The story starts off with what we saw in the preview, the horned woman Jezebel offers Isolationist the Apocalypse; not the mutant. Isolationist believes Jezebel is raising fals hope within him, viciously attacking her before she explains to him who she is. Jezebel gives Isolationist some words of wisdom before the story cuts to Polaris and Havok coping with their return to Earth. Lorna herself was drawn to the green around, Havok stating that jumping from a helicopter drew attention to the two as a crowd of civilians gather around.
Back at X-Factor headquarters, the team is shocked by Madrox being alive again. M, believeing Layla brought bak Madrox, attacks her. Siryn tries to intervene, but M flies off with Layla. Theresa lets M fly off with Layla, stating M would've killed Layla on the spot if she wanted to before asking if Layla really brought him back. Madrox stating Layla didn't do so, Theresa playfully punches Madrox and welcomes him back, the team forming a group hug around Madrox, although Madrox is unsure if it's Siryn, Shatterstar, or a dupe grabbing his butt.
Elsewhere, two costumed hero chasers known as Shutterbug and The Insignia are making a video. The project is cut short and things get bloody for the two before the camera cuts out, spoilers:
end of spoilers
foreshadowing what Jezebel may or may not have in mind for this "Apocalypse" later on this issue.
M takes Layla to the top of the Empire state building and asks Layla to explain herself. As M threatens Layla, Layla responds with mere sarcasm angering M even more. Laya eventually explains everything, stating it's harder for her to know what comes next and reveals spoilers:
end of spoilers M accepts Layla's explanation and flies off.
that she brought back Guido because if she didn't, M would live with the guilt of his death after she brought Ballistique out of her coma, Ballistique being responsible for Guido being shot a few storylines back.
Back at X-Factor headquarters, Havok and Madrox argue over leadership.. Havok doubts Madrox is really alive and believes him to be a dupe, until Madrox shows Havok his chest scar. Back in the frozen wasteland the Isolationist and Jezebel are located at,the two have decided their next act: spoilers:
end of spoilers
to destroy not only every single mutant, but every single costume wearing super hero out there and that the plan has already been set into motion.
I absolutely loved the team finding out Madrox was alive again. Aside from M losing her temper on Layla, Theresa playfully welcoming back Madrox and the team gathering around him while creepy hilarity ensued was my favourite moment this issue. Layla's sarcasm towards M was very amusing too. To me, this issue was very personable and character focused and the team's interaction amongst each ther proved to be a great read. We got a great look at how everyone coped with Madrox returning, although my only complaint and question is when will X-Factor interact with the villain(s) themselves? Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this issue.
Leonard Kirk's art was complimented with great colouring and his art has been consistently enjoyable. While reading through this issue first time around, I was wondering who the hell the Insignia and Shutterbug are and what they have to do with the story due to how underwhelming they were as characters, but saw that they themselves were a subtle hint of what Jezebel and Isolationist had in mind for what they have planned; PAD's unique way of telling the story.
Overall, X-Factor was really fun this month and I can't wait for next issue!
This issue gets 5/5 from me.