By Peter David, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Will Sliney and Lee Loughridge
All New X-Factor’s final issue is here and after the interesting twist of the previous month’s issue, this reviewer couldn’t wait to see what happened next. As always, the stellar creative team didn’t disappoint, with Peter David, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Will Sliney and Lee Loughridge combining to give a great send off for the respective characters, as well as including a surprise (but welcomed) guest appearance from Spider-Man 2099, to end the series on a high note as well as set the stage for plenty of future stories that are just begging to be explored.
The slower, character driven pace on the series has worked pretty well and this issue doesn’t go for an all out blockbuster finish which allows the pace of the book to be kept pretty smoothly. The tension is ever present and the story development never takes away from the character focus, even in the book’s final issue we are still getting some good exploration of the likes of Gambit, Polaris, Danger and Warlock, among others, in what is a very awesome finale and a great way to bid farewell.
The clean artwork presented from Giandomenico has been very consistent through the entire series and that’s no exception here as he’s joined by Will Sliney for the finale on pencils. Lee Loughridge is great as usual on the colours and the end result looks just as you’d expect from a title that is one of Marvel’s best. Some great panels that really add depth to the storyline, with the end result paying off very well indeed.
The book brings up unexpected questions that are left unanswered, but in a good way. All New X-Factor #20 feels both like the ending of this series and the beginning of a new one, with plenty of potential to be explored going forward as well as room for characters to maybe transfer into David’s other Marvel book, Spider-Man 2099. The slower pace of this book and the fact that it didn’t really have any big characters apart from Gambit may have helped its cancellation but those who missed out on this title were missing out on something awesome. The freshness and exciting elements that this series provided was great, and even when it did get dragged into crossovers such as the AXIS event David still managed to give us some of the better storylines from the entire thing.
The issue further explored the twist concerning Harrison Snow last issue very well indeed. This reviewer had feared that with one issue left the conclusion might end up feeling rushed, but David confidently steered the book to a natural ending. Yes, Quicksilver may be gone, but there are interesting enough characters left behind to keep the book engaging especially given how well it’s written.
In short, All New X-Factor #20 is a brilliant finale to what has been an extremely under-appreciated series. The reviews have been positive even as it hasn’t been finding the sales that it needed to survive, but hopefully the upcoming Secret Wars event will lead to a new, relaunched series that’s just as good as this one.