In the wake of All-New Marvel NOW!, several long-running comics came to an end and will be getting the reboot treatment in a quick fashion. One that many fans cried foul over was the conclusion of Peter David’s X-Factor, which reached issue #262 before shutting its doors. Luckily for all those fans, David is back with a brand new X-Factor, and though it boasts a new cast, it’s like he never left.
All-New X-Factor sees the X-Factor “brand” having been purchased by Serval Industries, in hopes of creating the first corporate superhero team. Though the debut issue is heavy on set-up, it’s this singular idea that helps it stand out from the countless other mutant team books that Marvel is producing. Beyond simply telling stories with characters that readers love, David is crafting a unique approach to the superhero ideology that is perfectly fitted into the context of modern society. While other comics do their best to portray “realistic” and “gritty” worlds in their stories, few things are more realistic than a company buying something in an attempt to create a profit from it, and superheroes are a hot commodity these days.
With a team consisting of Gambit, Polaris and Quicksilver, All-New X-Factor has just enough pull to coax old readers and draw in the new ones. What David does a spectacular job on in the comic is bridging the gaps of previous tales featuring these characters, so their transition into “team mode” doesn’t feel unnatural. He also doesn’t have the characters continuously drop story bits from years passed, making it super accessible to anyone that may not be totally familiar with Magneto’s children.
Carmine Di Giandomenico provides the pencils for the new chapter in “X-Factor” and his artistic style is what makes it really work. Sure, the premise sets up a corporate team of superheroes, which you would expect comes with a super polished design, but the almost grungy aesthetic that Di Giandomenico applies to the work is what it needs. Think about it, if you want a “polished superhero team” for a company you’d go with super perfect characters that have no flaws, but with head of the Thieves Guild Gambit, recovering alcoholic Polaris, and villain-turned-hero Quicksilver, it’s Carmine’s style that totally sells it. You can’t have indecent people looking like super models, and that makes this book all the more interesting. One fault I’ll put on the art is that sometimes it seems Di Giandomenico’s work loses some quality in the smaller panels, but this seldom occurs.
All-New X-Factor starts a new piece in the Marvel’s latest relaunch line, and it’s going to be hard for them to top it. Given its intimate three-hero focus, it’s not like the crowded team books they’ve been publishing, and since its story is driven by an ideal that hasn’t been explored all too much, it’s one of their more original books on the stands to boot. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read an X-Factor comic before, if you start here, you’ll be hooked.
Head to our final page to see our review of Black Widow #1!