X-Factor #6 marks the return of X-Factor Investigations veteran, Siryn, and begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding her repeating deaths. In many ways, X-Factor #6 is one of the only times in the new era that a title truly feels like an extension of past canon, rather than mostly focusing on the new. This becomes X-Factor‘s greatest strength.
X-Factor volume 3 can be a complicated series, but one thing’s for certain: it made tons of newer fans care about non-A-lister characters like Siryn and Monet. Since Theresa Cassidy’s appearance at the Independence Day party in House of X, many fans wondered just how she was a human again and not the Morrigan. Many hoped this new Theresa-centric arc would address that inconsistency, revealing how Theresa ditched her Goddess gig to return to the land of the mortals. X-Factor #6 doesn’t do much to answer that question (though it does bring the Morrigan situation up), but that doesn’t mean this arc won’t eventually lead to an answer in that regard. After all, it’s clear that part is being honored if nothing else.
The highlight of X-Factor #6 is Lorna and Theresa’s friendship, a driving force in the Peter David era. Lorna’s disappointment over Theresa’s fibs about her death and Jean-Paul’s attempts to comfort her are some of the more organic moments of the entire X-line, showcasing themes of friendship. As previously mentioned, Theresa’s sacrifice of her mortality to save Lorna is brought up, and it’s clear the deep-running friendship between these two women will be a driving force of this plot.
The most peculiar thing about X-Factor #6 is that when Theresa says she was drinking, no one really bats an eye. Through someone’s speech bubble, this information appears to be taken as a surprise, but it does little to explain why. It’s admittedly a bit odd that someone like Lorna, who knows Theresa quite well, wouldn’t immediately call her out on that lie, given the character’s long-written struggles with alcoholism.
The mystery aspects of X-Factor #6 are the best this series has ever been, introducing several different plot elements to keep readers on their toes. One mystery is obviously Theresa’s death and why she’s lying about who killed her. By the issue’s end, Terry has used her sonic hypnosis on Lorna, using her friend to ensure X-Factor stays out of her business.
The mystery surrounding David’s death has also been brought up again, with a data page of text messages between Sofia Mantega and Prodigy being showcased. David reveals he died around the same time as Loa and Rahne, revealing that certain threads from Uncanny X-Men (2019) will be explored — and from an unforeseen point of view through David. This data page also includes a nice throwback to the work Anthony Oliveira, Chip Zdarsky, and Manuel Garcia did in Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling, with Tommy being extremely worried about David. Though the status of Tommy Shepherd and David Alleyne’s relationship hasn’t been touched on much beyond the reveal in Emperor Hulkling that the two have been known to kiss frequently when partying, there’s something really nice about knowing the boys are still in touch despite living in different countries –and there’s something really cute about Sofia bothering David about him like a little sister. Thinkfast fans can rejoice!
X-Factor #6 starts relatively slow, but once it picks up it really gets going, unraveling years of X-Men lore for a new, fresh story. The artwork is interesting, the plot is intriguing, and the mysteries that have arisen are among the best in the new era. It’s interesting how Williams continues to weave New X-Men volume 2 lore with X-Factor volume 3 lore, creating a really interesting mash-up of two fan-favorite teams.
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