Review: All-New X-Factor #4
I consider myself a dedicated X-Factor fan…I guess. Or maybe I was just blinded by my love of Multiple Man. Was that it? Peter David wrote an amazing Multiple Man! He re-defined the character for the 21st century, and it was a thing of glorious beauty! And more than just Multiple Man, the whole previous volume X-Factor was a lot of fun. So what am I not seeing in the All-New X-Factor? Was PAD’s previous series this shallow, and I just really enjoyed seeing Multiple Man? I kind of get the feeling that if he switched out Gambit for Multiple Man, I’d probably be enjoying this comic a lot more.
As it stands, the newest issue of All-New X-Factor is more of the same, and I’ve still got to give the thing a big ole meh!
Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright.
There’s not much to this new issue. All-New X-Factor #4 is all about recruiting Danger to the team by way of a big, explosive fight scene. PAD peppers the fight with some nice character moments, especially for Gambit and Polaris, but at the expense of a seemingly incompetent Danger. The angry robot spends the entire issue promising to kill everybody but never seems to focus enough to actually carry it out – though, of course, it’s not like she’s allowed to really kill any of the main characters. But you’ll see what I mean in the synopsis.
Like I said, Gambit and Polaris get some good moments. Gambit spends the issue trying to snap Danger out of her murderous rage, while Polaris has some murderous rage of her own. But I don’t really care one lick about Danger, her history with the X-Men or her potentially joining X-Factor. I’m fairly certain that nobody else in the X-Office cared enough to use Danger in their comic, so PAD snatched her up. Or maybe he really wanted to use her, I don’t know. What I do know is that we went through a lot of trouble to add her to the team, and I just didn’t care for any of it. We took an abridged tour of Gambit’s recent solo series, but I don’t feel as if the story affected Gambit at all or had any impact on the series. They might as well have gone to the Savage Land or Latveria to recruit Danger.
I don’t want to come off as overly harsh in my reviews of All-New X-Factor…not like with Teen Titans. That book is actively bad. But All-New X-Factor is just bland. It’s bland characters on bland missions with no real emphasis on the corporate angle, at least not yet. And I’m just not happy with bland.
Danger has just been freed from the technomancer Nil, on Thieves Guild Island, and she’s pretty darn angry at everybody.
Get used to this sort of scene. The entire issue is Danger threatening to kill somebody or everybody…and then just not following through. She’s all talk.
Danger blasts Gambit with her removable robotic hand and smashes him around the lab for a bit. Gambit tries to appeal to her fond memories of him, but Danger says she has no idea who he is. Her memory is gone, so she has no problem smacking everybody around a bit. She leaves Gambit to focus on Nil…but he’s run off.
Nil bumps into Jean-Luc, who asks what’s going on, even as the building seems to be crumbling down around them. Nil wants to get back into his lab to re-establish control – except Danger then blows up the entire building! She finds Jean-Luc in the rubble and he tries to introduce himself, but she tells him she is his death.
Except then Gambit shows up to fight some more.
Gambit is pretty good in this issue. He spends the whole fight trying to convince Danger of her true personality and her good nature. It’s a good move for him. Gambit’s always been a nice guy, and this is actually a good set up for him on X-Factor. He’s not much of a slickster or conman or anything so far, but maybe he’s a changed man these days. I like him in this issue.
And I still like the art by Carmine Di Giandomenico. I know some people don’t like it, and I can see why, but I definitely approve. The costumes looks neat, and the characters are the right amount of detailed that I enjoy. He also does Danger very well.
Anyway, Danger promises to kill Gambit…but Quicksilver rushes him out of harm’s way.
Speaking of the costumes, I’ve finally found a spot to bring up the fact that out of the three we’ve seen so far, why is Quicksilver the only one who doesn’t wear goggles? He’s the only one who could actually use goggles in his costume. Quicksilver is the one running around at high speeds, probably crashing into bugs and stuff. But no goggles. Gambit and Polaris get goggles. So what the heck?
With Gambit gone, Danger goes after Nil in his lab. She wants to kill Nil. She hates him. But like all classic villains, she starts monologuing.
But then Quicksilver grabs Nil too, leaving Danger to shout her frustrations to the heavens. This robot gets frustrated.
And if you want some more proof of Di Giandomenico’s skill, check out this shot of a giant Sentinel tearing it way up through the ground.
Looks pretty sweet. But it’s just a hardlight hologram created by Danger. She is the living embodiment of the Danger Room, after all. Quicksilver rushes to escape them and runs over a bridge…which is also a hologram. The bridge disappears and Quicksilver and Nil fall. They’re rescued by Polaris, and again, Danger shouts her frustrations at being foiled at every turn.
Then Polaris gets her time to shine by turning the psycho bitch factor up to 11!
Polaris tears Danger apart with her vaguely magnetic powers, in spite of Gambit trying to stop her. He chews her out for killing the former X-Robot, but Polaris does not care. I doubt she’d even met Danger before. Gambit is pretty broken up, and makes a crack about how Danger was more alive than some people he knows. Before they can argue any further, Danger takes control of their jet and starts shooting at the bunch of them.
Then there was one joke that made me laugh. So maybe the humor is getting better.
Gambit faces off against Danger again, but it’s a hologram and he falls flat on his butt. He’s convinced that some part of her real self is still inside this homicidal robot.
Some distance away, Quicksilver has helped evacuate the Thieves Guild. They’ve also got an old-fashioned pirate ship in the bay for some reason. Danger transforms into a giant, robotic sea serpent and smashes the ship, then uses a hologram of Magneto to distract Polaris. Rather than finish Polaris off, Danger specifically says she’ll do that later, and turns her focus on Nil again. This time, Nil steps up to accept his punishment, but Gambit jumps on Danger to stop her. She’s really frustrated now.
Then we get a taste of the classic Gambit.
Kissing Danger snaps her out of her homicidal rage, because that’s how X-Robots work.
The story wraps up after that, with Nil transferring the money back to Serval and X-Factor taking Danger with them.
And that’s that, Danger is on the team. Considering how ineffectually she managed to kill anybody, are they sure they want her? And once again, it seems I missed some comics, because I had no idea Gambit and Danger were so close. Does anybody have any info on that? But I’ve seen worse ways for characters to join a superhero team.
I’ve seen better ways too. There’s not really much to say about this issue, I’m afraid. Like I said before, Gambit and Polaris are both handled well this issue. Gambit’s concern for Danger’s well being is a strong character trait, and Polaris’ angry viciousness also works for her. So perhaps I’ll agree that PAD is doing a little better establishing these characters. But just because they have strong personalities does not mean those personalities are working well together in this series yet. I’m just not feeling any sort of real camaraderie between any of the characters, and I don’t foresee Danger adding much of anything.
Cypher and Warlock are another matter though, and I actually have high hopes for them. I will keep reading and writing these reviews, so I hope you stick with me. But I just don’t see anything to like yet with All-New X-Factor. Of course, if PAD brings back Multiple Man, that will probably change.
Posted on March 13, 2014, in Comics, Marvel, X-Men and tagged All-New X-Factor, Danger, Gambit, PAD, Peter David, Polaris, Quicksilver, Serval Industries, X-Factor. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.