I am almost always excited for new comic book day, but this week in particular has been particularly great for comic book fans. With each new issue of Leah Williams’ X-Factor, I am reminded just how limitless the world of the X-Men is and how refreshing this book is in comparison to the other X-books. Spoilers for X-Factor #5 ahead.
Previously on X-Factor, Siryn fell out of the sky. Why is this important? Well, Siryn can fly using her sonic powers that she inherited from her father, Banshee. Thus, it should not be possible for her to fall to her death unless it was either a murder or suicide. This becomes even stranger once you consider how high she was above Krakoa when she fell. Despite being a former member of X-Factor and friends with Polaris, Siryn seems to be keeping the actual reason behind her death a secret, trying to play it off as a freak accident. What is Siryn hiding and how will this affect the members of X-Factor?
The character interactions are what make X-Factor so special, and this issue is filled with them. It is hilarious to see X-Factor work with normal police while investigating Siryn’s death and how normal people react to them. Northstar shines as their leader, acting like a supportive, but disapproving, parent when talking with Prodigy and Daken. I also love how much more attention Polaris receives in this issue, considering how close she is to Siryn. Eye-Boy, Daken and Prodigy also receive many hilarious moments, once again showing just how much chemistry Williams has filled this team with.
I am slightly disappointed that Aurora and Prestige didn’t get as much attention this issue, but this was likely due to the addition of Siryn to the cast. It is difficult to balance so many characters in a large overarching story. It is obvious to me that Leah Williams is doing her best to devote equal time to each of X-Factor’s members while introducing new and relevant characters in each issue.
The art for most of this issue was rather average, which took me aback at first. Israel Silva’s colors stood out as much as they have in previous issues, but David Baldeon’s artwork wasn’t nearly as eye-catching. This was until I realized that this was due to Baldeon and Silva bombarding readers with brilliant colors and a brief change in art style in the last few pages to show off Polaris and Siryn’s powers. While I won’t discuss the exact events leading to this beautiful show of power, it definitely surprised me. The more subdued nature of most of this issue left the ending engrained in my brain.
X-Factor continues to not just be my favorite X-Men book out right now, but one of my favorite X-Men books I have ever read. The lesser-known mutant characters used in each issue allow me to have little to no expectations about where the story will go. As always, I am heavily anticipating the next issue. I just hope the creative storytelling continues throughout this run.