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Off My Mind: What Will the Return of Havok & Polaris Mean for X-Factor?

Despite being former members, they've been long out of touch and could disrupt the current status quo.

When it comes to X-titles, the team rosters are constantly changing. The different teams tend to start off with a set roster but it quickly changes as story lines progress and the call for change comes around. This has been the case for most titles except for X-FACTOR.

X-Factor started out as a a covert team for the original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean, Angel, Beast and Iceman). They acted as mutant hunters/exterminators whose true intentions were to locate new mutants and bring them to safety. Eventually the team evolved into a government controlled team taking orders from Valerie Cooper. Later their focus became to serve mutants (and others) as private investigators.

With all the craziness that surrounds the X-titles, X-FACTOR has somehow remained unaffected by them. The team members managed to avoid the major crossovers and gigantic events. They stayed in their own little corner of the Marvel Universe and all was good. Except with Regenesis happening, Wolverine has decided he wants Havok and Polaris to return to X-Factor. What will this mean for team (and the direction of the comic)?

== TEASER ==

Havok and Polaris were a huge part of X-Factor during the 90s. This was when Scott and Professor X asked Alex to be part of the team and work with the government to help smooth over the relations between mutants and the government. The team evolved over the years and it was Alex who always assumed leadership. Even after his time away from the team (when he was kidnapped by Dark Beast), he came back and assumed control. The series got to be a bit of a mess towards the end and when issue #149 it appeared Alex died (but really went to another reality in MUTANT X).

There wasn't much activity for the team but in 2004's MADROX miniseries, Jamie Madrox (and writer Peter David) brought the noir feel to X-Factor. He started XXX Investigations in Mutant Town. Jamie used his dupes to become a private investigator. Also with the ability to send his dupes out, they could learn new skills and information that could later be reabsorbed into Madrox-prime.

Most of the previous X-Factor team joined Jamie and the name changed to X-Factor Investigations. This began a new era for the team.

Around this time, Alex and Lorna were hanging out with the X-Men and later went out in space and became part of the Starjammers when Alex's father, Corsair, was killed by Vulcan.

When the Schism developed on Utopia between Wolverine and Cyclops, the result was a split among the mutants. Wolverine, being back on the East Coast, has decided he wants Havok and Polaris to return to X-Factor.

The fact that the team has been doing their own thing for years doesn't seem to matter to Wolverine. They've been working as private investigators as well as heroes. Alex and Lorna may have history with the team but the time they've spent off planet puts them out of the loop. They don't know what's been going on or even what X-Factor is about these days. Wolverine's bringing Alex and Lorna to the team and what are the chances he's going to ask if it's okay?

It turns out he does ask them. What would Wolverine say if they said 'no'? You have to assume he flew Alex and Lorna out to the East Coast (either on the Blackbird or maybe he just booked them a flight). It seems a little presumptuous for Wolverine to just assume he can insert them onto the team because he feels it's the best idea.

But it does make sense for them to return. In some ways, X-Factor is going to need them. With recent revelations over actions Layla Miller took and the fact that Madrox is dead (but really stuck hopping around other dimensions with no control), the team needs some leadership. There are other 'senior' members of the team but none of them really has a rational head on their shoulders or the ability to lead a team. Having Havok and Polaris back could be what they need at the moment to stop all the fighting amongst themselves they're doing.

The real question is, what happens if and when Madrox comes back? We all know (or at least hope with all of our might) it's just a matter of time until he returns. Havok might have been the prime leader of X-Factor before but this is a completely different team. This one definitely belongs to Madrox. As if there wasn't enough butting of heads before, when Jamie does come back, it should be interesting to see if Alex or Jamie will step aside.

Hopefully with the series still in the capable hands of Peter David, having "Regenesis" slapped on the cover won't affect the vibe of the book. X-FACTOR has always been a great read tucked away in their safe little corner of the Marvel Universe. It'd be a shame if bringing back Havok and Polaris also meant integrating the team back with the rest of the X-Men.

37 Comments
Posted by wowylied

Maybe it could make the title better, every time i tried to jump in i did'nt like it. The characters can be interessting but the way they interract with each other is really boring.

Posted by lorex

I would have liked it better if X-Factor stayed completely out of the regenesis cluster-f**k, and kept on doing their own thing in New York not taking either side. I just can's see this team functioning without Madrox and Ijust cant see them readily accepting Alex as leader after all this time. That being said Marvel doesn't shy away from shoving the implausable down out throats from time to time.

