What do you do when your friend is possessed by a death god? If you’re X-Factor, you do whatever you possibly can, because you’ve already lost.
This unsettling horror story was not what I expected this month, and I absolutely loved it. This sort of story is why X-Factor is rapidly becoming one of the best books each month. The issue was created by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva, and Joe Caramagna.
Akihiro is on the trail of Siryn as she hops across the globe for a still unknown reason. The only thing that’s clear is that Theresa Cassidy is no longer in control- the Morrigan is. Unfortunately for him, she already has a mole in X-Factor’s ranks and that could spell doom for the entire team…
This issue is where X-Factor crossed the line from being one of the best parts of the X-Men line to simply being one of the best books Marvel is releasing right now. Williams’ script is smart and funny, and it’s got an emotional punch. She builds up to the horror gradually until suddenly this detective story is a horror thriller and the reader didn’t expect it. It’s a fantastic bait and switch, but it’s done with Williams’ trademark character development which makes you feel for our heroes.
Baldeon is one of the last artists that I think many people would expect to create an effective horror story, but he goes above and beyond here. His characters are extremely expressive, so when suddenly the jokes and the gags are interrupted by Morrigan attempting to murder Akihiro it’s extremely unsettling and shocking. Silva adds so much to the story. When Morrigan attacks, he shifts from bright colors, to muted greys, which matches and complements the tonal shift.
This issue is a must-read for any superhero fan. Even better, it’s a smart bit of storytelling with an emotional heart that surprises.
X-Factor #7 is available now from Marvel Comics.
Williams, Baldeon, and Silva trick readers in the best way, transforming our expectations into something completely different.