The enemies of Krakoa continue their relentless attempts to destabilize the fledgling mutant nation, and while the council approves of a new type of X-Force to investigate and face these threats it's clear that Krakoa's enemies are precise, well trained and deadly efficient...
This continues to be an absolutely sterling book. Percy again has the strong Law & Order feel but balances that with engaging storytelling that runs the full emotional gamut from absolutely laugh out loud moments like the casual ribbing between characters like Logan and Forge to complete horror by the last page as tragedy strikes! In between, we get Greek mythology used as a metaphor to explain the type of X-Force that the nation must have, Jean Grey creating psionic playback of a “crime scene” as Beast and Sage do forensic work, to amazing new tech from Forge and deadly action from a highly-skilled but still faceless enemy that will stop at nothing to bring the nation of Krakoa to its knees by assaulting Krakoa on multiple fronts, including financially and physically.
The data pages are a mixed bag of both new information explaining Xavier’s wealth (Kudos to whoever cooked up those company names it’s a clever homage!) to Forge’s diary which is both informational and simultaneously hilarious in its casual frankness.
Percy really is bringing his A-game on this series and this issue is no exception. It’s interesting how almost every week this book addresses questions I have seen from fans in an intuitive way that fits into the story organically like the bath full of adamantium as an example and Percy using Jean to tell the more very cavalier former heavies on the council to never assume that because of resurrection the nation is by no means invulnerable and in fact events of the whole issue punctuate that statement again and again.
Being able to tell a serious story but still slide casual humor into that storytelling without it seeming out of place is a skill and Percy does it perfectly here. Make no mistake it’s a serious book telling a serious story but Percy tempers that with well-written dialogue and dotted personal humor that feels organic and natural making it perhaps the most well-rounded issue from a writing point of view for me so far in the series.
Joshua Cassara continues to be impressive four issues in, again not a lot of splashes this issue but rather well paneled dynamic and detailed pages that really do a great job controlling the pace of the issue, I have to highlight several partial facial panels (Mystique and Jean at council, Wolverine later in the issue) that do a superb job of conveying the emotions and tone of the moment.
Coloring is excellent and if both White and GURU-eFX worked on this book it’s a seamless transition and color match, the Jean Grey psychic magenta as I like to call it was my favorite use of color this issue. Lettering by Caramagna never detracts from the art and once again Dustin Weaver brings the heat with a great cover that serves to punctuate the dual elements of this new team by using the characters of Domino and Sage to illustrate “The Head and The Hammer” parts of X-Force
X-Force #4 blazes forward in an issue that has everything from great humor to gut-wrenching tragedy and reminds us all that the status quo may have changed but mutant-kind remains in the crosshairs of ruthless, deadly and capable enemies. Thrilling!
X-Force #4: The Head and the Hammer
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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