X-Factor #258 Review

X-Factor #258

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

X-Factor #258 daringly puts a spotlight on minor character John Madrox, and sadly, makes for one of the weaker offerings the series has given over the past couple years. While the character’s narration is only a guide into Rahne Sinclar’s story, her development in this issue is jagged when compared to other one-off stories David has done. While this issue has its problems, it still makes for an endearing installment in X-Factor’s last days.

I’m all for cartoony characters gaining depth over the years. Take Hank, from Breaking Bad, for example. They’re my favourite kinds of characters; the ones who were crafted for one-liners but become layered creations. Unfortunately, John Madrox is not the kind of character. The Madrox dupe gone stray and turned pastor, returns in this issue to establish where Rahne has gone since the conclusion of Hell On Earth War. His narration is overly expository, and does little to add meaning to the events, particularly the church shooting.

Rahne’s scene in the arctic is powerful, even though it touches on out-there supernatural conflicts that haven’t been clearly defined in the X-Factor world, but manages to make me believe for the story’s purposes that there are various gods representing Wolfsbane, Banshee and even the 7 Hell Lords.

I felt friction in the progression of this issue when Guido showed up, out of nowhere. Yes, he’s an omnipotent figure now, but his placement felt jarring, and didn’t give Rahne enough of an arc in this issue to come to terms with her loss.

Rahne’s inevitable fate at the end of the issue is touching, having now committed herself to John Madrox’s ministry, but the path to getting there in this issue felt a little too speedy. This story could have really used another issue, or less of the action sequence at the beginning, to give X-Factor #258 the real Wolfsbane closure the character deserved. Otherwise, the character is laid to rest in a logical manner, true to what David has crafted for her over the course of the series.

Score: 7.0/10