There have been so many X-Force books, so of course the first question to ask of this new #1, is what kind of X-Force book will it be?
Spoilers for X-Force #1
If you’ve read all the interviews and promos up to this point like I have, you have the notion of “mutantkind as a nation without borders” firmly implanted in your head. Every nation is implied to have some form of black ops doing dirty deeds, or as Cable puts it “mutant nation needs a dirty tricks crew, we’re it.” This has more or less been the mission statement of the Wolverine lead X-Force groups, but here there’s more of an emphasis on the international nature of it. That makes Si Spurrier the perfect man for the job. He gives a true Scottish flair to Legion’s speech in X-Men Legacy, and adds appreciable distinction to the voices of his characters here, most noticeably Fantomex. Marrow’s narration is told through a monologue in her head meant as a dialogue to someone she can’t actually talk to. It’s very similar to how Spurrier writes the narrations of Legacy, but tailored to a different character. The first arc is spurred on by something called “the Alexandria incident.” A special weapon was used, and a mutant is to blame – both make this X-Force territory. First step – Cable, Marrow, and Psylocke have to rescue the informant, who turns out to be Fantomex. Step 2 – procure the device, using a special toy devised by Doctor Nemesis. The issue ends with the team discovering the weapon and the mutant are one in the same. A few important things to note:
Hope seems to be in some sort of comatose state. How, when, etc will come later I guess.
Not only does Marrow seem to have her powers back, but they are now actually so out of control that she has to wear an inhibitor most of the time. Once again, something left for later.
Only one version of Fantomex shows up here. Whether we’re going to address his other personalities or sweep that weirdness under the rug remains to be seen, but honestly I’d be happy with either.
Psylocke is still sworn off lethal force, while Marrow is relishing every chance for violence that this new “job” allows. Psylocke has already accidentally killed in the heat of battle this issue.
My rating: 4/5. The individual previous X-Force titles had a little more personality than this, which almost seems to be overcompensating for what might be perceived as a somewhat drab visual look. I think the murky, muddy watercolor vibe works with what they have here, with the character designs all resembling violent G.I. Joes, but I can see where it wouldn’t be for everyone. I’m not totally sold, but I was entertained, and as long as Dr. Nemesis has someone to talk down to I’ll keep coming back.
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