Friday, 20 March 2009

X-Factor 41 review

For the past couple of months writer Peter David has been trying to up X-Factor sales with shocking surprises. Well, this month he pulls off the biggest trick of all - he makes me like Longshot. Yes, the mullet-cursed Eighties holdout gets some great dialogue and charms me with a gag.

Then David, on a roll, goes one better and makes me like Darwin, the evolving wonder boy, with his best transformation ever. But I'm not going to spoil that one, buy the book . . . do so and you'll also enjoy Jamie Madrox's trip to a Sentinel-filled future, X-Factor's latest assignments, Guido reminding everyone he's as much a Smart Guy as a Strong Guy and priest John Madrox showing that he doesn't always need the power of prayer to prevail.

This is a gimmick-free issue, relying on the book's traditional strengths - smart storylining and terrific characters - to carry the day. And on that basis, I heartily recommend it.

Valentine DeLandro continues to provide attractive pencils, and he's joined here by Marco Santucci, who's new to me but I expect to see lots more of him. In nine pages (the Detroit and smuggling sequences) he shows he can handle action and emotion equally well, and is simply sterling at interesting angles, an area in which many an artist falls down. Santucci does his own inking, while Patrick Davidson spots for DeLandro, and they're an attractive team. Colouring the whole lot is Jeromy Cox, who always finds drama in a naturalistic palette. Cory Petit does a grand job on lettering, but he's had his praise for this week in my Spidey 588 review - can't have him getting swell-headed, now.

David Yardin and Nathan Fairbairn have worked up a terrific cover that combines scary looming giant robot with Ditkoesque people - how could I not like it?

All in all, this issue showcases everything good about X-Factor and it does so with style. I do hope you're reading.

7 comments:

  1. so its how a comic should be then ?
    engaging dialouge good art and a well written storyline


    amazing a rarity in comics these days

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  2. Good Lord, this is a blast from the past - good point, BlueKatt.

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  3. sadly these days comics are either event driven
    (rushing from one mega cross over to the next )
    or gimmick driven ( which usually means arbitrary killing a character but he or she wil get better off course or rebooting or renumbering )

    its depressing and they wonder why comic sales are down the drain

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  4. I find Marvel worse than DC in terms of events - too many, too long, mixed quality. And now all this double shipping. Gah.

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  5. i generally dont bother with events anymore they are usually to confusing too dependant on at least 50 other books instead of the cor ebook never make their deadlines are always late and always rushed its like each page of the 7 issue core books are a lead in to an extra comic you have to buy to understand the story

    i miss the days when all you needed were the 12 issues of the maxi series it self that could stand on it self
    such as secret wars or crisis on infinite earths

    personally i am more of a marvel fan but their events have been tepid ever since 2005
    house of m pass
    civil war interesting idea crap execution
    world war hulk not interested
    planet hulk also not interested
    secret invasion ? no thanks ( dont get me started on what a lazy creative bankrupt idea secret invasion was anybody behaving out of character the past few years ? no he wasnt badly written and the editors werent doing their jobs he or she was a skrull )
    dark reign dont like the sound of that at all

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  6. It's tough to disagree with any of that. If you like Spider-Man at all, check out the recently finished Spider-Island. There are tie-ins, but I pretty much stuck to the Amazing Spider-Man and enjoyed it hugely. I think it's six issues.

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  7. ive heard of spider island the execution seems to be sound but i just dont like the premise
    clones ...spider clones ..again ?!

    if i want to read clones ill read the second clone saga ( i actually like the 90's clone saga and ben reilly ) and the apperance of the queen didnt inspire confidence in me

    the spider events tend to be hit and miss
    least said about the other and one more day or sins past or sins remembered the better

    i stil feel jenkins his first run on spiderman in the early 2000's was one of the very best

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