started as an X-Men
spinoff in the 1980s
, starting specifically in early 1986. Around that time, Xavier was heading into space to be with his love Lilandra, who just happened to be the Empress of the galactic Shi'ar Empire. They and the X-Men were on pretty good terms, particularly after they saved both the Empire and the Universe from the previous Shi'ar Emperor.And
, in addition to all that, it just so happened that Magneto
was recently trying to turn a new leaf.
Oh, and it also
just so happened... that Jean Grey had not died a few years before. And finally
, Beast, Angel, and Iceman had recently joined a a brand-spankin' new version
of The Defenders
. This didn't last long, and it ended with everyone except for the aforementioned three being killed off. Don't worry, they got better
. So now, those three characters were free game for other
So... here's what all of this resulted in: Charles Xavier decided to go into space to be with Lilandra, and put the recently reformed Magneto in charge, in his stead. However, Cyclops had a problem with that, what with, you know... Magneto previously being the X-Men's deadly Archenemy
and all. So, Cyclops reunited with Iceman, Angel, The Beast, and Jean Grey (notice it's the original X-Men lineup), after learning of how she was now alive again. The group dedicated themselves to continuing Charles Xavier's dream.
And if you want even more
details, just go to The Other Wiki
After they rejoined the expanded team of X-Men, the title now switched to detailing the exploits of a new, government-sanctioned team of mutants, most notable turning for C-List Fodder
like Jamie Madrox into ascended extras
. That series was cancelled in 1998, and seven years later Marvel launched a new series with Madrox as the lead character of a new X-Factor series, where most of the old team and some new members had become private investigators.
Technically, there have been three X-Factor
series so far: one about the mutant superhero team, which started in 1986; a mostly unrelated series about FBI agents in the same universe, and one about the mutant detective team, which started in 2006. However, after Peter David
took over the original series, the roster and style of the series was so different from what came before it that it was basically a separate series. So this page refers to three separate X-Factor
series, meaning the original, starring the five original X-Men as mutants pretending
to be Cape Busters
, the second era of that same title, which began with PAD taking over and continued with several other writers, starring C-List Fodder
as mutants openly working for the government; and the new series, also written by PAD but with an adversarial relationship with the government and more Film Noir
elements than most superhero comics. (And then the new series resumed the numbering of the old series, meaning that the series is thought of to break down into: 1-70 (original X-Men), 71-149 (government team), 1-50 (detectives), then 200-the present (still detectives).) The series concluded in late 2013.
In January 2014, Marvel launched All New X-Factor
. They're a corporate superteam now, with Polaris as their leader. Gambit and Quicksilver joined in the first issue. Their bankroller is Harrison Snow of Serval Industries. PAD is still writing.
Has nothing to do with the reality series
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The first series provides examples of the following tropes:
Same old X-Men, fresh new flavor.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wolfsbane when she was a member. It should be noted that, while Beast was also one of the founding members, he is more of a Beast Man than an ATS since he doesn't take after one particular animal or another.
- Bat Family Crossover: "Inferno", "The Xtinction Agenda", and "The Muir Island Saga", the last of which led directly to the major lineup changes.
- Big Bad: Apocalypse
- Brainwashed: Even though Warren had willingly agreed to serve Apocalypse in exchange for new wings (bear in mind he was borderline suicidal at the time, and everyone thought he was dead), Apocalypse still programmed him to be loyal. It wasn't thorough enough, though, and Warren rejoined X-Factor.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Havok during part of the "Inferno" storyline.
- Cape Busters: When they first started using the name X-Factor, the team pretended to be normal humans who captured mutants as an excuse to recruit young mutants to train.
- The Chessmaster: Cameron Hodge
- Cloning Blues: Jean learns to deal with two beings copying her body. Madelyne, meanwhile, couldn't cope with the revelation of being a clone.
- Evil Costume Switch:
- Havok when he becomes the Goblin Prince to Madelyne Pryor (although the switch in question is really just his old suit reduced to tatters to match Madelyne's skimpy outfit).
- Angel, as Death of the Four Horsemen (he kept his costume after returning to X-Factor and becoming Archangel).
- Caliban, as a willing servant of Apocalypse.
- Face-Heel Turn:
- Five-Man Band: The same dynamic as the group was when they were the first X-Men team.
- Flashback: How Jean came back was summarized by Warren, although the As You Know aspect for the first part was getting on Scott's nerves.
- Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: Nanny and Orphan-Maker
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Jean plays with this when she wears an evening dress and fur coat, and then acts like a snowball fight with Scott is an epic battle.
- The Little Black Dress: Jean wears one in the first issue, and another in the three issue arc where she loses her winter coat and then replaces it with a fur coat.
- Losing Your Head: Memo to Cameron Hodge: don't kill the girlfriend of the guy with brand-new razor-sharp wings after you've already betrayed his team and ruined his life. Though Hodge did plan ahead.
- The Men in Black: The team's cover story at first was as an organization like this.
- Pretty in Mink: Jean buys a white fur coat in issue #53, and some background ladies would occasionally wear fur.
- In issue #55, Hanks saves the life of a Streetwalker who is wearing a full length white fur coat.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Jean gets the original team together to find a way to help mutants again (unfortunately Cameron Hodge takes advantage of that, among other things).
- Red-Headed Hero: Jean, as she always is.
- Retcon: How Jean was brought back. But unlike Dallas, this didn't actually contradict any of the past events in the stories (although the later rehash "Endsong" would contradict events from the "Dark Phoenix Saga").
- Spin-Off: Of The Uncanny X-Men
- Snowball Fight: #53: Superpowers style, with Jean even calling herself "The Queen of the Icy North!".
- Tonight Someone Proposes: Scott proposes to Jean in issue #53. She turns him down (but after some Character Development, she successfuly proposes to him a few years later).
The second series provides examples of the following tropes:
Welcome to the Nineties...
X-Factor Noir (2000s)
The third series provides examples of the following tropes:
All-New X-Factor (2014)
The fourth series contains examples of: