The End Is Near! Repent! Well at least the end of X-Factor is near. With the series ending on issue #262 (and 2 being released a month) we’re only a couple months away from this hidden gem being gone for good. Last issue was a focus on Layla Miller and where she’ll be ending up. When the ‘Hell on Earth War’ storyline ended, we didn’t really get any focus on how the characters played out as it was just briefly touched on with Layla. Looks like that is how they are going to be covering all of the characters as it is briefly touched on with Rahne in this one.

Yes, that means this issue’s focus is squarely on Rahne, though longtime fans of the series are going to get a bonus character you probably wouldn’t have expected to see. Though once he appears on page it’s fitting how he plays out.

We open not with Rahne who is this issue’s main character, but with Rev. John Maddox. (John Maddox is one of Maddox’s dupes that he choose to never reabsorb and who became a minister.) When Rahne first appears, she is nearly feral from the loss of her son. While she protects Maddox, she vanishes out a window just as quickly as she appeared – out of thin air – to save him. How exactly did Rahne appear? Well for this part we do get a brief overview of some of the events after the Hell on Earth War saga. We flashback to Rahne being in Antarctica.

She was freezing to death and hallucinating that her son was safely in Valhalla with his father. That lasted very briefly before Guido, the new Lord of Hell, showed up. With Guido having to kill Rahne’s son to secure his place as the absolute ruler of Hell, she isn’t exactly going to be too happy to see him. It’s quite amazing how much their two roles have reversed over the run of this series. Guido was once the fun guy and Rahne had no control of her killer instincts. These days Guido is a soulless Lord of Hell and Rahne is a grieving mother. While they are clearly no longer friends by any stretch, Guido still feels that what he did to her was inexcusable – which says a lot for his current state of affairs. He tells her he is going to send her somewhere that she can truly find happiness.

This clearly happens after the introduction as he sends her to Rev. John Maddox’s church. After she returns she has a conversation with Maddox. While she isn’t sure what she wants to do, he mentions to her that he has an opening if she would like to learn a way to help people. As a mother she clearly has changed. She is no longer the tough as nails killer she once was. She has changed and openly and happily accepts Maddox’s offer.

It really is going to be the end of an era for X-Factor fans. The characters have really gone through it all, as of late, and while I’m hoping for one more moment where the team gets together, I really enjoy how they are taking these issues to each focus on a single character (or I’m sure in a couple in one of the upcoming issues). I hope this won’t mean that the full team roster is going to get shelved. I’m sure it’d be easy to forget some of them and some will need a break after the current ordeal – I just hope it’s not the true end of the characters.

I’m sure at the very least we’ll see Polaris return as her on-the-rocks main squeeze is in charge of the Uncanny Avengers at the moment. Chances are she’ll pop up there eventually. I also hope this whole deal with Guido sticks and whoever writes Mephisto into a story line next doesn’t forget whose running things down below at the moment.

I’m wondering now who we’re going to see as the focus on the next issue of ‘The End of X-Factor’.

Writer: Peter David
Artist: Neil Edwards