When X-Factor #1 hits shelves in April, the team will have fashionable new looks to accompany their new mission. On Wednesday, Marvel revealed a first look at new X-Factor costumes designed by series artist David Baldeón, as well as insight from the artist and series writer Leah Williams.
In a Q&A with Marvel, Baldeón said designing these X-Factor costumes began with designing the team’s new logo, which is featured on each of their ensembles.
“There were many different ideas and concepts I wanted to include in the designs, one of them doing an homage of shorts to the original Jackson Guice designs. I love those big bold X decals all aver the suits! While trying to integrate the X motif into the new suits, this little idea went into my head: these guys are not so much Super Heroes as investigators looking for missing mutants,” Baldeón said. “‘Missing mutants’, or ‘missing X’s’, perhaps? That took the shape, after some sketching, of this ’empty set,’ ‘non-X’ logo that I really like, that worked like a charm on the suits, and that went great as a contrast to the classic X and its Dawn of X reinterpretation.”
Baldeón continued, “So I included it in the designs, and suggested to Jordan [D. White], Annalise [Bissa], and Leah [Williams] that it could be used, in-universe, as the ‘badge’ of this investigative team. Lucky for me, they liked the idea… Because I already had designed the whole team around that logo!”
X-Factor will follow Northstar, Polaris, Prestige (Rachel Summers), Daken, Prodigy, Eye Boy, and Aurora as they investigate missing mutants to determine if they’re dead, which would make them candidates for resurrection by The Five. Aurora is a new addition to the team since X-Factor was initially announced in January; according to Williams, including her as a field agent wasn’t in the initial concept for the series.
“She was destined to have a role more along the lines of operations and intel around the Boneyard, which is the name for X-Factor’s Krakoan headquarters,” Williams told Marvel.com. “Like Polaris, I need Aurora to have a lot of additional bandwidth to do individual character work with her—so keeping her untethered to explore her growth without Northstar overshadowing her was my goal. But then I saw David’s design for her X-Factor uniform and changed my mind.”
The new X-Factor costumes are highly individualized for each character and seem more focused on comfort and practicality than anything. Rachel rocks a short jacket with a high collar and high-waisted pants; Daken (described by Williams in an interview with Polygon as a “fucky thot enforcer”) forgoes a shirt for wide trousers and wrapped hands; Northstar and Aurora bring the drama with goth-inspired ensembles; Polaris has abandoned her constrictive leotard, cape and headdress for a romper and jacket; Prodigy wears a fashionable yellow coat that recalls his past costumes; and Eye Boy rocks comfier, baggier clothes that cover the majority of his extra eyes.
Baldeón told Marvel.com, “One of the ingredients in this book, and therefore these designs, is that these guys are not so much Super Heroes as detectives, and these are not so much costumes as they are suits. That gave them a bit of a grounded quality. And as much as I love Super Hero tights and their designs, our X-Factor needed another flavor. And I like that.”
He also said that so far, his favorite characters to draw are Jean-Paul and Lorna, though he has a “soft” spot for Rachel. Read the full interview here, and check out Baldeón’s variant cover for X-Factor #1 and Ivan Shavrin‘s cover for X-Factor #2, both featuring the new costumes, below.
X-Factor #1 hits shelves April 22, 2020.