Review: ‘X-Factor’ #1 Introduces Krakoa’s Most Important Mutants

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Ivan Shavrin

It’s been a year since House of X introduced the resurrection protocols, one of the most important pieces on new lore in Marvel history. Now in X-Factor #1 a crucial piece of the protocols is introduced.

X-Factor has long been one of Marvel’s mainstay mutant titles. This volume introduces one of the most unique versions of the team, with lots of great callbacks to the past. It’s all thanks to Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva, Joe Caramagna, and Tom Muller.

Aurora is dead, and Northstar, her brother, knows it. However, for the resurrection protocols to initiate, the Five need proof of her death. This leads Northstar to create a team of mutants unlike any other we’ve seen, with one of the most compassionate missions possible on Krakoa- finding the lost so they can come home…

Williams has quickly become one of my favorite young writers in the Marvel bullpen, and in the launch of her first ongoing series she shows that she’s a force to be reckoned with. She is quickly able to establish the team, first using Northstar’s arrogance combined with fierce loyalty to show him as the right person to figure out what happened to his sister, then Polaris as the idea man. From there the team builds up organically, with a lot of humor (which is equal parts Williams and Baldeon in a fantastic one-two punch).

After the group is built, the plot builds just as naturally. It would be easy to have characters get lost in such a large group but each one has a crucial role. Baldeon gives every character a different presence on the page, whether it’s Daken as the burly charmer, Rachel as the most skilled person in the room, or Eye-Boy in his unbridled enthusiasm. The duo are in a lockstep that makes this issue feel effortless. It draws the reader in quickly, and quickly engages you.

Even better, this is a deep dive into the lore of Krakoa. We’ve seen some of the resurrection protocols in action, but this is the first time that we’ve seen how the Five work together, or the Quiet Council considering how they need to handle the protocols. Beyond that, Baldeon has a great design sense. He does so much to bring Krakoa to life in this issue, whether it’s the Green Lagoon, Northstar’s home or the new X-Factor headquarters.

This series will be a must read for any X-Men fan, especially in the Dawn of X era. I’m excited to see what’s next and what this series will mean for the line as a whole.

X-Factor #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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