Thursday, 20 February 2014

X-Factor #63-#64: Drake out of Hell

X-Factor #63-#64 is a massive tonal shift from the doom-soaked epic of the X-Tinction agenda.  Instead we have a happy light story about the abduction of Opal,  Bobby's lover, by her blood grandfather, who turns out to be the head of a major Japanese crime syndicate. 

They the the snatch right there while Bobby is watching, but he can't do a thing to stop them (well, no successful thing anyway).  Although he is all "this is something I have to [do myself]", he is persuaded to allow the rest of X-Factor to come along for the first half, and also relies upon the help of Mariko, Wolverine's former flame and head of a rival Japanese crime syndicate.  It helps to have the right friends. (X-Men, man!)

When this was a Wolverine story, it was stained in blood and angst. Because it's Iceman, there's a limit to that: Opal's kidnapper is being explicitly generous with the terms of her abduction, and she even gets to pick which one of the five technically-enhanced goons (called - get this - "cyberpunks") he will force her to marry.  Isn't that charming, it's almost like a romantic comedy - especially with Hiro, the most well-sketched of them.  He didn't always want to be a cyberpunk,  you know, he has a poet's soul.

Opal gets some good bits, although they are scarce.  She is openly defiant initially, but then realises playing along might help, bidding her time until she can execute her plan.  A plan, which sadly, turns out to not involve any ass-kicking by her - just screaming for help at the right moment and hoping.  But at great personal risk.  It's agency, of a kind.

Bobby is not the wisest of the X-Men (hardly, it must be admitted, a high bar), and ends up in a a solo fight with this Hiro, having both agreed not to useI should hate this comic.  I wonder why I don't. their powers.  Love can make you do all sorts of things you might not have when you're sober, it turns out.  Bobby takes a pummelling  and Hiro somehow realises that he's not really deactivated his powers, they were built in.  For a minion of a major gangster, he's not a bad sort, so he lets the crazy kids go.  And only hours after he had been scaring her into marrying him.  Isn't that sweet?  

1 comment:

  1. I think the relative brevity of this story helps it; dragged out to three (or more) parts, it would probably become interminable. Two issues is just enough space for it to do its thing without overstaying it's welcome, and while it might not be the most groundbreaking or exciting story, well, it's only two issues anyway.