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'X-Force Vol. 2: The Counterfeit King' tpb Review
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Comic Books

‘X-Force Vol. 2: The Counterfeit King’ tpb Review

An interesting end to a wild story only hardcore X-Men fans could appreciate.

Ed Brisson closes out his X-Force series this week thanks to the trade paperback hitting comic shops. In it, we learn kid-Cable has a kid version of Stryfe chasing his tail and he’s very adamant about ruining his life. Witness the finale to the much talked about X-Force reboot (of sorts). And if you haven’t, check out volume one before digging into this.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

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The time stream is in danger…again! A younger version of Cable came back from the future to save his timeline, but he wasn’t the only one to make the journey. Now Cable’s clone Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Army will do anything to protect their future and destroy the Clan Askani. Who will X-Force stand with? Will they end up trapped in the future? With the timeline in flux, what kind of future is it? The clock is ticking as Rachel Summers makes her return! But with Rachel under Stryfe’s control he and the Mutant Liberation Army now have the power to secure their future at the cost of everyone else’s. Will Cable and X-Force be able to stop him — or will time be forever altered?

Why does this matter?

This book collects issue #6 through #10 and it’s very much a deep-cut narrative for 90s X-Men fans. Rachel Summers plays a huge part, the Askani and so much more. Read this one to get some nostalgic vibes from the often considered convoluted stretch of X-Men storytelling. 

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

'X-Force Vol. 2: The Counterfeit King' tpb Review

Those are some futuristic looking fingers.
Credit: Marvel Comics

This story is largely about Stryfe. Cable doesn’t even enter the story for quite a chunk of this book and instead, we see how Stryfe is a hero in his own right. Or at least he thinks so. He’s hellbent on ruining Cable’s life and it’s fun to see how writer Ed Brisson peels back the onion of Stryfe to reveal a very diabolical and evil character. He’s clearly got the upper hand technologically and has an army of sorts leaving Cable and his ragtag team trying to keep up. It’s not until Rachel Summers enters the story that things really pick up. The story very much takes place in its own corner of the universe but still feels huge thanks to the time travel and the threat to an entire nation hanging in the balance. 

The futuristic look and feel of the book are thanks to artist Damian Couceiro for issue #6 and Dylan Burnett who finishes off the trade. The book is colorful, expressive, and very good at making it clear what is going on as the characters fight. The use of color by Erick Arciniega and especially Jesus Aburtov light this book up. It takes place in a cold snowy place and yet there is vibrant colors at work. That enhances the futuristic feel. 

'X-Force Vol. 2: The Counterfeit King' tpb Review

Poor Cable!
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

It’s hard to not be bored by all this fighting. Characters fight, turn tail, and then fight some more. Maybe it’s a pacing issue since it can feel overstuffed with flashbacks or lacking as far as checking in with key characters. 

Is it good?

By the end of this series, it’s clear Rachel Summers and Cable are developed and changed. It remains to be seen if anything here will stick once Dawn of X kicks into gear, but be it as it may it was a wild time-travel ride only X-Men fans can truly appreciate thanks to the history.

X-Force Vol. 2: The Counterfeit King
Is it good?
By the end of this series, it’s clear Rachel Summers and Cable are developed and changed. It remains to be seen if anything here will stick once Dawn of X kicks into gear, but be it as it may it was a wild time-travel ride only X-Men fans can truly appreciate thanks to the history.
Rachel Summers and Cable come out of this different people
Stryfe is a great techno-futuristic villain
Pacing is wonky and can sometimes make the crazy action almost boring
8
Good

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