(Note: This post was originally scheduled for June but is being stickied to the top of the main page during the week of November 27th so current readers don’t miss it! Regular updates continue, below.)
X-Men fans who know the team from cartoons and movies are familiar with that single title acting as an umbrella to all of the various incarnations of the franchise.
That’s about to change in 2018. Fans will get their first taste of a X-Men spinoff title with the release of New Mutants, a movie based on the third generation of young mutants at Xavier’s school who were spun off into their own title in 1984. Either that film or Deadpool will likely lead us to another movie named X-Force, which would show off a more-proactive, bloodier version of X-Men on film.
Those spinoff titles – “new” and “force” – are explicit in describing what their teams represent. That’s one of many reasons why the film franchise is skipping over another X-Men spinoff title: X-Factor.
We might eventually see an “X-Factor” movie or TV show thanks to a 2006 incarnation of the title, which envisioned it less as a team and more as the motley crew staffing a mutant detective agency.
What we probably will never see is an adaptation of the original X-Factor, which was dedicated to reassembling the original comic book X-Men – Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and Jean Grey returned from the dead. That’s because the film series has always been smart enough to realize that those five characters are a boring combination that’s quickly dominated by the Cyclops/Jean relationship.
If the original X-Men are so boring, why were they reassembled? And, is it worth reading about over thirty years later? Those two questions are answered by the #31 vote on this year’s Marvel’s Most-Wanted Omnibus ballot.
(Note that this post was published in November, as the originally scheduled post was interrupted by coordinating my move to my new home in New Zealand).
X-Factor, Vol. 1
X-Factor, Vol. 1 is tied as the #31 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot. Visit the Marvel Masterworks Message Board to view the original posting of results by Tigereyes and collect all of these issue right now as detailed in my X-Factor Guide
Past Ranking: X-Factor was #13 last year, making it one of the biggest drops in rank in 2017.
Probable Contents: Fantastic Four #286, Avengers #263, X-Factor #1 to 26 or 32, plus Annuals #1-3.
Creators: Written by Louise Simonson with Bob Layton and Walt Simonson. Penciled by Jackson Guice (#1-7) and Walt Simonson (#10-11, 13-15, 17-19, 21, 23-31, & Annual 3) with Marc Silvestri (#8 & 12)
Can you read it right now? Not entirely, and what you read will be in an hodge-podge of formats. The whole run isn’t even on Marvel Unlimited! Visit the X-Factor Guide for the full story.
What’s in the X-Factor, Vol. 1 omnibus?
It was a clever solution to a non-existent problem, but also very nearly a dead-on-arrival dud. Even though it turned out to be good, I’m still convinced it was the first big misstep of the X-Men franchise.
Let’s start at the beginning.
The year is 1985. Jean Grey is still dead. Cyclops represents the “old guard” in Uncanny X-Men and is increasingly unnecessary to the team, though he continues to get pulled back into their adventures despite starting a new life (and family) with Madelyne Pryor (later decided/revealed to be a clone of Jean!). Angel, Beast, and Iceman are roughly half of the New Defenders in a title headed for cancellation. [Read more…] about X-Factor, Vol. 1 – The #31 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017