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Havok leads government mutants in Peter David’s first run on X-Factor

by Matthew Price Published: June 18, 2011

Peter David took over as writer, with Larry Stroman as artist, of “X-Factor” with issue No. 71 back in 1991.

Showing that renumbering may not have been considered as much of a boost back in the day, even though the concept of the book and cast completely changed, the numbering continued.   The book had been the home of the original five X-Men, but with that group re-integrating into the X-Men, “X-Factor” was left without a cast.

David took some castoffs from various X-titles and created the new X-Factor, a government-sponsored team of mutants (replacing the semi-villainous Freedom Force) that was led by Cyclops’ brother, Havok, aka Alex Summers. (Havok got his first big-time movie promotion as part of “X-Men First Class” this summer, though in the comics, he joined the X-Men after Cyclops.)

Havok is joined by his girlfriend, Polaris, former New Mutant Wolfsbane, and some cast-offs from other X-storylines: former bodyguard Strong Guy and former Moira McTaggert ally Jamie Madrox, the  Multiple Man.  Former villain-turned-Avenger Quicksilver, brother of the Scarlet Witch and son of Magneto, also joined the team.  Valerie Cooper is their government handler.

Over 19 issues, the team faces off against X-Men villains including Mister Sinister, and crosses over with the Hulk.  Stroman is followed on art by Jae Lee during the X-Cutioner’s Song crossover, and then future Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada takes the artistic reins.

Issues read: X-Factor 71-89; Annual 8
Incredible Hulk 391-393

Other titles recently read:

Connor Hawke: Dragon’s Blood 1-6: Chuck Dixon writes a pretty good action tale here.  Green Arrow’s son, Connor Hawke, who was himself Green Arrow for a while, is invited to an archery contest.  But there’s a deeper plot afoot.

Spider-Man 2099 1-3: Another Peter David series from the 1990s, this one mixes “Blade Runner” stylings with a futuristic take on the “Spider-Man” mythos when scientist Miguel O’Hara is exposed to a genetic engineering formula that gives him the proportionate strength and speed of a spider.

Wandering Star 8-21: Teri Sue Wood’s space adventure “Wandering Star” is one of the better independents of the 1990s, following the adventures of Casandra Andrews, daughter of Earth’s president, after Earth finds itself facing an alien invasion.  Wood has a beautiful art style and handles the interpersonal conflicts and friendships in the series with aplomb.  Wood – now Teresa Challender – is serializing the series online at her web site.  I highly recommend giving it a read.

- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011: 837  Still to go:  1174


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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