In my first impressions post, I wasn’t sure what to think of this. There was a lot of exposition, and I didn’t have the time yesterday to read it slowly. Now that I’ve had more time, it makes more sense to me. It’s also kind of appropriate that Simon Spurrier’s first X-Force issue releases the same day that his X-Men Legacy finishes.
For the most part this comic is good. It sets up the premise of a “mutant nation” Special Forces team, but without wasting too much time on describing things directly. It also leaves plenty of mystery for future issues, including something that has rendered Hope Summers unconscious (not really a spoiler since it doesn’t seem to have much to do with this issue). The team is made up of Cable, Psylocke, Fantomex and Marrow. The team dynamic is entertaining with all the banter and clashing personalities, yet they function well as a team with varied enough powers and skills.
While this comic is very entertaining, there’s are a couple things that bothered me. There’s one moment where Psylocke accidentally kills someone, even though she’s vowed to not kill anyone. She’s far too skilled to accidentally kill someone that way. Also while Marrow’s actual dialogue is entertaining, I found her internal narration kind of annoying. It’s repetitive, fragmented and often awkward. It wasn’t enough to ruin the issue, but it lessoned my enjoyment. And of course, her lines “I missed doing mutant #$%&” and “Wanna go again” (after destroying a plane and landing at what must have been near terminal velocity) partly made up for it.
The art is good for the most part. The backgrounds in the opening pages look brilliant. There’s a lot of debris flying around as Cable has a superpowered punching match with a “ten-foot Chinese ragemonster with exploding fists”. The monitors have a nice static effect to them. In the airplane sequence, there’s a lot of smoke effects, and when Marrow uses her powers, it looks downright impressive. Cable doesn’t really look that much like Cable though, and more often than not facial expressions are a little blank. Also, there are a lot of poorly shaped feet and overly skinny lower legs.
X-Force is off to a slow start, but it has a clear general direction. It’s not as good as I was hoping, and I’m not sold on it yet, but it was an enjoyable read. If you’re interested in a black-ops style book starring mutants this is worth checking out, but read it before you buy it.