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.
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.
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.