on 8 June 2009
It's been a long time since I've read a comic series which screams quality and depth on every page and rewards frequent re-reading. Peter David's run on X Factor has been impressive, and this collection is possibly his best. For a start, David has taken the minor character Jamie Madrox from Marvel's mutant pages and transformed him into one of the most fascinating, believable and (literally) multi-faceted individuals in comics today. Madrox's rag-tag group of would-be private investigators - Siryn, Monet St Croix, Rahne, Guido and Rictor - get similar treatment. We also have the additional treat of the superb younger, enigmatic character Layla Miller who steals every scene she's in.
A more convincing story than in most comics, our heroes spend a lot of time just hanging out:
Rictor: Nine across. An uncomplicated two thousand pounds.
Rictor: Hey! Yeah! Thanks for the help, Monet.
Monet: I wasn't helping you, Rictor. I was describing you.
The humour and the dialogue remain this strong throughout, and the fight scenes when they come are very believable, with a lot of posturing and talk, punctuated by sudden short bursts of violence, just as soldiers often describe the reality of war. Not for X Factor the endless pages of operatic cartoon violence spilling from issue to issue.
There are a lot of big themes, such as post-9/11 erosion of freedom and the grey 'fog of war'. As an example, when the X Men turn up in pursuit of Quicksilver, their disciplined self-righteousness makes them come across very much as the bad guys. It takes remarkable writing to pull that off. This, balanced with the insights into X Factor's rather complicated, and complex, personal lives ensures we get the best of everything.
The art is also superb, with a blend of noir and other styles with never a line or shade out of place.
Exciting, hilarious, compassionate, subtle, profound. If only all comics were this good.
on 21 February 2008
I must admit that I keep being more and more impressed by Peter David's writing. Loved him on The Incredible Hulk, enjoyed his first run on X-factor, but this is the title that he deserves fandon star status. He had taken an X-title and given us something more.
Leaving the art to one side, Peter David has taken a team of also-rans for the mutant world and formed a powerhouse team who we care about more and more. And Layla.... What a superd creation she turning out to be, a suvivor of The House Of M who "Knows Stuff", brilliand.
Does anyone else thing that an X-factor TV show would be great. and not that time waste with Simon Cowell.
The art work always makes me think of a Vertigo (DC Comics Mature Reader's line of titles) story that just ads to the feeling that these people are outsiders rtying to find out what happened to their fellow mutants.
Everything about this title makes is a must read, in implore you all to read this. You will not regret it.