X-Force head to the South American nation of Terra Verde to deal with a threat based on a dangerous new organic technology that could threaten the nation of Krakoa but could the hubris of one of its own ultimately pave a road to hell for mutantkind?
On the face of it, the story is pretty simple, X-Force are sent to deal with a new organic tech threat called Telefloronics in a South American country that has not signed the agreement but are about to with Krakoa. X-Force is sent in when things go awry and kidnapping is involved but it’s so much more than that…
An absolute morass of morality questions is what Benjamin Percy manages to bring to the fore in this issue. Up until this point, X-Force has been pretty reactionary only and has responded to hurts visited upon Krakoa by the outside world. Percy flips the switch here and we are sucked into a mission that is most definitely purely in the self-serving interests of the mutant nation as Hank McCoy once again arrogantly (in my opinion) tampers with things in the name of “the greater good.”
We see just how hard Hank pulls those strings from behind the scenes as the “conductor” of these operations and clever orchestra analogy aside this issue actually upset me more than it should have. I found myself going “God Dammit!! AGAIN McCoy?!!!” by the time I got to the last page. Beast has the huge responsibility of interpreting all information for Krakoa and given that he is one of the smartest people in the 616 it’s understandable that he would be appointed to do so. The problem with this as anyone who knows about Beast’s meddling in the past is that no matter how many steps you think you are ahead there are always unforeseen consequences… and Beast making certain unilateral decisions without informing ANYONE else on Krakoa means that in his zeal to prevent an even bigger threat to mutant-kind (in this instance the idea is that telefloronic tech could create the organic equivalent of an Omega Sentinel cycle leading to the destruction of mutantkind) has in fact started that cycle himself!
The rest of the X-Force team is not really major features this issue but function merely as part of the mechanics of telling the story which works for think the team was trying to focus on which is the morality of what X-Force does which is even more questionable after this issue than ever before. The only other two characters that have real moments, in my opinion, are Jean Grey who questions Hanks methods but ultimately tows the line and Black Tom fairly early on in the issue who is serving as Xavier’s personal bodyguard while visiting Terra Verde.
Adding to the moral ambiguity of everything going on is a rather shocking second Data page called Xavier’s Confession…and without getting too spoiler-y it really frames the fact that Charles Xavier wanted to be made a martyr…and that’s something to think about…and it raises a lot of other questions about his assassination too.
Getting to the art. This issue gives us a look at Stephen Segovia drawing mutants ahead of his debut as the artist for the upcoming Hellions title. He does a solid job. It’s not as detailed as Cassara’s work and the fit with GURU-eFX on colors (which are a bit less gritty than in previous issues) works but for me, it’s just not as engaging as the regular artist and colorists work on the book and feels a little more generic than the stylized look and feel we have had up until now. My personal preferences aside the pacing and paneling as conveyed by the art are good as long as you pay attention to the jump back and forth in time early in the issue and I am looking forward to seeing what Segovia does on the new DOX book.
Lettering from Caramagna is spread out and works well in helping tell the story without interfering with the impact of the image which I really like. I have really loved Dustin Weavers covers so far on this series and this one is no exception… The casual way Beast is reading a book and facing off against an enemy is on the face of things quite humorous but once you read the issue it can also be read as arrogance which really ties to the content in the issue.
X-Force #6 pulls you deeper into the morally grey world of Krakoa's black bag operations team in a story that uses Beast as the focus to ultimately ask questions about the morality of what X-Force is doing... It really asks: is "a little evil" in the name of the "greater good" really how things need to be done? You decide.
X-FORCE #6: The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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