Written by Rick Remender and drawn by Jerome Opeña
Published by Marvel Comics
Sometimes you just want to read a comic about a team of fast-talking mutant bad asses, on those days you should be reaching for X-Force by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña. X-Force has been many things over the years and featured multiple different mutants. In this incarnation it is an under-the-radar kill squad lead by Wolverine and Angel that takes care of the scary stuff that the X-Men proper are too polite to handle.
While I am by no means a Marvel Zombie I have read a heap of their comics over the years, many of which have featured the X-Men* and this has stood me in good stead for reading this book. Look, if you’ve never read an X-Men book before you won’t get everything that is going down, but like a good TV show you shouldn’t have to have seen every episode. It’s very clear who the Good Guys are and the Baddie is a dude called Apocalypse, (recently reborn and the biggest and baddest of the X-villains).
The plot involves Wolverine gathering a team of the snappiest talking killers in the Marvel Universe and sending them after the reincarnated Apocalypse. As befits his name Apocalypse has Four Horsemen. One of them is the axe-wielding Minotaur gentleman in the image below. I would happily read many more comics featuring Bull-headed Axe Monsters drawn by Jerome Opeña.
Jerome Opeña is a fantastic artist. He uses detail well but never lets it overwhelm the character of his figures. His faces are expressive and show real emotion and the man just straight up draws some great action sequences.
Remender has a great handle on these characters. Initially I felt that Deadpool and Fantomex were too similar, both wise-cracking weirdos with guns and masks. However Remender writes them very differently and gives them a rivalry that drives their relationship along. And this is a relationship heavy book. Many of the characters have been adventuring together for years, and in the case of Angel and Psylocke been a couple for a long time. But the whole mutant soap opera is played with a lighter touch than usual and as the cast is kept to a minimum you do not get overwhelmed with too many characters.
All of the characters get their own moments,a favourite is Deadpool feeding a starving, semi-conscious Angel chunks of his own flesh to recover from an attack by Famine, Wolverine and Angel get to show their friendship, Angel and Psylocke their love for each other and Fantomex proves he can do what the rest can’t.
This comic is a dense read, the trade only collects four issues but it feels like more, there is a lot going on and the pages are packed with dialogue.
Well action and snappy dialogue driven, it would make a shit hot action movie. Imagine if Marvel had the nuts to get Gareth Evans (The Raid:Redemption) to direct a X-Force script written by Tarantino (I love Quentin but this movie would need some serious action chops).
*I know this is an X-Force book, but to me it’s all X-men comics. This book features a team of either current or past X-men fighting one of the biggest X-villains. So yeah, X-men.
Should I buy it? If you like fast paced, action packed comics that are beautifully drawn and full of banter. This is the most fun I’ve had reading an X-Men comic in a long time
Next Week: The second book of one of my favourite series. The Sixth Gun Book 2: Crossroads by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt. It’s rad and yet people still aren’t reading it.