This is what Marvel’s “Point One” program should be all about: fun, character-driven comics that offer up slices of the world contained in the title. Not all of the characters are clearly or completely defined, but there’s enough here to provide an introduction and extend an invitation to the reader to come back for more.
Personally, this is the first time I’ve given “X-Factor” more than a cursory flip-through at the comic shop. Surprisingly (to me at least), it’s the second part of a story titled “They Keep Killing Madrox.” Most folks would highly recommend against jumping in on a storyline with the second installment, but in this case it matters little.
Peter David opens the issue with Butterfly (Layla Miller) keeping watch over a deep freeze and getting snappy with Banshee (to this point, I knew her as “Siryn”). Layla’s feeling guilty over what happened to Madrox, giving her some touchy-feely talking pages with Wolverine, of all characters. Their conversation sets a nice backdrop for the other goings-on in this issue, all of which is plenty for the reader to take in. David pokes fun at the characters and their situations, giving the story some much-needed and very appreciated chuckles to help move things forward.
David gives every character a moment to shine (or at least sparkle a little bit) in this issue. Some of the characters have a bit more time in the spotlight, but that’s to be expected with any cast bordering on a dozen characters.
Through it all, Emanuela Lupacchino draws some fabulous art. Lupacchino’s characters are very expressive, in both body language and facial cues. At times her expressions border on Kevin Maguire-esque brilliance. There’s a great deal of scowling and mad faces in this issue, but Lupacchino varies up the scowls with each of the characters so we’re not simply subjected to clones of the same character with different coloring. Every character is distinct in her or his body language, gesturing and countenance. Lupacchino’s art is clean and strong. Some of the backgrounds appear flat, but that is partially attributable to the colors Matt Milla uses for the backgrounds in order to project the characters forward.
This is a book that was enjoyable even though I had only a cursory amount of background on the characters and their situation. There is humor, drama and intrigue. There are characters that I want to know a little more about (Longshot and Strong Guy both provided some humor) and situations surrounding them that have piqued my interest. That’s what I want more of in my comics. How about you?