A New X-Men reunion becomes a celebration of all the positives of the Krakoan X-Men era.
Sometimes the quiet issues are the best ones. Characters in ongoing superhero dramas need time to rest and recover. Sometimes that’s physical, but in X-Factor #5, that’s emotional as well.
This is another issue in a string of excellent character pieces by this creative team. It’s building to something new and unique in superhero comics, while also keeping a longstanding tradition of the X-Men line. It was brought to us by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva, Joe Caramagna, and Tom Muller.
X-Factor and the Five deal with the aftermath of X of Swords as well as the team’s trip into Mojoworld. That means bringing Wind Dancer back, trying to determine who or what the new Rockslide is, and facing the reality of what they face now. However, as somber as that sounds, this is a celebration. Or it least it was until another mutant death puts X-Factor back on the case…
After skipping a month, WIlliams doesn’t skip a beat. This issue is sad and strikes at the core of the characters for the drama of the issue. It follows up on several mysteries (such as what Aurora was doing in Washington) and introduces a few others (who or what killed Prodigy before his resurrection in issue #1), but she takes the time to make sure there’s an emotional beat given to each of these moments. It makes for an engrossing read that draws you into the characters’ plights while you read it. Williams is on her way to becoming one of the best character-centered writers in comics today.
Baldeon’s work definitely takes some getting used to. However I really couldn’t think of a better artist to depict this team of misfits as they feel more and more like a team and even a family. His cartoony lines keep the emotional heft of the story from getting too heavy and somber (because the bulk of this issue is a celebration), but helps us feel for the characters, whether they’re mourning or reunited with dear friends.
X-Factor’s mission is just getting started and I’m thrilled to see what’s next.
X-Factor #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.