Professor Xavier is dead, Cerebro destroyed, and while Magneto charges Jean Grey with his resurrection, Wolverine goes hunting as several mutants work to try and piece together the who and the how of this heinous act of aggression against Krakoa...
Issue two picks up where issue one left of without skipping a beat and we dive right in as an icy calm Magneto charges Jean Grey with the resurrection of their fallen figurehead, a task which requires that a backup Cerebro be first bought online with the assistance of one Hank McCoy aka Beast.
This issue then splits the reader’s attention as Wolverine heads off to hunt down answers and Domino in the field while Sage and Jean conduct an investigative physical and psychic autopsy/inquiry on the remains of both the living and dead assassins and we learn that how they managed to attack is only skin deep (the answers pretty gross and upsetting tbh) What’s striking for me is that this isn’t a traditionally formed X-Force team but rather a collection of individuals that come together to find answers and do the necessary which is and isn’t akin to previous incarnations of X-Force.
Percy’s character writing is excellent and his Quentin Quire, in particular, feels spot on: arrogant, snarky and belligerent in his own self-belief yet Percy balances that with some very real emotion and fear when Quire finds himself in a crisis situation without his abilities. It isn’t all doom and gloom though as Percy slips some solid humor into the mix with some of the exchanges between Wolverine and Quire.
I really enjoyed the pacing and mood of the issue. X-force #2 has the gritty noir feel of a police procedural with solid character voice writing and interaction that never lets you get comfortable as it keeps the tension high from beginning to the last shocking (especially for me as a fan of the character we see) page. This procedural feel is emphasized in the tone of the data pages which read like forensic and intelligence reports. The mystery element also remains present..Who are these faceless human enemies that did these terrible things?
Joshua Cassara impressed me the first issue but in this one, he completely blows me away with several amazing splash pages and excellent detail in practically every single panel that perfectly compliments the darker feel of the writing. There isn’t a single panel in this issue that feels like a throwaway and that’s impressive as everything from splash pages to his fight scenes ooze detail and immerse you in the story. Then add Dean White’s color palette which is muted but by no means dull as his use of colors gives each panel a visceral disturbing physicality especially when it comes to the many various bits and pieces of raw anatomy we get exposed to in this issue.
This is a perfect marriage of artist and colorist for me as White’s colors elevate Cassara’s already great detailed gritty art to something truly sublime. There are several amazing splashes but two, in particular, one involving Jean
Grey and another on the last page that are truly striking. Lettering is once again solid and well placed from Caramagna and I enjoyed the bright contrast of Dustin Weavers cover to the interior art.
X-Force kicks the Law & Order procedural feel, Percy promised leading into the run, into high gear as the characters involved go looking for answers in a dark tension noir-like book with art that feels perfectly complementary to the writing and the story being told. It grabs you tightly in its sharp-clawed hands and doesn't let go not even for a second.
X-Force #2: Deliver Our Souls From The Sword
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.4/109.4/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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