Full disclosure, I have liked X-Factor, but it wasn’t until this third issue that I loved it. The concept of a detective team of mutants is a clever one, but so far it has been a slower read until now. The team is taking a visit in the Mojoverse to determine whose bloody shoes showed up on their doorstep, but soon–like everything in the Mojoverse–they’re being paraded around for clicks and views. Leah Williams and David Baldeon are firing on all cylinders here and it’s highly enjoyable for both super-fans and casual readers alike.
This is one of those comics where there’s so much content on the page that just when you think you’ve reached the cliffhanger, there’s more. The book heavily involves Spiral being the boss and showing X-Factor around and soon we learn the investigation itself is being televised and sensationalized for views. As the story progresses we get plenty of nods to fan-favorite elements (name dropping #XFaqtor), commentary on mutants in general (like how Krakoa is filled with villains), and playing up a commentary on the evil nature of entertainment entities attempting to cash in on clicks via morally suspect means.
Baldeon’s artwork, with Israel Silva on colors and Joe Caramagna on letters, is continuing to work well. I was getting the bouncy, fun vibes of Gwenpool all over again–a series I positively loved–thanks to the chaotic nature of Mojoverse and the plotting that zips around, letting the artistic team go ham. There are moments that are funny, moments of shock, and moments of confusion all depicted well thanks to the kinetic nature of characters and their facial expressions. There are visual pro wrestling nods, a good blend of television screen meets real life, and some clever sci-fi technology on display too. All-in-all, this book brings the chaotic energy amping up the enjoyment of the character’s journey.
Added to all this is a fascinating new idea on the everlasting life of mutants on Krakoa. We’ve seen other angles on the nature of rebirth–read X-Force for more on that–and there’s a haunting take here. The idea of the neverending hunger of multimedia conglomerates is on full display, giving the book an extra oomph of purpose and meaning.
Leah Williams doesn’t let you forget about these characters and their interesting dynamics. It’s subtle at times, but always obvious she has a strong handle on these often underused characters. It’s books like this that can shine a light on a character that deserves more attention. A character yet to be introduced in the series is on full display in the back half of the book and I can’t say I ever cared about them…until now. The depiction is fun, bubbly, and ever so slightly tragic. How that might change them in the future is exciting, further showing how a book like this can add layers to a character in intriguing ways.
X-Factor #3 is the best issue of the series yet, maximizing the detective adventure and supplying an interesting commentary on corporate greed with an expert handle of its characters. X-Factor is a crowd-pleaser for a variety of crowds.