X-Force (2014) #2 (Marvel)


Rating: 2.5/5 – The third relaunch in five years…third time’s not the charm.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

X-Force in the past few years has been a pretty strong series.  The last series written by Sam Humphries was a nice surprise, and the series before that was a smash hit by Rick Remender.  With this being the third relaunch in five years, I really feel that the third time is not the charm.  Although the cast of characters on this team is similar to prior teams, the creative team involved is not.  The writing holds it’s own, but the art was really not to my taste, it had a very manga feel to it and was not working for me on this title with these characters.

Rock-He Kim’s style is a bit blocky with some hard edged lines.  His characters, like his backgrounds come off looking stiff and posed.  Although there are some nice action scenes within, the dialogue scenes have very little life to them.  When looking at the panels closer, I could not help but think of how dull the environments were.  Take for example the floors…this is a small detail I know, but the same pattern of floor is used for the inside of a building, the roof of that building and later on in X-Force’s headquarters.  Rather than making each setting unique Kim seemed to be cutting corners, diminishing the whole.  Not only that, but the character designs were a let down for me.  Cable’s design in particular with an eye patch, head piece and grey camouflage…was not a good look in my opinion.

Writer Simon Spurrier is telling a decent enough story, but not something that is a must read.  Cable and his team, including the return of Marrow, are investigating a terrorist attack where mutants are believed to be involved.  After rescuing a mutant from last issue who gives them a lead into their investigation, Cable and team have to perform a “favor” to ultimately get the man they want.  Spurrier’s writing is solid, but it may not be the book that mutant fans are looking for.  It’s a black ops story involving mutants more than it is a mutant superhero book.  I may give this title to the end of this initial storyline to see if they can hook me, but with my feeling about the current art style, I’m not sure I’d be a fan no matter how good the story is.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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