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X-Factor 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 3 being killed off. They got better. So now, those three characters were free game for other projects.

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 Arch Enemy and all. So, Cyclops reunited with Iceman, Angel, The Beast, and Jean Grey, 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 Wikipedia.


After they rejoined the expanded team of X-Men, the title shifted to 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 become private investigators.

Technically, there have been two X-Factor series so far: one about the mutant superhero team, which started in 1986, 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.

Has nothing to do with the ITV reality series.

The first series contains examples of:

File:X-factor1 4577.jpg

Same old X-Men, fresh new flavor.

  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wolfsbane when she was a member. It should eb 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.
  • Big Bad - Apocalypse.
  • 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.
  • Cloning Blues - Jean learns to deal with two beings copying her body.
  • 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).
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flash Back - A really clumsy one in the first issue, with an even clumsier justification for it.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers - Nanny and Orphan-Maker
  • The Little Black Dress - Jean wears one in the first issue, and in the three issue arc where she buys her fur coat.
  • The Men in Black - The team's cover story at first was as an organization like this.
  • Pretty in Mink - Jean wears a white fur coat in issue #53, and some background ladies would occasionally wear fur.
  • 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).
  • Redheaded Hero - Jean of course
  • 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
  • Snowball Fight - #53: Superpowers style.
  • Tonight Someone Proposes - Issue #53.

The second series contains examples of:

File:X-Factor Vol 1 71 8887.jpg

Welcome to the Nineties...

  • Ascended Extra - On the second team, Multiple Man and especially Strong Guy, who had little personality and neither a codename nor a last name before joining.
  • Bat Family Crossover - Often lampshaded, as the cast usually doesn't fit in with the X-Men's tendencies toward Darker and Edgier and Wangst. Doc Samson comments that they're "refreshingly normal" for a mutant team, and Strong Guy's wisecracking during the otherwise grim X-Cutioner's Song crossover leads Havok to say, "stop it, you're embarassing me."
    • During the Phalanx Covenant crossover Strong Guy comments on how he hasn't even met most of the roster of the other X-Books.
  • Catch Phrase - the initial government lineup tended to say "cripes" a lot. Then there's Strong Guy's made-up insult, "blork", his politically correct term for mutants "geecees" (short for "genetically challenged"), frequently threatening "I'll defenestrate 'em" when a villain does something offensive, and several instances where someone responds to "nobody move!" with, "mind if I scratch my nose?"
  • Convergent Non Sequitur - "You ask me, I blame society."
  • Deadly Rotary Fan - Rick Chalker attempts to use rotors grafted in place of his hands as weapons, extremely incompetently.
  • Deadpan Snarker - everyone on the initial government lineup cracks wise, and three characters served as Designated Joker: Madrox, Strong Guy and Quicksilver. When their government liaison is unexpectedly teleported in, Strong Guy quips, "oh, good, the comic relief is here."
  • Fun Personified - Madrox got a little more serious after discovering his duplicates are alive, and Strong Guy got a little Darker and Edgier after revealing a Dark and Troubled Past and suffering a massive heart attack, but both of them actually cope with their pain through humor.
  • Genius Bruiser: Strong Guy was a nerdy, grade A-student at junior high.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At a time when you still couldn't use "Hell" as a swear word in Marvel's comics, Peter David created an all-female supervillain team called Hell's Belles.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo - more of a reference really, but one issue revealed that the team's government liaison, Val Cooper, really envied her brother the FBI agent, who gets really cool cases:

  Cooper: one time, they found this girl. she was dead, wrapped in plastic...

  • Me's a Crowd - Madrox's mutant power
  • Mundane Utility - Jamie constantly uses his dupes like this, sending them out to learn and explore the world, creating them on the other side of locked doors, playing duets on piano (pity the only song he knows is "Chopsticks") and the above super-babysitting example. Quicksilver is shown reading books at super-speed, and everyone takes a crack at prying a stubborn lid off a jar of mayo, but even Polaris's magnetic powers and Havok's plasma blasts are useless.
  • Pretty in Mink - Lorna wore a fur-trimmed coat or two.
  • Punch Clock Villain - Random, a bounty hunter, is wreaking havoc in downtown Washington, D.C. because he's chasing a bounty. X-Factor arrives and defeats him, by paying him *more* than the bounty was worth.

