I cover All New X-Factor #3, the latest issue in Peter David’s relaunched series focusing on Gambit, Polaris and Quicksilver, with artwork from Carmine Di Giandomenico and colours by Lee Loughridge, with the cover from Kris Anka. Published by Marvel Comics as part of the All New Marvel Now initiative.
All New X-Factor has been a title that hasn’t started off as well as a reader of this series would have hoped, with a fairly average #1. However, things are starting to look better for Peter David’s series, with both #2 and #3 showing signs of improvement and things could be getting back to the time when X-Factor was a title that was the equivalent of a cult hit in comics – not very many people were reading it but those that were loved it, very much like Kieron Gillen’s recently finished Young Avengers. The main disadvantage that was putting new readers off All New X-Factor was the high-issue count, but this rebranding has made the comic accessible to newcomers and has allowed them to access a book that doesn’t feel as mainstream as other books like All New X-Men, and in a way – All New X-Factor is all the better because of it.
With Gambit being the biggest name on the book it’s no surprise that he’s very much the key character in this time. We also have the likes of Polaris and Quicksilver, the former of which is fairly unknown with the latter being a character who has received a lot of exposure lately due to the fact that he is going to be included in both upcoming comic book movies, Days of the Future Past and Age of Ultron – and it’s great to see the character interactions which are really nailed by Peter David here. His work is certainly a slow-burner series that will probably be better suited to trade paperback format but for those who are reading this series in single issues will be pleased to know that the third issue of All New X-Factor is certainly an increase in quality. We get a book that splits its focus between showing what the team do during their downtime, but also it serves as a part investigation as well.
Serval Industries unhackable servers have been hacked, planting a clue that seeds the X-Factor team head to an island that exists only to Gambit as the headquaters of the Thieves Guild. This serves as the basis for the plot in this book, but we also get a good look at the characters. By the end of the book’s run it looks like Gambit, Quicksilver and Polaris will be very developed and fan favourites, and that’s mainly due to the care that David is putting behind these characters – Polaris is unsure as to what’s happening with her temper whilst Quicksilver’s allegiance isn’t as predictable as everybody thinks it is. Taking these relativley B and maybe even C list characters and transforming them into rootable protagonists with the potential to get even better is clearly the strongest point of All New X-Factor, and with a tease at a potential new team member towards the end of the issue things can only get better from here.
The artwork is pretty good, all things considered. Firstly, Kris Anka’s cover is probably one of the best that we’ve had this week, and Carmine Di Giandomenico delivers a pretty good performance on artistic duties as well. Giandomenico’s main strength here seems to be suited to David’s quite well, as characters play an important role in this book and both are suited to writing and drawing them well. Lee Loughridge puts out some brilliant colours as well, making the book one of the better looking X-Books on the market right now, and that’s no easy feat when you are up against the likes of Stuart Immonen on All New X-Men.
All New X-Factor #3 then continues the improvement that Peter David is bringing to this series. It’s certainly something that’ll grow over time and has the potential to end up being one of the best X-Books out there.