By Zak Edwards
February 18, 2008 - 12:37
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle
Penciller(s): Clayton Crain
Cover Artist(s): Clayton Crain
I’ll be honest, the only reason I picked up X-Force #1 is because I am following Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost from their work on New X-Men. They took New X-Men, a struggling teenage super hero comic book, and turned into one of the best X-Men titles going with their balance of action and teen drama. Kyle and Yost took advantage of having a disposable cast, using this to keep the stories fresh and exciting. Now they have moved on to X-Force, basically the X-Men’s own personal black-ops team with permission to kill. With a more adult team, Kyle and Yost are attempting to bring the action of their New X-Men run and put it in a more mature perspective. But without the disposability of the characters and lack of teenage superheroes, X-Force may be an entirely different experience.
Kyle and Yost start out of the gate with an ongoing story line from their New X-Men run: the fight with the Purifiers and their various creatures and hardware, including the mutant-killing Super-Sentinel Nimrod. But for a title being marketed as a bloody action title, the amount of action is quite low, with the team fighting for only about four pages. Most of the issue is dealing with back story, like why Wolverine and his mutant S.W.A.T team are fighting these guys anyway and why no one should be on the team. Wolverine does spend the majority of the issue standing around telling people that what they are doing is a bad idea, which gets old fairly quickly. Readers know that the characters aren’t going to quit, so why spend a significant time telling them to leave? The actual story feels very much like a sort of spy movie, with Cyclops playing M, Wolverine being a less charming Bond, and some lackeys to round out the team. Kyle and Yost attempt to bring significance to the other members of the team, but comes across as very obvious. Wolverine goes through each characters motivation like some sort of checklist. But after all of that, the title works very well as a spy action title. The issue uses some very familiar elements but presents them in a slightly different light, but nothing revolutionary. Overall, the issue is an okay start to what Kyle and Yost are trying to do, this issue just has to wade through some preliminary story before blood starts flying. Kyle and Yost have created a foundation, now it’s time to see if they can build something good.
Wow, can Clayton Crain draw! His style is very believable, not animated like what I’m used to seeing with Kyle and Yost’s scripts. The colouring as well is very, well, cool. The comic book has a very dark and very cool feel to it. It’s taking a page from The Matrix in a way, without ripping it off too much. The characters look like action stars, and the new costumes are very bad-ass super-spy. The only problem I have with Crain’s art is that there is no emotion in their faces at all. Every character in the issue has the same static, expressionless face, no matter the circumstance. His action sequences more than make up for this though, with the final pages being a bloody, crazy mess. The issue is great to look at.
Variant Cover by Brian Hitch
7/10 A good base for this series to work off of.
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