Written by Peter David
Art by Valentine de Landro
In keeping with Peter David's wishes, all I'm going to say about this issue is that 'stuff happens'.
Verdict - Check It. There would be more, that would be spoiling things.
Okay, okay, I'm not that anal about these things and spoilers are kind of my speciality, so PAD be damned. This issue picks up with the huge reveal from last issue that Layla Miller is alive and still knows stuff. The dumbfounded Madrox is beside himself (No, not with dupes, just a turn of phrase. Actually, the priest dupe is on the floor, but I'm getting way off point now, so let me continue already!) at the site of the grown up Layla, but isn't given much time to get his bearings as Layla reveals she's simply a hard light construct sent back in time and that she's there to bring him to the future with her, which we last saw in the Layla Miller special.
Surprisingly, David decides not to give us too much information on this storyline and we only get a brief glimpse of the future where we see that Layla has teamed up with Ruby Summers post-Summers Rebellion and I assume we'll be seeing more of her in the future. Uh, our future, not their future. Well, technically, their future, but they're in that timeline, so it becomes their present, but is still the future. I give up. Goddamn time travel.
Even more surprising than the relatively small amount of Madrox/Layla face time we were given after that big reveal from last issue is how enjoyable reading about the rest of the cast of X-Factor was this issue. The team hasn't been this interesting since well before Messiah Complex and it's like a mini-renaissance for the X-Factor title and, hopefully, a sign that things are finally getting back on track for a book that hasn't been this good in over a year or more worth of issue.
Verdict - Check It. Tempted to give it a Must Read, but don't want to get too far ahead of myself. While I was pleased with the other cast member's portrayals, I wish we had been given a little more Layla time and explanation behind the return to the future for Madrox, as that's the main reason I came back to the title. However, if PAD can keep this pace up, I can see this title returning to it's Must Read status very quickly.