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Marvel Database

X-Factor used to be a group formed by the original members of Professor Charles Xavier's X-Men as they no longer believed their former team lived up to their mentor's dream. The group's creation was catalyzed by the return of Jean Grey, who wished to reunite with her former allies. Financially backed by Angel and oriented by Cameron Hodge, X-Factor posed as mutant hunters in order to actually be able to help mutants in need.[1] Eventually, after their activities backfired and they realized Hodge had ill intents against mutants, they publicly revealed themselves as mutant superheroes.[2] The group operated side to side with the X-Men for a relatively long period and had Apocalypse as their main adversary.[3][4][5] After Xavier returned to the X-Men,[6] X-Factor disbanded and its members rejoined their former teammates.[7][8]


Mutant Hunters[]

X-Factor was formed as a consequence of the reunion the original five students of Professor Charles Xavier, the first class of X-Men. They had the objective of keeping their mentor's dream alive in face of the X-Men having changed to the point of their original members no longer relating to the team, especially with the addition of their former nemesis Magneto to the ranks of the group.[1] Prior to X-Factor's formation, the former members of the original X-Men, the high-flying magnate Angel, the lighthearted and chill Iceman, and the playful and witty Beast, had insisted on maintaining a superhero careers as members of the Defenders,[9] which ended up in tragedy[10] and caused them to pursue different interests in life.[1] Meanwhile, the first X-Man Cyclops had retired from the X-Men and moved to Alaska with his wife, Madelyne Pryor, and their newborn son.[11]

The original X-Men were brought together with the return of Jean Grey, who had been believed dead after sacrificing herself as Phoenix on the moon.[12] In reality, Jean Grey had actually been replaced by Phoenix and placed in stasis beneath Jamaica Bay while she recovered from radiation poisoning. She was found by the Avengers[13] and revived by Reed Richards.[14] Upon getting caught up on most of the events that happened in her absence, she contacted Angel and he in turn gathered the original X-Men to meet her, leading Beast to join them after being rejected employment at Empire State University and Iceman to walk out on a dull accounting job to be reunited with his friends.[1] However, Cyclops took Jean Grey's return the hardest, being unable to make up his mind about his feelings towards his past flame Jean Grey and his current wife Madelyne Pryor. Unable to tell the one about the other, Cyclops abandoned his wife and their son to meet up with the original X-Men.[1]

Inspired by Jean Grey's suggestion that they should repair the strained relations between humans and mutants and continue Xavier's dream, Angel used his vast business assets to create X-Factor. Setting up a complex out by New York Harbor and hiring his old university friend and lawyer Cameron Hodge as their public relations expert, X-Factor, Incorporated was born. They posed as mutant hunters who would take tips from the public to locate potentially dangerous mutants and take them into custody. The reality of their mission would be to secretly train mutants to control their powers so that they would not be a menace to society.[1] The team parallelly also operated under their former X-Men identities as a new team dubbed by the media as the X-Terminators in order to act in situations where their powers were required.[15] Unknown to them at the time, Hodge was in fact a mutant hater who despised Angel and sought to use X-Factor as a means of increasing anti-mutant sentiment, mostly through a heavy-handed advertising campaign.[16] This caught the attention of Senator Thompson, who independently supervised X-Factor's actions.[17] X-Factor's first mission consisted of them being hired to apprehend the young pyrokinetic mutant Rusty Collins, a sailor whose powers had flared out of control and horribly burned the face of a sex worker in San Diego. X-Factor succeeded in subduing Collins and convinced him come back with them for secret training.[1]

The Beast was eventually targetted by a former colleague of his from Brand Corporation, Dr. Carl Maddicks. Maddicks hired the mutant mercenary Tower to kidnap Beast and force him to redesign an experiment to cure his mute son Artie of his mutation. Ironically, Maddicks contacted X-Factor to arrest Tower, which gave them information about Beast's situation.[18] Maddicks administered the treatment in Beast as a guinea pig as X-Factor raided his hideout to save their friend. Since Dr. Maddicks secretly used his employer's resources within the Ryan Bio-Chemical, he was inadvertently murdered by the security team after he chose to cover X-Factor's escape in order to protect his son. In the aftermath, X-Factor took the orphaned Artie and their friend Beast back to their headquarters only to find that the experiment had regressed Beast's mutation to his original, more human appearance.[17]

