X-Factor really started to take off when the title explored Theresa Cassidy’s return, and luckily, issue #8 is all about her and the continuation of that exciting arc.
One thing about X-Factor #8 is that its visuals are fantastic and truly stand out in the X-line. In the opening pages, David is still exploring the mystery of his death, and the data page given to us is one of the most exciting and visually appealing images on these pages since House of X/Powers of X. Lately, data pages have just been walls of text or chat logs, none of which feels that exciting or necessary, but this one stands out.
Baldeon has also employed some interesting tactics to visualize Trevor’s powers to the reader. As a result, we get these spreads with multiple “eyes” on different parts of the Boneyard. Unique panel layouts also show up when Akihiro is fighting the Morrigan, using sharp, jagged, and thin panels to explore the fast-paced action of the sequence.
The Morrigan lore has shifted — we know that much from X-Factor #7 — though it seems Williams and Baldeon are continuing to play around with the lore. Now, the Morrigan looks almost demonic, with a Symbiote-like grin and long, stringy limbs. It fits the “horror” tone of the assault on the Boneyard, but one has to wonder if this is really her new look or something just exaggerated for this issue. Her powers and how she interacts with Theresa have also noticeably changed.
Akihiro and Aurora’s chemistry still lacks and is the weakest part of the book. Each interaction feels like the reader missed the middle parts of the relationship and the title just jumped ahead of itself to get them to where they are. They’re just off. But Williams shines when writing the other Beaubier sibling, Jean-Paul, and his interactions with Kyle. Kyle greeting Northstar at the Hatchery is a sweet little moment that takes away from the heaviness of the situation and their dynamic is just fun.
The issue ends with Northstar demanding to know what the new deal was that Theresa struck with the Morrigan. This reveal was expected, as previously noted, everything about the Morrigan has been different. This clearly isn’t the same person or the same dynamic we saw in Peter David’s X-Factor run, and finding out what that new bargain is opens up a whole slew of exciting possibilities. One chapter of the Morrigan arc has closed, but it’s clear another has opened.
Though this issue is a bit weaker than the previous ones in this arc, Williams and Baldeon brave new territory with a horror approach to their story, which is met with mostly success. Theresa’s unfortunate predicament remains one of the most interesting stories in the current line.
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