Posted by EganTheVile1

well it will mean green hair, a pretty face, a well drawn pair of,,, characters... and whatever Alex brings to the table

Posted by Eyz

I knew we would revert to a more traditional X-Factor sooner or later :P

Posted by DATNIGGA

im just wondering how wolverine can just show up and call the shots?

Posted by Mayo88m

@wowylied said:

Maybe it could make the title better, every time i tried to jump in i did'nt like it. The characters can be interessting but the way they interract with each other is really boring.

Agreed/ I'm going to give it another chance now that they're on the team. I just never could get into it before.

Posted by MarvelMan1985

X-Factor is awesome, together with Daredevil it's practically the only book that takes time for (emotional) character development. I think Alex and Lorna are gone be good additions to the team. Somebody said that "characters can be interessting but the way they interract with each other is really boring", I cant understand how you could think that though, its done in a great way. Sometimes it a bid too much of the same, but nothing wrong with that at all.

Posted by Edgeworth_11

DONT KILL MADROX!!!

Edited by cmaprice

I mean, yeah, modern X-Factor has been largely doing its own thing, but I think you ignore that they actually had a pretty heavy role in Messiah Complex (that cut a big chunk out of their roster and had years of direct ramifications on the characters). The ongoing series and addition of Monet, Terry, Layla, and Rictor were all a direct result of M-Day. The early primary cause of the team was to find the reason of the Decimation. They had small roles/tie-ins to Civil War, Secret Invasion (which lead to big roster changes), and Second Coming. It's not as though they are complete strangers to the ramifications of crossovers.

Edited by Joe Venom

Can't get any worst, can it? I remember when X-Factor was the first book I would read in my pile, now its like dead last. The last couple of story arcs have been really meh... I will check out this next issue out but if I don't like where its going this may be my last X-Factor book

Posted by LordRequiem

I've missed what's happened to Madrox and Layla Miller.

Posted by halfpastwhenever

I really want to get on board with x-factor. I see they have volume 2 on digital now. Is that a good place to start?

Posted by fodigg

I would rather see a good Starjammers title personally.

Edited by hitechlolife

-nm-

Posted by One_Eye

@fodigg: I concur, bro! Alex seemed to have finally found his niche as the space-faring brother of the Summers brothers. I'm a proponent for change but why change what makes sense?

@lorex: Agreed. I don't see why Wolverine needs to involve X-Factor in his pissing contest with Scott. One of the things that I really think was cool was that X-Factor stayed out of that entire mess and now Logan is trying to snatch up anyone that he can get.

Posted by nonfiction91

Hopefully not another bad run :P I think Havok should stay with his big br, but Polaris needs to go to the school, just to balance the magnetism master scale.

should be a fun thing to watch unfold

Posted by Kairan1979

I'd like to see Havok and Polaris figuring out what went wrong with the team and who is the villain.

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

I don't like this change; when you look at Havok and Polaris right now, they already look out of place. I kind of liked X-Factor's noirish, gritty feel and I don't know if it would feel the same under Havok's leadership. Also, this is another step that Wolverine is taking that looks exactly like what Scott would do plus resonates with his old personality. It just feels forced, and I really don't want them to bring up that tired Wolfsbane-Alex-Lorna love triangle that hampered the series (IMHO) during the '90s.

Madrox definitely has a different leadership and interpersonal style; this was true even back during the "Fallen Angels" series, and it's well suited to this type of gritty team. I'm not sure if it makes sense to have Havok and Polaris on this team when their powers would be more useful in another setting.

Posted by BuddyBulson

Now that Lorna is on the team it means that Rahne isnt the only crazy bi+ch on the team anymore.

Edited by _transgojobot_

X-Factor has been one of my favorite titles for the last few years. Peter David found a nice groove with the current roster, but I trust that the additions of Lorna and Alex won't muck things up. However, I agree with others that Alex and Lorna feel more suitable as spacefarers, than terrestrial X-Men.

Posted by GothamRed

I sense a struggle for leadership coming, an x-men tradition.

Posted by Teerack

Maybe it means X-Factor will be worth reading for a change.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Part of me wants to break out into song and sing John Sebastian's "Welcome Back" hearing this. If it means a more traditional X-Factor, then bring it on!

Posted by thebadone411

@lorex: I agree. It's completely implausible to think that Havok and Polaris can come back to X-Factor without significantly changing the makeup of the group and the dynamic the book has taken on the past few years.

