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Review: X-Factor #1

X-Factor #1

X-Factor is a title that has a lot of nostalgia. The series has evolved over the years from its original team and with each iteration, it’s filled a niche left wide open. With “Dawn of X” roaring, this latest X-Factor team fills a gap in the system making it a brilliant addition to the revamped X-Men line but also a breath of fresh air in some ways. X-Factor #1 knocks it out of the park in concept, characters, and its purpose.

Written by Leah Williams, this latest team consists of Northstar, Polaris, Daken, Prodigy, Prestige, and Eye-Boy. It’s focus remains the detective route taken by the team years ago but it’s investigations that are needed for Krakoa to function. With the ability to resurrect Mutants, issues and flaws have arisen in the process. Currently, there’s no way to ensure a Mutant is really dead. There’s also the question as to how they died. That has created a backlog of requests and slowed down the process. Enter X-Factor, whose role is to answer exactly that.

With “Dawn of X” and the new X-status, each team introduced has had a utility to them. They serve as a function and need of society. This X-Factor is no exception and is brought together after Northstar is convinced his sister is dead.

What stands out about the issue is how clearly every detail has been thought out by Williams. The end of the issue lays out the processes of how X-Factor will find out what to investigate, it’s something on paper that might sound boring but in practice is quite fascinating. It’s an element that you don’t see often and adds to the worldbuilding.

Williams also allows this rather eclectic mix of characters be themselves. This is an interesting mix of personalities and Williams recognizes that. Northstar is a cold, blunt, ass. Daken is an asshole in other ways. Polaris questions her abilities. Rachel feels a bit underutilized. Prodigy is a know it all and wants you to know that. Eye-Boy… he likes sticking things on Crocs. This is a team that wears their queerness on their sleeves and let themselves be themselves. There’s no fronts here and they do what they think is necessary and right to achieve what they need to. The assholes, like Daken, are allowed to be assholes. Each quirky personality shines. It’s a team where every member has moments and every member feels like they’re as much of a star as the next person. This is a series that could potentially make every one of its characters a star.

The art helps deliver the fun tone of Williams’ dialogue and story. David Baldeon‘s style of Israel Silva‘s colors creates a comic whose visuals bleed a positive fun energy. The combination of the two just nails down every scene with a look that has you lingering and feeling more sucked into the story. A bridge and a river with rushing water feels cold while a new headquarters delivers a re-vitalization and rebirth. Joe Caramagna‘s lettering too stands out packing in a hell of a lot of dialogue in panels without hurting the visuals at all. It’s an impressive balance.

X-Factor #1 is a fantastic read. The series plants a flag as to how it fits into the X-Universe and what it’s about. This is a series that has no problem wearing everything on its sleeve for folks to enjoy. It also feels like a truly team book where everyone has their moments and stands out. The creative team has done a fantastic job in every way. The comic is both tragic, humorous, hopeful, and relatable. It’s a damn near perfect start.

Story: Leah Williams Art: David Baldeon
Color: Israel Silva Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!


Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Cloven Vol. 1 (Fantagraphics) – Garth Stein and Matthew Southworth’s graphic novel about a genetically modified human who’s half-man, half-goat.

Empyre #3 (Marvel) – The event has been much improved the more it goes on and we’re excited to see what’s coming next. This is one for those who enjoy big summer popcorn events.

Hedra (Image Comics) – An astronaut leaves a world ravaged by nuclear war in search of life. The conept sounds interesting and art looks great. We’re intrigued to read this one.

Lost Soldiers #1 (Image Comics) – Ales Kot, Luca Casalanguida, and Heather Moore tell the story of three men tied together by the Vietnam War.

Nailbiter Returns #3 (Image Comics) – The series has been so much fun to return to. If you like slahser horror, it’s a must and you don’t need to have read the previous volume to enjoy it.

Plunge #5 (DC Comics/DC Black Label/Hill House Comics) – If you enjoy sci-fi/horror, this has been a fantastic series. This issue is full of reveals as well as betrayal.

Pulp (Image Comics) – Ed Brubaker, Jacob Phillips, and Sean Phillips’ graphic novel tell a pulp story in this highly anticipated graphic novel.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #3 (Marvel) – Absolutely fantastic so far, the series delivers even more depth to the popular character.

