X-Factor Investigations was a detective agency run by Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man. The initial staff consisted of Madrox's best friend, Guido Carosella (Strong Guy) and their former teammate Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane). The agency was originally named XXX Investigations, but the name was changed because Rahne thought that it sounded too much like Madrox was investigating pornography. The firm was renamed X-Factor Investigations after the government-sponsored X-Factor mutant superhero group that the three founders had previously served on.
Following M-Day, Madrox's new-found wealth (from winning a Who Wants to be a Millionaire-style game show) allowed him to recruit two of his former colleagues of the Paris branch of the now-defunct X-Corporation: Siryn and Generation X's Monet.
Rictor, who'd lost powers on M-Day, was fighting with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. When he was found by Jamie on the edge of a building ready to jump, Jamie sent one of his dupes to talk to Rictor. After chatting for some time, the dupe managed to get through to Rictor and he changed his mind about ending his life. However, as he was about to get away from the edge, the dupe pushed him, revealing his unstable personality. Luckily for Rictor, Monet St. Croix arrived at that exact instant and caught him mid-air. Afterwards, Rictor accepted Jamie's offer to join the detective agency.
Siryn, as part of her duties for X-Factor Investigations, investigated the murder of the woman who died in Jack Vaughn's penthouse under suspicious circumstances. Jack Vaughn (a movie star) claimed that the woman had been killed by her sister, Gloria Santiago, who was upset about the relationship between the two. Rival agency Singularity Investigations represented Jack Vaughn, with Damien Tryp, Jr. as the defense counsel, while X-Factor Investigations tried to help Gloria. After Monet established a mental bond with Gloria to assess the truth, she managed to incriminate Vaughn, while Layla Miller, a mysterious young girl, thwarted SI’s assassination attempt on Rictor. Tryp, Jr. was so infuriated by this that he badly beat Siryn and left her for dead (having shot her in the neck with a dart that prevented her from using her powers). She was then captured by Doctor Leery, but, with the help of Rictor, she escaped, getting Leery killed in the process.
Madrox and Strong Guy gave Tryp a very public warning as Tryp was jogging in Central Park. They told Tryp that they knew that it was him who hurt Siryn, and while they would not hurt him in broad daylight, he should watch his back. With this, Tryp, Jr. and Tryp, Sr. made Madrox an offer to merge X-Factor with their firm, making Madrox laughed in response.
After the meeting, Madrox started suspecting Singularity Investigations wasn't responsible for the decimation, as he'd previously thought, so he asked Siryn to find out more about it from the heroes who might have been involved (by using her modulated voice to make them more suggestible). She learned from Spider-Man, and later from Quiksilver, that the X-Men (who had denied any involvement) were, in fact, central to the ending of the House of M and the subsequent Decimation. After a confrontation, Madrox decided X-Factor would take a public stance in defiance of the Superhuman Registration Act and the X-Men decided not to interfere with Quicksilver as long as he stayed in Mutant Town.
A former Singularity employee went to X-Factor Investigations and revealed that Tryp was attempting to create a modern version of the Legacy Virus. Strong Guy was sent to drive the man to safety but once they were alone, Strong Guy killed him and called Tryp to report it. Guido tried to tell the team that the man had vanished on him but Wolfsbane smelled his blood on Guido's hands and a psychic scan by Monet revealed the truth. It seemed Tryp had placed a hypnotic suggestion in Strong Guy’s head to turn him into a sleeper agent. After breaking into Singularity Investigations, the elder Tryp confronted the team and revealed that all of Singularity Investigations' efforts to create the new virus had been made to prevent a possible future in which X-Factor managed to undo the Decimation and ended up causing humanity's destruction at the hands of re-powered mutants in a bloody conflict.
As the team was fleeing the building, one of Madrox's dupes blew up the whole thing, apparently killing Tryp, Jr. and Tryp, Sr. After this, the elder Damian Tryp, who had managed to survive the explosion, revealed to Layla that her very existence had foiled his plans, but things would be different now that he knew of her existence.
Next, several members of the team had their own solo adventures. While Jamie left on a trip to gather his lost dupes, Siryn and Monet bonded on a trip to France after finding out he (or a dupe) had slept with both on the same night. When they all got home, a group of ex-mutants believing the government had depowered mutants was now operating in Mutant Town. After Quicksilver restored most of the mutants' powers using his Terrigen Crystals, X-Factor, reinforced by a battalion of dupes, marched to face the group, but, in the end, it was their unstable powers that led to their defeat, resulting in the death of one of them and others' retreat. Quicksilver was dealt with by Rictor, who turned against him after he threatened Layla.
