Crossroads Alpha: Indie Haven Muse Hack Psycho Drive-In Seventh Sanctum

X-Factor #37

A comic review article by: Shawn Hill
Plot: Everyone's mental illnesses are growing worse, so Val Cooper picks an inopportune moment to stick her nose in to raise the pressure. Also, Longshot is here for some reason. Why again?

Comments: Longshot? I mean, of all the characters? This one works best in a silly swashbuckling adventure. What's he going to do amongst the doom and gloom goth crowd that David's nebbish group of outsider mutants and their hangers-on has become in the wake of Decimation I couldn't tell you.

You know what? I miss the Skrulls. The Skrull crossover with She-Hulk (a title similarly prone to suffering sad sacks, but somehow usually more lively than this one due to all the girl-bonding and punching of things) brought some needed energy to this title, which was always meant to be noir but has been too down for far too long.

Jamie still doesn't know his own personality, despite having infinite bodies to explore every facet of it. Now he's obsessing that he might have a killer instinct, and not stopping to realize he has a litany of reasons to seek vengeance. Guido experiences physical pain while using his power, we're reminded. Monet has never met a foe or friend she didn't feel superior too, making her a boor with Superman's power set. Calling Doc Samson, stat! Your therapy is still required!

Val Cooper, meanwhile gets her jollies annoying a pregnant girl who quite rightly points out she retained her mutant abilities, and they can be lethal on a whim. A Scottish hair trigger whim. I'm not sure what the point of Val's harassment is … isn't she supposed to be a master manipulator trying to get something out of her charges in the mutant world, always working an angle? Why lay all your cards on the table if it won't help you achieve a clear goal? It's just perversity.

Darwin's the other new addition to the cast, picked up by David now that Brubaker's done with him. Darwin, however, is a reaction machine, far too cerebral and passive (and overpowered) to be much use amongst a talky crew all carrying their own burdens of angst.

These guys need a shot of fun, soon. They need for something to go right. The quirky oddities of time travel, anti-mutant foes, terrorist cells and malevolent future selves all provided entertaining distractions, but the villain post-Skrulls seems colorless, and the misery is just getting masochistic. Wanda, please, it's time: some more mutants!

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