February is the month of love, and there sure is a lot of love going around in this month’s issue of X-Factor. Whether romantic or not, it definitely seems some are more healthier than others. This issue features quite a few surprise guests, but one feels particularly timely considering Marvel’s recent hit TV series. Spoilers for X-Factor #6 and minor spoilers for X-Factor #7 ahead!
At the end of last issue, Syren seemingly hypnotized Polaris into giving up the investigation into Syren’s mysterious deaths. What is she so desperate to hide that she would use her powers on a friend? Sadly, it may be a while longer before we learn her true intentions, as she is much more dangerous than it would seem. Daken has been sent by Northstar to follow her and report anything strange, but Daken may be in over his head with this mission.
However, if you are more interested in the serious plot developments, you may be a little disappointed in the first half of this issue. A significant amount of time is dedicated to fleshing out the interpersonal relationships of a few members of the team, especially Prodigy. Prodigy is a character I knew next to nothing about before this series, so its interesting to see how differently he acts around his lover compared to his teammates. That’s right, we get a guest appearance by Speed, the reincarnation of one of Scarlet Witch and Vision’s sons. I imagine that Scarlet Witch being undesirable number one by Krakoa may result in some conflict for him in the future, but for now we get to enjoy his hilarious banter with Northstar.
Northstar is quickly becoming my favorite member of X-Factor. He oozes cool and plays off of the other mutants well, while still managing to keep most of them in check. The fact he can keep Daken on a leash is an incredible feat. Thank you Leah Williams for allowing me to fall in love with such a fantastic character. I’m interested to see how Aurora and Daken’s relationship will affect his ability to lead X-Factor in the future. However, that last page reveal may force a rain check on that development.
David Baldeon and Israel Silva get to show off their artistic talents multiple times throughout this issue, but their art is at its best in the panels following Daken. The moody greys and dirty trees give off an unsettling atmosphere, as if they want us to expect the worst is coming for our second (maybe even third), favorite adamantium-clawed mutant. We don’t see exactly what happens to him, but considering he was tracking Syren, it is likely that she is the cause of the brutal pain he is afflicted with.
This issue balanced soap opera-style drama with some hilarious moments and major plot development. The major reveals at the end of this issue cast a sinister shadow on the future of the X-Factor and I am excited to see how the team deals with this new threat.