I missed this book so much. X-Factor #4, while great, did not feel the same as the previous issues likely due to it being part of X of Swords. Now that X of Swords is over, we can finally dive back into the adventures I loved so much from the first three issues. Spoilers for X of Swords ahead.
This issue acts as both an epilogue to X of Swords and a conclusion to events of the first three issues of X-Factor. In X-Factor #4, Rockslide tragically died permanently due to his recorded memories being corrupted due to the manor of his death. When he was resurrected, he became a new being filled with endless possibility, but the Rockslide that the mutants knew and loved was gone forever. The X-Factor now have to adapt to the new Rockslide and help him flourish in the world he was unceremoniously born into.
At the end of X-Factor #3, we also learned that Sofia, the mutant that had apparently died in the Mojoverse, was killed during a livestream because her “fans” voted for it. As one of the many mutants depowered due to the events of House of M, Sofia (Wind Dancer) likely wished to die so that she could be resurrected in Krakoa with her powers restored. With proof of her death now in hand, the X-Factor can now convince The Five to resurrect her.
This issue primarily follows the X-Factor team as they wind down after the events of the last four issues. With Sofia revived and the new Rockslide living in the X-Factor’s home, the Boneyard, the team is adapting to the new world around them. Leah Williams has a firm grasp on these characters and the relationships between them. It has gotten to the point where I cheer whenever I see Daken on the page, which I cannot believe I am saying as I am writing this review. Sadly, it seems the peace they are enjoying won’t last very long.
Despite the lack of action in this issue, artist David Baldeon and colorist Israel Silva, do a wonderful job bringing each page to life. I continue to love the way they portray Prestige’s chronoskimming. This is also the first time we receive a first person point-of-view of someone being resurrected by The Five and it is spectacular. I love that Sofia immediately takes flight after she comes back to life, after literally being grounded for so long. I also love the way Baldeon depicts Rockslide, with his empty white eyes being able to convey so much emotion despite the lack of definition within them.
X-Factor continues to be my favorite X-book on the shelves right now. The characters feel like a breath of fresh air, maintaining a dynamic similar to other mutant teams while still feeling unique. Each member receives equal time to shine, allowing me to enjoy each of them without anyone stealing the spotlight. I am excited to see how the end of this issue leads into the next.