Now X-Factor has reached it's 50th issue, and while not gaining as many readers as Marvel may want - it sounds like it's still a stable and good title to bank on. After this issue the series is going back to it's original numbering at #200 - with a new and fresh direction for the series. It all sounded interesting, and I decided to jump onto the band wagon - beginning at issue #49. So, like many other people who might be trying X-Factor for the first time too - this issue #50 is an odd place to start reading the series.
All that said, I gotta say I wish I had stuck with Peter David's writing all along, as this series is great. Two issues in, where probably 4 years worth of plot-lines are being resolved - and I still got pretty easily into the swing of things. Basic setting of this issue involved Madrox facing off against one of his rouge Duplicates, called Vortex. Madrox is in the future, inbetween Sentinel forces and a Summer's Mutant Rebellion - so a lot of stuff, that I honestly don't know everything about, is all happening. It can be quite confusing - but the centeral fight between Madrox and Vortex is easy enough to understand, and the fate of President Falcone has a nice beginning and end for even new readers jumping in. Layla Miller, the girl who "knows stuff" has grown up since the House of M mini-series and is now an adult. It's revealed Layla has a power no one else knew of - and there's a pretty big revelation about her character at the end here. (I won't spoil it)
Over all the issue was entertaining and good. It might not be the best place for new readers to jump into - but it's got me hooked. The real place to jump into X-Factor is issue #200, which this issue has a small preview of. The art simply looks great, and the redesigned costumes of the characters look very nice (despite Strong Guy being bald now). X-Factor is going to step back a little from the mutant world and become the Marvel Universe's quintessential detective agency - and their first case is very cleaver - to find the Invisible Woman, who has disappeared. This small preview of the next issue looks stunning, and I'm very much looking forward to it.
In a nut shell - try out this series. Maybe not with issue #50, but with issue #200. I really does make me wish I was reading the series all along.