Written by Peter David
Art by Pablo Raimondi
This was a return to form for the X-Factor title after months of decidedly average issues. It's as if Peter David saw what was wrong with the book and excised all of the negatives in one sweeping stroke of his mighty pen, seemingly freeing the team from the other X-titles and the constant stream of tie-ins forced upon the title because of it.
Wrapping up mediocre Arcade storyline, PAD treats us to the "old" X-Factor team from pre-Messiah Complex. You know, the one that could laugh and talk to each other and wasn't overcome with angst and constantly bickering, like we've seen in the last half a dozen issues, and it is a welcome change.
While the team was back to form this issue, it was clearly Jamie Madrox's issue. From his attempts to save an old man to his chats with Layla Miller, who's merely a figment of his imagination in this issue and a welcome one at that, Jaime had more than his fair share of great moments.
One of my favourite parts was Jamie addressing Siryn's pregnancy and his upcoming fatherhood, which he had been ignoring for some time. Another was Jamie's dealing with Val Cooper, who plays the government stooge / villain, more so than usual, in this piece.
Continuing with the trend, we see Madrox stepping up as the defacto leader and severing all ties with the now razed Mutant Town by blowing up the X-Factor building, which is one of the only buildings left standing after Arcade's fire bombings, and relocating the team to Detroid. There's also a time skip of about five months to go along with this and shows Siryn well along in her pregnancy and the team continuing the agency in Detroit.
And to cap off an all around great issue was the ending where Val Cooper finally tracks down Jaime at a diner in Detroit and letting him know that she owns him and they'll be working together from now on.
Verdict - Must Read. X-Factor's back and I couldn't be happier. For those that were couldn't stick with it through the rough patch of forced crossovers and the gutting of the team, I think you'll be more than happy with jumping back in with this and future issues.