X-Factor Epic Collection—Volume 1: Genesis & Apocalypse

x-factor epic collection volume 1 genesis and apocalypse cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Sets up years of X-Men stories with the return of Jean Grey

The premise of the X-Factor business never really worked well

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Avengers (Volume 1)/Fantastic Four (Volume 1)/X-Factor (Volume 1)/Iron Man (Volume 1)/Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1)/Classic X-Men

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer:  Roger Stern/John Byrne/Bob Layton/Bob Harras/Louise Simonson/Tom DeFalco/Chris Claremont/Butch Guice

Artist:  John Buscema/John Byrne/Butch Guice/Keith Pollard/Paul Neary/Bob Layton/Rick Leonardi/Marc Silvestri/Terry Shoemaker/John Bolt/Mike Collins

# of Issues: 16

Release Date: 2020

fantastic four #286 cover jean grey phoenix

Fantastic Four (1) #286

Reprints Avengers (1) #263, Fantastic Four (1) #286, X-Factor (1) #1-9, Annual #1, Iron Man (1) Annual #8, Amazing Spider-Man (1) #282, and Classic X-Men #8 and #43 (January 1986-January 1990).  The New Defenders have fallen and the X-Men are now under the leadership of Magneto leaving Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Cyclops without teams or identities.  When a strange cocoon is found beneath the waters of Jamaica Bay by the Avengers, the original X-Men discover that the heart of their team Jean Grey has returned.  As anti-mutant sentiment blankets the world, X-Factor is born.  X-Factor’s mission is to eliminate the mutant threat…but the members of X-Factor are secretly planning to train and guide young mutants like Professor X did when they were children.  See a mutant?  Call X-Factor!

Written by Roger Stern, John Byrne, Bob Layton, Bob Harras, Louise Simonson, Tom DeFalco, Chris Claremont, and Butch Guice, X-Factor Epic Collection—Volume 1:  Genesis and Apocalypse is a Marvel Comics X-Men spin-off comic book collection.  Featuring art by John Buscema, John Byrne, Butch Guice, Keith Pollard, Paul Neary, Bob Layton, Rick Leonardi, Marc Silvestri, Terry Shoemaker, John Bolt, and Mike Collins, the collection features the Avengers and Fantastic Four issues that launched the franchise along with Iron Man and Amazing Spider-Man tie-ins and the back-up stories from Classic X-Men featuring Jean Grey.  Issues in the collection were also collected as part of Fantastic Four Visionaries:  John Byrne—Volume 7, X-Men:  Phoenix Rising, Essential X-Factor—Volume 1, and X-Men Classic:  The Complete Collection—Volume 1 and Volume 2 among others.

X-Factor has a soft spot for me in that it was released when I really started to get serious about “collecting” comics.  I had always read comics (even looked through before I could read), but at some point a switch flipped, and I actively started collecting them…and X-Factor #1 (February 1986) was one of my bigger first purchases.

The story is essentially divided into three parts.  The first part involves the return of Jean Grey after years of her character being “dead” following the events of Uncanny X-Men #137 (September 1980).  It deals with the fact that everyone moved on from her death, but Jean was essentially held in stasis for her missing years.  X-Factor was the solution, but the actual plan of X-Factor was pretty wonky from the beginning with the “TV Mutant Hunters” X-Factor actually being the “mutant liberators” X-Terminators…that part of X-Factor never worked well.

x-factor #6 cover 1st apocalypse

X-Factor (1) #6

The second storyline introduces the significant and important X-Men villain Apocalypse.  Though he is powerful in his premiere, he lacks a lot of the history and depth that was later added to the character.  In fact, Apocalypse is rather goofy looking in this collection (but still better looking than the X-Men:  Apocalypse take).

The third part of the collection is the lead-up to the Mutant Massacre in the Morlock tunnels.  The character saved by X-Factor (Rusty Collins who appears in a very different form in Deadpool), is being hunted by Freedom Force.  Only nine issues into the series, and the basic premise of X-Factor is starting to crumble.  This does make you question if X-Factor was planned to really flourish as a “company” as the book set-up.  X-Factor works better when it focuses on the drama of the original X-Men and the training of new mutants.

X-Factor Epic Collection—Volume 1:  Genesis & Apocalypse is an important volume in that it sets up years and years of X-Men stories.  Jean Grey’s return of course had ripple effects and was one of the better character returns (especially since her death was also considered an X-Men high point).  If you are an X-Men fan, the volume is worth seeking out.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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