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Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk take a look at the brand-new X-Factor series, part of the All-New Marvel NOW! launch from Marvel.
“Ever wanted to get into the X-Factor but put off by how many issues there has been? Then don’t worry, because All New X-Factor #1 is the perfect jumping on point for newcomers – it might not be the best book out there right now but it certainly shows some promising signs.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
“Bit of a rough but promising start.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields
Bane of Kings:
Story: Peter David | Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico | Cover: Jared K. Fletcher
“NOT BRAND X” Part 1
X-FACTOR IS BACK…LIKE NEVER BEFORE! Serval Industries, one of the world’s most trusted names in electronics and leader in cutting-edge internet and weapons technology, has just unveiled their newest contribution to society…the All-New X-Factor. Led by mutant mistress of magnetism, Polaris, the team uses its corporate backing for the betterment of society. With her half-brother Quicksilver, notorious thief, Gambit, and more by her side, can Polaris trust that her corporate masters really have good intentions?
All New X-Factor was one of my most anticipated launches from All New Marvel Now! and it hit in the same week as Black Widow. The series was one of the longest running reads that was still ongoing recently from Marvel that reached over two hundred issues, but as seems to be the case with the publisher nowadays, any opportunity for a relaunch (even carrying on the book with the same creative team) they will seize. However, if this gave me a chance to jump on board the series that was highly praised in its third Volume, I suppose that’s a good thing, right?
This is the third version of the X-Factor introduced to the world by Peter David and deals an interesting team of characters who I’m not too familiar with. Whilst Wolverine gets an appearance early on in the series he doesn’t stick around for long, with the main focus on three characters, Polaris, Quicksilver and Gambit, and the dynamic between the three is interesting to watch when we’re introduced to the team through Gambit’s perspective, the opening scene featuring the character on a heist. I missed out on Gambit’s solo comic that was recently cancelled as well, so I was glad to see when he was included in this new series so I can follow a book featuring him, as I’ve been interested in reading more about him for a while.
The book itself works quite well as a jumping on point. The first issue is nothing especially groundbreaking and it won’t make many people’s first choice for pick of the week, or even second or third. But that’s not to say it’s a bad comic though – All New X-Factor #1 follows a standard team introduction template of have one character (Gambit) be the readers eyes into the group and Serval Industries, a new cooperation who are responsible for creation of the X-Factor. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of things happen to the team over the course of the next few issues – but it does suffer from a case of being an average first issue.
The characters though, are great. I was instantly getting behind Gambit, who is portrayed as a compelling and engaging superhero – and the dynamic of Polaris and Quicksilver were interesting to explore as well. The current rooster however only compromises of half the characters initially announced, and it looks like this book will follow the average first storyarc of having a team gathered together. It’s nothing new, but it will be interesting to see where David takes the book in the future.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s artwork is pretty good as well. The book doesn’t feel dark and moody, opting for a light approach with the art really shining in the opening few panels featuring Gambit’s attempted heist. There are a few flaws in this portrayal and it’s not entirely strong – with some weak colouring in places that doesn’t always quite hit the mark, but on the whole, I’ve seen much worse, and Giandomenico’s artwork doesn’t put me off reading the title.
You can count me on board for a few more of this series based on what I’ve seen here. It’s not perfect, but it works. Hopefully David can improve his work on the future to make this a must-read book. Overall, it comes recommended, but suffers from a few problems.
I’ve never read an X-Factor team title before, so All-New X-Factor #1 is pretty much my first introduction to the whole thing. Launched as part of the All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, this book presents a very different X-Men team make-up, with the only recognisable character for me being Gambit, a favourite of mine since the days of the Fox X-Men cartoon, alongside others that I am not familiar with at all, such as Quicksilver and Polaris. Having sampled almost all the current X-books, I have to say that overall, this book is definitely the most… unique one, since it presents the X-Factor team as a corporate ace in the hole for Serval Industries, which only wants to help people (the company that is).
Gambit is pretty much the star of this comic and he shines throughout. Sometimes Peter David gives him too much dialogue and the character then fumbles, but catches on pretty quickly to the change in status. The first half of the comic, or the opening pages rather, are just chock-full of dialogue and they just take away from the larger script itself. Still, David does a good job with him and its nice to see Gambit getting some prominence given the failure of his solo title to be able to sustain itself for a decently lengthy run.
Characters like Polaris and Quicksilver kind of suffer however since there isn’t much room devoted to them developing their powers or even learning to work together as a team for the benefit of everyone else. The issue is quite predictable in how it brings the team together and while I liked that Gambit was kind of the main man for the team, and was essentially our point man, things didn’t quite click together for me. I wanted to see more of Polaris and Quicksilver but don’t really see anything of their backhistory or anything, other than the fact that Quicksilver is Polaris’ half-brother and that he was, until recently, an Avenger. That’s really it.
On the art side, Carmine Di Giandomenico serves as the penciller while Lee Loughridge handles the colours and VC’s Cory Petit handles the letters. The art was serviceable at best. Nothing exceptional, nothing dreary. It was decent. Gambit is drawn fairly evil, especially with his eyes and all, but largely I am not impressed with the title as I expected to be. Black Widow #1 was quite an amazing issue in that regard, thanks largely due to Phil Noto’s excellent work. All-New X-Factor #1 is just not in that same league anymore, and I doubt it will be, even for the next couple issues.
I’ll stick around for an issue more or maybe two, but right now, I don’t see myself continuing on with the series in the long-term.