Comic Vine Review

10 Comments

All-New X-Factor #3 Review

5

KITTIES! But also: thieves, tempers, spies, and strange motivations.

The Good

Look at those Kris Anka-drawn kitty cats on the cover. They make ya happy just lookin' at 'em. Look how much fun they're having palling around with Gambit. Cover and a couple of pages aside cats actually play a very small role in this comic, but they DO typify the tone of this book, which is to say pure fun with a dash of intrigue. Over the last two issues, we’ve gotten to see Gambit, Polaris and Quicksilver out together on a mission, and here we get an issue that’s part downtime, part investigation. Someone’s hacked Serval Industries unhackable server leaving only the clue that it originated from an island that doesn’t seem to exist. Except to Gambit. Because it’s the island that hosts the Thieves’ Guild, which he has recently taken control of. Peter David has done a great job of integrating the cancelled-just-as-it-was-getting-good Gambit solo series. He also integrates it with enough ease that having read that story isn’t necessary. There’s a lot more going on in this issue than just that, though. We get to see that Polaris still isn’t quite sure what’s going on with her temper, Quicksilver isn’t working for who X-Factor, or the reader for that matter, thinks he is and, of course, we get a great reveal in the last few pages of X-Factor’s next potential member. If they survive the experience, that is. There’s a great focus on character, as opposed to action, in this issue and that shines through beautifully. As I’ve said previously, I was never much a fan of Gambit beyond my adolescent enjoyment with the 90s X-Men cartoon and that centered FAR more on his style over his substance, but in three quick issues, David has established the character far, far more powerfully than many, many writers before him. Polaris gets the well-worn trope of the “unstable woman,” but unlike a great many previous incarnations of it, this one actually feels earned and well-used. It isn’t just that she’s crazy, it’s that everything that’s been done to her, particularly the revelation of her origin, has driven her to near-madness that embodies itself amazingly well for anyone who’s ever had an unstable temperament.

Carmine Di Giandomenico continues providing beautiful, distinct linework that highlights the characters emotional states and puts their facial expressions front-and-center while never skimping on the action. Again, Quicksilver remains one of the highlights in this case, his speed amazingly represented both in his initial pool game and, especially, after he dons his uniform that leaves light trails in his wake. Lee Loughridge provides colors and they are absolutely gorgeous. This is a book that is rich with new, exciting locations and those new locations all demand a unique, different color palette which Loughridge seems delighted to provide. There’s nothing boring going on in this comic and the art does an amazing job of showing the locales, from the exotic to the mundane, and making them exciting.

The Bad

Serval Industries is very clearly up to something. Their reputation as a squeaky-clean corporate sponsor has already been questioned no fewer than two times in the past three issues and I feel like that particularly plot point is having its hand played too early. I would’ve liked to believe they were actually on the level and wanted to improve the world before “clues” were given to their misdeeds, even clues these obvious. Unless it all turns out to be an intentional misdirect, which I would actually love.

The Verdict

I absolutely love what’s being done with this book. It has some of my favorite characters from a great run on X-Factor and introduces, and quickly defines, other characters. There are three spots on the roster already filled, but the intro page hints at three more and while we’re getting a look at a likely one by issue’s end, I’m still excited to find out who the others are. Between the writing and the art, this is a delightful book to jump onto. If you like your mutants not overpowered and handling not-exactly world shattering events, this is a book for you.

13 Comments
Posted by SWagner017

@undeadpool Great review! I'm really enjoying this title so far. Had one question about the three other spots for the roster. I thought who was filling these positions was pretty much revealed in the variant covers for All New X-Factor which kind of killed the mystery of who was going to join in my opinion. Was wondering what you think of the roster based on these variant covers or do you think it could be a misdirect and we will see other characters fill the spots? Either way I'm still excited to see how all the characters eventually end up joining the team.

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

I don't read this book, Marvel just hasn't been putting out anything interesting in my eyes recently. I'm just excited to see what rating CBR gives it. The last 2 issues you gave a 5, they gave a 1.

Edited by RaggedScarecrow

This cover is a shoe-in for best cover of the week. I mean, just look at it!

Posted by judasnixon

I think this was my favorite comic of the week.......

Posted by lykopis

I agree about this being more character-focused although I am not too sure I am good with how Polaris is being depicted. Considering her behaviour throughout the issue, right to the end, she should be the furthest choice for a leader of any kind.

Since Gambit is a favourite of mine, I am in for at least the next few issues because I do think the writer has a good grasp on him. What happens with that in terms of this team remains to be seen.

This issue gets a "meh" from me. A good, hopeful "meh".

Posted by livingsilver

@g_money_christmas: CBR's reviews have been absolutely ridiculous and must be biased somehow. Fans have been thrilled by the book so far, others feel it's just "okay" and building towards something bigger. But a 1 star? Give me a break.

Posted by infinityjudge

I want to love this series, the concept alone sold it to me, as well as the good reception of the previous PAD X-Factor volume of which I haven't read. I thought Peter David was known for writing great, snappy dialogue? Because whilst this issue was better than the previous two, I just thought the dialogue was dull and points were being dragged out too much. This was especially the case with Quicksilver and Havok's conversation, which spelled out multiple times that Pietro was to be Havok's 'eyes and ears'. Saying that, I like Gambit's new humility and pop culture references, though they feel a little forced, as do his flat jokes. The art is excellent and the ending was promising so I may stick around for a few more issues.

Posted by livingsilver

@livingsilver: Just as a follow-up: Issue #3 made it to The Buy Pile at CBR (which means it was excellent enough to purchase), so not all of the reviewers share the same opinions at that site.

Posted by mickeymayhew

a classy little package

Posted by ComicBookCoby

great review! I'm happy to see SOMEONE else enjoys this book.

I agree with you on all fronts:

Peter David is finally writing Gambit to his potential.

I loved 90s cartoon Gambit.

Serval is up to something.

for who the big reveal was, or to follow along with me as I read All-New X-Factor, check out my Super Spoilers!

Posted by JamesScott

Best book of the week by some distance