The news came out last week that Marvel’s All-New X-Factor will be cancelled after issue #20, but this story is not quite done gaining steam. Writer Peter David’s criticism about the presumed actions, or non-actions, of readers that led to the cancellation seemed to resonate with fans, requiring David to defend himself, while decrying the “wait for trade” attitude of many comic book readers. Here’s the details, and my opinion on the whole thing.
He said it wasn’t news on his blog, but, hey, it’s news to us, and I’m not sure a lot of folks picked up on it, but, sadly, it seems that Peter David’s All-New X-Factor will be cancelled as of issue #20.
Marvel has given no official word that I am aware of, but I’m going to go ahead and take the writer of the book at his word.
The relaunch never quite had the appeal of David’s last iteration of the team, and the fans that stuck around after X-Factor Investigations just wasn’t enough to keep the title going.
Real Name: Warlock
Notable Aliases: Douglock, Phalanx
First Appearance: New Mutant #18 (August 1984)
Background: A member of an alien race techno-organic lifeforms that lack compassion, Warlock was deemed a mutant of his race due to his ability to feel compassion for others. This led to him helping free the X-Men and New Mutants from the clutches of Warlock’s father and ruler of Warlock’s Technarch people. Although this damaged Warlock’s relationship with his father, it allowed Warlock to become a permanent member of the X-Men, and he’s served on the New Mutants, Excalibur, and, most recently, X-Factor. Warlock’s techno-organic body gives him the power to change into just about anything he likes, making him the Transformer of the X-Men.
Why He Matters Right Now: A newly recruited member of the All-New X-Factor, Warlock has been an integral part of the teams very early success. By turning into a motorcycle, Warlock was able to rescue both his fellow mutant Doug “Cypher” Ramsey, and newly discovered mutant Georgia Dakei from the super villain know as Memento Mori. With writer Peter David scribing this uniquely different character, Warlock, and his fellow teammates in All-New X-Factor is must read comic book adventure.
I played a bit of catchup last week with my comic purchases. I was two issues behind on Marvel’s New Warriors, two issues behind of Hickman’s Image hit East of West, and 4 issues or so behind on the BOOM! Studios book Revelations, the off-the-radar hit from Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos. So, I didn’t really get many new books this week, and instead of throwing out 3 separate reviews, I figured some quick hits is enough to get the job done. And, besides: I’ve got some comics to read!
The first quick hit I have for you is Marvel’s All-New Ghost Rider by writer Felipe Smith and artist Tradd Moore, and it’s good. I mean, it’s crazy good! These relative newcomers have come on with a firestorm of fun story-telling, backed up by some amazing art. We get a lot more meat on the bone as far as the backstory of all the characters is concerned, which is nice in a book with an entirely new cast. But it’s Tradd Moore’s art that shines on this title, and this issue is no different, with the speed of race cars, and the Spirit of Vengeance, flying from each and every panel in beautiful strokes of brilliance. I was hoping ish #2 of this title would keep up the same pace as ish 1, and I was not disappointed at all.
All-New Ghost Rider #2
Story: 3 Out 5
Art: 4.5 Out of 5
Overall: 4 Out 5
Next we have the next big thing from DC Comics, Batman Eternal #1. This new weekly title is promising a new and exciting story about the Batman, and I just didn’t see it in this first issue. Now, normally, that’s a really big problem, and it still remains one here, but with the weekly release schedule, the build up for this was bound to be slow. The usual Bat-Suspects are here – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, among others – and the team of writers is hopefully going to go to some amazing places in this title, but the places this first ish went seemed way too familiar and, may I say, boring to the jaded Batfan. A big weekly investment needs to take me on a roller coaster ride that I just don’t want to stop riding, and this felt more like the first act to an episode of CSI: Batman (a two-parter with N.C.I.S. Bat-Family). Jason Fabok’s art is the one shining facet of this dull gem that I’m sure will get a nice spit-polish within a week or two. It gets a point or two overall for the potential.
