The Cerebro Sword is in the hands of Krakoa's enemies which now include a mutant and while these enemies align the arrogance and hubris of one of X-Force's leaders may help destroy everything the fledgling nation has built...
Benjamin Percy splits the issue between showing us the alignment of Krakoa’s enemies as Mikhail Rasputin seeks to use the stolen Sword and information to align himself with the anti-mutant organization that is Xeno that he has had an issue with in the past. It’s interesting how Percy contrasts what the enemies are of Krakoa are doing versus what the mutant nation does in reaction to the theft of the sword and loss of precious intel and that focal point is one Dr. Henry McCoy aka Beast.
Beast’s reputation for doing damage by trying to do good is well-documented and we have had a decent dose of it in this run but in this issue, Percy really opens the taps up and leans into Beast’s hubris. Sage points out early in the issue that for all the good Beast tries to do, he always manages to do some evil at the same time. By the time we reach the end of the issue I am sure many people reading will be wanting to do what Wolverine does on discovering just how far Beast has taken the manipulation of information against his own people. I mentioned a contrast earlier. We get to watch Mikhail and Xeno align their interests even though they are uneasy in that alliance whereas we see mutantkind facing fractured partnerships because of Beast’s actions.
Percy also gives us some strong, solid moments of interpersonal interaction between the rest of the cast and there is some good dialogue in the supporting cast which in this instance is Quire, Domino, Kayla, Omega Red, and even Colossus. However, for me, the focus is very much on how Beast takes a difficult situation and makes it twenty times worse, so much so that Logan has to turn to Jean Grey for help to get to the truth while giving us our first allusion to X OF SWORDS!
Oscar Bazaldua is on art duty again and as usual, he proves he is a master of dynamic movement and paneling. Guru-eFX is a good match colorwise for Bazadua’s art and while there are no full-page splashes ( with maybe the exception page 2 which is beautifully drawn and colored) there are many key panels that are a testament to how good the combination of these two artists is. Omega Red and an evil Xeno henchmen are particularly menacing as is the very powerfully drawn Rasputin whose calm arrogance is compelling and horrifying all at once. Once again superb lettering and sound effects from Joe Caramagna and another superb cover from Dustin Nguyen.
If the purpose of a comic is to elicit an emotional reaction, then X-Force #12 is a perfect comic because it does just that. The creative team has put together an issue that is certain to elicit exceptionally strong responses from the audience. It certainly did from me.
X-FORCE #12: Deadly Alliances and Pure Hubris
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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