Written by Peter David
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Two in one day? Lucky, you, getting to read my trite analysises. Analysi? Analyses!This is the new start of the all new X-Factor series since Madrox’s detective agency closed their doors. Luckily for us Peter David decided that the end of the Multiple Man’s story was not the end of X-Factor’s story and he’s back with a team led by Polaris, the daughter of Magneto.
First, I have to say as far back as I remember picking up new comics I remember reading comics by Peter David. Hoping to be considered cool by my brother who liked the Hulk (even though girls and football were his only concerns at the time) I picked up the classic and epic run by Peter David and Todd MacFarlane on the Incredible Hulk. I soon realized without my brother’s approval those were amazing comics and I’ve been a fan of Peter David ever since. I am incredibly happy his health scare last year did not end his comic career. I think I was as concerned for him at that time as a family member.
But now we are at the All New Marvel relaunch of X-Factor and I have to give an honest review and not just fanboy service to an idol. This issue starts with Gambit being recruited by Polaris after a botched theft Logan interrupted. Gambit is the reader’s perspective being slightly morally ambiguous and leery of a superhero team sponsored by a large corporation. Quicksilver shows up to check on his half-sister and the unlikely and tenuous trio head out on their first mission as the All-New X-Factor.
While not an action packed start to a series, this issue is still a well crafted work of humorous dialogue. Knowing and understanding these three characters’ recent history (the last X-Factor series and the short lived Gambit series) will help you appreciate David’s work at tieing this new story into the history and continuity of the 616 universe. The dialogue is well written and builds on a streamline narrative David is developing, but I honestly can see how some people may not enjoy this issue. If you’ve read David’s other work, he writes mutants more akin to Chris Claremont (concerned with planting seeds which will build long running narratives), and you must be aware that while a single issue may not blow you (although they definitely can) the long form story he builds will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes it isn’t even about the story as much as it is about helping the reader truly understand each character he is writing in a way many writers may gloss over. This has caused some to say his X-Factor run is hit-or-miss, while they are actually missing his character development due to a slightly ridiculous narrative. As a first issue this may not be the best way to pull new readers aboard but those missing a Peter David story will enjoy it.
As for the art, it is actually decent. Carmine’s work is slightly reminiscent of Kaare Andrews, but still his own. This issue is not quite up to his work in the Punisher mini series which ended Greg Rucka’s run. Yet the art is not bad in any way. It helps move the dialogue with well used facial expressions, something occasionally missing in comics. He actually pays attention not just to story but to the character interactions.
All-in-all, you’ll like this issue if you enjoyed the majority of the last X-Factor series. This should become a welcome addition to your weekly pull list. If you didn’t read the last series I honestly recommend giving this a good college try. What may be lacking in intense action is made up for in well written and well thought out character interactions and dialogue.
Rating: 4 out of 5