Writer: Louise Simonson
Art: Walter Simonson
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: John Workman
Release Date: 6/23/2021
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Well, everyone, we have reached the end of our return to Louise Simonson’s run of X-Factor. In X-Men Legends #4 by Louise Simon, we are given the missing narrative of what took place between X-Factor #42 and #43 (1986). Whereas I could talk about the overall story etc., several other points stuck out to me like a sore thumb. Let’s take a look, shall we?
This issue captured the cheesiness that was in comics during the ’80s. Case in point, in an attempt to keep baby Nathan away from a killer robot, X-Factor (quite literally) launches Nathan across from various team members. This had to be something that was ok during this timeframe. I mean, could you imagine reading the latest issue of the Hellfire Gala and seeing Jubilee punt Shogo to Rogue who launches him across to Emma (who just may drop him)? Exactly! This reads like something that is ripped from an 80’s comic…which is appropriate in this instance! Louise excellently captures the overall spirit of this era with just this alone.
The Road Travelled:
X-Men comics have come far as well in terms of the overall narrative and character development. One noticeable addition that I saw throughout X-Men Legends #4, is the old school text boxes. I challenge you to dig through your old back issues or read a comic from the ’70s (or if you’re brave, an X-Men comic from the early ’90s) and you will see that each page has a box that lets the reader know what is going on. Nowadays, the reader can arrive at conclusions on their own (just check out the Summers House on the Moon). Quite literally, a picture is worth 1000 words.
Walter Simonson is a legend in the comic industry for a reason. There were several panels in this issue where again, the picture was worth 1000 words. I felt a slight twinge of annoyance seeing Jean in one of her classic poses in which she is telekinetically stopping something with her energy signature around her. Nowadays, we do not see her doing this too often. I salivated with the various sound effects that were throughout the panels ranging from BAM! and ZOOM! And of course, WHRAMMP! Whatever happened to these little quirks that were in comics? I miss them! Ultimately, from the expression of Jean using her powers to Archangel getting crushed, each panel was alive.
X-Men Legends #4 by Louise and Walter Simonson is a masterclass in capturing a specific era and feel of a comic. We were able to take revisit the original X-Factor team and look at a few missing pieces of their puzzle. This comic serves as a reminder of how far not only comics have come, but the X-Men as well. If you have read X-men Legends #3, I would recommend picking up this issue. If you have not read issue #3, I would recommend you do so before reading this issue. Lastly, for any fans of the OG X-Factor or the O5 X-Men, this is a great nostalgic read. Onward to X-Men Legends #5!