Batman Eternal #1
Story: 1.5 Out of 5
Art: 4.5 Out of 5
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Finally this week, I have All-New X-Factor #6, and Peter David’s slow burn to getting the team together has finally come to its ashes. While the book’s been entertaining up to this point, the crawl to the already solicited final line-up of this team has been a grind. As much as I love David’s character interactions, the title has been more than a bit boring in places, but that’s mirrored with great moments of exciting adventure, and this ish is no different. Things go from exciting character action to boring and often cheesy character dialogues almost from page to page. Things are looking up, however, because the team has been rounded out, and it’s one of the most dynamic in all of the X-Books. Polaris, Gambit, Quicksilver, Danger, Cypher, and Warlock. Things are looking bright, but they aren’t quite there yet. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s work on art is great. He’s consistent, has a style all his own, and he just works well on this book. Top grades for a good story; bad marks for a few yawns.
Story: 3.5 Out of 5
Art: 4 Out 5
Overall: 3 Out of 5
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
“NOT BRAND X” Part 2
It literally feels like only a couple of weeks ago that I reviewed the first issue of Peter David’s latest version of X-Factor, and while I gave that very lackluster issue a pass because of how very early on in the process the series was coupled with David’s method of telling stories with a long haul payoff, I had very high hopes that issue #2 would redeem that first ish and give readers some short-term payoff. While I initially felt the same about issue #2 as I did about All-New X-Factor’s first installment, after a reread of both comics and some rethinking of Marvel Comics as a whole, I realized that Peter David IS writing a terrific comic book, but his traditional style and throwback methodology are so very different from current Marvel offerings they required this Marvel Zombie to change gears and adapt.
Issue two picks up right where issue one left off, with our three member team on a mission to rescue some mutants A.I.M. has been experimenting on. The book is full of action which is beautifully depicted in Carmine Di Giandomenico’s artwork. Quicksilver’s speed, Polaris’s heart, and Gambit’s wit spring to life in each panel, and you know you have a great comic when the word balloons aren’t even a required part of the book. While A.I.M.’s ultimate plan seems almost a bit too stereotypical for comics, that retro approach is part of the overall appeal of the book, despite that fact not registering with me immediately. There are so many Marvel Comics books being published currently that attempt to reach worthiness through the use of epic storylines, spanning the galaxy and including as many character as humanly possible (I’m talking to you, Hickman and Bendis), that it’s a great breath of fresh air to see a title that is just telling a really good comic book story, and All-New X-Factor is doing just that. While I love what Marvel is doing with the epic nature of many of their books, that trend acted as an obstacle of undeserved perception to enjoying this title for what it is, and this title IS highly enjoyable.
Before I really grasped David’s approach to this title, I found a ton of things wrong with the book. The big bad guy was totally cheesy, the mutants the team freed from the clutches of A.I.M. seemed hopelessly helpless, and I never saw the other three members of this X-Factor team that I so desperately want to see. I didn’t like the book because it wasn’t what I expected because Marvel, through their recent publishing trends, had me expecting something totally different. However, even after I got over my misconceptions, I still found some problems with the issue. Despite A.I.M. seemingly having the upper-hand on the team invading their mad lab, Quicksilver was able to escape their well-placed trap with ease, while Gambit’s escape via throwing an explosively charged playing card downward toward the bottom of a hole he happened to be falling through at the same time was nothing short of impossible even by comic book standards. Now, maybe that’s just more of Peter David trying to bring a retro comic feel to the title, but, if that IS in fact the case, it’s necessary for this comic book nowist (newly coined term) to adjust to fully enjoy the book.
