She's such a tragic - while crazy - character...
Posted by: Piotr W | February 23, 2016 7:07 PM
The non-resolution of the story was just frustrating. Spiral and Arize return to Mojoworld but we never find out what happened to them. They're not even mentioned in X-Men 10-11. And most annoyingly, the dialogue implies that "our" Rita has not been turned into Spiral yet by Arize but that Spiral and Arize are going to rescue her. So what happened to "our" Rita?
Posted by: Michael | February 23, 2016 8:45 PM
I haven't read these issues, but couldn't Nicieza simply have intended him to be the son of Longshot and Rita?
Posted by: Tuomas | February 24, 2016 1:58 AM
As Michael says, the most frustrating part about this issue is that it's the (abrupt) end to this whole Arize/Mojoworld rebellion plot. The X-FORCE annual jumps ahead in time, and while it kinda fills in what happens after that, we never actually see it or get much in the way of direct information, which is just...bizarre. And unsatisfying.
I'm not sure what's worse - this story, which doesn't have any crossover amongst its characters, to its detriment, or "Kings of the Pain" the previous year, which added new characters every chapter until, by the end, there was like forty different characters hanging around with nothing to do.
Posted by: Austin Gorton | February 24, 2016 9:03 AM
I knew I'd read somewhere that Spiral and Rita were supposed to be the same person stuck in a timeloop!
Posted by: ChrisW | February 24, 2016 10:19 PM
Whatever that machine is doing to Rita's crotch, I'd rather unsee it.
And Marvel sold this stuff to all ages...
Posted by: Bob | February 18, 2017 5:44 PM
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