X-Factor tangled with The Isolationist, a powerful telepath (among other things), who convinced Madrox, Cyclops, and Beast to organize a "Million Mutant March" political rally on Washington, D.C. to get mutants declared an endangered species by the U.S. government. However, Layla Miller told Madrox that one of Huber's agents had tried to kill her, leading to a confrontation between Huber and the team, which resulted in Madrox, Guido and Rahne being teleported to a frozen wasteland. Luckily, Rictor and Monet fought Huber soon after and forced him to retreat, rescuing the team in the process.
Madrox, Rictor, and an accompanying Layla Miller were alerted to the Xavier Mansion by Emma Frost after the first mutant birth since M-Day. Madrox and Layla were sent to Forge's headquarters to send two dupes into different alternate realities. Layla jumped in with one of the dupes at the last minute, claiming she had a part to play in their mission. Unfortunately, Forge informed Madrox that there was no way to retrieve Layla and his dupes, who received instructions to kill themselves once they received the information they needed to get reabsorbed into Madrox Prime. Layla and the Madrox-dupe landed in Bishop's future, where they were captured and branded as mutants. After learning what they needed, Layla stole a grenade and killed Madrox's dupe, allowing the team in the present to become aware of their findings.
The end of Mutant Town
After Rahne's departure, Rictor decided to quit as well, but was kidnapped by the X-Men villain Arcade before he had the chance. In addition to that, Arcade also spread several bombs and placed a disintegration grid surrounding Mutant Town, preventing everyone from getting in or out. In the end, X-Factor managed to shut the grid down, but they were unable to save Mutant Town, as it was destroyed by Arcade's bombs.
In the aftermath of the event, Val Cooper met with the team and tried to recruit them, giving them 24 hours to think about it. Around this time, Madrox also began hallucinating a figure of Layla Miller, who would help him realize things that his subconscious already knew. Thanks to this, Madrox realized what Siryn had been trying to tell him for the last couple of days: she was pregnant with his child. After talking to her about it, the two embraced and discussed the future of the baby and Val Cooper's offer. The whole team then voted, but decided to escape and relocate to Detroit, Michigan.
Time in Detroit
Secretly, Val reached Jamie again, and X-Factor started taking cases for the government as well. After some of government cases, they took the case of Hector Muñoz, who was looking for his son, Darwin. Coincidentally, Darwin was in town, searching for Xavier with Longshot, secretly a skrull named Nogor the Talisman. There were some altercations with She-Hulk and her partner Jazinda, but "Longshot" was eventually revealed as an impostor and everyone joined forces to defeat Nogor.
Darwin was reunited with his father, only to be betrayed and sold out to operatives of an organization known as the Karma Project, who were experimenting on living human beings. Meanwhile, the real Longshot showed up to find out why there was a duplicate of him in Detroit and ended up being crucial to finding and saving Darwin.
Siryn also gave birth around that time and finally acknowledged that her father was dead. The baby was then named Sean, in his honor. As Jamie held his son for the first time, tragedy struck and he absorbed Sean, leaving Theresa in a deep state of sorrow.
Jamie also didn't deal well with the situation well and left X-Factor Investigations. He walked all the way to Vermont to speak with Pastor John Maddox. After having one final conversation with his dupe, telling him to live for the both of them, he knocked him out and pointed a gun to his own head, planning to end it all right there. An instant before, he pulled the trigger, however, an older Layla Miller arrived to stop him.
Jamie was transported to the future in the midst of the Summers Rebellion, where mutants rose up against Sentinel and human oppressors, who were led by Ruby Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost with her fathers' eye beams and Emma's organic mineral body, Layla, and a cyborg Cyclops, whose predicament was Jamie's fault. After Jamie kissed Layla (now an adult) out of happiness at seeing her, Cyclops wanted Jamie to find out why some mutants were winking out off existence. The group visited an aging senile Doctor Doom, who said Layla told him in the past that he'd have to instruct Jamie and her on something in the future, and it is now.
In the present, X-Factor and new members Longshot and Darwin battled Cortex, an agent of the Summers Rebellion era government. Cortex briefly controlled Shatterstar and M, using them to respectively make assassination attempts on Reverend John Maddox and Lenore Wilkinson. Cortex grabbed Longshot, trying to also control him, and realized he and Shatterstar were connected, and when Cortex lost control over Monet, she attacked him and his hood fell back revealing that he was the second Jamie Madrox duplicate from Messiah Complex.
