REVIEW: ‘X-Factor,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Factor #1

X-Factor #1 published by Marvel Comics, written by Leah Williams, with art by David Baldeón, colors by Israel Silva, letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna, and design by Tom Muller. Marvels’ investigative squad is back on the case in this over-sized issue {EDITORS: 40-page issue, deemed oversized?}! It’s been a good few years, but the X-Factor team is back for their own series as events on Krakoa proliferate.

Trouble is brewing when ‘The Five’ of Krakoa, find themselves inundated with a gargantuan amount requests to regenerate their fellow compatriots. Matters are made worse when Northstar senses the death of his twin sister Aurora and demands action. There are rules to abide by in the regenerative process, however, as laid out in House of X / Powers of X, wherein a Mutant can’t be brought back to life unless they have been confirmed as dead.

Furious with the inaction, Northstar sets off following to solve the case of his sister and confirm her death, but he’ll need help along the way. Enter, Polaris, the former head of X-Factor Investigations. Recognizing a case when she sees one, she decides to put the team back together, or anyone who’s available with any useful powers that can help them. Together, this band of merry misfits might just be the answer to Krakoa’s needs.

Williams has cracked open an absolute gem with X-Factor #1, as the issue overflows with quick witted humor, and character team ups that shouldn’t make sense, but work so well. Between the flirtatious nature of Daken, who literally hits on anything with a pulse and exudes some weighty bi-sexual chemistry, paired next to the stoic, and impatient figure of Northstar, and the team dynamic only continues to get more outlandish from there.

What I was more surprised at though, was how well it all paired together. Williams not only writes her characters from a stance of understanding them, but she also understands their power-sets. Each of the characters dialogue is crafted in a way that feels so in tone with their story. I am more attached to this team then I care to admit, and I am eagerly anticipating to see what Williams has in store for the series.

X-Factor #1

Baldeón’s art has an air of lightly hearted fun that parallels the messaging from Williams so well. One of the elements I especially enjoyed was the way they captured the facial expressions of each of the characters. Examples include the gleeful expressions of Eye-Boy, or the frustrated looks from Prestige, mixed with the exasperated glances from Polaris. The panels are packed with characters, and sprawled with detail. It’s absolutely delightful to take in.

Silva’s colors serve to elevate the issue and one specific panel springs to mind. During a sequence when the team is investigating a lead from a motel in Washington, Prestige uses her telepathic ability to recreate Aurora’s last moments in that space. The panel is washed with a light rouge coloring to highlight the character’s powers in use. This is not the only moment, as the entire issue Silva finds colors that make the pages pop, and everything is contrasted nicely.

Caramagna handles the lettering like a champ. Given the number of characters that feature during the issue, the dialogue bubbles are balanced extremely well. There was not a massive of onomatopoeia laid out from Williams, but what Caramagna had, he designed nicely.

Lastly, but not certainly not least, were the contributions of Muller who’s responsible for working on the design of the branding across the entire X-Men series. For those that have been keeping up with the revitalization of X-Men, you will not have failed to notice that the series has a certain stylistic consistency outside of what the artist controls and this is due to Muller’s vision. Muller has a hand in creating all of the informational/data pages. Included in this issue were the rules of resurrection and, my favorite of all, the off-center scanned page for the advertisement for ‘X-Factor Investigations.’ Muller’s work continues to be a through-line that helps to connect the entire series together.

Overall, X-Factor has made a sexy, messy splash. The team dynamic is lively, and fun, with an aggressive, get it done mentality. There are many different elements here to get involved with, and it feels like Williams especially had an absolute ball putting this together, and it really shows on the pages. X-Factor is back!

X-Factor #1 is available in stores now.

X-Factor #1
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, X-Factor has made a sexy, messy splash. The team dynamic is lively, and fun, with an aggressive get it done mentality. There are many different elements here to get involved with, and it feels like Williams especially had an absolute ball putting this together, and it really shows on the pages. X-Factor are back!