If the title of their latest story arc wasn't enough indication, the team at X-Factor Investigations will officially be closing their doors come September. This weekend at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, Marvel announced that the long-running "X-Factor" series by Peter David, Leonard Kirk and company comes to an end with issue #262 -- the final chapter od the aptly named "The End of X-Factor" arc.
"It just seemed like a good time," David told CBR News. "I introduced the 'Hell On Earth War' which shook things up to such a degree that it seemed to me that I could not really top it. This series has been going for 10 years, and the sales were solid but not huge. It just somehow seemed a logical, dramatic climax to everything that I've been doing."
The writer's run with the mutant team started back in 1991 where he formed the Havok-led lineup of the government sponsored team in the 71st issue of "X-Factor" volume 1. But it was his return to an all-new volume of the title in 2006 that set X-Factor on its current course. Starring The Multiple Man Jamie Madrox and a rag tag group of mutant investigators, the new "X-Factor" has crossed from noir series to science fiction epic to bizarre fantasy soap opera and back again. But even through he's been able to stretch every writer's muscle imaginable on his run, David said that one thing constantly kept him going through the years. "The characters. They're such a wonderful blend of normal, abnormal and borderline nuts that I just couldn't keep my hands off them."
Those characters who survive "Hell On Earth War" will be getting a workout after David and Kirk reveal the final fate of Wolfsbane's son Tier before moving into "The End of X-Factor." "This was very much [Tier's] story, which is why I made the first person narration from his point of view," David said.
But once the last story starts up in June's #257, the focus will be firmly on the core cast, and in a different way than the standard six-issue story. "I want to do stories that came after 'Hell On Earth' and focused on each of the individual characters in different ways," David said. "It was kind of a personal challenge, really, producing half a dozen individual stories since one-issue stories seem so unusual these days."
Select issues of the arc zero in on the various people and relationships that have made up the "X-Factor" run, including a special issue for Rictor and Shatterstar as the latter explores his history with Longshot. But for the two lovers, David had a simple request for how he'd like fans to think of them when all is said and done. "Remember that they are simply people, not gay people," he said. "The entire process of making them an official couple garnered so much reaction that it would be easy to forget that they are more than their sexual persuasion. They are just a couple of guys who happen to be involved with each other, but are also involved with the team and the world around them."
And, of course, "The End of X-Factor" will have to focus in on Madrox's journey towards being a whole man, though whether his farewell will focus on his relationship with Layla Miller or something else remains a secret. All David could say of the character's end was, "It was pretty simple, actually. Of course, he's still a demon; I have to find some way to undo that. Maybe."