Take 10

Take 10: X-Factor

Original X-Men, government operatives and mutant detectives alike take center stage this week!

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.

Whether you're talking about the original X-Men reunited, the U.S. government's officially-sanctioned mutant team or a private detective agency specializing in the bizarre, we love X-Factor in all its myriad and unique iterations.

Last week, Marvel's most offbeat mutants celebrated a milestone with X-FACTOR #200, and now the Secret Cabal celebrates with their 10 favorite members of the group's varied rosters through the years.

For each character you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!

 

 
10. MONET
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #316 (1994)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #1 (2006)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: Beautiful, rich, and wanting for very little, the over-privileged Monet St. Croix doesn't really need to be a member of X-Factor Investigations, but she certainly seems to enjoy it. Whether it's bickering with Siryn, mocking Rictor or teasing Darwin, the mutant bombshell formerly known as M brings an undeniably sizzling dynamic to the detective agency. With her superior strength, flight capabilities and other abilities, Monet also provides X-Factor with a great deal of much-needed power.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #22 (2007)-Monet and Siryn team to stop a riot!

 
9. POLARIS
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #49 (1968)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #71 (1991)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: After years of suffering under as the possession of evil entities such as Malice and the Shadow King, Lorna Dane found herself free and clear at last as X-Factor re-formed under government auspices, and sought out the new team as both a place to prove herself anew as well as reunite with her one-time love, Alex Summers, aka Havok. As a member of X-Factor, Polaris came into her own, emerging as a proficient combatant and remaining dedicated to the cause even after seemingly losing Alex to the dark side.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #87-Polaris rocks Doc Samson's world!

 
8. MARVEL GIRL
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (1963)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #1 (1986)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: After years of being thought dead, Jean Grey surprised everybody by emerging from the Hudson Bay one day, but nobody more than her former teammates in the original X-Men. Cyclops, Angel, Iceman and Beast rallied around their confused friend, founding X-Factor as a way to help her reintegrate herself into the Marvel Universe. The transition proved awkward though, as Marvel Girl's love, Cyclops, had married another, many feared her due to the actions of Phoenix, and her memories remained fragmented due to the machinations of Mister Sinister. However, Jean's perseverance through these trying times only strengthened the base of her character.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #1 (1986)-Back from the seeming dead, Jean Grey resumes her role as Marvel Girl!

 
7. LAYLA MILLER
First Appearance: HOUSE OF M #4 (2005)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #1 (2006)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: First appearing during the reality-shifting House of M epic, Layla Miller was a curious little girl who behaved like an adult and exhibited a bizarre predilection towards "knowing things." Helping herself to a place within X-Factor Investigations, Layla became the group's heart in many ways as the mutants around her adapted to her dry humor, strange predictions and elaborate yet foolproof plans. When Layla became lost in time, X-Factor lost their way, but she returned to Jamie Madrox's life as a full-grown woman and unexpected love interest at the most fascinating of times.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #2 (2005)-With the mystery of Decimation lingering, Layla Miller joins X-Factor in unique fashion!

 
6. WOLFSBANE
First Appearance: MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #4 (1982)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #71 (1991)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: Following the most traumatic experience of her life, during which she was torn from her friends in the New Mutants and brainwashed by the corrupt Genoshan government to be a mindless slave bound to Havok, Rahne Sinclair ended up following her "beloved" Alex to the new X-Factor government team whether she wanted to or not. A virtual child among adults, Wolfsbane nonetheless developed true friendships with Strong Guy, Multiple Man and even Havok's lover, Polaris. Years later, freed from her mental conditioning but having experienced plenty more tragedy, Rahne once again joined some of her old friends in X-Factor Investigations, but found herself too changed to remain long.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #89-Wolfsbane attempts to shake her Genoshan brainwashing!

 
5. QUICKSILVER
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #4 (1964)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #72 (1991)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Once a trusted Avenger, after a few rough years dealing with a mild bout of insanity, Quicksilver needed X-Factor as badly as they needed him to repair his shattered public reputation. Though the arrogant speedster got on his teammates' nerves and expressed a marked lack of patience with them in turn, eventually he did find a comfortable home amongst his fellow mutants. Years later, history repeated as Pietro Maximoff once again found himself persona non grata among he world's heroes and sought sympathy from X-Factor Investigations, but their dynamic was vastly more contemptuous the second time around.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #8 (2006)-Quicksilver races back into X-Factor's lives!

 
4. ANGEL/ARCHANGEL
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (1963)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #1 (1986)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: When the original X-Men came back together as X-Factor, Warren Worthington III was still the high-flying handsome millionaire playboy known as Angel. However, tragedy struck early during Warren's time with his new team as he lost his wings to an accident, was betrayed by his supposed best friend, and ultimately underwent the traumatic transformation into Archangel, Apocalypse's dark angel of death. With the help of his friends, Warren found his path back to the light and turned his new metallic wings towards the good fight, but the once jovial X-Man would remain forever flawed by his epic journey.
Spotlight Comic: X-FORCE #5 (2008)-The return of Archangel!

 
3. STRONG GUY
First Appearance: NEW MUTANTS #29 (1985)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #71 (1991)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: From the moment he took the stage at an early press conference for the newly-government-sponsored X-Factor and declared his codename to be "Strong Guy"-because, y'know, he's a pretty strong guy-Guido Carosella captured our hearts. Combining the bizarre look of a bodybuilder gone hipster and a wicked sense of humor, Strong Guy became a fan favorite. However, once Guido revealed the hidden depths of pain caused by his power that lurked beneath his grinning façade, he became an even more enduring figure. In his role as the heavy in his best buddy Jamie Madrox's X-Factor Investigations, Guido has kept us laughing and proven not too shabby a detective either.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #81-Strong Guy tangles with Cyber!

 
2. HAVOK
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #54 (1969)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #71 (1991)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Alex Summers has spent most of his adult life living in the shadow of his brother Scott-aka Cyclops, leader of the X-Men-so his turn at heading his sibling's former team of X-Factor under its new government auspices was a make-or-break moment for the man called Havok. The younger Summers certainly brought an unorthodox if oft-reluctant flare to his time riding herd over the United States' most public mutants, dedicating himself to the dream of Charles Xavier with exuberance but also willing to use Uncle Sam's cash to pay off irritants rather than prolong a fight. It may not have been what his brother would have done, but then Cyclops never had to deal with a duplicating prankster, a love-struck teen werewolf and a teammate who wanted to be called "Strong Guy."
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR #71-Havok takes command off the all-new X-Factor!

 
1. JAMIE MADROX
First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE FANTASTIC FOUR #4 (1975)
Joined X-Factor: X-FACTOR #71 (1991)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: A veteran of the government X-Factor squad and the erstwhile leader of X-Factor Investigations, there are few characters in the Marvel Universe more complex than the gent sometimes called the Multiple Man, Jamie Madrox. With his ability to generate unlimited duplicates with diverse personas, Madrox has accumulated a wealth of skills and knowledge over the years, but often at the expense of his own sense of self. To give an example: there is currently one Madrox dupe living as a minister while another recently faced X-Factor as their enemy, all while the original hung out in a possible future. Yep, his life is pretty confusing, but that's just a small part of what makes Jamie Madrox so intriguing.
Spotlight Comic: MADROX #1-The former Multiple Man's days as a private detective begin!

 

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Comments

2 comments
The_Greatest_Username
The_Greatest_Username

great list...though...I'd swap Polaris and Layla on the list and swap Havok and Madrox...just my preferance

YoungDoctor
YoungDoctor

I thought number 1 would either be Madrox or Havok.