The third series contains examples of:

File:X-factor2 8910.jpg

Re-tooled Nineties as gritty noir.

  • All Gays Love Theater: Lampshaded when Rictor refuses to watch musicals with his TV-obsessed boyfriend, Shatterstar, because he "doesn't want to be stereotypical".
  • Anything That Moves: Shatterstar. PAD has stated he's become "sexually curious about anything with a pulse", taking a cue from Torchwood's Captain Jack Harkness.
  • Ascended Extra: Same as in the second series. Monet was the Alpha Bitch of an X-Men spinoff series that was cancelled years before, Rictor was C-List Fodder who had recently lost his powers in a Crisis Crossover, Shatterstar is a Continuity Snarl Nineties Anti-Hero, Siryn is a Distaff Counterpart of her father and Layla was a MacGuffin Girl in a Crisis Crossover. It seems like Peter David's whole plan whenever he writes series named X-Factor is to create as many examples of this trope as possible. And it is glorious.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Jamie Madrox keeps attempting to treat his Mutant adventures as Noir Detective novels. Usually, he fails miserably.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Layla's mutant power. She can bring people back from the dead! ....unfortunately, they no longer have a soul and as such, always Came Back Wrong.
    • Shatterstar's powers would be this ANYWHERE but X-Factor, since he requires one of three teammates as a psychic anchor to teleport and both the teleporting and his 'sword energy blast things' need about as much recovery time as a Super Saiyan.
  • Badass Longcoat: Madrox seems to prefer one of these. Shatterstar wore one when he first showed back up, but has since switched to a shorter jacket.
  • Badass Normal: Rictor, who lost his powers in the Decimation. Peter David describes him as the "moody former mutant who believes he's useless and yet keeps happening to save the day."
    • As of Avengers: Children's Crusade #6, he officially has been repowered by the Scarlet Witch herself. Peter David has stated on his blog that he will not be reversing it.
  • Bald of Awesome: Guido and Darwin.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jamie grows one, after he accidentally absorbs his newborn son.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mess with Monet's mind. Just...don't.
    • Trying to hurt anyone who Shatterstar sees as a teammate is a very bad idea, unless you fancy having two feet of sharp metal shoved through your abdomen. Double this if you're threatening his boyfriend.
    • Lately, it's become a bad idea to threaten Monet whenever Darwin's around, even if she's very capable of taking care of herself.
  • Betty and Veronica: Monet and Siryn. In fact, Monet is actually called Veronica Lodge at one point.
    • And most recently, Shatterstar and Wolfsbane. It doesn't help that Rictor thinks he's the Baby Daddy and has previously stated he believes in having a Shotgun Wedding.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Darwin is normally the nice, quiet guy on the team. But when he finally gets angry? Yeah, you're pretty screwed.
  • Bi the Way: Rictor.
  • Body Horror: Darwin. His powers will transform him into whatever is necessary to survive — shoot his head off, and he'll grow a head from his torso, drop wreckage on him and he'll become an oozing mass. Also, Mutant Town was filled with plenty of examples, especially of former mutants that still had their physical deformities.
  • Boldly Coming: Heroics aside, Longshot's main contributions to earth are making a LOT of women happy. Sometimes repeatedly.
  • Brainy Brunette: Monet and Rictor. Madrox might also count.
  • Bury Your Gays: Averted. Word of God has explicitly stated that killing either Rictor or Shatterstar would be too obvious, and he'd rather find more interesting ways of creating angst.
  • Came Back Wrong: Layla's mutant power does this. Trevor Fitzroy was originally a hero and prominent member of the Summer's Rebellion before Layla was forced to raise him from the dead. The resurrection transformed him into a LITERALLY soulless Complete Monster who would go on to murder Bishop's sister and travel back in time to murder the Hellions.
    • As of issue #218, Guido. Again, thanks to Layla.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Pip the Troll.
  • Catch Phrase / Phrase Catcher: Layla Miller. She knows stuff.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Longshot.
  • Civvie Spandex: Jamie Madrox.
  • C-List Fodder: somewhere between this and Ascended Extra for almost all the team.
  • Creepy Child: Layla Miller Not anymore though - she was stranded in the future, and returned as an adult.
    • The team also regards Valeria Richards as quite creepy, remarking on her similarity to Layla.
  • Deceptive Legacy: A supervillain behaves heroically for the sake of his son, whose mother told him that his dad is a superhero.
  • Depending on the Artist: Monet's skin colour. (Though this might be more of a Race Lift.)
