X-Factor #2 begins this new team’s mission in earnest, as Krakoa’s newest team has a new mission dropped on their doorstep. Literally. That massive clue sends them to one of the most dangerous places in the Marvel Universe- THE MOJOVERSE!
Mojo is one of the X-Men’s most dangerous enemies, entirely because he’s so unpredictable. With the new status quo of Krakoa facing that unpredictability for the first time, it’s a perfect mix. It comes to us from Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva, Joe Caramagna, and Tom Muller.
After a mysterious package is dropped on X-Factor’s doorstep, the team goes to work to discover its source. Much to everyone’s horror, it leads them to the Mojoverse. Who is the potential victim they’re investigating, and what led to their death- IF THERE EVEN WAS ONE?
Williams continues with what’s probably her best mainstream work to date. This issue balances plot and character really well, which creates a relatable foundation while thrusting the characters into a fantastic situation we’ll never be in. That means that the Mojoverse feels like a real threat, even if it’s completely unrealistic.
Even better she does it with a fantastic amount of humor. The “auditions” to enter Mojo’s city were laugh out loud funny, with humor both based in character (of course Akihiro was willing to prove his “assets” were what he bragged they were) and a brilliant send-up of social media (look close at the usernames on that page). She even then takes the next step with Mojo himself, making him equal parts silly and scary. Caramagna deserves a ton of credit for what he does in these scenes, because a lot of the jokes wouldn’t land without his skill at balloon placement and fonts taking the place of timing you’d get in an audiovisual medium.
Baldeon and Silva’s artwork is excellent throughout. Baldeon’s cartoony style translates into extremely expressive character work. For example, in the opening scene, Northstar and Aurora’s excitement at being reunited is palpable, between the body language as they hug tightly, and the facial expressions we get in the next few tight, close-ups. Baldeon also does an excellent job in depicting each character as an individual- in body type, body language, fashion sense and so on. Silva’s bright colors add to that personality, making the entire book feel hopeful as the team does their work.
X-Factor is stuck in the Mojoverse until they have their answers. It’s already pushing this new team to the limit, and its going to be a hell of a ride.
X-Factor #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.