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The New X-Men Team Stands Revealed!

I love the idea of an X-Men election. I love all the little ways the Krakoa-era is changing things up for mutants and the X-Men. And the idea that they would have the citizens of Krakoa vote on the roster for the official team of X-Men is a great idea!

And today, Marvel revealed that lineup!

The team looks fine. Nothing too crazy or exciting…but maybe that’s just me. We’ve got Cyclops and Jean Grey, with Rogue, Polaris, Sunfire, Synch and Wolverine. Seems a pretty solid lineup. Polaris won the reader poll, so that’s cool. Sunfire is a pretty unique choice. I hope to see great things from him. And Synch and Wolverine are obviously building from that very interesting story Jonathan Hickman has been running with, when they took on the Children of the Vault.

Unfortunately, Hickman won’t be writing the new ongoing X-Men series starring this roster. Gerry Duggan will be writing. And while I’ve liked what work of his I’ve read, I think his Marauders has gotten a bit lost in the weeds recently. But I’m going to remain positive.

Still, Strong Guy would have looked great on this team.

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Polaris Wins the X-Men Vote!

Turns out, Polaris is far more popular than I had any idea! And it turns out that Marvel was going to reveal the winner of the X-Men vote today!

I didn’t expect to get an answer until the Hellfire Gala itself. But huzzah for these fun little comics. Zeb Wells wrote the strip, with art by David Massini and Rachelle Cheri.

Polaris and the new squad will be part of an X-Men comic written by Gerry Duggan this summer, with art by Pepe Larrazz. I was hoping Jonathan Hickman would be writing the comic, but I’m sure Duggan will be fine.

Congrats to Polaris and her apparently many fans.

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 8/1/20

Another week, another pile of enjoyable comics, proving that some aspects of life can get back to some semblance of normal. It’s good to have comics again. We’ve got nice issues of Power Rangers, Legion of Super-Heroes and even X-Men, kind of.

Comic Book of the Week goes to the first issue of X-Factor, possibly because I’m attached to the comic name, even if Multiple Man doesn’t appear in the issue at all. We do get Leah Williams writing the Blob again though! And an actually entertaining Daken!

Be prepared to legitimately enjoy Daken in a comic

Meanwhile, I’ve finally started my reread of the classic Milligan/Allred run on X-Force/X-Statix! I bought the first compendium volume and it is easily holding up after all these years. This comic was so insanely ahead of its time! I can’t even imagine how X-Statix would deal with Twitter.

Comic Reviews: Empyre #3, Legion of Super-Heroes #7, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #52, X-Factor #1 and X-Men #10.

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Review: All-New X-Factor #5

Well glue forks to my hands and call me Wolverine, I actually liked this issue of All-New X-Factor! I’ve been pretty hard on the series so far, but I really felt that Peter David’s writing and characters were finally starting to gel in this issue. Yes, he still has them rush off to face the next big, elaborate bad guy, but the first issue is all about slowing down the pace and letting us get to know who these characters are and why they’re doing what they’re doing. That is fundamental to appreciating fiction. You can’t just throw a bunch of superheroes onto a team together and have them fight bad guys.

X-Factor #5

Yet that’s exactly what PAD did for the start of All-New X-Factor, but he’s finally getting into the substance of why these characters are together and what motivates them to be a part of this series and this team. It’s a definite step in the right direction.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

The problem with All-New X-Factor is that it doesn’t have a soul. There doesn’t seem to be any greater purpose to the comic or any larger story that PAD is trying to tell. From issue #1, it’s felt like generic superhero mediocrity. It’s as if Marvel really wanted to relaunch X-Factor but didn’t have any good ideas, so PAD just grabbed a bunch of random X-characters and threw them together on a team. Not that any of this has really been fixed in the new issue. But at least with with All-New X-Factor #5, I’m finally starting to see what this endeavor means for these characters and why they’re putting up with it.

In a lot of ways, I definitely think PAD has a good idea on his hands; several, in fact. First there’s the idea of the first corporately-owned superhero team operating in the Marvel Universe. What does that mean for all involved and for the MU as a whole? Second, and more importantly, is the idea that these characters have all been down this road before, and they know this isn’t how such things are done. What do the superheroes themselves think when they’re randomly put together on a team? Unfortunately, five issues in, I don’t think PAD has really focused on either of those ideas very well. He really seems content to just tell random stories about his random X-heroes fighting random bad guys. That’s disappointing. I think PAD either needs to start focusing on the characters and their individual journeys or he needs to reveal the larger Serval Industries plot, because random fights against the Magus or whoever aren’t going to sell comics in this day and age.

All-New X-Factor finally delivers a worthwhile issue, but it’s not without the same faults that continue to plague this series. 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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