X-Factor's ruse was not well accepted by the mutant community, who in ignorance saw them as a danger. They attracted the attention of the Alliance of Evil, a group whose employer sought to rescue Rusty from his apparent captors. One of their members were Tower, who clashed with X-Factor at their complex but managed to escape. This coincided with Rusty struggling to adjust himself to his condition as a mutant. He was lured by another member of the Alliance of Evil, the vicious Frenzy. After answering a fake mutant report, X-Factor came to Rusty's rescue from his failed attempt to run away by combating Frenzy.[19] The Alliance of Evil had another victim, the mutant junky Mike Nowlan, whose power boosting ability was being exploited by the terrorists. Following a tip by Nowlan's ex-wife, X-Factor was drawn to Southern California to his defense. However, they failed by being defeated by the Alliance of Evil.[3] Following their track to rescue Nowlan, X-Factor had their first encounter with the immortal mutant Apocalypse. Obsessed with enforcing the survival of the fittest, Apocalypse planned to spark a species war to strengthen mutantkind. Although X-Factor defeated the Alliance of Evil, they were unable to stop Apocalypse, who vanished. In the aftermath of the battle, Nowlan could not resist his wounds.[20]

At some point, X-Factor was approached by a desperate father who believed his young son, Willie Evans, Jr., had been abducted by the mutant hunters. Instead, X-Factor offered help in finding and retrieving the boy. Beast was able to identify that the boy might be captive in Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., and the team traveled to its base. They were opposed by the security operative Guardsman. Another interloper was the invincible Iron Man. Beast was able to reason with them about the situation. The young mutant's powers of conjuring animated constructs went wild due to an alternate personality he had developed named Grunt. Together, X-Factor and Iron Man attempted to help him, but in the end he sacrificed himself to put an end to Grunt. At his funeral, X-Factor lamented the tragedy.[21] Among many other missions in American territory, X-Factor earned a reputation to the point of being hired to share their methods with the Soviet Union's intelligence. The team was informed by Senator Thompson about mutants being secretly tortured in Soviet soil by the government. Afraid of the possible results, X-Factor decided to accept the mission only to go undercover to Siberia and free the victims, which were revealed to being experimented on by the mutant Dopplegänger and his minion, the Crimson Dynamo. However, Doppelgänger impersonated Iceman and infiltrated the team. The real Iceman, however, was rescued by the Russian mutant team of renegades known as the Exiles. Together, the two mutant groups reached the concentration camp and unltimately prevailed by joining forces to rescue the prisoners, going under the radar to evade authorities. X-Factor then fabricated a report to the Soviet government in order to safely return home.[22]

Morlock Massacre[]

As anti-mutant hysteria rose drastically, the X-Terminators constant involvement in X-Factor's operations did not escape public notice. The press -- especially reporter Trish Tilby -- began asking hard questions. In this setting, X-Factor's standing with mutants grew worse when two outcast mutants unfit for even the Morlocks due to being radioactive, Glow Worm and Bulk, attempted to attack the X-Factor compound. Splitting up into two teams, one as X-Factor and the other as the X-Terminators, they defused the threat, forcing them to return free into the sewers.[23] In a following task, X-Factor was hired by J. Jonah Jameson to hunt down the public menace Spider-Man. Despite knowing Spider-Man was a hero, X-Factor pretended to accept the deal in order to secretly help him. After defeating Spider-Man, X-Factor alerted him about the assignment and chose to abandon Jameson.[24]

Since Rusty Collins was still wanted for his crimes, Freedom Force, the mutant squad sponsored by the government and led by Mystique, was tasked of apprehending him. The clairvoyant Destiny identified his connection to X-Factor, prompting a public clash between Freedom Force and X-Factor in Central Park.[15] Among the commotion, Rusty was forced to flee into the Morlock Tunnels, counting with the help of Morlock girl known as Skids. Learning that Artie had gone after Rusty and Skids, X-Factor went after them as the X-Terminators, leading to another clash with Freedom Force, who had followed them to the Morlock Tunnels and easily identified them as the original X-Men. As the battle raged, Destiny foresaw that an imminent massacre was soon to devastate the Morlock Tunnels and recommended a retreat for Freedom Force. X-Factor remained to rescue their protégés. In retaliation, Mystique decided to publicly expose X-Factor's connection to the original X-Men.[25]