After an encounter with Bloodbath left Madrox temporarily dead, Havok and Polaris took over the team on behalf of Wolverine. After Madrox returned from his death, he and Alex decided that Alex would take the lead on jobs from Valerie Cooper and Wolverine while Madrox would take charge on the rest.
After a date with Monet in which he runs off to fight a super-villain, Guido and Monet have a falling out. While on a mission to fight the alternate versions of Dormammu and Captain America, Dormammu captures an innocent woman and threatens to kill her unless Guido backs down. Guido refuses however and Dormammu suddenly explodes and the woman is narrowly saved by Monet. Monet yells at Guido for risking the woman's life and calls him a soulless monster. Guido gets fed up and leaves X-Factor and is immediately recruited by a mysterious figure who reveals he was the one that destroyed the Dormammu.
After some soul searching, Rahne decides that she needs to find her son to make up for abandoning him when he was born. The rest of X-Factor help her track him down but they are not the only ones after him. Darwin, spurred on by his meeting with the future version of Rahne's son and mysterious voices in his head is trying to track Rahne's son down to kill him and avert the apocalypse. X-Factor succeed in stopping him and Rahne decides to stay behind with Jack Russel and her son to raise him.
While holding a memorial for her parents, Polaris hands a photograph of them to Longshot. Longshot gets a flash from it of the day Polaris' parents died yet refuses to tell Polaris what he saw. Polaris attempts to force him and then forces Monet to create a mind-link between them so she can see. After some coercing, Longshot shares what he saw. Polaris' "father" takes her and her mother up in the sky in an airplane and confronts his wife about her adultery with Magneto. Their argument quickly turns heated which prompts the young Polaris to start crying and yelling at them to stop. When her mother yells at her to shut up, Polaris' powers manifest far too early and she generates a magnetic pulse that destroys the plane and kills her parents. Her real father; Magneto arrives with Mastermind however and tells her that her magnetic pulse alerted him of her presence. He tells her that she is not yet ready for a life with him and that she craves a normal environment to grow up in. He asks Mastermind to use his illusionary powers to re-write Polaris' memories of that day and the crash which Mastermind succeeds in due to the malleable state of the child Polaris' mind. Polaris goes catatonic and Monet reveals that Mastermind's illusion is the reason for her mental instability throughout the years.
Siryn begins seeing images of her father talking to her through her mirror. He tells her that the only way to help Polaris is to approach the Banshee she encountered previously. The Banshee asks Siryn to take her place since it is tired and wants to rejoin her father in the afterlife. Siryn agrees in order to help Polaris which she succeeds in. As the new Banshee/Goddess of Death, she leaves X-Factor but promises Jamie to be there when he needs her.
Following Aurora's disappearance, her twin brother Northstar requested the the Five to resurrect her. Since they could not confirm she was actually dead, they were not allowed to include her on Krakoan resurrection protocols. When Northstar was venting about his sister's supposed death at the Green Lagoon Tiki Bar, Polaris suggested him to create an investigative force tasked with solving mysterious mutant disappearances and/or deaths. Their plans were overheard by a drunken Daken who decided to join them.
When thinking about available and suitable collaborators to their new investigation team, Northstar and Polaris recruited Prodigy and Prestige. After Polaris shared their plans on a mutant social platform, the new team was also joined by Eye-Boy. The group's power sets and their combinations proved to be an efficient investigative method, solving Aurora's case. Since her death was confirmed, she could be resurrected.
Later that day, Polaris and Prodigy presented their actions to the Quiet Council, wishing to be sanctioned by the Krakoan authorities. Their request was supported by the Five. The Quiet Council approved the reformation of a new X-Factor Investigations, to be led by Northstar. Following the sanctioning of the team, Polaris then built a metallic tower on Krakoa to serve as X-Factor's headquarters.
- X-Factor Hearse (formerly)
- Shatterstar's Teleportations (formerly)
- X-Factor Hummer (formerly)
- 20 members of X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)
- 155 appearance(s) of X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)
- 2 minor appearance(s) of X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)
- 26 mention(s) of X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)
- 146 image(s) of X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)
- 3 item(s) used/owned by X-Factor Investigations (Earth-616)