Leah Williams and David Baldeon brought back the X-Factor series to have the team act as the detective agency for Krakoa. The first issue established the direction this new X-Factor team is taking as they are setting out to investigate the murders of mutants that have been going on. The roster for this new X-Factor team is much different from before as we have Prestige, Northstar, Polaris, Daken, Prodigy, and Eye-Boy as the main roster. This isn’t a group of people you expect to work together but the first issue did show that they do have some chemistry. Can X-Factor #2 continue to develop that? Let’s find out.
Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: David Baldeon
Colorist: Israel Silva
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: Someone teleports to Krakoa and sneaks through to outside the Boneyard (X-Factor’s headquarters on Krakoa) and leaves a package by the front door.
The next morning Aurora finds the package. Sensing his sister is outside, Northstar immediately rushes out to hug Aurora. Aurora meets the rest of X-Factor.
Amazing Baby (Rachel Grey’s pet warwolf) destroys the package Aurora found and reveals that it is filled with blood and ballet shoes. Prodigy analyzes the ballet shoes and finds sponsor logos tied to the Mojoverse.
X-Factor decides to investigate the case and all go get ready. As they do Rachel asks Auora to watch Amazing Baby for her.
X-Factor use a Krakoan gate to get to Mojoverse where they find a massive line of people waiting to get inside Mojo’s city. A drone appears by Polaris, who immediately destroys it. One of the guys in the line sees that X-Factor are mutants and says that means they are guaranteed coverage.
Back at the Boneyard, Amazing Baby leads Aurora to the entertainment room and turns on Mojo’s Headshot TV channel.
On TV X-Factor are all shown doing interviews to get votes so they can move on to be part of Mojo’s show. Everyone but Daken, who was to lewd for viewers, gets past the interviews with enough votes. When Northstar calls Daken pathetic for not moving on Daken fires back by saying this gives him a chance to hit on Aurora, who is watching all this on TV.
When X-Factor try to head inside the city they are told they can’t enter without a sponsor. As they discuss their next move Mojo shows up and says he will sponsor the team. Mojo tells X-Factor that on Headshot TV mutants are very popular and they are guaranteed to get all the views.
Seeing an opening Polaris uses her powers to hold up Mojo so that Northstar can interrogate him. As that happens Eye-Boy scans the area while Prestige easily defeats Mojo’s security team.
Mojo agrees to talk and reveals that the top five livestreamers on Headshot TV are very famous and have been given their own studios. He goes on to reveal that a recently a young mutant recently died competing trying to get into the top spot when she debuted on Spiral’s Showcase show.
Polaris and Northstar fly to the studio of the top five streamers but are immediately shocked by lightning when they get close.
After Polaris and Northstar recover and are joined by their team they find the streamers who are competing in Spiral’s Showcase are the ones that attacked them. The two groups then get ready to fight.
Back at the Boneyard Kyle Jinadu happily reunites with Aurora. Kyle is surprised to see Northstar on TV. Aurora tells Kyle to sit down and watch Mojoverse cable with her. End of issue.
The Good: As with the first issue Leah William injects plenty of personality to every page as this unique roster of X-Men are still learning to work together. While they are still learning to work together the members of X-Factor are not treated as rookies. Each member has a wealth of experience in the superhero game and Williams understands what they each bring to the table.
The big thing that stood out while reading X-Factor #2 is how much fun it was. Williams keeps the story moving by having the personality of each member of X-Factor shine through. You get a good sense of who each of them are as individuals. As with anything new Prestige, Northstar, Polaris, Daken, Prodigy, and Eye-Boy are all more confident in their individual abilities than they are in their teammates. That adds to they have never worked together as a team.
To Williams credit she uses the fact that this version of X-Factor are currently a team of individuals to make their chemistry stand out. Unlike the other X-Men comics, which all feature rosters of heroes that have established relationships, X-Factor is brand-new. We see that with how Polaris and Northstar try to take the lead only to get hit by a surprise attack and then get called out by Prestige for not letting her scope things out as the resident telepath. Its little moments like that which help drive the fact this X-Factor team have a lot of growth ahead of them before becoming as effective as they could be.
At the same time, Williams does not make X-Factor look like they are over their heads. Each member comes with a lot of experience in the field. Which we see with how they don’t hesitate to immediately take action when Mojo appears. Prestige, Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, and Eye-Boy all work effectively in that moment to get Mojo to cough up the information they need and still make sure they are defended against Mojo’s forces. It’s displays like this that show how this version of X-Factor has the potential to be one of the strongest X-Men teams around with more experience together.
Through this X-Factor #2 is also able to highlight what each member brings to the table, except for Daken. With X-Factor acting as the go to detective agency on Krakoa, Williams once again emphasized how each member works under this setting. From Eye-Boy using his X-Ray powers to keep a look out for attackers to Prodigy analysis of all the data they gather to Prestige being the powerhouse, there is a role each member serves. That all helps lay a strong foundation this series can continue building on in the futer.
Having the new investigation take place on the Mojoverse was also a good switch up in settings. For one, Mojo is always a fun character to have the X-Men interact with. He is always in it for the celebrity and his desire to get as many views as possible made the setting of his new Headshot TV reality show a fun watch.
The Mojoverse setting also furthers the narrative the current direction of the X-Men reaches across the Marvel Universe. The X-Men aren’t just Earth based heroes anymore. Thanks to the Krakoa gates the X-Men teams can go anywhere they have one planted. We see that with how X-Factor get to the Mojoverse through one of the gates. This all opens the door for X-Factor’s investigations to have unique settings that don’t have to always be on Earth.
Williams also did a good job in handling Aurora’s return. Rather than having her immediately join the X-Factor team she is placed in a more of supporting cast role. That fits in well with how she is fresh off a resurrection. Being brought back to life will take an adjustment period and Williams understands that is a story in itself. This creates a long-term sub-plot to follow as we see how Aurora adjusts to this experience and how she is aware she has had mental health issues in the past. At the same time, Williams does give Aurora the chance to show her personality as she is able to view the X-Factor’s adventure from Krakoa and begin to interact with Kyle Jinadu.
David Baldeon art style may not be for everyone but works for the tone that Williams is setting out for with X-Factor #2. This is a sci-fi detective adventure in the Mojoverse. The setting is supposed to look crazy and colorful. Which is exactly the tone that Baldeon nails, especially with his design for Mojo capturing how crazy the character is. The action we get also has the energy you expect from the characters on this X-Factor team. Everything just works to make the characters look as well as they can.
The Bad: The one character that is still not working for this series is Daken. He is in X-Factor #2 to add comic relief and that is pretty much it. The fact is X-Factor #2 does not need that as there is already a good amount of banter between the team without Daken. If this was a darker story with everyone being serious at all times it would be different. Right now Daken isn’t adding anything to the series other than using up panel space that other characters could use.
Overall: X-Factor #2 is a refreshing change of pace from all the other X-Men comics we are getting. The team is still growing and learning to work together as the new resident detective agency on Krakoa. Leah Williams takes that concept and runs with it as we see the team growing their chemistry. Having the story set in Mojoverse added to the fun to this latest mystery X-Factor are on. More issues like this and X-Factor could quickly be one the better Marvel titles.
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