Compared to big teams like The Avengers and X-Men, X-Factor has always been considered small time. In the past, the group has acted as a mutant detective agency, being led by characters like Multiple Man and Havok. In Peter David’s All-New X-Factor: Change Of Decay, the team has taken on a corporate identity. Polaris leads the roster of Quicksilver, Gambit, Cypher, Warlock and Danger on a mission to rescue a girl from her mutant-hating father. The situation gets a lot more complicated in a graphic novel that’s filled with awesome character interactions.
X-Factor’s corporate image is one of the most intriguing parts of the story. Backed by Serval Industries Executive Harrison Snow, the team has been transformed into a public squad. Polaris stepped up to lead X-Factor because she wanted to get her life back on track. A sense of wanting to belong can be felt from the other members, especially Quicksilver, who was tasked by Havok to keep an eye on Lorna.
After Cypher sees a video from a girl named Georgia, X-Factor comes to her rescue. It’s revealed Georgia is a mutant who was locked up by her adoptive father and the mission doesn’t go smoothly. Georgia doesn’t know how to cope with her powers and feels resentful for being whisked away from the only life she’s ever known.
The situation becomes more complex when Georgia’s real father, Memento Mori, attacks X-Factor and takes her away. With the help of Georgia’s mother, X-Factor are able to stop Mori.
Family is a major theme within the graphic novel, as shown through the relationship with Quicksilver and Polaris. Although Pietro was on the team on Havok’s orders, he chose to stay because he wanted to be there for his sister. Even when Havok calls him back to the Avengers, Quicksilver believes himself to be more valued on X-Factor.
“In this world, so many people do things and then try to get out of owning up to them. They issue denials. They refuse responsibility. And I, who fancy myself so much better than everyone else, did the exact same thing. I was wrong. I can never make up for what I did to you and the others, Fatale. I can’t. And I can never make it up to anyone for lying to them. If they wish to punish me for my crimes, well, they know where to find me.” – Quicksilver
At the end of the story, Quicksilver takes responsibility for the mistakes he made during his time with the Inhumans. He admits to the world that he can’t make up for what he’s done and shouldn’t be treated as a hero. David paints the image of a man owning his place and stepping up. Pietro’s speech reunites him with his daughter, Luna, showing that it’s never too late for family to come back together.
The graphic novel is full of relatable interactions, funny and emotional in equal measure. Whether it’s Warlock realising he has a crush on Danger, or Gambit feeling guilty over sleeping with the boss’ wife, X-Factor is a team that you’ll want to read more of.
Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art is gorgeous, featuring heaps of colour, which makes every page pop. A sequence that stood out was a splash page of Memento Mori using his powers. The bright green coupled with shattering glass is a feast for the eyes.
All-New X-Factor: Change Of Decay turned me into an X-Factor fan and I guarantee it’ll do the same for you. You can buy it now on Amazon.