The new issue of X-Force is very confusing. It almost feels like this chapter of the story was released in error by the production team, jumping too far forward into their own X-Men timeline. All things considered, though, writer Benjamin Percy does his best a telling a comprehensible story considering what he needs to work with for this issue.
This issue opens up with Sage, Cecilia Reyes and Beast dissecting Reavers that had recently attacked Krakoa. This isn’t related to the last issue of X-Force, which featured Wolverine and Quentin Quire fighting magical trees. There is, of course, a massive Marvel crossover event happening called Empyre, which has involved all sorts of alien and zombie-like creatures, and it’s not really clear as to where this story falls in that timeline. In fact, this story doesn’t even seem to be connected to Empyre, either — the events happening seem totally out of the left field. It’s an interesting issue, but it is not easy for the casual reader to pick up and get into the X-Force title.
As they are dissecting the reavers, little demon zombie children bust out (think Alien) and start murdering all of the X-Men. The art by Bazaldua and Guru-eFX is really fantastic, especially in bringing these little demonic creatures to life.
Unfortunately, Sage and Cecila Reyes are both instantly taken out by these creatures. I have a hard time believing either of those characters would go down easily — Cecilia Reyes generates protective forcefields around her body, and Sage is not a character who would easily go down in a fight. It could be theorized that the threat is so great that even these two characters couldn’t fight back, but then we see Nightcrawler and Jubilee doing backflips over the creatures after a few pages. The issue kills a lot of X-Men, and it feels like it is happening just because it can, overusing the “we can resurrect the X-Men” plot device.
Through the issue, the story continues to be about Colossus and Domino. It’s always nice to see these two together in a story. Colossus has taken some time off from being on the X-Force team to go work on a farm. He has no idea what is going on with the X-Men on Krakoa. In a way, I think the reader is supposed to be as confused as Colossus, but even he becomes a background character halfway through the story. Interestingly, Colossus appears on the cover of this issue along with Omega Red, who ironically is not in the issue.
X-Force #11 isn’t bad by any means, but it’s messy and hard to follow the plot. It seems out of the left field, especially considering my past praise of X-Force. It really feels like some project manager over at Marvel was like “Here, we are going to do this weird thing this month”. The dialogue and art are fantastic, but it is not an easy read for the casual reader.