X-FORCE #13 (X of Swords Part 4)
Logan's quest to retrieve a Muramasa blade has led him to Hell and Muramasa himself. Now he just has to get a Muramasa Blade while contending with demonic hand ninjas, the Demon called The Beast, and the unbeaten former champion of Arrako himself Solem...
Wait stop right here…yes I’m talking to YOU. Wolverine #6 and X-Force #13 are parts 3 and 4 respectively of “X Of Swords” as well as one continuous story. If, for some reason, you haven’t read Wolverine #6 rather go do that first before proceeding…
Right so where were we? Oh yes Hell. Percy takes us backward in time then marches us forward to the present as Wolverine finds himself facing demonically upgraded demon Hand ninja’s only to fall face-first through the gateway and straight into the fires of hell (that’s gonna leave a mark) as he seeks out Muramasa who has been made to forge weaponry for the demonic hordes of the demon called The Beast as a type of punishment for depriving hell of souls when forging them into weapons. While the narrative path is fairly straightforward, Percy mixes up the direct narrative line by juxtaposing Logan’s journey to this point (see Wolverine #6) with the journey of Wolverine’s Arrako adversary Solem who has also found his way to Hell in a quest for a Muramasa blade.
So let’s talk about Solem. He may actually be the perfect foil for Logan. Adamantium skin aside, Solem has a troubadour’s confidence and humor about him, even though Percy makes it clear how deadly he is, that borders on being outright charming and so opposite of Logan’s no nonsense approach. Also, Solem has never properly lost in combat while Logan has lost many times (maybe it’s just me but I think that’s going to be important later). Solem likes to talk, Logan does not. There are all these opposites Percy confronts us with even a literal opposite of the two characters’ physiology as Solem’s outside is adamantium while Logan’s insides are adamantium. The two work together to face the immediate threat of The Beast and demonic hand and the fact that they aren’t at each other’s throats like say Wolverine and Sabretooth is actually refreshing. Along the way, we get some insight into Muramasa and his otherworldly weapon forging skills, another data page about a realm in Otherworld (lots of forges mentioned in this book and no doubt will have a role play along the way), and also a bargain made between Logan and his deadly opposite number in the heat of combat that ultimately sees both Solem and Logan retrieve a Muramasa blade… but at what cost?
Victor Bogdanovic is on art duties and does a solid job with the linework, some clever paneling, and some good dynamic action moments, There’s a really great splash of Wolverine facing them damn ninjas too. Matt Wilson makes us feel the fiery heat of hell with multiple hot shades of yellow, orange and red and the color palette really does a great job of placing the reader in the moment and overall the art serves the story well .Dustin Weaver continues to deliver A-class covers in this series and this issue is no exception.
X-Force #13 is more in the moment focused as an issue than Wolverine #6 which was part one of this two-part story. It's an issue that again is a push along narratively to place Wolverine on the board for the contest. Percy and the art team make it interesting though by exploring the differences between Logan and Solem against a background that sees them work together while throwing in some hell-fueled action to boot.
X-FORCE #13 (X Of Swords Part 4) Devils, Demons and Dirty Deals
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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