The Walking Dead: Alien (Image Comics/Skybound) – The digital comics set in the world of The Walking Dead is in print for the first time. See Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s take on the popular world.

X-Factor #1 (Marvel) – The classic team is back and now with new members its focus is to investigate the deaths of Mutants to figure out the why and how and if they’re really dead. It’s CSI: Krakoa.

Preview: X-Factor #1

X-Factor #1

(W) Leah Williams (A) David Baldeon (CA) Ivan Shavrin
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 29, 2020
SRP: $4.99

By the grace of The Five, the resurrection protocols can bring back any fallen mutant. But such a huge enterprise isn’t without its problems and complications… When a mutant dies, X-Factor is there to investigate how and why to keep the rules of reincarnation. Writer Leah Williams (AMAZING MARY JANE, X-TREMISTS) and artist David Baldeon (DOMINO, WEB WARRIORS) take Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-boy, Daken and Prestige into the world of murder and missing persons…

X-Factor #1

Underrated: X-Cutioner’s Song

The cover of the trade I don’t own.

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way.

This week: the multi-part crossover event X-Cutioner’s Song.

The first chapter of X-Cutioner’s Song was published in November 1992 in Uncanny X-Men #294, with subsequent eleven parts coming in issues of X-Factor, X-Men, X-Force and Uncanny X-Men. With the series being billed as revealing the origin of Cable (it didn’t – that came in 1994), there was significant hype and buzz around the comics when they were hitting the shelves nearly thirty years ago, but because I wasn’t into comics at the time, I never heard any of it.

Instead, I noticed a cover when restocking the boxes at my LCS and decided to pick up the arc after the shop owner gave it a quick recommendation. Fortunately, we had a full set (or seven) in stock, so I grabbed the individual issues rather than hunting down a collected edition (partly because I am also building an X-Men and Uncanny X-Men collection, but also because I wanted to read it as it was originally presented in comic form. Complete with the polybags still sealed for some off the comics (I won’t lie, I was tempted to leave them sealed, but at only a couple bucks a comic it didn’t seem worth it.

Plus, I wanted the feeling of cracking those bags and getting to be the first person reading these comics.

I forget sometimes how much dialogue and text there used to be on pages in comics.

Without question, comics from this era were technically published before I started buying single issues, but that doesn’t mean that these issues didn’t kickstart a sense of nostalgia for the old UK reprint magazines that I first came across this arc in. The first issue felt oddly familiar, but beyond that…? It was pure 90’s joy.

After all, 90’s comics aren’t bad. There’s just a huge number of them in longboxes across the country because so many were printed. That just makes them worth less than the comics from the 70’s and 80’s, but it doesn’t mean they’re not worth reading.

“If mankind waited for the ‘right time’ to address the winds of change it’s unlikely we’d ever have crawled from the primordial ooze.”

Scott Lobdell, Uncanny X-Men #294

I don’t know if I had forgotten about the amount of times characters within X-Men comics in the 90’s spouted pearls of wisdom, but I was less than halfway through this first part of X-Cutioners Song and I already had enough one liners to make me sound like I a semi professional couch philosopher thanks entirely to the less than subtle messaging. Messaging that seems just as relevant today as it ever did (and I’m sure we’d all hoped that would be different).

The main plot of X-Cutioner’s Song isn’t fully revealed in the first issue, but there is more than enough information here to reel you in hook line and sinker. The crossover cost me less than $20 to put together, and it was worth every penny to do so – not only because of the nostalgia factor, but primarily because this is a damn good story that holds up today (even the funky fashion choices for the street clothes the X-Men wear don’t detract too much).

With any story crossing over four series, the creative team is, as expected, pretty hefty. There are names that at the time were relatively new faces to the X-Men, but now… well now we consider them as creators who have made significant contributions to the comicsphere, frequently drawing large crowds at conventions;

  • Writers: Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza and Peter David.
  • Pencillers: Brandon Peterson, Andy Kubert, Jae Lee and Greg Capullo
  • Inkers: Terry Austin, Mark Pennington, Al Milgrom and Harry Candelario
  • Colorists: Mike Thomas, Marie Javins, Glynis Oliver, Joe Rosas and Steve Buccellato.

