All-New X-Factor #1
Written by Peter David
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Lee Loughridge
The short of it:
Somewhere two scientists talk about how excited they are for the next stage of their work, vivisecting their subject. The subject…not happy, very threateny, but the scientists? They don’t care. Anyway, some place totally different, but Gambit is doing what he does best: breaking through a top notch security system in order to pull off a heist. Unfortunately, Wolverine is literally standing there waiting for him so he can break up the job and shame the Ragin’ Cajun. You work for Wolverine, you don’t get to be a thief. And Remy? Remy is the leader of the Thieve’s Guild! When did that even happen?! Anyway, Remy doesn’t really like the dressing down and once they get back, he hits a bar, and kabooms a few patrons that had some foul things to say involving Katrina and New Orleans. He’s interrupted by Polaris, last seen drunk and causing a scene at a bar (see: X-Factor), and she’s got an offer for him that isn’t Wolverine’s “do what I say or get the hell out”.
Her offer is Serval Industries, and during the flight Lorna has to blow up a missile that is fired at them. Off to a great start. Who is Serval? They’re a search engine, they’re a weapons manufacturer, but Lorna swears all they do is help people, and that’s why people have a problem with them. They land, and Lorna introduces Remy to the head of security, and then he promptly rips some random busybody off of their wallet. They take him upstairs and welcome him to X-Factor, which prompts him pointing out that Madrox owns the name, which then leads to us meeting Harrison Snow, the boss of Serval Industries, who literally bought the name from Jamie yesterday. He wants to build the first corporate superhero team, and Gambit wants to know if he’s evil, but he went to Harvard so of course not. He even has an Avenger on payroll, which is both news and annoyance to Polaris, as the last time she saw her half-brother, she was drunk and trying to kill him. Thing is, they’re in the same boat now, Lorna needed a fresh start, and everyone always thinks Pietro is evil so he can’t get work.
Anyway, they opt to go on a mission, because why not? The bad guy is a Doctor Hoffman, and he might be working with AIM, and his whole deal is abducting mutants to conduct experiments on. To be honest, he’s the dude from the first few pages, and X-Factor is being sent in to shut him down. The three make quick work of the place, but Gambit still isn’t sure about the motivations…but he’s done more for less, so for now he’s content to sit back and see what happens. Now, the mutant they’re there to save, she really doesn’t want to be sitting back any longer, because she’s about to see her insides go outside. This former X-Factor character that wasn’t really a member, and whom I completely forgot existed until the last page.
What I liked:
How easily the X-Factor name moves along. Jamie bought it to transition it from government to private investigators, and then he turned around and sold it to Serval because he didn’t need it anymore.
PAD writes a great Quicksilver and it’s great to see Pietro go back to him.
Gambit is a very hit or miss character for me, but PAD seems intent on making him fun by just going over the top. Whether it be the over the top rationale for any heist he pulls, or the fact that his stealing of a dudes wallet was enough to get an explanation. He’s fun, and I like that path for him. I was half afraid that he’d just be the teams womanizer.
I really like the way Carmine draws Gambit, and props to Lee for never not nailing Gambit’s eyes. So often do I see artists not put emphasis on the unique look of his eyes.
The accessibility of this book is pretty uncanny. Most Marvel NOW! relaunch books were hardly pick up and read if you had missed the previous volume, I mean, they weren’t giant brick walls of continuity, but they weren’t simple. By jettisoning the previous volume, despite retaining the writer, All-New X-Factor actually lives up to its All-New moniker. This isn’t the old book at all.
What I didn’t like:
I can see Jamie selling off the rights to the name X-Factor after the way the last volume ended. All he wanted was to be left alone with his wife to live happily ever after, maybe hang out with his mystic powered ex; but the end of X-Factor had it’s toll. His best friend is the king of hell, his team exploded everywhere, and he even got turned into a demon for a while. I would have sold off that cursed name too. He’s been on three different X-Factor groups, and died while part of two of them.
It’s not that I don’t trust Harrison Snow, I just instantly don’t like him. I understand creating a new character to be the super rich genius owner of the plot device corporation to make the book work, but he comes across like a young Tony Stark with some Steve Jobs thrown in, and I just feel like I’ve read him a dozen times before.
I forgot Fatale was a thing. What’s next? Post? OH! Can Nate Grey join the team?!?!?!?! LATE NINETIES!
A Gambit that isn’t constantly talking in random bits of French? I approve. Also, a Gambit that is just all about stealing things? Awesome.
Maybe it’s because I read a lot of Bloodshot this weekend, but I’m seeing a lot of that book in what’s happening here.
I feel like I should have read Astonishing X-Men to understand Gambit’s status quo, because I know that’s where he’s been since Carey let go of him in Legacy, but I get this feeling that I’d read it and nothing would be answered. Also, dropped it for a reason, it was kinda boring.
The art is a weird case, because, well, I really do like it, and it would look great on a ton of books, but it just feels weird here. I think it’s just the costumes, though. I see them and I expect big bright colors and superhero-y-ness, but the end result is a much more down to Earth styling. Also, Lorna’s goggles never not look really weird.
I was promised Douglock! Where is Douglock?!
Ways to guarantee that I buy a book? Let Peter David write it.
Tags: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Gambit, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Peter David, Quicksilver, Reviews, X Factor