Since last year’s Dawn of X relaunch, X-Force has quietly established itself as the line’s second book. If this had been a slightly less daring daring relaunch of the X-Men it probably would have been Uncanny or Astonishing X-Men. This issue is more proof of how it’s the line’s best utility player.
This issue gets into some of the sticky questions of a superpowered, post-human universe. It also confronts morality and whether certain lines should or shouldn’t be crossed. In other words, Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna deliver the full package.
Wolverine, Domino and Kid Omega are the middle of a mission gone FUBAR. It’s up to Jean Grey, Black Tom and Sage to pull their fat from the fryer. However, is the bigger problem the plant intelligence that holds X-Force hostage or the hubris of Henry McCoy that allowed it to gain a foothold?
There’s a quality to this issue that I really enjoy and hope that Percy can do more with. This is the first issue of the run where he’s really slowed down and given the readers the soap opera that makes X-Men special. Yes, it’s a part of an issue where Wolverine and Jean Grey fight plant androids, but where the issue sings is when Jean confronts Beast about his ego dooming an entire country or Jean and Logan take some time to cool off after the mission.
It shows a fault of the series to date though. We’re not able to slow down and take a breath with the characters. Logan and Domino’s debate about her memories at the beginning of the issue? I feel like we need to pause and take the time to look at that. We need to face Hank’s hubris, the relationship between Logan and Jean or even just who Quentin Quire and Black Tom have become in this new mutant order. If Percy can take the time to explore these things, the title would easily be an all-time classic X-Men series.
Cassara continues to do fantastic work. He’s able to render the quiet moments as strongly as the action beats. His designs for the plant monsters are grotesque, and there’s a sense of thoughtfulness that went into them. He’s also gotten his footing in some of the weaker parts of the earlier issues in the run, most notably his take on Wolverine has improved considerably.
It’s not a perfect issue, but X-Force has quickly become my personal favorite series of the Dawn of X. This issue is more proof of why. It’s a complex look at the complexities of Krakoa mixed with kickass superheroics, which is why I’m eager to crack open an issue every month.
X-Force #10 is available now from Marvel Comics.