On my first go around with this book I was determined that I was done with it; that Peter David lost his mojo; that I was doomed to trudge through an existence without a good X-Factor title on my pull-list. But I just couldn’t let that happen, and I’m glad I couldn’t. After that second read and second look at Marvel’s history compared to their current state of affairs, I discovered that what Peter David was actually doing was something completely different, and wonderful, I just had to get over the past decade of writing trends at Marvel, and my nowist attitude toward comics. I’ve been reading so many Marvel books that do more setting up of story than actually telling story that I was thrown completely off when a writer truly tells a full, complete, and rewarding tale within the confines of only two comic books without the in-your-face preludes to something coming later. It’s sad that I’ve grown so accustomed to the self-promoting style publishers use far too often; writing 5 or 6 issue arcs geared for collections that pay more attention to what WILL happen instead of what IS happening and end up being 2 issues too long; that I failed to see a gem of a comic that is ignoring the status quo. All-New X-Factor, very simply, is just a traditional comic book, starring great characters doing great things, and back-dropped with high adventure. It’s easily attainable for anyone; long-time readers, new readers, young or old. It’s easily the most accessible of all the X-Books Marvel is putting out, and you shouldn’t just go pick up this issue #2 of All-New X-Factor you should add it your monthly reading list immediately.
Jules: Mighty Avengers Issue #5
This title has been a serious surprise as far Avengers titles go. With Marvel saturating the market with as many Avengers books as possible is easy to miss this one but it’s def the one to pick up. Al Ewing serious makes up for Greg Lands mediocre art. The cast is solid, the banter is great! I’m really looking forward to see what’s next for the Mighty Avengers, and wanna see if I’m right about who the new Ronin is!
AL EWING • GREG LAND (A/C)
Variant Cover by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
• It’s the leadership challenge you’ve been waiting for! Luke vs The Superior Spider-Man – with She-Hulk arbitrating! As in “arbitrating” a robot’s head off!
Extreme physical discourtesy the way you crave it, True Believer!
• Meanwhile, there’s something very rotten in the fallen city of Attilan – and it’s shambling towards the Mighty Avengers!
• Plus! WHO are the Deathwalkers? Does Ronin know? Wait, hang on, he’s DEAD?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Gaumer: All-New X-Factor Issue #2
The first issue of this new run left me a bit disappointed, but I have a lot of faith in writer Peter David to turn things around in this second ish. The team features an interesting roster, that is only half together at this very early stage in the run, and the last issue left readers hanging right in the middle of the team’s very first mission. I’m looking for more mutants, more action, and, believe it or not, more dialogue from this issue.
PETER DAVID CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO (A)
Covers by JARED FLETCHER
ISSUE #2 –
Variant Cover by J. Scott Campbell
“NOT BRAND X” Part 2
X-FACTOR IS BACK…LIKE NEVER BEFORE! Serval Industries, one of the world’s most trusted names in electronics and leader in cutting-edge internet and weapons technology, has just unveiled their newest contribution to society…the All-New X-Factor. Led by mutant mistress of magnetism, Polaris, the team uses its corporate backing for the betterment of society. With her half-brother Quicksilver, notorious thief, Gambit, and more by her side, can Polaris trust that her corporate masters really have good intentions?
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$3.99
Taylor: Black Widow Issue #2
After the first issue set the stage for Natasha and her supporting cast, I’m anxious to see where this book will take us when it gets a chance to sprawl out into some deeper stories. I’m hoping that this will be the issue that starts us on the espionage roller coaster that the book has the potential to be. And people should always look forward to Phil Noto’s artwork.
This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.
Marvel Comics is doing it again! The publisher’s NOW! series of “mini” relaunches isn’t quite a year old and the House of Ideas thinks it’s a really good idea to rebrand the whole damn thing. Okay, whatever! The first NOW! brand gave us some really fun and interesting stories, with Hickman’s Avengers, Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder, Bendis’ All-New X-Men, and Waid’s Indestructible Hulk leading the way. Some of these new titles, like Avengers Arena, were needed breaths of fresh air, while others, like Morbius: The Living Vampire, just didn’t resonate with readers quite as much. All-New Marvel NOW! is sure to have the same “hit or miss” titles in the mix, and Outright Geekery is here to give the rundown and speculate on will rock and what will suck. The list is way too big to be contained by a single post, so here’s the first in a series about Marvel’s upcoming #1’s.
In this first part of the series, we get a bit of the old, a bit of the new, and whole lot o’ ladies.
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Steve Pugh
The World War II throwback team of Namor, Captain America, Bucky (AKA The Winter Soldier) and the original Human Torch is reformed with a modern twist. There promises to be plenty of old-school nostalgia but it’s set in the current day of Marvel continuity.
