I do Peter David an incredible injustice because I have been writing this blog for almost three months and I have yet to throw praise at him. He has written a host of comics and books but is most famous for his twelve year run on the Incredible Hulk. He took Bruce to another level with brilliant changes to the Hulk dichotomy and even made him into a grey casino bouncer! I began to read his work on She-Hulk and of course his near 100 issue run on X-Factor. Leonard Kirk has drawn a number of projects but spent near five years with Peter David on his Supergirl run and so is very familiar with his style. X-Factor began life in the aftermath of the House of M series and took a dark film-noir Jamie Madrox as its leader. Peter David has been running successfully with Madrox ever since.
The Breaking Points arc just came to its conclusion with issue 245 and culminated long-standing story/character arcs and had a rearrangement of the team. It is a convenient point to restart together with the rest of the Marvel Now titles and make sense of the shuffle. Peter David is a honed and experienced writer and this comes through with his remarkable consistency with this book. His dialogue is simple and realistic with plenty of modern day references coupled with subtle comedy. The plot is always well constructed, progressing at a good pace with these five issues tying together multiple arcs well. Leonard Kirk’s pencilling is simple and really allows his inker and colourist, Jay Leisten and Matt Milla, to shade and emphasise the cast’s facial features. His style provides a unique accompaniment to the comedic yet serious nature to this book. There is a lot of heavy dialogue in this arc but Kirk keeps the scene fresh with subtle changes in angles and expressions, which also lend well to the action sequences. My one criticism is that when characters are drawn from a distant perspective they lose details to their persona. This is a minor point on a well-drawn arc.
Peter David’s strength lies in his cast. It has grown over the years and Breaking Point allows characters to change and move on. This is so infrequently seen in comics that heroes can develop as people or progress with the experiences they have had. Guido lost his soul in his resurrection by Layla and has never been the same since, which is well reflected in him dating Monet. Rahne finally reunites with her son alleviating her mother’s guilt at rejecting him. Lorna’s origin is finally cleared up and the mystery of whether she is Magento’s daughter is told tragically. Theresa sacrifices herself to the power of the Morrigan in order to help Lorna, and finds her place in Irish folklore. Havok and Madrox end their leadership struggle and Alex finds his role with the Avengers, with the shadow of his older brother no longer looming. It is with these brilliant character transitions that I love Peter David, he is not afraid to change the status quo or move characters at right angles. It keeps the book fresh and surprising and it is testament to his work that he has been writing this book for so long. I am very happy that he continues to do so, because the Marvel world is a better place with Peter David creating it.
“All we need is a lake with an empty boathouse and we could be the cast of a slasher film!” 9/10