X-Force (2014) Review

Simon Spurrier
Rock-He Kim
Why do we have yet another incarnation of X-Force? Well, Cable gives a Mutant Without Boarders diatribe as the motive and mission behind X-Force. Mutants need to reclaim their foothold and protect and fight for every mutant regardless of political affiliation. Yeah, does it sound a little like Metal Gear? Because Psyloche thought so, and she pokes fun at Cable for it. Also, Cable believes there needs to be a unification between the mutant tribes in order to protect themselves from other nations. This is interesting because we see Cable dealing with all the leaders from various factions of mutants. This will inevitably add political elements and cameos to keep things fresh. Regardless, Spurrier lets his characters Marrow, Fantomex, and Psylocke assure us this isn’t a book to be taken seriously. Marrow’s new incarnation is a punk rocker who has an insatiable blood lust. Because Marrow’s internal monologues often break the fourth wall, it’s hilarious when Psylocke will telepathically interrupt us, so Psylocke can refocus Marrow on the mission. Also, for fans of Fantomex it’s refreshing that he is back to being his sleazy sex addict self who is constantly pining for Psylocke’s affections. I always felt that Fantomex is a character who shouldn’t take himself too seriously, and FantomexMax and Wolverine and the X Men are good examples of why. With Cable, Fantomex, and Marrow, being over the top caricatures who can’t help but get in their own way, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock is by far the most relatable. From her bringing Marrow and Cable back through the fourth wall, to her poking fun at the metafictional humor, bizarre situations and character types, Psylocke is definitely on the readers side. When we get lost in Spurrier’s fun house, it will be Psylocke who will guide us through this freak show.
Rock-He Kim’s artwork is phenomenal. For once, what you see on the cover is what you get inside. This X Force still retains that muscular style that has defined X Force over their years. However, unlike Liefeld’s ability to invent new muscles for every new action sequence, Kim has his characters anatomy under control. It’s also interesting how Kim will contrast the hyper real depictions of the backgrounds, weapons, and machinery with his sharp and sketchy characters. This imaginative rendering makes the characters pop into the readers focus and also gives it a cyber-punk feel.
X titles are known for their heavy-handed drama and morals, but like Marrow told us this isn’t a story for over-thinking the hows and whys and instead let the boring people figure all that technical detail out. Instead, this is a story that promises to be a fun ride. So, for those who missed Simon Spurrier’s blitzed out but clever X-Men legacy run, this is a good time to jump into his new madcap adventure.   

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