After the death of a member and a confrontation with the fully formed new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the X-Force has been thrust into a bleak future that begs questions of morality around every corner.
Read on for my full review.
As each issue passes the X-Force seems to be put into worse and worse situations, and just when I think things cannot get any worse for them, it simply does. Remender has no problem grabbing you by the heart and squeezing, and if there’s any issue that proves that, it’s this one.
As X-Force is thrust into a dark future by the mixed efforts of Psylocke and a dying Gateway, they meet up with their time-traveling cyborg buddy, Deathlok. Deathok, specifically this one, has been an interesting member of the X-Force team ever since the Deathlok nation arc, but I feel like Remender hasn’t utilized the character to his fullest potential until this issue. He’s tragic, violent, and he moves the story forth all at once, and it makes me happy Remender decided to make extended use of this character.
One issue that this series has brought forth since its first arc has been the act of preemptive execution — killing someone before they become a murderer. It’s brought back throughout the series in almost every arc, with the Apocalypse clone in the first arc and Jamie Braddock in the Otherworld arc being prime examples, and in this issue we see a world that is the product of X-Force continuing to function in this way, killing anyone they know will become a criminal before they even think of a life of crime. It leads to great emotional conflict with every character in the issue, and resonates specifically with a few of them.
The issue concludes on a note that will have fans begging to see what comes next, but it seems like Remender does that with every issue. I think a real factor of a successful single issue of a comic is that a full story, with a beginning middle and end, is given in the 22 pages, so it satisfies the reader but also strings them along enough that they need to get the next one. Remender’s become a master of this.
This issue we see Noto replaced on artwork by Julian Totino Tedesco. He’s a name I’m not familiar with, so I didn’t know what I expected to see from this issue, but I have to say that Tedesco nailed it. His work isn’t too dissimilar from Jerome Opena’s or Robbi Rodriguez’ from issue #19, but it’s very individual and stands on its own. This works especially well given the fact that we move to a new locale in this issue, so the change in art style isn’t jarring at all, and the colors from Justin Ponsor keep the book looking consistent even though pencilers change. Luckily it seems Tedesco will be on for at least one more issue, so we’ll see consistency with awesome artwork for the next parts of this story.
We haven’t been told yet if Remender plans on ending this series soon, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if this plays out to be the final arc of the series given the dire situations we’re seeing the team placed in in each issue. Regardless if it’ll continue on longer, or end some time in the near future, I can’t wait to see what comes in the future of this series.
GO Rating: 4.5/5