Sunday, December 18, 2005

X-Factor #1 - A good Mutant Book? Que?

Picked up X-Factor #1 this week. It's Peter David's new ongoing that follows up the situations established in his Madrox miniseries. Ryan Sook, fresh off a stint on Grant Morrison's Zatanna, handles the artwork, and it is very, very pretty.

Now, I should say right off the bat that I am not a Marvel Mutant fan in general. Outside of Morrison's New X-Men and the legendary X-Force/Statix, there are very few X-books that I have enjoyed. I've never even read the Phoenix Saga or Days of Future Past. Clearly I am completely unqualified to be reviewing a mutant book. But why would I let that stop me?

X-Factor #1 is great. Apparently Peter David has a bit of a reputation for being "cutesy" at time, and for relying excessively on puns in his lighter work. That may be true, I have no idea. I've read his Madrox miniseries and Fallen Angel, and both weren't excessively silly, to say the least. X-Factor does have a healthy amoount of humour, but it manages for the most part to keep from veering into parody. Jamie Madrox is a great lead character, especially now that he's been removed from one of Marvel's worst costumes.

David has surrounded Madrox with a grab-bag assortment of supporting characters, some taken from his earlier X-Factor run (which no, I haven't read) and some taken from more disparate corners of the Marvel Mutuant Universe. It seems like a good mix, but this issue didn't really have much of a chance to show too much interaction. With David in the writers chair, I have no doubt that the relationships will be revealed in full in forthcoming issues.

I thought House of M was utter pap, but I do think it was a good idea to clip the number of active mutants down to a reasonable amount. David is evidently going to explore some of the issues raised by the depowering of a significant portion of the mutant population, and I think I'll enjoy his examination of the new status quo much more than I enjoyed the initial House of M "mega-event".

One thing I didn't like about X-Factor #!? The inclusion of know-it-all super-mutant Layla Miller is a bad, bad idea. She was lame in House of M, and I don't see why a small child would seem like a logical addition to a hard-boiled detective pastiche.

Seriously, get rid of her. Please.

Ryan Sook does a dynamite job, using interesting panel layouts and very expressive (almost Kevin Maguire level) facial renditions. He's a keeper, that's for sure. Marvel did a great steal when they took him from DC. I usually am unhappy when an artist I like goes over to the House of Ideas (*cough*Pascal Ferry*cough), but if Sook is going to stick on this book long-term, I have no complaints.

hey, wow, I'm actually adding an X-book to my monthly take! Who says people don't grow and change!


Blogger Ragnell said...

You're not the only one who was surprised by an X-book in her pull!

Man, this was surpringly good, though. And I trust PAD with Layla. I read his first X-Factor run. The only thing missing is a "group dynamics spoiler character" like Pietro (who's gone all villain again so he's out)

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Basilios said...

Yeah, Can't wait to read this. PAD's X-Factor was one of my favourite comics growing up. Jaime MadroX character was one of my all time favourite characters, I really relate to him. You should get PAD's old X-Factor series, I think its being collected, the first Vol is out.

I don't buy X-Titles, seriously whats the point. X-titles are a mesh! I can't even look at them, they are so stupid!

Whats Utter Pap????
And why is Quicksilver a Villian???

1:12 AM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

Ragnell - I trust David to tell a good story, but I just don't think a 10-year old girl makes for an interesting character in this type of story.

Bastilios - Utter pap = no substance (i.e. no value, lacking quality)

re: Quicksilver


...okay then... Pietro was revealed to be the motivator behind Wanda's rewriting of the Marvel Universe. As such, he's responsible for the depowering of most of Marvel's mutants, and is currently wandering the streets of New York, powerless and hiding.
(see Son of M for more details)

8:55 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

I may have to look at X-Factor again. I'm with you as far as my history with the X-books, but this didn't do much for me at all (although I really liked Madrox). Perhaps it was just all the Bendis detritus floating around that bothered me.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

Hmm, if you liked Madrox, I really think you should give X-Factor a couple of issues at least to make an impression. This first issue seemed more like an "itroducing the team" story, and didn't really give much indication of where the story might lead.

3:54 PM  

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