The Marvel black ops world is densely populated. Among all of these shady teams Mutantkind finds enough time to stop fighting itself to form the “X-Force.” A team of mutants who carry out the work deemed too unsavory for the likes of the X-Men. Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim bring this newest incarnation of this irresistible team to life with varying degrees of success.
Most of the charm from any of the “X-Force” books is taken from a team comprised of mutants who don’t play nice with others. The misfit, the brute, the outlier, whatever you’d like to call them their unifying factor is generally a roguish attitude. So naturally gathering up these rogues should result in a lot of internal team conflict.
For the most part Spurrier’s X-Force gets along rather amicably. The exception lies in Psylocke and Fantomex’s relationship, but the tension is remarkably playful. Instead the team functions pretty well. Which is interesting given newcomer Marrow’s attitude about the whole operation. She finds it a joy to belong, to be a tool, and she enjoys the violence most of all.
It’s clear that Spurrier relishes writing Marrow and to an even greater degree Fantomex. Both of these characters have outstanding bits of dialogue and really shine in this debut issue. However, Cable is left to drown in his own convoluted mission and Psylocke is reduced to the same beat over and over.
Rock-He Kim’s art does a fantastic job at capturing the grit this kind of team offers. The conflict that begins the issue is brought to life spectacularly by his detailed anatomy work. The muscle tone of these mutant brutes is always on display, and gives the book a distinct eastern appeal that is almost impossible to find anywhere within Marvel right now. His previous cover work was absolutely stellar and his internal page work is downright awesome here. Page four of this issue sells his style beautifully.
The plot is relatively standard black ops fare but remains a little convoluted for a first issue. As things ramp up near the final pages an interesting twist is provided to bring readers back for issue two. While the twist is enough to keep my interest I really did feel as if the potential of this book hasn’t been fully realized. The team dynamic was fun, but was far too casual and easy going for my tastes.
Cable remains an uninteresting leader that save for the initial physical conflict at the onset of the issue has very little to do or say. It’s a shame for a character with such a robust history to be outshined by those around him, but as it stands right now his voice is the least developed of Spurrier’s team. I look forward to seeing more of this jovial “X-Force” and perhaps this new take is exactly what we need to see in the world of mutants, I’m just not entirely sold as of yet.
Rating: 3/5 Skulls.
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