But despite the big names, the characters and import associated with the story, it’s an arc that can easily get overlooked when when you’re looking in the longboxes because the story came in the early 90’s, before the big bust in the comics market. Despite having heard a little about it over the years, largely through comments in UK reprints, I had never actually read the book before. Something I was more than happy to do with a story that is far more Underrated than I ever expected.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Dive Into Marvel’s X-Factor With This Digital Sale

If you’ve never read Marvel’s X-Factor, now’s your chance. Read every generation of the group and classic events like “Fall of the Mutants,” “Fatal Attractions,” “Inferno,” “Mutant Massacre,” and more!

Cyclops, Jamie Maddrox, Havock, Polaris, Syrin, these are some classic teams and classic stories. It’s not just X-Factor but crossovers with Daredevil, Excalibur, the Incredible Hulk, and more!

Single issues are just $0.99 while collections run from $2.99 to $9.99.

The sale runs until April 26, 2020.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

An Investigation Begins in X-Factor #1. Check out the Trailer!

Mutants have conquered death, but who investigates when they don’t come back? All all-new team of detectives comes together to solve mutant murders across the globe in the X-Factor #1 trailer, featuring writer Leah Williams, Senior Editor Jordan D. White, and Assistant Editor Annalise Bissa!

Death may no longer be permanent for mutantkind, but that doesn’t mean their killers go unpunished. X-Factor is reformed to look into mutant fatalities of all sorts to determine the cause of death, if anyone is responsible, or if a life was truly lost at all. A brand new line-up has assembled for this task, including Northstar, Daken, Eye-Boy, Prestige, Prodigy, and the returning Polaris.

X-Factor #1 is by Leah Williams and David Baldeón.

X of Swords, the Next X-Men Event Announced at C2E2

Mutant MassacreAge of ApocalypseMessiah Complex. Some of the most iconic X-Men stories ever told have been realized as large-scale crossovers. This longstanding tradition continues this summer with X of Swords.

Just announced to an enthusiastic crowd of X-Men fans at the X-Men Panel at C2E2, X of Swords will be a 15-part crossover tying into your favorite X-Titles and led by Head of X Jonathan Hickman. In this sprawling saga, the new mutant nation of Krakoa faces their biggest challenge yet. Threatened by powerful forces from the unknown, ten mutants will rise up to defend their home. Arming themselves with legendary blades, both new and familiar ones from Marvel history, mutantkind will finally meet its mystical destiny. Impacting the entire X-Men franchise and setting the stage for the future of mutantkind, X of Swords will be a modern X-Men epic that both longtime and new X-Men fans dare not miss.

Last year, Jonathan Hickman reshaped the world of the X-Men with the top-selling House of X and Powers of X. Since then, the X-Men titles have become of the talk of the industry, each telling exhilarating stories set in this exciting new era. Don’t miss the next chapter in Hickman’s grand vision for Marvel’s mutants when X of Swords kicks off in July!

X of Swords

Check out covers and interior pages revealed at the panel below!

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Havok & Polaris 2-Pack

Hey, we’re back! After a bit of an overlong holiday break, I return! Before we get to the main event, I’m going to drop one picture of . . .

Marvel Legends Dani Moonstar: Okay, campers. I’ve found ONE so far. I think the base figure looks great, but I resolve to not do a full review until I find TWO MORE and can build Karma and Wolfsbane. This is my quest! (And if you’re in area that’s abundant, let me know.)

That said . . .

Marvel Legends Havok and Polaris 2-pack: First shown at cons over the summer and announced as a fan-channel exclusive, this two-pack captures Havok and Polaris in their 1991 X-Factor (originally written by Peter David with art by Larry Stroman) looks from the “Mutant Genesis” relaunch. I ordered mine as soon as they went up on Entertainment Earth in July; I got mine a couple of days ago. It’s worth the wait. Interestingly, the package is stylized after the much loved Jim Lee X-Men trading card set, with the cards replicated on the back.

As for the figures?

Hey, these are great. I’ve always liked Havok’s various black costumes, but I also thought that this was a cool take. The jacket is nicely sculpted, almost like it could be a separate removeable piece. The head sculpt is terrific, honestly. There’s also something about the general stance of the figure that’s pretty cool. I had no problem with posing or limb-movement, and it’s well-balanced for standing. The figure comes with a fair of the familiar energy blast accessories; these happen to be yellow.

