Superheroes Go Corporate in Peter David's All-New X-Factor
Peter David has been writing the adventures of the X-Men spinoff team X-Factor for a decade (and even longer if you consider his previous run), but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some new tricks up his sleeve. This Wednesday, Marvel will be relaunching the team under the moniker of All-New X-Factor, which sees the former superhero private investigators going corporate. We’re not talking X-Corps or any other previous hero/business jaunts; in All-New X-Factor, they’re being acquired as the newest endeavor for a Google-like megacorporation called Serval Industries.
Newsarama spoke with David about this surprising change of events, the corporatization of superheroes, and how the team’s roster is dramatically shaken as they enter a new status quo. Polaris has stepped in as the new team leader, joined by Quicksilver, Gambit, Danger, and two New Mutants alums, Cypher and Warlock, and on the creative side Carmine Di Giandomenco has joined David as the new series’ artist.
David: The other team members--which is pretty much spoiled thanks to advance covers--are Cypher, Warlock and Danger
Newsarama: Peter, my first question is an obvious one – what can fan expect this Wednesday when All-New X-Factor debuts?
Peter David: As exciting stories as I can provide. I'm really jazzed to be working with a new cast of characters, some of whom I've never had the opportunity to work with before, so it's truly a creatively stimulating and challenging endeavor.
Nrama: And they’re all coming together out of the ashes of the previous X-Factor series thanks to a fictional tech corporation called Serval Industries. Who and what are they?
David: They're my equivalent of Google. They started out as a company with a search engine, but since then they've moved onto all sorts of ventures that one would never have expected them to. And their own superhero team is just the latest endeavor.
Nrama: And what they’re selling is an all-new X-Factor – are they productizing superheroes?
David: No, they're publicizing themselves. X-Factor is the superhero arm of Serval and is dedicated to serving the company interests. Of course, there will be times when Serval's interests and X-Factor's bump heads, at which point anything can happen.
Nrama: Polaris is the leader of this, but she’s proven to be in a bad place in the final issues of X-Factor. Where’s her head at in this new job, and is she ready for this kind of responsibility?
David: I absolutely think she is and, more importantly, so do the people at Serval. Yes, she was in a bad place, but specifically because she had no group and nothing to be a part of. That need is solved by X-Factor.
Nrama: In the solicitations it says the team is made up of Polaris, Quicksilver, Gambit as well as some unnamed others. Can you map out the team for us, and how they work together?
David: The other team members--which are pretty much spoiled thanks to advance covers--are Cypher, Warlock and Danger. I specifically chose this team make-up because I felt that their personalities would nicely both jive and conflict with each other. Gambit, for instance, is suspicious of Quicksilver. Warlock is fascinated by Danger. Danger finds all of them rather curious. I think there's just a lot of opportunity for back and forth with the crew.
Nrama: This features several heroes from the previous incarnation of X-Factor, but with some notable exceptions. Any chance some former members of X-Factor might return at some point in All-New X-Factor?
David: Anything's possible.
Nrama: But now that we’re back, this carries on your run as writer of X-Factor but under a slightly different title name. How would you compare the X-Factor era versus All-New X-Factor?
David: Very different. The original was a private endeavor, a detective agency started by a mutant. This is a superhero crew begun by a corporation. It really couldn't be more different.
Nrama: Joining you in this new era of the X-Factor team is artist Carmine Di Giandomenco, whom you worked with back in 2006 for the one-shot Untold Tales of the New Universe: Justice. What can you tell us about working with him on this series?
David: It's beautiful. Carmine is doing an outstanding job, on everything from the small character moments to the big action sequences. I really couldn't have asked for or gotten a better artist for the title.
Nrama: Back in April when Newsarama interviewed you about the end of X-Factor, you stated that “Hell on Earth War” was a “logical culmination for the entire series.” It was an ending, but not the ending – so what changed?
David: Nothing. I knew about the new series the whole time. I just didn't tell you guys. Can't lay out everything.