Sorry for my sudden disappearance, but a terrible storm ripped through my neck of the woods yesterday and I've been sans electricity for awhile. I got to catch up on some reading (started AND finished The Long Walk by Stephen King er... Richard Bachman) and take a look at the glut of good comics that came out this Wednesday.
I'll be reviewing the choicest of the bunch a little later, but for now, let's talk about a little book called X-Factor.
First of all, if you haven't been reading this book you are missing out. Oh sure, it's got an "X" in the title, which usually means its mediocre at best. And yes, it shares the name of a 90's comic that wasn't always the greatest. But under the mindful hand of legend Peter David, this self-proclaimed "noir" take on mutants is constantly entertaining and oozes wit, charm and above all else-- characters worth reading about.
Second of all, if you haven't been reading this book you might want to go home because we're in SPOILER territory from here on out.
Okay, are we alone now?
Let's talk about THIS PANEL for a second.
For those of you just joining the game, that is indeed Shatterstar and Rictor, finally locking lips after all of these years. Is Marvel finally letting this relationship come out of the closet, or is this just a big hoax at our expense?
If you need a recap, Shatterstar and Rictor were once teammates in the pages of X-Force. While the two were always that special kind of close, the official word was that they were just good friends and did not have romantic feelings for one another.
Meanwhile, in the pages of the new X-Factor, Rictor has gone through some hard times after losing his powers in M-Day. He broods, he gets depressed, he even thinks of suicide, but somehow he keeps going. The most recent story-arc has Rictor and Guido tracking down a duplicate of Jamie Madrox in order to get some answers as to where he currently is. They're attacked by Shatterstar, who is being possessed by some new villain named Cortex. After breaking off the possession, Shatterstar is surprised to see Rictor and greets his "good friend" with a steamy kiss. Guido's like "WTF" and we fade to black.
Consider me both shocked and giddy to see where this goes. There are two possibilities. One, that they're finally ready to make this OTP a canon thing. Two, that they're just waiting to retcon the whole thing away at the beginning of next month's issue. Maybe Shatterstar was still possessed, or maybe he was coming onto Rictor and the feelings were not shared.
Either way, I trust Peter David. Whatever angle he's playing here, it's going to make for some interesting storytelling. Was all of the brooding and suicidal tendecies just a result of Rictor's sexual identity issues? Is this just Shatterstar's asexuality coming to the surface? Anyway you look at it, the next few months are going to be interesting over at X-Factor Investigations.