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Review: All-New X-Factor #1

Sometimes you’ve just got to be careful what you wish for. The comic I was most looking forward to in the All-New Marvel NOW! has arrived in the form of All-New X-Factor #1, writer Peter David’s latest revival of his long-standing, moderately popular superhero team. Free of past continuity and characters, PAD has been given free reign to re-invent X-Factor as he sees fit, with a new cast, a new purpose and new momentum. So it really is a shame that this issue fails on every conceivable level.

X-Factor #1

All-New X-Factor #1 is as generic and mediocre a superhero comic as you could get in this day and age. From a boring plot to random characters to a premise that reeks of missed opportunities, every aspect of this comic is uninspired.

Comic Rating: 4/10 – Pretty Bad.

The last time PAD relaunched X-Factor – whether you count the MadroX mini-series or X-Factor #1 – the writer clearly had purpose. Built around the reinvention of the wildly underused Jamie Madrox, PAD’s vision included noir sensibilities, the mysteries of Layla Miller, shadowy villains and a cast of characters with rich histories together. Back then, PAD clearly had ideas. And he had heart.

But all of that is missing in All-New X-Factor #1.

The new relaunch falls victim to Marvel’s recent trend of just piling a bunch of random superheroes together and calling them a team. Again and again, Marvel has done this, whether it’s some new Avengers spin-off or multiple versions of X-Force. And maybe if one of your favorite characters is on that team, you’ll love the comic. But most of these books are just generic superhero stories starring random superheroes, and that’s exactly how the new X-Factor reads. Even the interesting new premise, that X-Factor is now the first corporately-owned superhero team in the Marvel Universe, is painfully generic.

The potential for some interesting ideas or styles is present, but time and again, PAD either skips right over them or doesn’t play them up nearly enough. He  could get so much about of All-New X-Factor, but PAD and Marvel seem fine with settling for mediocrity.

I don’t give this comic a year.

Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review.

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And Magneto Gets a Comic!

Marvel is apparently still announcing new comics for their All-New Marvel NOW! promotion. Next up is a Magneto solo series by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Hernandez Walta.

Loving the barbed wire helmet imagery

Announced in USA Today, the series is going to feature Magneto in a ‘noir’ setting. He’s heading to the street level, where he will use his broken powers to help mutants and punish the sorts of people he wants to punish. I’ve been enjoying Magneto a lot in Brian Michael Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men, so a solo series sounds pretty cool. I just hope Bunn knows what he’s doing. I fear for the longevity of a lot of these new solo series that Marvel is putting out. New comics don’t last very long. Will Magneto have the right kind of magic to make it in this world?

Bunn had this to say:

 “Magneto in this story is very much a detective, seeking out and investigating threats to mutants before cutting loose with all the fury of a supervillain — or superhero, depending on your point of view. We can sympathize with him even though he has been responsible for terrible crimes against humanity,” Bunn explains. “He walks such a fine line. He’s standing up for his people — the mutants. He refuses to let them suffer as he has seen others suffer. But he’s taken steps to protect mutants that can only be seen as evil. His ideals are often ‘good’ while his methods are not.”

The series will launch sometime next year, and I know I’ll be picking up a few issues.

Also, this is probably as good a time as any to talk about the fact that director Bryan Singer has announced X-Men: Apocalypse the movie for 2016. He pretty much just dropped the title on Twitter yesterday, and we can easily assume who the villain is going to be. I don’t really have any thoughts about it at this point. I’ve never been a big Apocalypse fan, and I always assumed they’d get around to him eventually in the movies. A lot of sites on the web seem to think they’ll do an Age of Apocalypse storyline, possibly because that’s the only Apocalypse story that is in any way memorable.

But I highly doubt the movie-makers could pull off a full Age of Apocalypse movie. It would be insane. I still don’t necessarily think the moviegoing audience is going to be able to handle all the time travel and weirdness in Days of Future Past. But we’ll see.

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