X-Factor (Vol. 3) #8

Background

After reality was restored after the "House of M", most of the world's mutant population lost their powers, leaving only 198 mutants with their powers. This event was named "Decimation" or M-Day. Of the mutants that have lost their powers, Quicksilver (who had orchestrated the House Of M) had the most difficulty adjusting to his new life.

After he tries to jump off a building, his ex-wife Crystal of the Inhumans takes him to their lunar stronghold where he is allowed to recover. He begs their leader Black Bolt to be transformed into an Inhuman via the Terrigen Mists. Black Bolt refuses his request, explaining that the Terrigen Crystals have an unpredictable affect on non-Inhumans. Quicksilver does it anyway and gains the ability to jump forward in time for very short periods. He brings the crystals to Earth with the intent of restoring the powers to the mutants affected by the Decimation.

Quicksilver soon learns that Black Bolt was wise to refuse him as the mutants he tries to help are changed in unpredictable ways, none for the better. This begins a complex sequence of events the result in the government seizing most of the crystals and the Inhumans declaring war on the United States. Quicksilver secludes himself and absorbs the metamorphic properties of the crystals and continues on his self-appointed mission.

Another result of the Decimation event is the reformation of X-Factor as a private investigation firm. They have established themselves in what is commonly referred to as "Mutant Town", a safe haven for depowered mutants. X-Factor serves as the guardians of Mutant Town while they try to uncover the truth behind Decimation.

The current roster for X-Factor is: Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man), Guido Carosella (Strong Guy), Theresa Rourke Cassidy (Siryn), Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane), Monet St. Croix (M), a depowered Rictor, and the enigmatic teen Layla Miller. Layla was a mutant whose powers manifested just prior to Decimation. Stripped of her original powers, she now shows precognitive abilities and a penchant for giving cryptic answers to relatively simple questions.

Last issue Cyclops stopped by to inform Siryn that her father Banshee had died, he warned the rest of X-Factor about Quicksilver and his new mission.

Story 'Collision Course'

  X-Factor (Vol. 3) #8
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Dennis Calero
Inker: Dennis Calero
Cover Art: Ryan Sook
Lettering: VC's Cory Petit
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia

Inside the brownstone that houses X-Factor Investigations, the group discusses whether or not Quicksilver would appear in Mutant Town. Outside Layla is reading Atlas Shrugged on the sidewalk as Quicksilver approaches the front door. She nonchalantly grabs a rock and throws it at two depowered mutants, hitting one of them in the back of the head. When they turn around, she blames Quicksilver. They immediately begin to chase him away from the X-Factor building.

After Jaime and Guido leave for an unspecified errand, Siryn, M, and Rictor discuss the recently passed Superhuman Registration Act. Siryn points out that this particular bill has its origins in the Mutant Control Act and is furious that J. Jonah Jameson is praising this act as a necessary first step. Jamie calls back in and suggests that they ask other non-mutant heroes about M-Day.

After Siryn leaves, one of Madrox's independent duplicates arrives. Years go he got a job working for the Federal government with Val Cooper. He introduces himself as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. requesting they register with the SHRA.

Outside one of the depowered mutants from earlier return, ecstatic that Pietro has restored his flying ability. Layla is angry as that was not how it was supposed to happen. Her actions were supposed to prompt Pietro to time-skip into an oncoming truck, not restore their powers. The flyer then realizes he can't land and loses control over his abilities, flying away helplessly.

Elsewhere Jamie and Guido meet with Dr. Malcolm Modern, an underground genetic expert that has completed tests on the DNA samples they acquired from Damian Tryp and his son, owners of rival Singularity Investigations, who recently assaulted Siryn although they can't prove it. When asked about the two samples, Modern responds that there are not two separate samples, they originate from the same person.

In another part of town, Siryn finds Spider-Man stopping a robbery and provides some assistance. When he lands on the rooftop to thank her in person, Siryn comments on a statement the thief made in regard to the SHRA. At this point they debate the issue Spider-Man taking the "pro" side, Siryn the "anti" side. Using Spider-Man's comment about the need for complete honesty, she uses her sonic powers of suggestion (like the mythological sirens) to convince him to tell her everything he knows about M-Day. The temporarily lovestruck Spider-Man complies.

Rahne returns to XFI and meets Jamie's dupe, who explains he's here to request she register in compliance with the SHRA as have Monet and Rictor.

Siryn calls Jamie and relays what Spider-Man told her about M-Day. The X-Men have been intentionally keeping them in the dark about what happened. He instructs her to meet them back at XFI.

Quicksilver reappears at the X-Factor brownstone and has a conversation with Layla about her actions. He warns her to stay out of his way in the future.

General Comments

This was a very complex issue building upon the events that started after the House of M crossover. The recap page helps somewhat but there is a lot of information needed to fully appreciate what is going on. There are many sub-plots going on here. Some of which are specific to X-Factor, some to the X-titles, and of course the Civil War event.

Peter David does a good job juggling these elements while injecting some much appreciated comedy into this story. The scene with Siryn and Spider-Man was amusing, but I do have a small complaint. I would have preferred to have some sort of editorial footnote explaining that Siryn was now capable of influencing people. I had to rely on Wikipedia to explain that. Perhaps that's their intention - to let online sources explain everything so they no longer have to. If that is the case, I feel sad.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Very complex issue but an interesting read. This may prove to be a critical issue for the X-titles as a rift may form between the X-factions.

Footnote

The House of M event began - appropriately - in House Of M #1.

Quicksilver's new mission was detailed in Son of M #1.