One of the biggest game-changers to come out of the recent Jonathan Hickman-led relaunch of the X-titles was the introduction of The Five, a group of mutants who, through the combination of their unique abilities (and the psychic ‘back-ups’ kept of every mutant living on Krakoa by Charles Xavier), can create a perfect copy of any mutant. The Five’s powers make all mutants essentially immortal, and we’ve already seen at least half-a-dozen mutants resurrected by The Five, from Shinobi Shaw to Charles Xavier himself. Now Marvel will be exploring the implications of and rules surrounding those resurrections in X-Factor, their latest addition to the X-line of books, per an announcement made via Polygon.
Written by Leah Williams and illustrated by David Baldeón, X-Factor will follow a team of mutants who investigate missing mutants to determine if they’re dead—and thus candidates for resurrection. The team of detectives will be led by Northstar, and include Polaris, Prestige (Rachel Summers), Daken, Prodigy, and Eye Boy. The book will also focus on The Five themselves, to whom the team will report, and explore the impact immortality has on mutant culture on Krakoa.
Along with a focus on the Five, Williams and Baldeón will also be exploring the relationship dynamics between the members of X-Factor and their significant others. Of particular interest to Williams, according to her interview with Polygon, is the relationship between Northstar and his husband, Kyle, a human living on Krakoa:
“Kyle is a human living in a world built for and by mutants — comparatively an outsider […],” Williams said. “We’ll see a lot of their married life and will be exploring all the important nuance to their living situation in Krakoa. (We’ll actually see a lot of every X-factor team member’s romantic life…) Tini Howard [Excalibur, Thanos] and I might also be collaborating on a really exciting story involving human existence in Krakoa, so be on the lookout for clues about that in one of our books!”
While this newest iteration of X-Factor is clearly rooted in the current status quo for Marvel’s merry mutants, it does share some thematic DNA with its predecessors. The title has had an investigative aspect at its core since the second volume of the series launched in 2005, with the mutant-centric P.I. firm ‘X-Factor Investigations’ serving as the crux of that title.
Check out the cover and a few pages of unfinished preview art by Baldeón for X-Factor #1 below. The first issue of the series will clock in at 48 pages, and is due out in comic shops and digitally in April.