When it comes to Polaris, the hair really stands out. I know it’s probably almost a running joke at this point, but I’ve been really paying attention to the fine detail in the hair sculpting that Hasbro has gotten into with the Legends. Lorna’s hair was definitely a huge part of her character and depiction in Stroman’s art (and later, when the book was drawn by some guy named Joe Quesada). What’s kind of impressive is that the well-rendered mass of curls doesn’t imbalance the figure in any way. That’s kind of a feat of structural engineering. In fact, the overall look of the figure is really strong. Unlike Havok, Polaris comes with two sets of hands: fists and gesturing. I prefer the gesturing look, and they work with the green energy blasts that also accompany the figure.

I found the costume paint and details to be strong on both. These are good looks. They also arrive at an opportune time; with recent releases of Multiple Man and an updated Quicksilver, and a Strong Guy BAF on the way, we only need a Wolfsbane in the X-Factor costume to complete that particular iteration of the group.

Bottom line: This is a really good two-pack that gives us two solid versions of characters sporting their looks from a time when literally millions of people were reading the X-titles. This release was an easy call for Hasbro to make and they did a really nice job with it. The great thing about X-figures is that you can continue to go up and down the time continuum and make figures from various eras, and you’ll always find a group of fans that vocally supports their release. Now if we could just get Storm in her Giant-Size X-Men #1 outfit . . .

Review: X-Factor Epic Collection Vol. 8 X-Aminations

X-Factor: X-Aminations is volume 8 in Marvel’s Epic Collection. It collects issues #84-100 and Annual #8

Story: Peter David, Scott Lobdell, Skip Dietz, J.M. DeMatteis, Shana David, Joe Quesada
Art: Jae Lee, Joe Quesada, Chris Batista, Buzz, Jan Duursema, Terry Schoemaker, Paul Ryan, Greg Luzniak, Cliff Van Meter
Ink: Al Milgrom, Mark McKenna, Andrew Pepoy, Jeff Albrecht, Cliff Van Meter
Color: Brad Vancata, Glynis Oliver, Marie Javins, Ariane Lenshoek, Tom Smith, Joe Rosas, Mike Thomas, Matt Webb, Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Richard Starkings, Steve Dutro, Lois Buhalis, Janice Chiang, Dave Sharpe, Pat Brosseau

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on November 26! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.


Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: X-Men Milestones: Fatal Attractions

Magneto is back and his Acolytes, lead by Exodus, are bringing mutants to their sanctuary Avalon to protect them from the oncoming epidemic known as the Legacy Virus!

Collecting Uncanny X-Men (1981) #298-300, #303-304, #315, X-Factor (1986) #92, X-Force (1991) #25, X-Men Unlimited (1993) #2, X-Men (1991) #25, Wolverine (1988) #75, and Excalibur (1988) #71

Story: Scott Lobdell, Peter David, Fabien Nicieza, Larry Hama, Shana David, Joe Quesada, J.M. DeMatteis
Art: Brandon Peterson, Joe Quesada, Jan Duursema, John Romita, Jr., Jason Pearson, Chris Bachalo, Richard Bennett, Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Ken Lashley, Roger Cruz, Chris Batista, Buzz, Tom Grummett, Jae Lee, Chris Sprouse, Paul Smith, Darick Robertson, Matt Ryan
Ink: Al Milgrom, Dan Panosian, Dan Green, Mark Farmer, Matt Ryan, José Marzab, Jr., Andrew Pepoy, Richard Bennett, Cliff Van Meter, Bob Wiacek, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hanna, Kevin Conrad, Terry Austin, Tom Palmer, Keith Williams, Josef Rubinstein, Mark Pennington, Cam Smith, Randy Elliott, Randy Emberlin, Mark Nelson, Bud LaRosa, Hilary Barta
Color: Marie Javins, Ariane Lenshoek, Glynis Oliver, Tom Smith, Steve Buccelato, Kevin Tinsley, Ericka Moran, Joe Rosas, George Roussos, Mike Thomas
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos, Richard Starkings, Bill Oakley, Pat Brosseau, Steve Dutro, Lois Buhalis, Jon Babcock, Dave Sharpe

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on November 26! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.


Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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