Prior to Inferno it seemed that X-Force’s problem was that it wanted to be everything to everyone. That identity crisis dragged down the book, as it often seemed scattered and unfocused. Now, past Inferno and X Lives/X Deaths, we return to the series as it embraces its focus.
Benjamin Percy, Robert Gill, GURU-eFx, and Joe Caramagna team up for the beginning of X-Force’s second stage.
While the majority of X-Force deals with the repercussions of the events of X Lives/X-Deaths, Forge discovers something deep within Krakoa. Something has infected one of the Cerebro cradles. Something malicious, something angry…
Percy strikes a balance here that he hasn’t been able to so far, and the issues is so much better for it. He takes his ongoing plots, something that he’s been very open about wanting to juggle and involve in his work, and weaves them throughout the issue. Instead of pausing one plot to write about another and so on, this writing style doesn’t just fit the X-Men better, it makes the story feel much more natural. Even though the focus is on this possessed Cerebro in the arc, the issue is much stronger because it uses its history.
I really enjoy the confrontation between Beast and Sage as well. Beast has had it a long time coming, and using Sage to stand up to him to hold him accountable is just what the story needed. This is where Caramagna’s always great work shines the most in the issue, creating a visual tapestry with the balloons and captions that weave through the art. Gill and GURU stage it just right too. The confrontation feels like an action scene, both in the colors that are used and how the characters are moving around the page in the layouts. Yet, it’s just two people talking to each other in a few different settings. This is what the confrontation needed, and I hope it continues.
Gill and GURU deserve props in general for their work in the issue. Gill is able to shift between political intrigue, horror and a tense confrontation, all capably. I miss Josh Cassara on this book, but Gill proves that he’s more than able to take this assignment and make it his own. GURU is able to build on the tension that Gill’s pages have. They paint the horrific events surrounding Forge in unsettling reds, and giving Omega Red his potential redemption in bright lights and soft, warm colors.
X-Force lost its way for a little while. It’s good to see it back. I hope it keeps up.
X-Force #27 is available now from Marvel Comics.
The series returns to its high point with a story that weaves together all its ongoing threads.