Overview

X-Factor #3

Review

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X-Factor #3

Credits

  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Ryan Sook and Dennis Calero
  • Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger and Dennis Calero
  • Colors: Jose Villarrubia
  • Story Title: The Big Bang
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2006

Madrox and Siryn go to help X-Factor Investigations’ first client who is now accused of murder, there’s a riot in Mutant Town, and Layla Miller reveals her true mission.

Called by client, Gloria Santiago, Madrox and Siryn race to the scene of Gloria’s supposed crime. They quickly find their way to the truth blocked by Damien Tryp, Jr., co-owner of Singularity Investigations. Undaunted, the two former superheroes question their client about the murder, only to find her memory stops just before the crime. While they work the case, though, a riot breaks out near the office, brought on by friction between those mutants who miss their powers and those who are glad to be rid of them. Rahne and Guido end up in the thick of things, while Rictor tends to one of the victims. Only Layla knows that Rictor has become a target for Singularity.

Buckle your seatbelt before you sit down to read this one because Peter David’s dialogue moves at the speed of sound here. Funny quips, insults, and pop culture references fly only to quickly be turned to have more ominous connotations, or be pushed off by pathos. David keeps the readers’ emotions on a seesaw, flying up and down without a moments’ notice.

There is also a wonderful balance of the cast. With characters as diverse as these, David still manages to give each one a moment in the sun. Each appearance has significance, whether that is a new moment of characterization, or just a joke to lighten the tone. Juggling seven characters is never easy but David makes it look that way.

As picture-perfect as the writing on this issue was, though, the art had some drawbacks. Ryan Sook’s amazing pencil work is given a boost by Dennis Calero to finish the issue off. Sook’s art is flawless but Calero’s has some problems – particularly with hands. In one sequence Siryn has odd, stubby fingers and in another sequence Rictor is punched out but the fist doing the punching is so tiny in comparison that for a moment I thought Layla had decked him. Peter David does take time on the letters page to explain why the issue needed two artists and actually solicits fans’ opinions on the matter. It is a classy move and shows a respect for fans.

The aforementioned letters page is also a nice touch, one that has been missing from comics in recent years. It is nice to see it starting to come back and David makes this one just as funny as the rest of the issue.

The new X-Factor is a breath of fresh air for the comics shelves. Even only three issues in, this title shows the promise of being some of the best of Peter David’s work. The mixture of comedy, drama, detective noir, and superheroics is unusual but seamless. Don’t wait for the trade on this one, pick it up and discover the mystery for yourself.

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