Destiny's prediction came to be true in the form of the deadly Marauders, who had been dispatched to the sewer tunnels to eliminate the Morlocks. Although Rusty and Skids were rescued, Artie was still missing. He had befriended the sewer-dwellers Leech and Caliban in an attempt to escape the clutches of Sabretooth. X-Factor clashed with the Marauders and evacuated as many of the Morlocks as possible, but Cyclops and Beast were injured. Angel asked Iceman and Jean Grey to get them medical aid while he continued to search for Artie. This led to Angel's undoing as the Marauder Blockbuster broke his wings and Harpoon impaled them, pinning Angel to a wall of the tunnels, left to die.[26] Salvation came in the form of the thunder god Thor, who was attracted to the tunnels and found Angel.[27] Meanwhile, Cyclops and Marvel Girl went back into the tunnels, joining Power Pack in fighting the Marauders. Eventually reunited with Artie, they took both Caliban and Leech with them and convinced the Power children to return to the safety of their home.[28] Following this, Thor was able to fight off the Marauders and reunited Angel with his comrades.[29] In their way back, X-Factor met a group of violent Morlocks, the Tunnelers, also offering them asylum. However, the Tunnelers rejected sanctuary and chose to escape X-Factor. Met with police brutality, they were almost all killed in the ensuing confrontation which could not be prevented by X-Factor.[30]

While adjusting to the newcomers, X-Factor recovered. While hospitalized, Angel learned his wings were damaged beyond repair. Beast and Iceman answered a call by the young street thief known as Boom Boom, who exposed her former mentor, the mutant gang leader Vanisher. Although the Vanisher escaped, Boom Boom was offered shelter with X-Factor. Moreover, Cyclops and Jean Grey investigated a series of attacks against mutant supporters, including Jean Grey's sister Sara and supposedly Cyclops's wife Madelyne Pryor, which prompted Cyclops to look for her.[31] In his quest, he was tormented by hallucinations and could find no vestiges of his wife or son, in addition to being attacked by the malfunctional Sentinel known as the Master Mold.[32] The crises escalated as X-Factor fell under a number of legal and personal woes. Outed as the financial backer for X-Factor, Angel faced a lawsuit for fraud, leading Cameron Hodge to have his wings amputated under the purpose of saving his life. Distraught at the loss of his wings, Angel seemingly committed suicide by detonating an airplane he was in. Meanwhile, the Morlock refugees decided to return to the ruins of their former home in the sweres.[33] Simultaneously, Iceman was kidnapped and manipulated by the God of Mischief Loki in a plot against Thor. By boosting Iceman's powers, Loki revitalized the Frost Giants, which caused the X-Factor member to lose fine control of his powers.[34]

Fall of the Mutants[]

Without Angel's presence, Cameron Hodge's true colors were finally shown when he funneled much of X-Factor's resources into boosting anti-mutant sentiment and secretly financed his extremist group, the Right. He manipulated X-Factor into rescuing the young mutant named Rictor from the Right in San Francisco. For this mission, Caliban offered to join the group in order to use his powers to locate Rictor. The group was successful in retrieving the young mutant, but found no evidence about the villains who had captured him.[16] Back home, X-Factor realized that Hodge was behind the illusions Cyclops experienced in torment, which prompted X-Factor to reject him.[35] Hodge vanished, and X-Factor was distracted by the Horsemen of Apocalypse, who unleashed chaos in Central Park. Although the villains retreated, the fight eroded mutant perception even more.[36] During the reading of Angel's will, X-Factor learned in horror Hodge was in full control of X-Factor. His agents from Right raided the ceremony pretending to be mutants which forced X-Factor to expose their true nature as mutants to the media.[37] Simultaneously, the unprotected trainees at the X-Factor complex were captured and had their powers neutralized, being held captive in Arlington.[38] X-Factor was able to go to their rescue, facing Hodge directly. Wearing a Ruby-Quartz armor, Hodge was rendered immune to X-Factor's powers, especially Cyclops'. However, when attempting to depower Iceman, he could not account for his expanded limits. Iceman was able to damage the armor, allowing Cyclops to execute Hodge. However, the villain was revealed to be merely a puppet robot. Still, his complex was destroyed and the trainees were saved.[39]

Before being able to return home, X-Factor was summoned by Apocalypse, who exposed his vision of violence to promote a species war and strengthen mutantkind. In his Celestial Ship, Apocalypse offered an alliance, but X-Factor rejected him, being forced to face his Horsemen one more time. In horror, they realized that the last Horseman of Apocalypse, Death, was Angel. As Apocalypse's right hand, Angel easily subdued his former teammates. Meanwhile, Caliban defected, choosing to join Apocalypse in order to gain power to avenge the Morlocks.[40] The Horsemen were released one more time to slay humans as part of Apocalypse's plan. X-Factor was able to escape, directing their efforts to stop the Horsemen. However, Apocalypse tricked Beast, who had been infected by Pestilence and had his intellect deteriorated. As a result, Beast disrupted the Ship, causing it to fail and destroy sections of New York City. Amidst the crisis, Iceman created a replica of himself to trick Angel into murdering him. The shock of killing a former friend disrupted Apocalypse's conditioning, causing Angel to rebel against his master. This turn helped X-Factor defeat the Horsemen. In the end, Apocalypse proudly retreated, astonished by X-Factor's worth. He chose to leave his Ship behind, which X-Factor was able to reposition in their old complex in order to save the city. In the aftermath, the mutant group shared the entire truth behind their existence to the media[4] as they dealt with the consequences of their war for days. This caused X-Factor to be celebrated by the people as heroes and occupied Apocalypse's Ship as their temporary headquarters.[2] However, it soon showed erratic behavior by attacking its residents. By opposing the Ship, X-Factor and their protégés learned it was run by an enslaved artificial intelligence. After liberating it and deactivating its traps, X-Factor was welcomed by Ship, who was pleased to serve them.[41]