Gaumer: I have to admit I’m pretty tired of the same old Cap and the Gang stories from WW2. But I also have to admit I love the team itself, and seeing them thrown back together in the modern day is going to be pretty freaking awesome! James Robinson rarely disappoints, and this should be no different.
I’ll be grabbing this off the shelf, and I’m on-board for at least the first few issues. There’s no telling where this will go, and I’m sure it will be fun getting there, but, unless I simply love where it’s at after a few months I’ll be dropping it.
Jules: I’m down right stoked for this title, James Robinson was doing great things with Earth 2 at DC, he’s always done well with Golden Age Characters and this is def one of those titles. I was also a big fan of Steve Pugh’s art while he was on AnimalMan also on DC, so I feel like good things coming through in this title. I’m mostly excited to see Namor in another book and the original Human Torch.
I’ll pick it up for sure, and knowing Robinson, I will wait out the sea of words he’ll throw at the first couple of issues. Steve Pugh’s art alone has me in this for the long haul.
Taylor: The book itself seems like it should be good enough. James Robinson is a good fit with the characters, and Captain America can serve as an effective tool to draw readers in so that Winter Soldier, Namor, and Old School Torch can have more mainstream exposure. But really, we should just be excited that Stave Pugh is being given a vehicle to reach more audiences.
That being said, though, this probably won’t be an immediate purchase for me. For one thing, I’m no fan of Namor’s, and as much as I love Cap, he’s being handled well in a number of other books. But really, I’m just not excited enough by a reunion of the Invaders to jump in without seeing where it’s heading first. If it gets good word of mouth, though, I’d be glad to check it out in trade.
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
While the Investigations team of the past may still bring a tear to the eye of some forlorn fanboys, this New, sorry, All-New X-Factor is a different take on the typical team book. This one is controlled by a corporation, namely Serval Industries, and may truly be something new.
Gaumer: I have no need whatsoever to see a solicit or an interview or even a single spoiler as to whatever will go on in this book. I don’t care what the plot it; I don’t care who is on the team; I don’t care who is drawing the book. Peter David is writing an X-Factor and I couldn’t be happier about it! I loved X-Factor Investigations so much that this book could be Layla and Madrox living family life on the farm and I’d read the damn thing.
This never left my pull-list. I’ll get it; I’ll buy every single issue; I’ll buy the tie-in books that will ultimately follow; I’ll gladly kneel before the greatness that is Peter David. Did I mention I like Peter David?
Jules: PETER DAVID?! I mean come on! Did Gaumer mention Peter David is writing this book? Look, honestly, Peter David means I will buy every issue. He’s Peter David. Yes the premise is awesome, the art looks awesome, the team has solid selections, but Peter David alone makes this worth purchasing. I was afraid when the end of X-factor was announced I wouldn’t get another Peter David book, or another X-factor. Marvel comes through in the clutch.
I will Purchase EVERY ISSUE! If you’ve never enjoyed anything this man has written you’re seriously missing out on one prolific writer in the Marvel bullpen. No I won’t ignore that Carmine Di Giandomenio is such a sweet artist, and will make this book rad looking.
Taylor: …Soooo, I don’t know if you heard, but Peter David is writing X-Factor, which is pretty cool. I’ll leave it at that, as I’m pretty sure that you get the point by now. Instead, I’d like to point out that Carmine Di Giandomenio is a great artist and that I’m excited to see him headline a relaunch. Add on to this a strong line-up, and you have all the makings of a great run on the series.
But while I’m sure that this book will be great, I’m going to hold off for now. I say this not because I’m particularly worried about anything; it’s just that I usually only keep up with so many X-Books at any given time, and right now Wolverine and the X-Men and Brian Wood’s X-Men are where I go for my mutant fix. But hey, maybe there’s room for one more. If this new X-Factor lives up to the promise, I’ll be glad to pick it up.
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Phil Noto
Constantly shifting story tones and super-hero spy thrills are the order in this new title for one of Marvel’s most exciting characters. Black Widow may get the 2014 she deserves after all.
