When X-Factor was established, readers were promised a team of detectives. However, I don’t think anyone quite expected what we got, a funny, emotional and (best of all) tense thriller grappling with what death means in Krakoa.
This is something that might catch readers off guard, but the series is leaning into not just its B-lister roots but also the franchise’s past. That past comes back to bite the team in a big way here. It comes to us by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva, and Joe Caramagna.
Siryn keeps dying. Theresa Cassidy, the former X-Force and X-Factor member, has now been found dead twice, both times having fallen from a great height. Theresa blames alcohol, but X-Factor is a team full of human lie detectors. However, the team may not like the answers they’re about to find…
I didn’t know what to expect going into this issue. I’ve liked Theresa for a very long time, but to say that the character has had a rough go of it is frankly an understatement. Here, Williams takes all of that history, including the massive change of status quo that the character had upon her final appearance several years ago, and turns into a massive mystery. It’s engrossing, but it’s also rooted in the trademark character work that Williams has become known for.
Baldeon’s art has proven itself as more than capable each issue. Where his cartooning style in the past would have had his collaborators leaning into his comedy chops, with Williams he leans into the expressiveness that the script needs, while Silva sets the mood and the scene around them. Baldeon’s characters aren’t figures on a page, they act, they move and they emote like real people.
You can tell that Aurora struggles with a range of emotions every time she interacts with Akihiro. You can read the relief that Polaris feels as Northstar shares comforting advice. And you can feel the terror of what’s really happening on the final page.
Williams, Baldeon, and Silva had created engrossing mysteries that keep me glued month in and month out. I’m excited to see what’s next.
X-Factor #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.
An engrossing mystery and fantastic character work makes X-Factor a series to not just read but be invested in.