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Review: X-Factor Forever #4

The original plan was a LOT more interesting.

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Caliban leads X-Factor into Mr. Sinister's lair where they find that Apocalypse's plan for Christopher Summers is only the tip of the iceberg for the greater secret of mutants' children.

The Good

Before anything else, I want to say that the plot of mutants' offspring encountering misfortune unless there's some magic intervention is a lot more interesting than the unexceptional quality to their births that fans eventually got. It ties Cable, Legion, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into a fascinating context and it makes the mutants as a whole a lot more special. Having read the X-books as long as I have, it was a real treat to go back to this specific era as X-Factor's dealings with Apocalypse and Sinister have always captured my imagination the most out of any of the larger X-Men storylines. Panosian and Nguyen's art here even reminds me of Walt Simonson's (and I really liked their use of half-tones throughout), so this really felt like a lost issue of the original run in all respects. I should compliment Louise Simonson for keeping the feel of the script fresh to contemporary standards - - she deftly avoids the traps of "datedness" that a lot of similar projects have fallen into.

The Bad

Seeing as how this is picking up on unresolved plot lines from a run that ended close to 20 years ago, I don't know how accessible this is going to be to anybody aside from hardcore fans who've been reading the X-books for as long as I have.  I'll also say that, while having a more sympathetic Apocalypse might've make for a more three dimensional characterization, I still prefer the monstrous terror we ended up. His his unholy relationship with Sinister had much more of an mythic horror quality as opposed to the "magicians apprentice" style dynamic here.

The Verdict - 4/5

You might get lost if you aren't an expert, but this will remind readers of what the X-Men can be at their best. It's especially interesting when put next to the recent developments with Cable and Hope in Messiah Complex, as you see the earliest seeds of those bigger parts of the X-Men mythos here. And I have to say I love the art. To use music terms, it feels like a great remix or a sampling of classic vinyl.