[Marvel Comics, 9.0]

Dan Faust:
There’s a reason that X-Factor is currently my favorite X-book on the market right now. In recent years, the X-Men have become more like a (para)military organization and less like a family. X-Factor, on the other hand, is a family. A dysfunctional family, yes, but a family nonetheless, and this latest issue presents the most classic of family activities: the family vacation. X-Factor’s current case brings the team to Las Vegas and, much to his chagrin, Madrox learns that leading his merry band of mutants is a lot more like herding cats than he ever expected. There are so many great scenes in this issue—from Shatterstar showing the actors on Treasure Island’s pirate ship how to properly engage in a sword fight to everyone assuming that one of Madrox’s wayward dupes is responsible for Rahne’s current “condition”—it’s hard to list them all. And, no trip to Vegas is complete without a gambling montage, courtesy of Longshot (and I can’t be the only one who heard Sinatra singing while reading that bit). I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the whole Asgardian angle, but Peter David and company deliver a thoroughly entertaining read, as always. (9/10)

Caroline Pruett:
An easy Pick of the Week. This is Peter David’s Marvel writing at its best — lively, funny ensemble scenes that never lose sight of more weighty underlying themes and conflicts. Shatterstar and Longshot get the most fun things to do, while Rictor and Rahne get the serious scenes, with Madrox running around between like Kermit trying to keep the Muppet Show going. Helping the story, this week’s “random artist wheel” landed on Emanuela Luppachino, whose dynamic layouts together with Matt Milla’s colors make the whole issue a treat. (9/10)

Jennifer Smith:
X-Factor is, at this point, the comic book I’ve been buying the longest and the most consistently, and for good reason: Peter David is a masterful writer, particularly when it comes to character. The personalities and relationships he’s built up over the book’s tenure continue to play out in fascinating ways, and the drama is always balanced by David’s trademark humor. I’ve been especially interested in the relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar, and the new developments between them (Rahne’s return, and Shatterstar’s subsequent first taste of jealousy) have me on the edge of my seat. I only wish, greedily, that I could get more of the story every month — and that the book could find a long-term artist. (9/10)

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