While Sage and Domino are teaming up to rescue their teammates, Mikhail is about to add another layer of subtext to his already-difficult sibling situation.
Percy has flicked the tip of his finger against the domino sculpture he has spent the last three years building and the pieces are falling down with startling rapidity, revealing a pattern that is as complex and beautiful in its denouement as it was careful in its construction. Without saying too much, the ending of this story was enmeshed in its beginning and longtime readers are about to be wonderfully rewarded for their patience.
The relationships between characters are central to the success of this story, and none of what Percy is attempting would have worked if he hadn’t been so focused on laying down these details across the length of the series. Highlights in this particular issue include Domino gaining insight from the process of recovering from her trauma. Her self-exploration and the struggles over identity that she’s been dealing with due to the frank torture she endured all those issues ago have led to her current insight and success.
So many writers (often those who haven’t themselves experienced trauma) give credit to the fact that many survivors emerge from a traumatic event stronger to the events themselves, which is frankly nonsense.
Trauma is trauma. It brutalizes you. Whether that trauma is due to war, a car accident, torture, or rape, you are less afterwards than you were before. Survivors are the people who rebuild themselves from the ruins and that’s not a fast process. A rape lasts maybe twenty minutes. Recovering from a rape can take twenty years. A bullet can alter the trajectory of your life in seconds. If you are eventually stronger than you were before, you don’t credit the bullet. It still would have been better never to have been shot.
The fact that Percy understands this is a large part of his brilliance. He spent maybe five issues putting Sage and Domino through their various wringers. Then he spent thirty issues observing their recovery. Now they are themselves: marked, weaker in some places, stronger in others, and they’re ready to rescue their friends and bring the fight to the people who deserve it.
Sage’s insights about swerving an addiction, and Domino’s ability to recognize that, sometimes, getting winged in the thigh is luck, are both nice little nods to their histories and also slivers of frank, hard-won wisdom.
I’d also like to point out that this is the only X-Book released this week that passes the Bechdel Test.The fact that this story focused on a female friendship/working relationship so brilliantly was absolutely wonderful. This relationship elevated this story above the other X-Books that were released this week.
Robert Gill’s art was laden with its usual grim beauty, and it carried his signature mixture of disgusting imagery, violent brutality, and judiciously used slivers of humor. Guru-efx’s colors added mood and emotional heft to the story.
This is a brilliantly successful, pulse-pounding, psychologically apt book. It was the strongest release of the week.
This is a brilliantly successful, pulse-pounding, psychologically apt book. It was the strongest release of the week
ICYMI! X-Force #44 :Lucky Shot
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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