X-Factor #257 Review

X-Factor #257

Written by: Peter David
Art by: Neil Edwards and Carmen Carnero

Typically after a highly action-oriented finale, Peter David slows things down with a personal, character-driven issue. X-Factor #257 is a surprising offering, in that it continues to push characters, in this case Layla Miller, to her physical limits even after the cataclysmic Hell On Earth War. While this issue isn’t as calm as I had expected, it shows that X-Factor still has a lot of good fight in them before the series ends.

This issue saw Layla Miller track down her recently demonically transformed husband, Jamie Madrox. Even though Layla narrated the issue, the story focuses a lot on a boy and his father in Morocco who are using Madrox as a token offering to bring back their loved one from the grave.

While the situation sounds traumatic for the family, it didn’t reach the kind of emotional resonance that comes from other situations the team has faced. It isn’t until the boy is killed that we finally get a sense of the gravity of his, and Layla’s situation.With part one of the final arc, David shows readers that the consequences of Hell On Earth War won’t be revealed through the team coping with their loses, but rather, through the side effects of resolutions.

Edwards and Carnero take over Kirk’s duties on the art side, but likely due to Edwards filling in multiple times in the past, the transition is seamless. Edwards and Carnero craft shocking visuals of the demonic conflict, while grounding the story in the reality that X-Factor exists in.

X-Factor #257 doesn’t make the series feel like its reaching its end, but rather indicates that there is much more chaos to be endured for the team. I look forward to how future character-focused issues fare, and if this issue is anything like what’s to come, horrific consequences can be expected for the team.

Final Score: 8.3/10