Review: ‘X-Force’ #9 Parties Hard, The Mutant Way

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Dustin Weaver & Edgar Delgado

Mutants have long had their own subculture in the Marvel Universe, and there’s nothing better than watching our favorite heroes unwind. It’s a good thing too because X-Force is about to face the greatest threat of the new mutant era.

Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Dean White, Joe Caramagna, and Tom Muller put the team on the path to their deadliest adversary yet in X-Force #9.

It’s an off day in Krakoa as the entirety of mutantkind takes the time to unwind. It’s the opening day of the island nation’s first tiki bar, and everyone has gathered to check it out. It’s a good thing too, as X-Force is about to face one of the most terrifying threats mutantkind has ever faced.

Downtime issues are a key part of any ongoing comic series, a hallmark of the ongoing soap opera nature of serialized comics. It’s also a trope that could make or break a series, which Percy absolutely nails. He hits important character beats- such as Logan’s family bonding with one another, especially in light of Laura’s current MIA status- but also key world building- following up on the Terra Verde plot from several issues ago.

The two sides also collide as we see more of what happened to Domino after her death last issue. It’s not just a moment of character clarity, but it also strongly implies there’s more going on in Krakoa with the resurrection protocols than we might think. It’s unclear whether the erasure of her trauma comes from Xavier or Colossus, but regardless, this plotline is a HUGE revelation that most regular readers have wondered about since the reveal of the resurrection protocols. Even better Percy gives it the emotional weight it needs, even if the characters don’t grasp that weight.

Cassara and White return on art this issue, and they haven’t missed a beat. The issue looks great on a whole, but it has some major highlights. The two page spread in the opening revealing the Tiki Bar is hyperdetailed and engaging, full of details and Easter eggs that I could (and have) stare at for hours. Later in the issue, as Logan, Dom and Quire head to Terra Verde, their depiction of the creepy biotechnology overwhelming the country is absolutely terrifying.

X-Force continues to get better by the issue, taking its place as one of Marvel’s best titles month in and month out.

X-Force #9 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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