On a snowy Saturday afternoon in early 1992, my friend Jason and I ventured out into the raging storm for a much-needed visit to New England Comics. Normally we only made it to the comic store three or four times year, so it was a big deal whenever we had the chance to go.
We even spent the night before making lists of what we wanted to find during our visit. I think we even wrote down stuff we both knew neither one of us could afford at that time.
This time out, Jason’s mom was kind enough to drive us to the New England Comics in Quincy. She dropped us off across from the store and went off to her own thing while Jason and I browsed the comic bins.
One of the many things I had written down on my list was to keep an eye open for X-Factor issues #60-68. The last issues featuring the original X-Factor team. Sadly, I only found X-Factor #67 in the bins. I was happy to see the comic, but I was surprised that it cost $10.00.
That price seemed extremely high for a comic that was only a few months old. It wasn’t even the final issue with the original team, but it did feature art by Whilce Portacio. That made me guess that perhaps the imminent launch of Image Comics has jacked up the prices on all the books featuring work by the Image guys, but who really knows?
Anyways, X-Factor #67 featured the story “Lunar Opposition!” and guest-starred the Inhumans. The issue was written by Whilce Portacio, Jim Lee, and Chris Claremont. The art chores were by Whilce Portacio and the highly underrated Art Thibert. X-Factor #67 saw the final battle on the moon to decide the future for mutants and mankind. X-Factor and the Inhumans must come together to face the hordes of Apocalypse. To add more intrigue to the story, the battle takes place in the same place where the Phoenix dies.
Along the way, Ship (X-Factor’s HQ) blows up. I was sad to see this happen, as Ship had always been a favorite of mine. Luckily Ship retained the core parts of its systems, but I don’t remember if Ship was ever mentioned again after this issue. It was also revealed that Askani is from the future, trying to change her past in order to save her present. X-Factor #67 wraps up with a bonus prologue featuring a new villain named Shinobi. Despite his cool intro, I never took Shinobi as a legit threat to the X-Men.
The story in the issue is fine, though at the time I was a little lost since this was part 3 of that particular tale. The real highlight of X-Factor #67 was the art by Whilce Portacio. All the X-Men art teams of this era are remembered, but Portacio is often overlooked. For me, he had the most detailed art our of all them. Whether it’s backgrounds or vehicles, Portacio gave everything a ton of detail. Each of his characters had distinct looks, and his art never looked rushed. In fact, I learned to draw hair by studying his art in Uncanny X-Men.
I read X-Factor #67 in the entrance of New England Comics while Jason finished his shopping. From there were walked up Hancock Street to a Dunkin’ Donuts. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather, Dunkin’ Donuts was packed. Worse yet, they were out of chocolate donuts. Left with no other option, Jason and I walked next door to a Baskin-Robbins.
This wasn’t a great day for ice cream, but at least they hadn’t run out of it. But they had run out of tables, so Jason and I ended up sitting on a bench between the Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts. Whenever someone would walk by they would look at us, probably wondering why these two idiots were eating ice cream in the middle of a snowstorm.
All in all, it was a fun day. The storm made it even more memorable, and the ice cream bit was unexpected, to say the least. And I found a comic I really wanted, and even if I overpaid, . I was glad to have it in my collection. Jason and I even got pizza from Papa Ginos afterward. As I said, this was a good day.