BY MATT TUCK
As the X-Men’s VH1 fashion show winds down, X-Factor #10 has lit up the secondary market. Just don’t expect the values to hold long term. WARNING: SPOILERS FOR X-FACTOR #10.
Written by Leah Williams
Art by David Baldeon, Lucas Werneck, and David Messina
If you ever wanted to know what the X-Men would be like on VH1, X-Factor #10 and the Hellfire Gala have you covered.
The hype for this issue has helped it rack up impressive sales numbers, but ultimately that will be in vain. X-Factor #10 is more or less a stepping stone, laying the path to the upcoming “Trial of Magneto.” The murder at the end of the comic simply didn’t hit at an emotional level, and that’s not necessarily Williams’ fault. It is a sign of the times; death means very little in the world of superhero comics, and marquee characters often bite the proverbial dust.
The overall problem with the comic was a combination of trivial, corny dialogue with artwork that was too cartoony for what was meant to be a mature topic.
As the X-Men transitioned away from the “X of Swords” crossover event, they moved into yet another inter-title crossover, the Hellfire Gala. The hype surrounding the event was generated by the redesigned character models and extravagant costumes. Colossus turned the most heads with his trendy beard and haircut and a new outfit that looked like he joined Durmstrang and was ready to put his name into the Goblet of Fire.
This comic did it’s job of establishing the groundwork for the Trial of Magneto. In the closing moments of the story, Tommy stumbles upon the body of his mother, Scarlet Witch. The attention immediately turned to Magneto as the prime suspect, hence the Trial of Magneto.
Since Mutants can’t actually die and, well, this is a superhero comic where death is far from a finality, it didn’t mean much to me. Surprising? A little. Shocking? Not really.
FROM A COLLECTING STANDPOINT
At the moment, collectors are experiencing the FOMO effect in full force. All four covers have been selling in droves on eBay. The standard edition seems to have settled on about $15, though it was approaching $30 leading up to the June 30 release date. This is all purely based on hype, and a death issue rarely holds its values for the aforementioned reasons. Hardly anyone stays dead in comics, so there’s no doubt Scarlet Witch will be back soon. After all, she is a major player in the coming slate of MCU movies, and Marvel will want her front and center on the comics to promote those appearances.
THE DEEPER ANALYSIS
Leading to that moment, the story focused on Prodigy, who was recently resurrected after being murdered by a homophobic serial killer.
On the plus side, the story embraced what the X-Men were always meant to be at its core: representing the plighted, fringed groups of society that have largely been persecuted. The trouble was that it was not interesting, and the artwork felt too childish for a comic focusing on a high-profile murder and a serial killer. This was very much a “woke” comic, which would be fine if there was more time put into telling a compelling story with better dialogue.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.