X-Factor registered under the Mutant Registration Act, but under their aliases, refusing to submit their real names with the government. When hero Dagger became possessed by pure evil due to the schemes of Mr. Jip, and attacked civilians in New York, Jean, Beast and Iceman stepped in and subdued her with the help of her partner, Cloak.[42] X-Factor also clashed with the Alliance of Evil again.[43] The dark Angel sought revenge against Cameron Hodge, who had gained immortality from the demon N'astrith, and murdered Candy Southern.[44]


X-Factor's rise to popularity was accompanied by the dreadful demise of the X-Men, who sacrificed themselves in battle against the Adversary. Among the victimized X-Men was Madelyne Pryor, who shared that her and Cyclops' son was still missing before her life ended.[45] While Scott and Jean rekindled their romance they attempted to find his son, only to find that he had been kidnapped by Nanny and her minion Orphan-Maker.[44] Eventually, Pryor resurfaced as the Goblin Queen. It was discovered Madelyne had been a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister. Madelyne had been a failed experiment until she was brought to life by the portion of Jean's consciousness that had been borrowed by the Phoenix Force and a spark of the Phoenix Force which had been rejected by Jean's body while in the cocoon.[46] She attempted to sacrifice her and Cyclops' son Nathan atop the Empire State Building in order to permanently open a gateway between Earth and Otherplace. The Goblin Queen died in combat with Marvel Girl. As a result of a psychic link, Jean acquired the memories of both Madelyne Pryor and the Phoenix's duplicate of her.[47]

Judgement War[]

X-Factor was kidnapped and brought to a planet where individuals are revered by how close their physical body is to perfection. Jean, who is flawless, was held in high reverence by the society. The Celestials were judging this world and its fate hanged in the balance. Jean, having acquired a spark of the Phoenix Force during the Inferno crisis, managed to keep it mostly suppressed until she was able to expel it while helping aliens fight off the Celestials. During this adventure Warren took on the name Archangel.[48]

Back on Earth, X-Factor clashed with foes such as Sabretooth, Apocalypse, Caliban, Locust,[49] Crimson,[50] Mesmero, Infecta,[51] the Ravens, the Right.[52] When the nation of Genosha attempted to push their anti-mutant mandates with the aid of Cameron Hodge, X-Factor joined the X-Men and New Mutants in opposing them. Although Hodge was seemingly destroyed in the battle, the X-Men family was still greatly effected by the episode.[53][54][55]

End Game[]

Baby Nathan came to stay with X-Factor, but was later infected with a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse. As the virus spread through Nathan's body, threatening to turn Nathan into a body of liquid metal and organic steel, a member of the Clan Askani appeared from 2000 years in the future to Cyclops, saying Nathan would become a savior in their time, and that the Clan could cure him of the virus. Choosing to save his son's life, believing that he would never see him again, Cyclops agreed, and Nathan was taken 2000 years into an alternate future, where he would eventually become the man called Cable.[56]

X-Factor came to the aid of their former teacher Professor Xavier as he had recently returned to Earth to face the threat of the Shadow King, who had taken over Muir Island and possessed most of the X-Men.[57] Ultimately, X-Factor aided Xavier in freeing their comrades and seemingly destroying the Shadow King, however Xavier was crippled in the process.[58] X-Factor decided to disband and rejoined a reorganized X-Men team.[7]


With the original team disbanded, the government organized its own X-Factor that would operate for a number of years.[59] It too would ultimately disband. The third incarnation of X-Factor evolved out of Jamie Madrox's X-Factor Investigations following the events of M-Day.[citation needed] The latest version of X-Factor emerged from Northstar's investigation into the apparent murder of his twin sister, Aurora and involved helping The Five with the resurrection process of dead mutants.[60]



Prosh, the Celestial Ship.

See Also

Links and References