By Kevin Mahadeo
If there's something wrong in your Marvel neighborhood, who're you going to call? X-Factor Investigations, that's who, as beginning with December's X-FACTOR #200 the members of the mutant detective agency return to New York City.
"It made perfect sense when we originally conceived the series for [X-Factor] to focus on the needs of the mutant population, but when the mutant population was cut down, it [was] like trying to do a medical show on a condition that only one person in 25 billion may have," explains writer Peter David of the change in setting. "There's only so much you can do with that kind of medical show. So, we've decided to go from being a specialist to a general practitioner."
David likens the series' new direction to the older days of the Marvel Universe when if a denizen needed a lawyer, Matt Murdock inevitably took the case, or if a hero hailed a cab, Moon Knight's alter ego Jake Lockley drove them to their destination. With the move back to New York, David plans on positioning X-Factor Investigations as the go-to guys for those in need of a detective agency. Their first super-powered customer comes knocking in the very first arc, "The Invisible Woman Has Vanished."
"You ever seen these detective shows where a little kid comes walking in and puts down his quarter and says, 'I need to hire you because there's something wrong with my mommy'? Same deal," says David. "They're hired by Franklin Richards. Encyclopedia Brown jokes will abound."
As the Fantastic Four's resident boy genius and son of the Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic, Franklin joins up with Jamie Madrox and his crew as they try to uncover the mystery of missing mom. David compares
|X-FACTOR art by David Yardin|
"The concept that somebody is an incredible genius but also acts like a child makes perfect sense because they tend to look at the world in a different way and that certainly seems to be like Franklin," says David. "And the great thing is that if Franklin acts like a child, the response is going to be, 'Franklin, stop acting like a child.' But he is a child!"
As for the sizeable X-Factor cast, who spent the last year participating in three seemingly separate storylines that eventually converged, David says that while all the title's characters appear in the very first issue, they won't necessarily all be in the same place. However, the writer promises that he plans to stream a plot together that eventually reunites the entire team. Similarly, the move to New York also allows for more guest appearances in the book, whether in the form of brief cameos or as potential clientele. In fact, David teases that longtime fans should prepare themselves for the possible reappearance of a former X-Factor cast member: the silver-haired speedster Quicksilver.
"I think it's safe to say that they will cross paths at some point."
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