Gaumer: I am in no way a fan of this character. It’s nothing personal at all, but Widow just never really did it for me. However, the art is going to be great; Edmondson is by no means a slacker in the writing department, and “spy thriller” sounds like something missing from my hold box. But, I’m still not sold.
I’m on-board for at least two issues. I like the art, but if Edmondson doesn’t have me by issue two I’m just not going to give it much more attention. I want to love Black Widow, I just don’t.
Jules: I’m with Gaumer, I’ve always wanted to like Black Widow more than I do. Bendis’ Mighty Avengers has always been when I liked her the most, but for the most part I still like Mockingbird better, yup went there. Edmondson is a solid choice for writing a ‘spy noir’ kinda book. I’m really just looking forward to Phil Noto’s art. I mean if you haven’ seen his fake candid photo’s of Marvel heroes in the 60’s, you have no idea why I’m stoked on him penciling this book.
All that aside I’m on board for at least the initial arc, I hope I get gripped, shut my mouth and start loving Black Widow more than Mockingbird, yes went there again.
Taylor: This one is actually one of the new books I’m most excited about. Every now and then, a character gets paired with the perfect creative team, and I think we have just such a case here. Edmondson brings a strong background in espionage capers, which seems a natural fit for Marvel’s premiere secret agent. And it only gets better with the art being handled by the very capable Phil Noto, who excels at drawing strong, powerful women, making them beautiful without reducing them to sex-toys.
I’m certainly going to be on board for this one, at least for the first arc.
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Elektra Natchios is back and in full-form as the red-clad assassin. Elektra is still up to her old ninja games, but she is torn by her identity: is she a hero, or is she a villain?
Gaumer: Here we go again! It’s as if I’ve read this same solicit 5, 6, or 10 times before…oh, because I have! I’ve been fooled way too many times before. I’m not a fan of the character because she’s been so overused, and I’m not getting on that Titanic just to wait for the inevitable iceberg.
Nope! Ain’t goin’ ta do it! I’m leaving this on the shelf.
Jules: Seriously? Again with this? Dude, no one will ever write her the way Frank Miller did on Daredevil run; can’t we just say it was the best because we barely knew the character, and just as we got to know her, she f#ckin died!
Of all the characters that could get their own book, this is the one I was hoping they wouldn’t try again. I’m not into it. Someone else read it and tell me if I was wrong and if its any good.
Taylor: As someone who’s never really been interested in Elektra as a character, I’m afraid that I’m not really drawn to check her new book here. That being said, Zeb Wells is a very capable writer, and Mike Del Mundo has a strong and inventive art style that could be very interesting to see, especially on a book like this one that should be a little left of mainstream, perhaps allowing him a loose leash to work with.
Maybe it will end up being a sleeper hit, but I can’t say that I’ll be along for the ride.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Javier Pulido
She-Hulk is back, and back in a huge way! Big muscles; big adventure; big cases? Jennifer Walters gets back to her lawyer roots and attempts to balance a job, a life as a super-hero and a love life.
Gaumer: I love this character; I love this writer; I love the ideas being bounced around about the character by her new writer! Soule being a lawyer himself should make for some really interesting stuff and I cannot wait!
Yup, this is making my pull-list. I’m not completely sold, I’ll admit, but unless the book is just so completely terrible that I can’t justify keeping it on my list I’ll be reading it.
Jules: Where the hell was this when that travesty called the RED SHE-HULK book was being published. I’m super stoked for this title. I’ve always been a big fan of She-Hulk I’m happy to see her being used more, She’s honestly a really solid character.
I’m become a small fan of Charles Soule’s recent work and really looking forward to see what he can do with her. I’m gonna give it a shot and hope for the best.
Taylor: I’m unabashedly excited to have Jen Walters back, if for no other reason than because I’m glad to see Marvel moving away from the whole Red-Variety Hulks phase. That, and Jen is one of the cooler characters out there to begin with.
This is going to be one of my wait-and-see books. It has a lot of promise, and I’m hoping to see the creative team live up to it.
That’s it for NOW! for now! Tell us what you think in the Facebook comments or below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for more of what All-New Marvel NOW! will have in store!