David and Lee at the Top of their Games
As has been mentioned elsewhere, a great deal of the success of this issue is the unique pencil work of Jae Lee. For the longest time, when first reading X-Factor back in '92 when these issues came out, I could not tell why the artwork so much edgier for the issues in this crossover than the issues before and after it; it was not until much later that I realized (by looking at the credits, finally) that the penciler, Jae Lee, did his only X-Factor work on the three issues of this event. Though his exaggerations of muscles (Bishop's especially) can get a bit extreme, his artwork for this issue is admirably suited to the story - again, not to be repetitious, but his penciling of the characters and their taut emotions both in their concern for Xavier and their anger at having to fight their own, albeit temporarily rogue, friends and former understudies. Equally fitting is Peter David's writing. His has admitted to being a character-driven writer, and this issue exemplifies that important attribute of better comics, even in the midst of a story-driven multi-part crossover. Archangel's moment of anger at Apocalypse, Strong Guy's humor even in the most awkward moments, and Quicksilver's lines throughout the issue are all great examples of Peter David's skills. Being the second part of a series is a challenging role to fill, and X-Factor 84 does a remarkable job keeping the pace and tension going after Uncanny X-Men 284.