Review: All New X-Factor #3 – Serval Industries Shows Its Colors (Maybe)
✔ POV character of Gambit behaves like the reader should be feeling
✔ Great scene with Remy's little friends does the cover service
✔ Good follow through from previous titles notably the Gambit solo series
✔ Shocking reveal of a missed character
✘ Figures can look sketchy at times
✘ Preview cover spoils this issue's plot twist
Serval Industries is Google for the 616. Should we worry about Google?
Now that the introductions are out of the way for this title, Peter David is starting to get to the meat and potatoes of what this is all about. The question on everyone’s mind is ‘Can Serval Be Trusted?’ and this issue gives us one more step to the answer: not so much.
That’s not to say we get a curtain pulled back revealing Mr. Sinister has been in charge all along, or a reveal that Serval is a front for the Purifiers or anything, but we do get a glimpse of what kind of ethics Mr. Snow is working with and exactly how he views his employees when they are not around. What he does to Polaris made me shudder and firmly put me back on Gambit’s side of suspecting everyone. Remy gets some validation as the issue opens with one of his suspicions though it’s not quite as creepy as his reservations about Serval being justified.
This title is doing a decent job keeping in line with the characters and what they experienced before. Fans of the underrated recent Gambit solo series will understand this issue fully as we see Remy’s two lives collide for an awkward reunion. In his defense, he does give the team full disclosure before they step foot into the situation that crosses them with the Thieves Guild, which for Gambit is a sign of respect and trust. Unfortunately it leads to a shocking reveal that is going to rock both our Serval employees and the Guild for biting off WAY more than it can chew.
I liked that this issue finally gets to the core of the title of trusting megacompanies or not by focusing on Gambit. I see his inclusion to be the perspective of the reader as he suspects everyone (and is usually right) and is going along just to see how this all plays out. I can see that as a conscious decision on Peter David’s part for choosing him as the POV character and it works in a slightly meta way. The cover is not misleading at all in that we do get a great scene with Lucifer, Oliver, and Figaro, including a great moment that tests Lorna’s control and sanity. Cats will do that to you.
Carmine Di Giandomenico once again layers every scene with flawless and detailed perspective even if his figures seem a little sketchy at times. His designs (save those blasted goggles) are solid and I especially like the team’s new aircraft which seems an updated version of the old single person craft the X-Men used to fly around in on the 90’s animated series. The unifying color of yellow is still prevalent but it seems colorist Lee Loughridge has taken pity on our eyes and breaks the book up with more blues, greens, and purples which is very welcome.
Though technically next issue, the preview cover does appear at the end of this one so I say it’s fair game to comment upon. I don’t usually do that but there was a major moment where I saw the cover to the next issue and loudly laughed “What?!”. Without spoiling the twist reveal, a character is shown fighting Lorna in a Serval uniform. Not only does it look ridiculous, but at no point in the story was this character mentioned before the last few pages much less hinted at joining the team. It seemed a poor decision to spoil the book on the cover when an easy fix would have been to just not have that character in a uniform at all.
I’m still on board. I still want to see how the team responds when the eventually figure out what Serval is about (especially when Lorna finds out how her trust was broken. Oh man, is that going to push all of her crazy buttons). Peter David has earned enough credit to see what he has to say about corporate run superheroes, especially after this issue. The steam is building, let’s see if it can pop the way it needs to.