Comics
Published February 12, 2020

Here's Your First Look at the New 'X-Factor' Costumes

Peek inside April 22's 'X-Factor' #1 with Leah Williams and David Baldeón!

The X-Men have conquered death, but the ability to bring back any fallen mutant comes with a host of questions and complications. And that’s where X-Factor comes in.

From writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeón, April 22's X-FACTOR #1 dives into the world of murder and missing persons in order to keep the rules of resurrection on track.

X-FACTOR #1 cover by Ivan Shavrin
X-FACTOR #1 cover by Ivan Shavrin

This exciting new mission is unlike any the X-Men have faced before, so this creative team had a mission of their own when it came to giving Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-boy, Daken, Prestige, and (revealed for the first time) Aurora a few fresh looks!

Here's what series scribe Williams has to say about the introduction of Aurora to the squad. “I hadn’t originally planned on having Aurora be a part of the field team," Leah explains. "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. 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," the writer pauses, "I saw David’s design for her X-factor uniform and changed my mind."

X-Factor costume designs by David Baldeón
X-FACTOR costume designs by David Baldeón

"What’s consistent with my original plan is that Aurora becomes a part of the X-factor family in a shockingly roundabout way, considering her twin brother is the new team leader," notes Williams. "And also consistent—the reason she’s not a part of the team line-up in the beginning is a big mystery that I want readers to try and solve over the course of the first arc. There’s already some clues in the unfinished preview pages.”

See what David has to say about these eye-catching designs with our in-depth chat below!

Let’s talk about the logo first; this will be the team’s in-universe symbol and it’s present on all their costumes. What inspired it?

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. “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.

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 #1 variant cover by David Baldeón
X-FACTOR #1 variant cover by David Baldeón

What are some of your favorite costumes from X-Men history? In your eyes, what makes a great costume?

For my money, and as I mentioned earlier, the Jackson Guice original X-Factor designs (and their later iterations) are the best team uniforms in X-Men history. As far as individual suit go, I love the green Phoenix suit design by Dave Cockrum. They’re all big and iconic and colorful, and I love that for a Super Hero costume.

Any specific influences you drew from when designing these?

Wow, a million of them. From my love of Gareth Pugh’s designs to the general direction and character development we will be having in this book. Each of the suits comes from the answer to that question from before, “What would they wear,” and how that would translate into uniforms. There’s also little nods to classic detective motifs: the noir trench coat, the FBI-esque windbreaker.

Unlike some Super Hero costumes, these all look really comfortable! Was this an intentional choice?

That’s one of them, yeah. 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.

X-FACTOR #2 cover by Ivan Shavrin
X-FACTOR #2 cover by Ivan Shavrin

Who is your favorite character to draw and, without spoiling, tease your favorite panel that you've been able to put together so far...

I think that my favorite ones so far are Jean-Paul and Lorna. Which is a good thing since they’re at the center of this book and this team, and it is great to get to know and draw the team dynamics through the gateway they are. I have a soft spot for Rachel too, and I love what we’ve come up with for her in this book, both in sync with her visual story and, hopefully, still fresh and different.

My favorite panel is a bit harder to choose. I tend to think more of the whole page than individual panels, but there’s one in the first issue in which we look at the team through a car windshield. It gave me the creeps a bit when I read it on Leah’s script, and I hope I could convey that in that image.

Final thoughts about your upcoming work with the team?

First of all, I could not be happier to jump into this one with my GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK (2019) co-conspirators. This is a very, very exciting book, and I can’t think of better company than Jordan, Annalise, and Leah to explore this brave new world. HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, and Dawn of X set a whole, new, gigantic paradigm for the X-Men—or rather, the X-Universe! There’s a whole culture and country and nation that are developing in these books, and our X-FACTOR is going to dive into some of the most exciting and intriguing mysteries and dilemmas and questions that go along with that. And with the specifics of a place such as Krakoa added to the mix, too. It's really, really exciting to be able to build that part of this huge scenario, and it’s a pleasure to do it with this amazing team.

X-FACTOR #1, by Leah Williams, David Baldeón, and Israel Silva, hits stands at your local comic shop on April 22!

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