X-Force wraps up a dangling plot from X-Force #21 this week while building on a lot of what has come before. Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill are closing the door on Man-Slaughter at this point, but who is pulling the strings? Also, is Beast still a monster, and can Wolverine connect with a living plant anymore?
We get all those answers and more as Krakoa is attacked at a level that could practically sustain a mini-event of its own. X-Force #22 opens with seeds being planted by a certain masked man this week, which leads to a full-frontal assault through plant-based enemies. Once again, Beast’s actions feel like they’re part of the bigger picture here after what he did, and Percy continues to play with that. In fact, Beast shows once again he lacks empathy for other living creatures in a delightful scene that plays out like a comedy bit.
At its root, this story is about a man who seeks revenge but is mislead to believe it’s the mutant’s fault. It’s a simple plot for sure, but it’s dressed up well enough with plenty of action and solid montages.
Gill and color artist GURU-eFX are tasked with showing a lot going on all at once multiple times. At first, it’s in Sage’s computer terminal as we see plants being used as a weapon over two pages. Later, it’s a multi-speared attack on Krakoa. In the latter, Gill uses the roots of Krakoa itself to form panels, which is a neat effect and ties well with the general plant theme of the issue. Details in the main enemy are quite good too, with a neat floral design woven into his chest that works well.
Throw in some reanimated dead corpses and Percy and Gill whip up a good finale to the issue. This issue may be light on mutant sightings; we do get Domino for a spell at the end, but overall it feels right at home in Percy’s larger tale. Whether or not we see Beast get his comeuppance remains to be seen, but it’s fun to see him be a jerk amongst mostly good heroes in this book.
Overall, X-Force #22 is a nice final issue to a mini-story arc that plays around with plant-based enemies. It may hold a rather simplistic plot device, but Percy is good at littering his stories with interesting personalities and colorful moments.
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