This is dumb and I miss Madrox.

Posted by chaosimpact79

what i think marvel is trying to do is usher alex,lorna and rachel back into the mix for the up coming avengers vs. xmen event which makes sense.the problem i have is that they waited too late to pull it off and it feels rushed right now with wolverine in need of back up.everyone knows how good of a tactican scott is but a lot of people fail to remember that logan is one in his own right as well.wolverine is mostly slash fist think later but he has been know to stalk his enemies to see what would be the best way to take them out if he feels that he doesn't have a clear cut advantage.in this case he brought in two very strong weapons to help balance out any other conflicts with scott.i'm just surprised that scott didn't do this first and wolverine took advantage of cyclops letting these two powerhouses slip through his fingers.alex instantly cancels out scotts power and lorna nows that magneto won't kill her for scott's dream which in turn makes him less of a threat to wolverine.james howlett has finally leveled up the playing field by forcing xfactor on his side knowing that alex would love to be independant of scott and will lead xfactor against scott's team.scott still have a slight advantage but that gap just got a whole lot smaller with the move wolverine just made.the only glicth i could see happening is if marvel takes peter david off this title or try to force him to make it more utopiaish.the feel of xfactor is going to change regardless of who is writing it because if you go by periodicals its time for another shake up but i just hope they don't kill madrox for that shake up to be complete.

Posted by kimi74

I started reading X-Factor when Havok lead the team and Mystique and Sabretooth had just "joined". I loved the writing and art right up to Mutant X (most of the time). These changes just don't feel right to me. X-Factor is such a strong and independent title. Wolverine's influence just feels wrong. The insertion of Polaris (a character who I love) and Havok feels forced and unnecessary. X-Factor has the position (and benefit) to be able to run outside of events like Regenesis. I always saw this title more as a "working man's/mutant's" view of life. These changes suggest to me that the title is in danger of being dragged into the bigger world. However, there may be positives to be pulled from this. I love the idea of watching the team dynamic deal with Polaris and Havok. I can see heaps of potential conflict/storylines. Inexperienced vs Experienced; Monet vs Polaris; Different approaches in past team configurations causing conflict; the possible introduction/influence of Val Cooper (boo!) now that these 2 people are back; reintroduction of Mystique as a wanted woman or as (gasp!) a potential client... mystique would be an amazing addition as an investigator! All of this comes down to Peter David and Marvel. If Marvel can leave him alone to write I'm hoping all will be good (I really, really hope so). But if the Marvel executive board do 'a Wolverine' and tell Peter David what to do I suspect this will show very quickly and potentially result in the screwng up of a really good title... Time will tell

Posted by Chesapeake

X-Factor is one of the best and more interesting X-books. I trust the writer and artist to keep up with the most consistent work. X-Factor is the only book book that I look foward every month. The book is that good. Welcome Havok and Polaris. I just hope the Madrox comes back soon and Layla keeps discovering more about her true powers.

Posted by Yumulu

@wowylied said:

Maybe it could make the title better, every time i tried to jump in i did'nt like it. The characters can be interessting but the way they interract with each other is really boring.

The exact opposite of what that guy said.

Posted by Mr. Dead Pool

I like Havok, but Madrox has been leading the team, and has been doing a great job at it, for years.

Posted by Bestostero

it means X-Factor will be a little less lamer and ill actually pick it up now

Posted by EpitomeofCool

it means ill be getting it..

Posted by The Impersonator

@Edgeworth_11 said:

DONT KILL MADROX!!!

Posted by moywar700

those girls on the cover look like they are mad at wolverine

Anyways, I might check the x-factor out being only caz i'm a Polaris Fan

Posted by victoriancuckoo

feels too bloated lately, doesn't need more characters

Posted by iSnikt

Havok has a lot of opportunity and a TON of un tapped POWER. He is a diamond in the rough in my opinion he is an amazing hero and still has a TON of potential if used correctly. I would love him to really step up his power game, IMO!

Posted by Iron_Lad

So Wolverine basically said, "You guys are working for me now and I'm installing new leadership." X-Factor does need new leadership w/o Madrox. Nobody else on that team is capable of leading. Heck, even Madrox was not that reliable of a leader. Anyway, Madrox is not gone. He's still in the book. Just stuck in limbo or something.

Posted by DalekDoctor2011

Looking at the covers of future issues I don't think Madrox is coming back, maybe he joins the Exiles!