Cable has surrendered to Stryfe and is being tormented as his prisoner 2000 years in the future. In the present, the X-Force focuses their efforts and frustrations on rescuing this new version of their old friend.
Suggestion: Ed Brisson should have Stryfe victorious over Cable. The team exits this book or exists as back-up fodder and Stryfe’s mission and his MLF become the sole focus of everything going forward. Following this, Brisson is given Adam X, Exodus, Skids and Rusty Collins, Reignfire, Gideon, Six-Pack, and any other X-Force staple of the initial run so he can have his way with them and do for these properties what Grant Morrison did for Animal Man.
Okay, maybe the Grant Morrison comparison is me getting a little carried away. But damn if in two issues Brisson hasn’t made such a compelling character out of Stryfe. Last issue he gave him a sympathetic backstory of sorts. This issue, he fills his lines with badassery and some hard to argue points.
Look for Quentin Quire to start wearing a “STRYFE IS THE REAL NATHAN SUMMERS” t-shirt any day now. Hell, I might get one myself.
Dylan Burnett joins Damien Couceiro on art this issue. Despite my allergies to multiple artists on one book, it really seems like that is this year’s unavoidable trend here, and it seems at least that they have divided up art duties by character focus.
While I care less for a style that leans more toward cartoony, Burnett’s work complements the effort on characterization here and his settings are packed with detail. This world feels grimy, lived in, and reflective of the harsh times the characters exist in. The layouts are thoughtful and, again, something previous versions of this property lacked. Overall the art is like a marriage of the spirit of ’90s X-Force penciled with modern sensibilities and an indie lean.
X-Force was always intended to be Cable’s guerrilla version of the New Mutants grown up and Stryfe’s future is, of course, a damaged and dystopian one, so in this respect, the art is also very befitting of that.
Jesus Arburtov clearly gets this as well, and he washes the scenery in murkiness, cold isolating tones, and visual flair when expressing power or when the special effects call for it.
The only thing this issue seems to lack is the common B-plot or interlude that books of this period used to randomly drop in (and sometimes never pay off) but this is more of a general observation than a real gripe.
Ed Brisson continues to build a solid foundation for the type of X-writer he is: a talented and creative individual who can give you fan service and something new with more polish than a pair of ’90s shoulder pads. He focuses on character as much as plot and doesn’t skimp on action resulting in a near-complete read. Backed by moody art with distinctive character design, this is the kind of comic the original X-Force should have strived to be.
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