Three X-Men comics were in stores last week on September 9th: Marauders #12, X-Factor #3, and X-Force #12. In this column, we recap them all. It's pretty simple, really.
"Why do you bother writing this column?" – a commenter last week
Well, rude commenter, for a few reasons. First of all, because I can, I earned it, after a decade of toiling in the miserable, underpaid, and thankless field of comics "journalism" and punditry. If I feel like keeping an ongoing X-Men column going even though I'm otherwise writing mostly about pro wrestling, then I'm going to. And anyone would be happy to run it.
As to why I feel like doing it, though I don't see anything to gain for myself in continue to repeat the same messages about how to fix this dumb industry that no one listened to for ten years, I still might have something I really want to say about this garbage dump of a business on occasion. And dammit, I still love my X-Men. I love wrestling and comics in the same way – as ongoing soap operas with punching. I don't really care about the art or the message or the craft. I just care about the story. As long as Marvel keeps publishing them, I'll keep reading them. I've been through much darker times of X-Men reading, after all. Like Victor Gischler's run.
So I keep this column open. I think of it a lot like Wolverine having two dicks, one for f**cking and one for making love. Sure, most of the time, he's interested in making love to Jean Grey, but occasionally he wants to dip his penis into Cyclops' butthole. And who are you to tell him he can't, bub?
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
(W) Leah Williams (A) David Baldeon (CA) Ivan Shavrin
DROWNING IN THE STREAM! Every streamer in the Mojoverse is desperate to get a little of the X-magic on their channel, but all X-Factor wants to do is figure out who murdered a Krakoan citizen.
In Shops: Sep 09, 2020
X-Factor #3 Recap
X-Factor defeats another team on Headshot TV, the Mojoverse version of Twitch, winning an interview on Spiral's livestream, where they announce who they are and why they are here: to investigate a dead mutant. They ask Spiral to turn off the stream so they can chat, but she doesn't. They want to know the identity of the dead girl. Her identity was hidden to nonsubscribers of Headshot TV. Spiral brings up Prodigy's old high school friends before taking a commercial break.
During the commercials (I feel like I'm recapping Smackdown again), Prestige tries to convince mutant Ginny Guzman, who is working for Spiral, to return with them to Krakoa, but she isn't into it. Finally, with the commercial break over, Spiral plays X-Factor and her viewers a video of Wind Dancer being murdered. X-Factor is getting tired of this nonsense and demand answers, so Spiral teleports them to to a fighting arena.
Back on Krakoa, at the Boneyard, X-Factor's phallic headquarters, Aurora walks the halls with Amazing Baby (Rachel's pet hellhound). She runs into Daken, and they eat a snack while flirting and talking about Pokemon, but Aurora runs off when Daken asks what's up with the guy she was hooking up with in Bellingham (where she was killed in issue #1 – try to keep up).
Back in the Mojoverse, X-Factor fights their way up to the top floor of the fighting pit stream they're on to find the stream belongs to… Shatterstar? Shatterstar is the top streamer on Headshot TV, and he's the one who sent the package to X-Factor to get them to come here.
Shatterstar is acting weird. He seems to be into all of this. But he does reveal a lot of details. He claims Wind Dancer died willingly to increase stream viewers or something. Mojo wanted to use her corpse to make more mutant clones, but Shatterstar convinced him to wait until they could get a replacement from Krakoa. He takes X-Factor to meet Arize, who makes the clones. Then he brings them to Wind Dancer's autopsy. Polaris tries to figure out whether Shatterstar is okay, as she has picked up on the fact that he can't speak freely. He tells her hello in Krakoan and gives her a look, seemingly confirming her suspicions.
X-Factor steals Wind Dancer's body and prepares to leave. They offer to take Shatterstar with them, but he can't come (and acts like he doesn't want to). They promise to come back for him.
We see a prose page which is transcriptions of messages Shatterstar has been broadcasting outside of the Mojoverse explaining what's been going on, how Wind Dancer came to the Mojoverse to become a streamer, but how she and Shatterstar agreed that Mojo couldn't be allowed access to her X-gene. Shatterstar isn't doing too well mentally.
Then there's another two pages of prose stuff, a report from Aurora about all the Headshot TV she'd been watching while X-Factor were off on their mission. Major Domo has an ASMR stream. Arize broadcasts a meditation stream. And Adam-X, the X-Treme, runs a channel where he comments on videos of people dying. Adam X the X-Treme is… an entertainment journalist!
The book ends with Storm, Psylocke, Domino, Gwenpool, and Mystique being transported to and back from the Fortnite crossover.
Remember how, with the first issue, I talked about how the opening issue was abrupt but set a fast pace for this book? Well, that continues here. This issue swiftly established a pretty robust new status quo for the Mojoverse and for various characters currently dwelling in it, all in the form of this parody of Twitch, though parody is a generous description. The Mojoverse has always meant to satirize human mass entertainment, but I feel like the difference between the over-the-top portrayals back in the day and today is that there's a lot less room between reality and satire, though that's more of a commentary on the world we live in in 2020 than the book itself. In any case, I enjoyed this issue of X-Factor, and they better get Shatterstar the hell out of the Mojoverse soon!
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This post is part of a multi-part series: X-ual Healing X-Men Recaps for the Week of September 9th, 2020.