X-Factor is coming back to Marvel in a big way, and the fan-favorite X-Team is getting a slick and stylish new look when they make their return. Writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeon will be at the wheel when X-Factor #1 hits this April, and as you can see in the images below, the team and its mission aren't the only things to receive a reimagining. The team has a fresh and cohesive new look, and the suits were intended to be more modern and stylish from the get-go. That idea stems from the fact that X-Factor isn't really a superhero team, but a squad of detectives that look into missing mutants and maintain Krakoa's resurrection protocols. As such, they didn't need to look like an ordinary superhero team, and we're pretty sure they nailed that, especially the logo.
"There were many different ideas and concepts I wanted to include in the designs, one of them doing an homage of sorts to the original Jackson Guice designs," Baldeon said. "I love those big bold X decals all aver the suits! While trying to integrate the X motif into the new suits, this little idea went into my head: these guys are not so much Super Heroes as investigators looking for missing mutants. “Missing mutants”, or "missing X’s”, perhaps? That took the shape, after some sketching, of this “empty set,” “non-X” logo that I really like, that worked like a charm on the suits, and that went great as a contrast to the classic X and its Dawn of X reinterpretation."
"So I included it in the designs and suggested to Jordan [D. White], Annalise [Bissa], and Leah [Williams] that it could be used, in-universe, as the “badge” of this investigative team," Baldeon said. "Lucky for me, they liked the idea… Because I already had designed the whole team around that logo!"
Baldeon had a number of influences when he was designing these new suits, including classic detective elements.
"Wow, a million of them," Baldeon said. "From my love of Gareth Pugh’s designs to the general direction and character development we will be having in this book. Each of the suits comes from the answer to that question from before, “What would they wear,” and how that would translate into uniforms. There’s also little nods to classic detective motifs: the noir trench coat, the FBI-esque windbreaker."
You also might notice these suits actually look comfortable, and that wasn't by accident.
"That’s one of them, yeah. One of the ingredients in this book, and therefore these designs, is that these guys are not so much Super Heroes as detectives, and these are not so much costumes as they are suits," Baldeon said. "That gave them a bit of a grounded quality. And as much as I love Super Hero tights and their designs, our X-Factor needed another flavor. And I like that."
You'll also notice that Aurora is now part of the squad alongside her brother Northstar, though that wasn't always the case.
“I hadn’t originally planned on having Aurora be a part of the field team," Williams said. "She was destined to have a role more along the lines of operations and intel around the Boneyard, which is the name for X-factor’s Krakoan headquarters. Like Polaris, I need Aurora to have a lot of additional bandwidth to do individual character work with her—so keeping her untethered to explore her growth without Northstar overshadowing her was my goal. But then," the writer pauses, "I saw David’s design for her X-factor uniform and changed my mind."
"What’s consistent with my original plan is that Aurora becomes a part of the X-factor family in a shockingly roundabout way, considering her twin brother is the new team leader," Williams said. "And also consistent—the reason she’s not a part of the team line-up in the beginning is a big mystery that I want readers to try and solve over the course of the first arc. There’s already some clues in the unfinished preview pages.”
X-Factor #1 hits comic stores on April 22nd.
What do you think of the new looks? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things comics!