Writer: Peter David; Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico; Colors: Lee Loughridge; Cover Artists: Kris Anka & Jared Fletcher
So this belated review is way, way, way overdue; I have good reasons though. Namely, I could not locate issues 15 and 16. These were the Axis crossovers, sold out quickly, and were never replenished. I ended up going to an LCS I do not frequent and finding them there.
I’m glad I could finally finish this epic series of Peter David’s but I’m sad as well. I will miss the quips between characters, the relationship building, and Danger’s desire for a sexual experience. The cliffhanger at the end of issue #20 was a tremendous punch in the gut. Damn you Marvel, I want more!
I had no problem diving into issue #15 after months of not reading All-New X-Men. Despite the tie-in to a bigger event (which didn’t help save the title) there is no lag in the overall story of ANXM. Carmine di Giandomenico’s art remains spectacular with it’s treatment of Quicksilver. The “football” scene is well laid out and visually spectacular. His panels are incredible as well. The page layouts vary page to page with 4-6 panels, sub-panels, and/or asides.
In #16 we get Sentinels! Not the mindless robotic kind either. The remotely controlled by a human kind. We also have Quicksilver and Polaris’ belated confrontation. Pietro has been on a mission to redeem himself of his past decisions. He was a little late in telling Lorna everything but he was working into that conversation. It’s hard sometimes, you know. Cypher’s powers are used and displayed in a very intelligent way.
Issue #17 ends the Axis tie-ins as the group battles a mind controlled Longshot and Sunfire. D.K., or Georgia, joins the team. She’s learning but puts up a good fight. Cypher, again, works wonders with a clever deception to solve their Longshot/Sunfire issue.
Serval’s X-Factor helps Harrison Snow’s business partner in the last three issues of the title. Barry Huff’s daughter Elena is recently deceased and her body is stolen during the funeral procession. Lorna, Pietro and Remy all agree they should help in the matter, much to the latter two’s surprise.
We are treated to one of the best moments for the title right before the team embarks on their trip. Danger and Cypher…in bed…post relations. Epic.
Sunfire returns to Serval Industries to apologize for his actions the last couple issues. He’s then invited to help on the mission to Egypt which does not sit well with Pietro. He leaves the team to their business and goes to spend time with Luna. He’s the lucky one in this situation since he doesn’t have to face an Egyptian god inhabiting Elena’s body. Polaris tries the peaceful route. That doesn’t work so mayhem ensues and Danger rescues everyone since she has no soul, and we end with a “What the what?!”
Then there’s the finale where the tagline is “Recruiting X-Factor is only the start.” How cryptic is that since it’s the last freaking issue and we cannot see these seeds sowed. We learn more of Harrison Snow’s background and his vision for Serval Industries. We experience Danger and Warlock interacting as human beings after Lorna sheds some light on the situation for Warlock’s sake. Cypher also has a heart to heart with his best friend.
I’ve written enough already so I’m not spoiling any specifics from the last issue. I wish we would continue the story but since the story is not going to be fulfilled buy the trades and experience this textbook on relationship building, seed planting, unique character voices, diverse panel layouts, and establishing a brand with a title.
I will miss you All-New X-Factor. You were a unique X-title where the main titles can feel weighed down by their need to carry at least half of the Marvel Universe. I’ll keep my eye out for the announcement of a new Peter David X-Factor. Until then…