  • Drives Like Crazy: Shatterstar, teaching himself to drive in a stolen vehicle. He isn't BAD, per say, but he drives in the middle of the road and thinks the brake is "useless" because it makes them slow down. No one is surprised when he crashes several pages later. Terry's reaction causes this to double as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Dumb Blonde: Longshot. Subverted with Layla.
  • Enfant Terrible: Rahne's son may be one of these. Especially when he disembowels someone moments after being born.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Shatterstar has been the subject of extensive online debate, beaten up The Thing, kissed almost as many people as the rest of the cast put together, been featured prominently in nine different covers, made himself a very likely candidate for a limited series, and just generally stolen the spotlight both in-universe and out; all this in, what, ten issues or so? Not bad for a character who the writer refused to allow anywhere near the book for quite some time.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Longshot, and arguably Shatterstar.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Terry, with her sexy hypnosis voice.
  • Fiery Redhead: Terry, Rahne, and Shatterstar.
  • Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: Rictor (accidentally) gets temporary use of Quicksilver's Terrigen crystals.
  • Fridge Horror: Shatterstar mentions he needs an anchor while teleporting to avoid getting "lost in-between". What exactly does that mean? Well, our good friend Spiral might know a bit about that....
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Rictor seems to exclusively date violent redheads. Terry has hooked up with both Jamie and later Deadpool.
  • I Have No Son: Rahne's response to her son after he violently attacked her attacker after coming out of her mouth.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Jamie eventually decides to kill himself after absorbing his son. But just when he's about to do it, Layla returns from the future, and takes him with her.
  • Large Ham: Jamie Madrox, especially early in the series when he hasn't grown up as much. Shatterstar. Rictor, when he's undercover. In fact, everyone on the team has probably had a Large Ham moment at one point or another.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Shatterstar.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Monet.
  • New Skills As The Plot Demands: In the third series and the miniseries preceding it, Jamie explained that for the past several years (after the end of the previous series, apparently) Jamie has been sending out dupes to lead independent lives. When they return to him and he reabsorbs them, he gets all their knowledge and skills, such as martial arts, lockpicking and lawyering.
    • Additionally, both the Madrox mini and some early X-Factor issues make a big deal out of how Jamie has to absorb his dupes before they die, or else lose their memories. Dead dupes get the ability to be absorbed automatically right around the time Jamie needs to send some into potential future time-lines.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, Rictor.
  • Oracular Urchin: Layla Miller. She knows stuff.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Rahne Sinclair / Wolfsbane.
  • Precocious Crush: In a way. Layla didn't act like she had a crush on Jamie Madrox, but several times told him, that they eventually going to get married. After she got a Plot-Relevant Age-Up, this became a real possibility.
  • Pregnant Badass: Terry. And most recently, Rahne. Don't count on what you think a hormonal WMD will do, indeed.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: And how...
  • Red Herring: Early in the series (Prior to Civil War) we see that Wolfsbane will kill Madrox & Layla on their wedding night. Fast forward to 2011, and it turns out that it's actually Rahne's daughter who can morph into any wolf form, including her mother's. Oh, and that it doesn't take place on Earth-616, either.
  • Relationship Reveal: Rictor and Shatterstar, after years of subtext, finally got that on-panel kiss.
    • And more recently, after issues of dealing with an unrelated crossover, they finally score their second on panel kiss, and eventually their first on panel love scene. Well, almost anyway. A certain wolf had to just show up and accidentally ruin it for the poor guys.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Layla, after her trip to the future resulted in her returning to the present an attractive young woman instead of the tweenager that left.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Rictor and Rahne. Madrox and Layla.
  • Tonight Someone Dies: Apparently Jamie Madrox in #227, but not everything is as it seems.
  • Thought Caption: Jamie Madrox manages to monologue over just about everything, including himself.
    • Darwin gets to do this for an issue as well, having been told by Madrox that internal monologues help.
  • Transporters and Teleporters: Shatterstar and Pip the Troll.