Overall- First off, for the record, I've been waiting what feels like ages to read this comic! Marvel is usually great with sending out books with their subscription service(sometimes I'll even get the comic before it hits the newsstand!), but lately they've really been SLOW! Anyway, let's see if Peter David can keep up his stellar work on this title as of late.
I really love this comic book... We open with Jamie staring shocked at Layla Miller, all grown up and apparently back from the future... Or is she? She tells Jamie that she only has a few seconds and that he has to trust her and take her hand, "if he wants to live". Jamie opts to take Layla's hand and within seconds, they disappear in a brilliant light show. Jamie's duplicate, the pious John Maddox, who was knocked unconscious last issue by the suicidal Jamie, awakens in his church at that very moment to watch Jamie and Layla vanish. As John gets to his feet, a strange government agent looking guy walks into the church, pulls a gun and starts shooting at John. John jumps behind the pews and manages to get his hands on the gun Jamie was going to commit suicide with. John manages to wing the shooter in the leg and approaches the downed gunman slowly, telling him not to move. The gunman quickly puts the gun to his head, says "Cortex", and pulls the trigger, killing himself and leaving John shaken and confused.
We next check in on the rest of the X-Factor crew, who are listening to a woman who is asking for their help. The woman claims she is an ex-mutant and she swears that a group of people are following her around. The woman goes on to state that her best friend, another de-powered mutant was found dead not that long ago after she thought she was being followed. Theresa, basically calls the woman a kook, and isn't really inclined to help. Longshot however believes the woman(he's naive enough to believe anything)and offers to stay close to her.
While that scene is playing out, Guido, Darwin and Monet are working for Valerie Cooper in an attempt to apprehend a boat full of weapons. The mission is to capture the boat and it's weaponry for Valerie and the government, but Guido "accidentally" smashes a hole through the boat, causing it and its cashe of weapons to sink... I doubt Val is going to like that...
Finally, whatever happened to Jamie you ask? He awakens in a strange laboratory with Layla. Before Jamie can regain his bearings, a huge, old-school Sentinel robot destroys the roof and prepares to vaporise Jamie and Layla. Before it can succeed, a young woman with bright red skin and blond hair arrives on the scene and destroys the Sentinel. Before the comic ends, the woman introduces herself as Rudy Summers!
After a pretty miserable day here in Binghamton, this comic was a much appreciated distraction. I have really been loving Peter's work with this series the past 3 issues or so. This issue wasn't quite as mind-blowingly spectacular as the prior two issues, but it was another top notch read. First off, let me say, it was nice to see a REAL Sentinel again. Not those wild Sentinels Grant Morrison created, or the stupid O.N.E. Sentinels, but a huge, evil, robotic old-school Sentinel. Those are the Sentinels I want to see.
Obviously, Jamie has found himself back in the future with Layla, and I for one am dying to see where Peter is going to go with this development. I can honestly say that there are so many cool twists and turns in every issue of X-Factor that I truly don't know what Peter is going to do next! This series is that good right now. The other characters are definitely playing second-fiddle to Jamie, but it is apparent that each little action in this comic is slowly leading us towards some huge revelation.
Once again, the master(Peter David!)is firing on all cylinders in this series. Peter is mixing a great story with his trademark witty dialogue beautifully. I laughed out loud when Jamie and Layla are being targeted by the Sentinel and Jamie creates a dupe and screams at it, "Quick! Distract it(the Sentinel)!". After looking up at the 25 foot killer robot, the dupe replies incredulously, "How? With card tricks?". When Peter is on, no one can come close to mixing great story with great humor. For a score, I'm going to give this issue a 9 1/2 out of 10. This comic was NEARLY perfect, but there was just a little too much mysterious background stuff going on for my taste. As Peter begins to unravel some of the mysteries in this comic, I'm sure I'll be handing perfect scores back out again. If you want to read a GOOD X-title, read X-Factor. Recently, its been heads and shoulders better than the other X-related Marvel stuff.