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