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X-Factor Visionaries - Peter David, Vol. 1 (X-Men) (v. 1) Paperback – November 23, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; 1st edition (November 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785118721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785118725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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And here’s where the gushing begins. This is comic book perfection. This is how you take characters that have been no-dimensional and immediately build them up into living, breathing people that completely cement their place as some of the quirkiest and best characters in the Marvel Universe. And what a cast! I don’t know what Peter David’s thought process was, but picking these characters is just so right. You have so many great dynamics to play with, only a couple of which are even touched upon here. Val Cooper and Rahne’s one-panel “kibbles n bits” moment, the beginning scene with Guido (a “real ’90s kind of guy”) hitting on Polaris, even Multiple Man finally gets some depth as a mild-mannered practical joker.
Larry Stroman’s art holds up better than anything else being published back in 1991, and it even holds up far better than the work he did on X-Factor just a couple years ago. I cite Al Milgrom’s tight inking job, which reigns in the rampant geometric eccentricity that is Stroman’s pencils and makes them serviceable for a superhero story while being completely individual. This is the only way this book could have looked. It’s perfect.
This is so smart, so well done, and so all around revolutionary for a Marvel Comics superhero book in 1991. There is barely any action. The premise is more politics than punching. The art is frustratingly gorgeous. The characters are B and C-list at best. This was such a risk and it pays off in every way.
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Format: Paperback
X-Factor Visionaries: Peter David, v. 1, isn't a masterpiece, as some will tell you. However, it's an outstanding example of a comedic superhero book.

David's humor is top notch. Every issue is funny, and every character is funny in his or her own way. The breadth of David's humor is incredible: wordplay, throwaway references to pop culture, running gags, physical humor, funny dialogue ... he even uses puns in a way that won't make you want to strangle him. I could lists a dozen or so of my favorite X-Factor jokes, but it's better that you find your own favorites.

It's not all laughs, though. David makes you care about a lineup of second stringers: a pair of B-list X-Men (Havok and Polaris), a former New Mutant (Wolfsbane), a B-list Avenger (Quicksilver), a guy who had been hanging around the fringes of the X-books for almost two decades (Madrox the Multiple Man), and a guy who was a bodyguard to C-lister Lila Cheney (Guido, who gets his "Strong Guy" name here). David makes these characters face their own traumas and hang-ups, overcome their crises. David gives warning that he is willing to put his character though the wringer and examine their heads afterwards -- all while maintaining that sense of humor.

X-Factor's pencils are by Larry Stroman, and he's ... he's not my favorite artist, to say the least. I had hoped Stroman's art would grow on me like Bill Sienkiewicz's New Mutants work did, but it was not to be. I can't stand his exaggerated style with lumpy heads and Muppet mouths and bulbous bodies. His fight scenes -- which David gives him few of, admittedly -- are weak, at best. At times I find it tough to look at his pencils.

Peter David, v. 1, isn't perfect; no book is. The villains are forgettable, at best, and for a government superhero team, X-Factor does very little work for the government. And oh, that art ... But despite its flaws, it should be part of every X-fan's library.
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Format: Paperback
While it didn't become the legendary fan favorite that his monumental run on the Incredible Hulk did, Peter David's revision of the X-Men spin-off X-Factor is undoubtadly the best the series ever offered, and pretty much the only X-Factor ever worth reading. In the beginning of this TPB, the government sponsored mutant team has their share of difficulties. Besides the auora of distrust between the group and their liason Val Cooper, Jamie "the Multiple Man" Madrox's powers are slowly spinning out of control. In the meantime, Havok and co. are going to have their hands full with events that are just over the horizon, which is the biggest drawback of this TPB. The farther that the TPB goes along, the better David gets in his storytelling, and by the time it comes to an end, you'll be wanting more. Larry Stroman's art is solid throughout, even though it's the typical, 90's muscled look that ended up being so apparent throughout the various X-books during the decade, but thankfully it never goes to Liefeld-esque heights. All in all, if you have fond memories of Peter David's all too brief run on X-Factor, give this a look; and while you're at it, check out David's woefully underrated Madrox mini-series, as well as the current monthly X-Factor series that once again features the man at the helm.
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Format: Paperback
This graphic novel, which reprints X-Factor #71-75, takes place as Peter David and Larry Stroman took over the struggling book. Giving the team a line up of Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Havok, Polaris, Maddrox, Wolfsbane, they have the group working for the government, with Val Cooper as a liaison.

This arch has several subplots, but the main plot featuring Multiple Man's powers spinning out of control is the most amusing. Several other subplots are not wrapped up before the end of the graphic. The writing itself is not David's strongest work. In the first half of the graphic, you get the feeling he's still trying to find the character's voices and mannerisms, with nothing really gelling until much later in the book. There's humor, but most times it feels forced, and the villains are either overused or asinine.

The art work is staggering, and I think Mr. David would have been better served had this been called X-Factor Visionaries (Larry Stroman, Vol. 1) Mr. Stroman's art, sense of style, and composition make even the most mundane instances appealing and his art alone saves the book from a rating of 3 stars.

So if you get this book, just know that it's nothing amazing that will change your life or the way you see comics. But, the art is staggering, and worth the price of admission alone.

This could be read by a newcomer to comic books, but they might think `Is this all there is to comics?' Buy them Watchmen instead.
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