After waiting a long time since Hickman and company first launched the Dawn of X, Marvel Comics is giving us a new X-Factor book, releasing X-Factor #1 this Wednesday, July 29. Written by Leah Williams, with art by David Baldeon, colors by Israel Silva, and lettering from VC’s Joe Caramagna, this issue launches a new version of X-Factor Investigations to further serve Krakoan society.
X-Factor #1 is a fun look into some more of the internal politics of Krakoan life, specifically the resurrection protocols. What does someone do in order to prove that their fellow mutant and loved one is in fact deceased? After all, no one wants a bunch of duplicates of the same person walking around. That could get confusing! This is the question that X-Factor is founded to tackle.
The formation of X-Factor is instigated when one mutant goes missing, prompting the Quiet Council to approve a missing persons bureau. Williams does a good job setting up the initial mystery prompting the formation of X-Factor, firmly establishing this team’s reason for existing and establishing a status quo for future adventures.
This is another one of those books with a cast that may be just a little too big (like New Mutants), but a number of characters are given their moments to shine, including Northstar, Polaris, and Daken. Some of the dialogue, banter, and characterization could, it seems to me, be interchangeable between the characters, such that I think sometimes they can lack their own unique voices (versus just being interchangeable quip machines). Still, it does make for a potentially fun book moving forward.
Art & Colors
Baldean’s art is serviceable in this issue, although at times, I think he makes some of the characters look at bit young. Polaris looks like she’s been aged down, even though once upon a time, in both the original X-Men series and in the early 90s X-Factor, she was one of the X-veterans.
Speaking of character drawings and designs, I didn’t both doing this myself, but if any of our readers read X-Factor #1, please count the number of times, each character’s beady eyes are looking up. Now that I’ve pointed it out, you won’t be able to unsee it.
I should say there are some beautiful pages in this book. A few scenes involving Lorna are a delight (and are a credit to Silva’s colors), and the new X-Factor headquarters has a gorgeous design.
The lettering by Caramagna in this issue is fine. I just think there’s a bit too much of it at times. This has a bit more to do with the scripting, but as I said about New Mutants #10, the dialogue can take up a bit too much of the panel sometimes. However, maybe this is to be expected in what amounts to a team detective series. It’s going to involve a discussion of the details of the case, so maybe that can’t be helped.
Recently, I’ve very much been enjoying the prose pages of some of these X-titles. I’ve praised Caramagna before for his work on the prose pages, and I think he does some good work here as well. When you read this issue, you’ll have to comment below and let me know if you agree with me!
X-Factor #1 is a fine launch for the new series. I’m always happy to see a new X-title launch post-House/Powers of X, and the extra page length doesn’t hurt that either! This issue does a fine job establishing the basis and purpose of the series. It’ll be fun to see how some of the mysteries from this issue play out and how this mixture of characters learns to work together.
What did you think of X-Factor #1? Tell us in the comments below!