Following the high-impact action found in issue #2, things slow down considerably in comparison for this issue. After the team’s defeat and capture of Doctor Hoffman of A.I.M., Polaris admires Gambit’s kittens, Quicksilver shoots some pool with Havok, and Harrison Snow offers Doctor Hoffman a job at Serval, although the real focus of this story is on the team’s second mission. Someone has hacked into and embezzled funds from the company and X-Factor is sent to deal with the culprit. Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, the thief in question is a member of the Thieves Guild. You know the guild that Gambit is king of? Yeah, that one.
Peter David keeps the focus on the Ragin’ Cajun, holding strong ties to Gambit’s prior adventures in his recently cancelled solo title. Following along in Gambit’s point of view allows for the reader to remain anchored and invested in the team, to affirm his distrust for Pietro and Serval Industries, as well as having the reader bare the same doubts that the character has toward Polaris’ current mental state and stability. It’s a smart move by the writer as Gambit is probably the most grounded person on the roster and it’s fun to see his paranoia be justified. And as if the current mixture of characters and hidden agendas wasn’t volatile enough, the reveal at the end of this issue just ups the stakes even more. Consequently, it’s obvious that X-Factor has found themselves a fourth member, but first they will have to trade some heavy blows before it can come to that.
Carmine’s artwork remains consistent. Bold inks, and the liberal use of letterbox style panels lend a cinematic feel to the book, while colorist Lee Loughridge delivers a vibrant palette that really makes the details pop. I like Di Giandomenico’s style more and more with each passing issue which means I may just have to come to terms that I will need to practice my pronunciation of his last name since I expect to be talking a lot more about this book in the future.
Bottom line is that with this third issue locked in, it’s safe to say that All-New X-Factor is off to a solid start with a solid creative team. Peter David once again offers Marvel readers something just different enough from the other X-books to wrangle in the stragglers that might not necessarily have been sold on what Bendis and company are doing. Regardless of whether or not the other X-books are more of your cup of tea, you definitely should be checking out All-New X-Factor for that little touch of the unexpected.