This makes two arcs, back-to-back, that have only been two issues long, and I think this is a fantastic idea for a new series. It helps introduce new readers to the book, even if they miss an issue here or there, and it helps those who’ve been with it all along get a lot more plot for their buck. Peter David has, as I hoped he would, continued to establish a far, far more interesting version of Gambit than even showed up in his own solo series. We get to see a lot of him juggling his loyalty to X-Factor and to his fellow thieves, especially since he rules them. AND it was one of them who got them into their current predicament, and that’s where the plot begins to get interesting. We also see that Polaris is far from over her rage about her now known origin and she expresses that in a pretty intense manner at a very key point. Quicksilver is mostly here for some comedic relief, but the running gag throughout the issue doesn’t get old and he’s extremely well-suited to it. I also really enjoy the format we’ve seen so far of having brief, self-contained arcs within two issues. We’re up to issue four and we’ve already had two very distinct storylines that play on one another, but are also easy to jump into. I’m not sure it’s going to keep going, nor that I want it to, but it’s a great way to get readers acquainted with a new team while not making the building of that team feel too rushed or dependent on chance.
Carmine Di Giandomenico continues to absolutely KILL it on his linework, balancing the creation of the illusion of motion with incredibly expressive facial features. The small details he gets right are what elevate the art from good to great and Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors are a huge part of that. This book actually has a very light tone, and the color palette is vibrant and beautiful so even when things are looking dark and dreary, the tone overall is uplifting without precluding seriousness. It’s a difficult balancing act, but the artists manage it with aplomb.
The moral ambiguity of the Thieves’ Guild, and especially what Jean-Luc has been doing is never really explored. He imprisoned and used a sentient being and while I understand Gambit’s unwillingness to see his friend die, I feel like the guy isn’t really reprimanded or brought to task for what he did. It’s shrugged off as a simple mistake when it seems like it was anything but.
The roster is growing issue by issue and I couldn’t be happier with the direction it’s going. This is a very strange roster, but you’ll never hear me complain about unusual characters getting the spotlight from those who have three-picture film deals. It’s good to see a creative, vital book that lets the B-listers of the universe shine.