Publisher: Marvel Comics
Story: Peter David
Pencils: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colours: Lee Loughridge
All New X-Factor #1 from Marvel Comics is one hell of a ride for a first issue. This new series sees fan favourite Peter David reprise the team he’s made his own over the last decade. This is the third incarnation of X-Factor to flow from the pen of David and this time round the group is re-branded as a kind of corporate super-hero team funded by the mysterious Serval Industries.
Serval Industries we are told, has many interests, from weapons to the internet, but their chief concern is in ‘helping people’.
The first person they try to recruit to this remodeled X-Factor team is none other than Remy Etienne Lebeau, more commonly known as Gambit. (Full disclosure – this review writer is an unashamed Gambit fanboy). Remy, naturally enough, is rather skeptical of Serval Industries intentions, and indeed the man who heads it, Harrison Snow, seems the typically slimy CEO-type. So immediately with this first issue, writer Peter David sets up an intriguing scenario. One where the black and white morality seen in most other superhero books has the potential to become a little blurry here.
This first issue is Gambit-centric (something I’ll never complain about) and starts off with Wolverine interrupting the debonair Cajun master-thief mid-score in order to drag his ass back to the Jean Grey School where he should be teaching. David gives a nod to the recently departed Gambit solo series with mention of Joelle, which is a nice touch for those few of us who read it.
The pacing of this first issue is excellent, taking in a bar scene (which shows you should never trash talk about New Orleans to ole Remy) where Polaris attempts to recruit Gambit to this new team. We get an explosive plane ride, a look inside Serval Industries with this first issue culminating in the new team’s first assignment.
That Peter David has (hopefully) chosen Gambit as the anchor of this series opens up all sorts of possibilities. Remy is not one known for playing by the rules and he does straddle the fence of right and wrong from time to time, given his penchant for a good score. How this will fit into the murky world of corporate sponsored super-heroing is anyones guess, but I for one am down to find out.
As for the pencils by Carmine Di Giandomenico, they are beautifully precise. His thin line work captures the mood of a lower tier superhero team staffed by people with skeletons in the closet. Colours from Lee Loughridge (who I’ve been a fan of since his excellent work on Fury MAX) are top notch, evoking everything from the cold and clinical Serval Industries set scenes to the more incendiary panels where Di Giandomenico and Loughridge combine to wonderfully dynamic effect.
All in all a great start to this new series, instant pull-list material and not just because ole Remy’s in it.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.