"The Butterfly Defect"
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Dennis Calero
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It's all gone horribly, horribly wrong.
I really wanted to like this series. I gave it plenty of fair chances to win me over despite the House of M tie-in, the complete rehauling of the premise, and the presence of Layla ex Machina.
Six issues in, it's becoming painfully apparent that what's wrong with this series won't be righted any time soon. This entire issue is devoted to the mystery of Layla, during which we learn absolutely nothing of value that isn't ambiguous or disputed in one way or another. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast ponders the mystery of Siryn's assault - a question we've known the answer to since issue #4.
The biggest problem with X-Factor is that Peter David kick-started this series with half a dozen subplots, all competing for space. But most of those storylines have grinded to a halt: Rictor's trauma, Madrox's "split personalities," the state of Mutant Town... the book is spinning its wheels, and it's barely past its debut arc. So where's the hook? PAD isn't using the history between the characters, he's not using the investigative angle (the previous "mystery" was resolved by M mind-reading the witness - not exactly an Agatha Christie moment), and he's not even using his own story concepts, since this book spun out of "Decimation" and has impending tie-ins to Deadly Genesis and Civil War. Why should we stick around for an Angel pastiche that doesn't even try to distinguish itself?
It's not enough to assure your readers that it'll all make sense someday: not in this market, not when there are so many alternatives available that can tease future developments and provide actual stories while we wait. This is why Fallen Angel failed, and it's pretty evident that no lessons were learned.
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