X-ploring the Mutant Resurrection Protocols in X-Factor #1 [XH]

Howdy folks welcome to X-ual Healing, the number one weekly X-Men recap column with a sex-based pun for a name. There are three X-Books to recap this week — X-Men #10, Cable #2, and X-Factor #1 — and I gotta hurry up and get back to the blissful world of pro wrestling reporting so let's just get right down to business, shall we?

Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.

X-ploring the Mutant Resurrection Protocols in X-Factor #1 [XH]

The cover to X-Factor #1
The cover to X-Factor #1

(W) Leah Williams (A) David Baldeon (CA) Ivan Shavrin
By the grace of The Five, the resurrection protocols can bring back any fallen mutant. But such a huge enterprise isn't without its problems and complications… When a mutant dies, X-Factor is there to investigate how and why to keep the rules of reincarnation. Writer Leah Williams (AMAZING MARY JANE, X-TREMISTS) and artist David Balde n (DOMINO, WEB WARRIORS) take Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-boy, Daken and Prestige into the world of murder and missing persons…
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 29, 2020
SRP: $4.99

X-Factor #1 Recap

Finally, it's time for the long-awaited Dawn of X debut of X-Factor. The issue kicks off with Northstar receiving a vision that his sister, Aurora, is dead. He goes immediately to the mutant hatchery to demand The Five resurrect her. As it turns out, Northstar needs proof that she's dead before she can be resurrected. They send him to talk to Sage.

Sage tries to claim she's not constantly surveilling every mutant, but Northstar persists, and she gives him a lead. Aurora was last seen leaving Krakoa's tiki bar, The Green Lagoon, five days ago before going to Vancouver. Northstar heads to the bar and talks to The Blob. He doesn't know anything. But Polaris is there, and she thinks Northstar is going about this the wrong way. We see a flyer for X-Factor Investigations, now focused on obtaining proof of death so that mutants can be resurrected, along with the opening credits.

Northstar and Polaris discuss the X-Factor Investigations concept. They need more members. Daken volunteers, but they brush him off and fly away, going to see Prodigy instead, who has just been resurrected with his powers. They also recruit Rachel Summers and pass over Eye Boy. This new four-person team gathers at a Krakoan gate, and Polaris posts an ad on a website looking for more members Daken shows up and still wants to join. Northstar says they don't need an enforcer, but Daken says that's typecasting, and he has other skills. While this is happening, a mutant mother is trying to drag her son to visit his grandmother, and Rachel reads his mind and tells the mom he's a psychopath. The reason: he was daydreaming about murdering her dog, Amazing Baby, which is actually the hellhound puppy given to her in the pages of Excalibur. So there's a dog on the team as well. The team heads through the gate, along with Eyeboy, who shows up at the last minute, making this team complete.

They head to the hotel Aurora was staying at, and Rachel uses her powers to see Aurora's last moments in the room. Amazing Baby sniffs out Aurora's scent, and X-Factor leaves the hotel. Daken, who has been in the hotel office charming the manager, joins them, having learned Aurora was having some kind of romantic affair. They head to a local bridge, where there are a bunch of cars in the water below. They pull out SUV's matching the description of the one Aurora was riding in and find the body.

Back on Krakoa, Northstar tosses Aurora's corpse into the hatchery and demands the Five resurrect her now. They want to know she died, whether it was foul play, and whether they need to alert the X-Men. The rest of X-Factor arrive and say that after Northstar left, they figured out what happened. They need to bring this information to the Quiet Council. Daken brings Aurora's body to the healing gardens, so Dr. Cecilia Reyes can do an autopsy.

At the Quiet Council, X-Factor presents their findings, all meticulously gathered using each member of the team's special abilities. The gist of it is that a man named Edie Avidan, with anti-mutant terrorist ties was the owner of the car that Aurora died in. The brake line was cut, and there were spikes in the road by the bridge. Avidan was in on this setup and was not inside the car, but was instead waiting on the bridge waiting for his trap to work. Unfortunately, it was raining, so the car skidded through Eddie, killing him, through the guardrail, and into the water below.

X-Factor, with the support of The Five, makes the case that Krakoa needs X-Factor Investigations to investigate mutant deaths and assist the resurrection process. The council agrees and names Polaris leader, but Polaris suggests Northstar instead. He accepts. Afterward, Magneto wants to know why Lorna didn't take the job. She doesn't have an answer at the moment. Polaris heads off into the woods, communes with Krakoa, and builds a fancy new base for X-Factor using her powers, dubbed The Boneyard by Daken when he and the team arrive the next day. The building looks like one of those Game of Thrones dragon dildos you can buy on certain specialty sites.

A scene from X-Factor #1
A scene from X-Factor #1

X-Factor hold a housewarming party as Forge installs a warning system that will alert the team if Cerebro can't detect a mutant for a month. He also sets up seeds that grow bushes that allow people to submit anonymous tips. There are a lot of cases available right away, so Northstar tells the team to get to work. The issue ends with a mostly redacted document explaining the rules of resurrection.

This issue read like a massive information dump. It worked really hard to establish the premise of X-Factor, the cast, and what each member of the team brings to the table, all in a single issue. Normally, a new Marvel comic would drag out the introduction for an entire story arc, by which point, in many cases, the book has already been canceled. X-Factor got all of that out of the way in one issue, and now the stage is set to get right down to it, even if it left the first issue feeling a little heavy on the info and light on the character moments. If this series lives up to its promise in issues to come, that will have been a worthwhile tradeoff.

Read more X-ual Healing here:

X-ploring the Mutant Resurrection Protocols in X-Factor #1 [XH]

This post is part of a multi-part series: X-ual Healing X-Men Recaps for the Week of 7/29/2020.

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