By Zak Edwards
November 4, 2008 - 18:05
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Penciller(s): Mike Choi
Colourist(s): Sonia Oback
Letterer(s): Cory Petit
Cover Artist(s): Mike Choi
$2.99 US, $3.05 Canada
X-Force is a interesting little niche comic book within the X-Men franchise. It’s violent and action packed, filled with secret spy versus evil underground criminal movements, and the members kill people. But the cool thing about X-Force is how, despite it being marketed and billed as the hardcore X-Men book with its bloody variant covers (actually called the bloody variant covers) and murdering, the book is still makes time for characterization and plenty of ‘down time’ for these characters to interact.
The whole reason I started reading this series was because of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. This writing team took New X-Men: Academy X, with a focus on the teenage students at the now destroyed Xavier Institute, and made a violent, no holds barred, amazing book. So when they transferred to X-Force, I followed, and the same elements that made New X-Men great are still here, except even more so. While they may not be able to kill the main cast as easily as they did with New X-Men, Kyle and Yost can still make an action-packed comic book still about the characters involved. As for this issue in particular, X-Force is involved with taking care of a villain named Vanisher, who has stolen a new strand of the Legacy virus. With Yost and Kyle taking special care to include the most messed up characters going, the issue never gets old. Josh Foley, a former New X-Man, is being forced to do things he is not prepared for, like using his powers to inflict people with deadly diseases and tumours, while Angel still battles his inner demon of a horseman of Apocalypse. X-23, Wolverine’s clone, is creepy the entire time, and heartlessly efficient, a Wolverine without a conscience, which is a scary thing. But the series works as a reflection of Cylops’ new vision of the X-Men, and this is the dark underbelly of the new dream, where those involved are sacrificed for the greater good. Kyle and Yost make this the focus under all the blood, and it pays off.
Mike Choi’s art is, simply put, gorgeous. The early scenes of X-23 and Wolverine at a sniper point are paneled very well, having lots going on but without becoming overcrowded. His pencils balance realism with the fantastical, never making the contents of the story either unbelievable or exaggerated. Also, colourist Sonia Oback compliments Choi’s art perfectly, creating colours that mirror the dark elements of the story and also doesn’t make the more extreme characters look overly cartoonish. Characters like Josh Foley’s yellow skin is not too bright or strange looking, as is Domino’s white skin, which borders on being extremely pale instead of looking like she is covered in chalk.
7/10 A very good series that is getting better. Beautiful art.
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