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I’m Glad I Wasn’t Drinking Anything When I Found Out the Slingers Were Returning

Because there would have been spit-takes for days!

Holy heck, you guys! The Slingers are returning to Marvel Comics in September! What a neat idea! I’m a Slingers fan from way back in the ’90s, when they were actually around. And I’ve patiently followed the individual characters’ exploits in the decade since their comic was cancelled. Did you know Prodigy was the first superhuman arrested under the Superhuman Registration Act in the first Civil War? Yep!

Anyway, writer Peter David, himself a fan of the 90s, is bringing the Slingers back in the pages of his pro-90s comic, Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider!

Slingers Return 01

According to the issue solicitation, which came out today, there’s someone going around in costume as a new Hornet in Las Vegas (the original died). The Slingers head to Vegas to get to the bottom of it, with Scarlet Spider caught in the middle. How many Slingers are even still around? Prodigy and Ricochet are still active, but is Dusk? I think so…

Anyway, I think it’s super neat that Peter David is going to bring them out of the mothballs for a comic book adventure! I only hope he doesn’t kill them all over the course of the story, or turn them into villains. It still stings what happened to Phil Urich…

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Review: All-New X-Factor #6

Six issues in and all of the members of the All-New X-Factor have signed up. I like the casual way the team has come together, with everybody just sort of asking if Danger, Cypher and Warlock would like to hang out. But I wish writer Peter David focused more on that element of the series. It would be a wonderfully subversive twist on the idea of a superhero team, especially starring these characters in this Marvel Universe. Everyone in All-New X-Factor has been here before. They’ve all been members of different superhero teams, some long-lasting and some not. The idea that they’re all randomly grouping up together for form yet another new team, and what everybody thinks of that, would be an interesting – and I think entertaining – focus for the series.

All-New X-Factor #6

And I think PAD recognizes this, but I fear he’s still a little too focused on general superheroics. All-New X-Factor isn’t looking to be subversive. It isn’t looking to be anything more than just another superhero comic, and in the All-New Marvel NOW!, that’s just not good enough anymore.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

All-New X-Factor is growing on me just a little. The comic is becoming more rewarding to read, though if I wasn’t dedicated to doing these long reviews, I probably would have dropped the comic by now. Why am I dedicated to these long reviews? I dunno. I guess I owe it to the memory of Multiple Man to keep them going. But it’s just not a very catchy, entertaining comic. It’s readable and well put together, which can’t be said for every comic on the stands. But All-New X-Factor is unimpressive. It doesn’t really seem to have anything to say, and all of the characters are kind of just hanging out waiting to see if they’ll still be a comic by the end of the year. PAD tries to inject a little humor and humanity in the characters, but it’s not enough, and it’s just not as good as the last volume. PAD doesn’t have the same handle on these characters as he did on the last roster, and it shows every time he engages in a little playful banter.

The new issue is mildly entertaining, especially in how PAD deals with the Magus. One might say the ending of this issue was unexpected, but I kind of saw it coming. There were only two ways X-Factor was going to deal with the Magus, and this was one of them. In today’s day and age, this was definitely a predictable ending – not that I didn’t prefer it over the obvious fight climax. X-Factor has done enough fighting in only six issues. But this sort of twist ending is a little anti-climactic, though at least it serves its purpose of getting Cypher and Warlock on the team. The status quo of the Magus has changed, but I don’t imagine there are too many Magus fans out there to deal with the potentially ruffled feathers. It’s a solid wrap-up to last issue, and like I said, I’m enjoying the casual way the team is coming together. I just wish PAD put more focus on that perspective.

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review!

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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.

X-Factor #4

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.

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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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All-New X-Factor Revealed!

New York Comic-Con is in full swing today, and announced just this morning was All-New X-Factor by Peter David! We all knew this was coming, but it still feels good to get the first details of the new series – even if it won’t feature Multiple Man, my favorite superhero.

All-New X-Factor #1 will debut in January with Carmine Di Giandomenico on art.

Such fancy suits!

The new premise is that Serval Industries, a search engine company (like Google), has decided to get into the superhero business. So they bought the name ‘X-Factor’ off Jamie Madrox and have put together their own superhero team. The cast will feature Polaris, Quicksilver and, surprisingly, Gambit, along with three other cast members that PAD and Marvel are keeping secret for now.

At least they all get spiffy new uniforms. Though why Quicksilver or Gambit would join some corporate superhero team instead of sticking with the Avengers or X-Men is beyond me. But I’m sure all will be explained once we start reading.

I’m very excited to see what PAD has in store for us and X-Factor.

In the same Comic-Con panel, PAD said the book will focus a lot on the relationship between Polaris and Quicksilver, and the fact that they are half-siblings. PAD also said that Gambit doesn’t trust Quicksilver at all, so that should create some necessary drama. He also gave a more in-depth interview with Comic Book Resources.

When asked about Madrox, PAD apparently said he had “no idea” what’s up with him. X-Men editor Nick Lowe told the fans that there are plans for the character. I can’t wait to see those too! Perhaps he’s read my blog and seen some of my suggestions.

You can read more about the X-Men panel at Newsarama.

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