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Fan Expo Canada 2009

Fan Expo Canada '09: X-Factor #200

Peter David discusses X-Factor's big anniversary and move back to the big city

By Kevin Mahadeo

If there's something wrong in your Marvel neighborhood, who're you going to call? X-Factor Investigations, that's who, as beginning with December's X-FACTOR #200 the members of the mutant detective agency return to New York City.

"It made perfect sense when we originally conceived the series for [X-Factor] to focus on the needs of the mutant population, but when the mutant population was cut down, it [was] like trying to do a medical show on a condition that only one person in 25 billion may have," explains writer Peter David of the change in setting. "There's only so much you can do with that kind of medical show. So, we've decided to go from being a specialist to a general practitioner."

David likens the series' new direction to the older days of the Marvel Universe when if a denizen needed a lawyer, Matt Murdock inevitably took the case, or if a hero hailed a cab, Moon Knight's alter ego Jake Lockley drove them to their destination. With the move back to New York, David plans on positioning X-Factor Investigations as the go-to guys for those in need of a detective agency. Their first super-powered customer comes knocking in the very first arc, "The Invisible Woman Has Vanished."

"You ever seen these detective shows where a little kid comes walking in and puts down his quarter and says, 'I need to hire you because there's something wrong with my mommy'? Same deal," says David. "They're hired by Franklin Richards. Encyclopedia Brown jokes will abound."

As the Fantastic Four's resident boy genius and son of the Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic, Franklin joins up with Jamie Madrox and his crew as they try to uncover the mystery of missing mom. David compares

X-FACTOR art by David Yardin
the character of Franklin to that of Chris Knight as played by a young Val Kilmer in the 1985 movie "Real Genius": a bizarre combination of pure brilliance and uncanny eccentricity, one moment building a high-tech laser and the next at a job interview sporting a pair of bunny slippers.

"The concept that somebody is an incredible genius but also acts like a child makes perfect sense because they tend to look at the world in a different way and that certainly seems to be like Franklin," says David. "And the great thing is that if Franklin acts like a child, the response is going to be, 'Franklin, stop acting like a child.' But he is a child!"

As for the sizeable X-Factor cast, who spent the last year participating in three seemingly separate storylines that eventually converged, David says that while all the title's characters appear in the very first issue, they won't necessarily all be in the same place. However, the writer promises that he plans to stream a plot together that eventually reunites the entire team. Similarly, the move to New York also allows for more guest appearances in the book, whether in the form of brief cameos or as potential clientele. In fact, David teases that longtime fans should prepare themselves for the possible reappearance of a former X-Factor cast member: the silver-haired speedster Quicksilver.

"I think it's safe to say that they will cross paths at some point."

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[color=seagreen] Okay, Magus. Hate evryone about Shatty.Now let's discuss about Frank and how he should be older than eleven and way taller than Valeria (even if he's kept at 7 years old).If he's not, perhaps you can join me in hating Marvel for changing him since he never gave any indications he would reverse to 7 years old and 4 years old height (unless you count that one time he grew old ahd had beard and everything and Invisible Girl had to save the day).[/color]


Boy genius building lasers? Odd since they've been depicting him as having a regular level IQ in the FF books, in contrast to Valeria as a 3 year old genius (drawn like 5 or 6) and, as mentioned above, he's been drawn like a 7 year old of late (and that at least might be maintained). Where's the immense need to depict him so differently here?As for Shatterstar, I'm guessing many are afraid of commenting outright against a supposed marked advancement in depiction, equality and inclusion and all that, but while I can't speak for Shatterstar's orientation, I'd hazard a guess that it wasn't a case of Northstar-like closeted treatment; rather, as you said, he was merely not equipped to deal with non-combat stimulation - with such, he could've gone either way. Rictor, however, may have needed a bit more developing to send in that direction, since, he was actually just sexually involved with Rahne (not that bi-sexuality was impossible, or is ruled out, as Daken illustrates). The p.d.a. was indeed a left field thing even if they want to call it otherwise, and even if they've had feelings for each other before then, it was definitely not precursory to showing out like that in any sense. It's also claimed that the groundwork was there and not a fanfic thing, but that is exactly what it was, and it's mostly when comics change things abruptly (for diversity, by perceived popular demand, etc.) instead of making them developments that the issues arise, since in this day and age, orientation is supposed to be a media non-issue ~ but characterization and story development is not. I'd have rather PAD not said anything about it in his previous Marvel News article than insist it wasn't something given for that demographic and to be diverse (and probably was to generate buzz too).


you mean they blurt out the word G*A*Y* but will make a character in their comics that way even more disgusted now I did not use a derogatory term


I am super ticked off at marvel and the writer of this book for making shatterstar and rictor gay as shatter star was one of my favorite marvel characters in this and there was NEVER any precedent for them being gay they were best friends not gay men rictor in fact was very into women in new mutants and x force and shatterstar just wasn't equipped with emotional response so he tripped out when a girl grabbed him down there in a club and made him feel feelings he hadn't felt before so he didn't know how to respond . Shatter Star was my favorite character until this and I was disappointed he had fallen into disuse but I would have rather him been killed off then completely changed his character like this and his swords come out of his sleeves now wtf? this is total crap..................really this thing with him and rictor frenching and hugging on each other made me furious this is not a=how a genetically bred warrior born is supposed to behave I think marvel is to busy trying to reach out to ther demographics that they neglect the characters might this net some guy fans probably so will it lose even more fans like me who did like shatterstar as a ruthless warrior and not a gay make out partner for rictor who was a womanizer before this? probably


[color=seagreen] I love Frank!But will this be the "7 year old only a few centimeters taller than his sister" Frank or the 11-13 year old boy he should be?[/color]


How awesome would it be to see quicksilver in x-factor again"In fact, David teases that longtime fans should prepare themselves for the possible reappearance of a former X-Factor cast member: the silver-haired speedster Quicksilver."I think it's safe to say that they will cross paths at some point.