REVIEW: ‘X-Factor,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Factor #2

X-Factor #2 is 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. The X-Factor team catches a case, but where it takes them will only lead to trouble.

Previously, the giant-sized issue one relaunched the investigative team known as X-Factor. The team has been repurposed to serve the needs of Krakoa and the five, and have been tasked with confirming Mutants’ deaths with supporting evidence before the resurrection process can begin. The first case was Northstar’s sister, Aurora. Having successfully found her body, the Quiet Council agreed to bring Aurora back, and sanctioned the use, and need, of X-Factor. Krakoa even weighed in by providing the team a brand new facility, called The Boneyard, with the assistance of Polaris.

Now in X-Factor #2, the team has been delivered a case by a mysterious, unknown individual that was somehow able to sneak past all of Krakoa’s surveillance. The evidence is a pair of shoes marked with sponsorships from organizations not familiar to Earth, or even recognized. This case will take them into another multiverse realm to a familiar place for long-time X-Men fans. All of the clues point to certain dangers.

X-Factor #2

Williams had a difficult job with this issue, given they were coming off of a 40-page first issue with plenty of room to plot an engaging opening story. Now in issue #2, the work of the larger plot really begins to unfold. The plot is definitely a lot slower and takes time to form a direction, but you can clearly tell this is the author’s intent, laying the groundwork for the larger story.

The humor and expertly driven character dynamic continue to show in such a lavish fashion. The contrast of characters on paper looks like it shouldn’t work, yet Williams finds a way to connect them all as each member’s skill becomes necessary for the team to become truly functional. They may not all like each other, but there’s a definite respect for what they can offer the team.

You can see how Williams has an expansive grip on their X-Men lore by bringing in a well known X-Men multiverse, and later an all too familiar character, but the introduction works for old, and new fans alike.

Baldeón‘s work continues to be very playful, yet full of detail. There is a sequence of panels where the team is featured on a live show and the at-home audience determines whether they can enter the city via a live chat and vote session. Visually, it’s so damn hilarious and uncomfortable, and it was absolutely a highlight of the entire issue. Baldeón also spends a great level of effort on the immeasurable detail of his backgrounds in the issue. There is barely any wasted space, and so much to drink in.

Silva really got to have some fun with this issue and it shows. The biggest contributions were the color additions of the new X-Factor team outfits. These colors pop from the page with such resounding satisfaction, and I have to credit the designs on these to Baldeón with influences from Williams. Later on in the issue, the team (minus Daken) stand shoulder to shoulder, and the visual is a perfect superhero team-up moment. It is truly an absolutely bloody fantastic scene. I want to see more of this moving forward!

Caramagna is certainly a busy creator, given issue #2, while lacking in action, is very heavy in dialogue. The balance was really well done, especially given early on when there are multiple characters chipping in with comments, and a puppy war-wolf barking in the background. You can feel the busy noise of the group.

Overall, this was another fun issue. My biggest complaint is that when I got to the end I was absolutely craving more. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it was a lot of fun, but I absolutely devoured this issue so quickly. The pieces are certainly in place for an exciting issue three. I wasn’t sure where X-Factor would be heading, but now, it’s a definitive can’t miss series!

X-Factor #2 is available in stores now

X-Factor #2
4

TL;DR

Overall, this was another fun issue. My biggest complaint is that when I got to the end I was absolutely craving more. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it was a lot of fun, but I absolutely devoured this issue so quickly.