X-Factor #43-50 (1989-1990): Judgement War


While almost everyone else was getting messed with by Loki in the Acts of Vengeance event, X-Factor went out to space to meet the Celestials on a planet where, basically, super-mutants are the dominant lifeform.  The Acts event crossover is minor here. Loki invites Apocalypse to team up, and Apocalypse says no thank you. Then they fight for a bit.  

Now to the X-Factor story, which starts when their living ship, which they took from Apocalypse, is “kidnapped” with the X-Factor folks on board.  The ship was taken by a Celestial—and by the end of the arc we learn that Ship was actually created by the Celestials.  

They go to a planet that is going through a Celestial experiment/race war between “rejects,” “perfects,” “begin-agains,” etc., and the members of X-Factor end up getting split up and going with different groups.

Yeah, we’ve seen stuff like this before in X-Men books, it’s pretty heavy handed and feels lie its recycled.

Along the way, Jean Grey has repeated issues with her “Madelyne” and “Dark Phoenix” personalities taking over.  This feels very similar to Rogue’s internal conflicts with Carol Danvers’ personality—and having two characters in mutant books wrestling with the same issues doesn’t do much for readers.  It gets resolved by having her reconcile her internal conflicts—in a fairly perfunctory way—and eliminating the Madelyne personality by the end of this arc.  Basically, in order to free X-Factor and defeat the Celestials, Jean “uses up” those other personalities.  No, it doesn’t make sense that using her powers would burn away other personalities—but it doesn’t have to.  Because we get to a good result in the end.

Also, baby Cable starts to demonstrate some of his super powers.  That’s neat.

Issue #48 is an Angel story, a fill-in by Kieron Dwyer.

Dwyer does both art and script.

Marvel Assistant Editor Greg Wright makes an appearance.

And speaking of cameos: An appearance by Professor X and the Starjammers.  I guess that happens because X-Factor is in space, and so are the Starjammers, so, why not?

Rich Buckler drew #50, with Paul Smith on the rest.

Leave a Comment