In a Nutshell
X-Factor arrives in Genosha.
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Joe Quesada, Chris Batista (2nd story)
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Richard Starkings, Lois Buhalis (2nd Story)
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
X-Factor and the X-Patriots arrive in Genosha, and are introduced to the Genoshan president and reunited with Moira. Elsewhere, mutant Dick Chalker, blaming himself for his brother and cousin's deaths, rushes out to wipe out every last mutant on the people, and is promptly run over by a truck. That night, Rahne experiences another nightmare, and Moira agrees to start running tests on her immediately. As Strong Guy goes with Jo Beth to meet her grandmother, Havok & Prodigal meet with the Genoshan president, while Moira & Sasha Ryan determine that Rahne's connection to Havok is a result of the process that turned her into a mutate. Later, Sasha Ryan meets with a shadowy figure, telling him they can't continue their plans until X-Factor leaves. He agrees, but vows that one day their country will once again be free of mutants.
Crystal sends Quicksilver into town for groceries. There, he is confronted by a tabloid reporter, who shows him pictures of Crystal being friendly with her teammate Black Knight, telling him there are more explicit pictures. Quicksilver denies it and attacks the reports before running off, clearly rattled, The encounter causes the reconciliation between Crystal & Quicksilver comes to an end, which was the plan of the reporter and the old man monitoring the couple, who are happy they've stirred the homicidal tendencies of the Son of Magneto.
Firsts and Other Notables
This is Peter David's final issue of the series, ending a run that began with issue #70 and oversaw the revamping of the book in issue #71. Though he won't return for this iteration of the series, David will return in the 00s to write a Madrox limited series, which will lead in turn to a revamped X-Factor book (positioning the characters as private investigators instead of government agents), which will eventually take over the numbering from this volume. So this isn't the last we'll see of David's take on many of these characters.
On his way out, David establishes that during the process that transformed Wolfsbane into a mutate, she was bonded to Havok in a master/slave sort of relationship, which has been the cause of her crush on him throughout David's run on the series.
This issue contains the scene in which Peter David meant to establish that Rahne is in heat but which, in the wake of his departure from the series, was re-scripted, as detailed here (I'm not sure who re-scripted, but I'd guess Lobdell, as he writes the next issue). The art is unchanged, though, so we're left with a page where a bunch of dogs are giving Rahne a funny look for no apparent reason.
Genoshan scientist Sasha Ryan meets with a shadowy figure behind a mysterious door (with an eye that glows not unlike Cable/Stryfe/Longshot); this will eventually be revealed to be the Isolationist, though not for much, much later (the Isolationist is a character from David's second X-Factor run in the 00s/10s), and he's almost certainly not who he intended this character to be at the time of publication.
Quicksilver & Crystal's short-lived reconciliation is cut short as Quicksilver is given pictures of Crystal dancing with her teammate Black Knight (Crystal & Black Knight are involved in a love...square over in Avengers, also involving Quicksilver and their teammate Sersei). The pictures are relatively innocuous, but they're enough to plant seeds of doubt and make the "Son of Magneto" mad.
The final Chalker brother, Dick, aka Carnivore, appears in this issue. Dick is a mutant who can turn into a large lizard, and blames himself for the anti-mutant hatred that led to his brother and cousin's deaths. He rushes off to make amends, and is promptly hit by a truck and killed, in true Chalker fashion. The whole point of all this Chalker business will be revealed in the series' upcoming annual.
A Work in Progress
Madrox and Moira share a moment together, a nice acknowledgement of the fact that Madrox spent the vast majority of his time between his first appearance and becoming a regular player in this book working with Moira on Muir Island.
A hot-and-bothered Rahne makes another pass at Madrox, pinching his butt.
The Grim 'n' Gritty 90s
Rahne experiences another pop culture-influenced dream, this time inspired by Disney's Aladdin (her version of the genie has the same anachronistic stand-up comic schtick as Robin Williams').
Pun with Peter!
Watching the sun rise, Quicksilver tells his wife (one of the Inhumans), it's an inhuman hour to be awake.
There's also a protracted joke in which Quicksilver tells Crystal he's someone with green hair, and she think he's romantically involved with Polaris but he means he's seeing Doc Samson for regular therapy.
Peter David's impactful but too-short run on the series comes to a close, as the writer departs reportedly out of frustration for the way his own stories were being affected by other books (notably the intrusion of "X-Cutioner's Song"). On the one hand, his frustration is understandable (and it will remain a consistent frustration for him throughout his career at Marvel). On the other hand, it is, unfortunately, the cost of doing business in a shared universe. Regardless of the reasoning of his departure, his loss from the series is a significant one, as so much of this series' success - chiefly the blend of characterization and humor amidst the familiar X-book elements - comes directly from David. Though the "government sponsored" mutant angle will continue for some time, the series will never really have the kind of unique voice or hook setting it apart as it did under David.
It's also unfortunate that David leaves mid-story, unable to wrap up the X-Patriots storyline which "X-Cutioner's Song" interrupted, with most of the character arcs he set in motion unresolved (even the revelations regarding Rahne here are changed from what he initially intended). The X-Patriots, on the whole, remain a bunch of duds, but there's some narrative juice in the idea of sending X-Factor back to Genosha, in terms of both the effect it has on Havok & Wolfsbane (two characters with strong ties to that country) and in terms of X-Factor's role as representatives of the US government. But its hard to get too excited about much of this knowing David is out the door. Neither the immediate story, nor the series as a whole, will ever quite recover from that departure.
Tomorrow, Wolverine #68. Next week, X-Men #19 and X-Force #21.