The History of X-Factor
Learn about each version of this fan-favorite X-team. Read ‘X-Factor’ #1 on Marvel Unlimited today!
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New on Marvel Unlimited: Mutants have conquered death. By the grace of The Five, the resurrection protocols can now bring back any fallen mutant. But such a huge enterprise isn’t without its problems and complications.
[RELATED: Welcome to the Dawn of X]
When a mutant dies, X-FACTOR is there to investigate how and why to keep the rules of reincarnation intact. Writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeón take Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-Boy, Daken, and Prestige into the world of murder and missing persons.
Whether operating as a government-sponsored team, mutant detectives, or corporate heroes for hire, the name “X-Factor” has seen many incarnations over the years. Read up on each X-FACTOR roster here, along with a handful of notable issues. These fan-favorite spinoff series are available on Marvel Unlimited, so join today to read these stories, and brand-new comics, just three months after they’re in stores.
X-FACTOR (1986) #1: The Return of Jean Grey
At first a reunion series starring the Original Five X-Men, X-FACTOR (1986) expanded into multiple rosters as the team agenda shifted. At their debut, X-Factor operated under the ruse of being “mutant hunters,” rounding up young mutants with loose control over their abilities, and covertly training them. The most significant switch-up in issue #1? Jean Grey was resurrected following her possession by the Dark Phoenix, leaving Cyclops on the outs with then-wife Madelyne Pryor and their infant son, Nathan.
X-FACTOR (1986) #5: Come the Apocalypse
X-Factor’s first volume also introduced readers to En Sabah Nur, perhaps the world’s oldest mutant, and one of the X-Men’s most prominent foes. Read through issue #6 for Apocalypse’s first (full) appearance, a devastating day of reckoning for humanity and mutantkind alike.
During the MUTANT MASSACRE event, Warren Worthington III, AKA Angel, had his wings irreparably damaged by the Marauders, the team of mercenaries responsible for wiping out the Morlocks’ subterranean ranks. After losing his wings, Worthington spiraled into self-destruction, eventually drawing the attention of Apocalypse who offered a (painful) solution to his despair. Read through issue #24 for the complete transformation of Archangel!
X-FACTOR (1986) #71: Fighting for the Feds
With federal agent Valerie Cooper acting as liaison to “mutant affairs,” X-Factor gained government sponsorship and an all-new lineup—Havok, Multiple Man, Polaris, Quicksilver, Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane took Cooper up on her offer in this turning point issue.
X-FACTOR (1986) #87: “X-Aminations”
Writer Peter David was a powerhouse on X-FACTOR, establishing many of the relationships and quirks that defined the team throughout its many makeovers. In this now-classic issue, (also mirrored in 2005’s X-FACTOR #13), the team undergoes therapy with one-on-one sessions. Doc Samson, Marvel’s resident psychiatrist to Super Heroes, guest-stars.
After more than half of the world’s mutants wake up without powers, Multiple Man: Jamie Madrox opens a mutant detective agency. The only thing more interesting than X-Factor’s caseload is their messy team drama. Ideal for new readers, you’ll want to binge this noir-ish run in full. Siryn, Rictor, and Monet are standouts.
X-FACTOR FOREVER (2010) #1: Reunited!
Legendary X-scribe Louise Simonson reunites the Original Five X-Men with the title and characters she helped make famous. In the Forever-verse, the legacy of X-Factor is reimagined with key details altered. But Apocalypse remains a looming threat…
ALL-NEW X-FACTOR (2014) #1: Serving Serval
Serval Industries, one of the world's leaders in cutting-edge tech and weaponry, commissioned their own contribution to society in ALL-NEW X-FACTOR. Led by original member Polaris, this X-Factor used its corporate backing to do whatever C.E.O. Harrison Snow required. Co-starring Gambit (who gets into a world of trouble), and Quicksilver.
See all of this week’s new Marvel Unlimited titles here, and stay tuned for a handful of Throwback Thursday arrivals hitting the library November 5!
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2
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