While Kid Cable succumbs to the techno-organic virus and Stryfe reprograms Rachel into (yet another) killing machine far in the future the members of X-Force battle their boredom while Deathlock painstakingly rebuilds the time-travel device which will either save them all or doom them to a very messy fate.
Now that we know that this series was made with a built-in expiration date (due to everything being reset for Hickman’s launch this summer) the series makes considerably more sense. This is part of the X-Men franchise getting its house in order; tying off loose ends and setting the stage. One absolutely enormous loose end (which has become increasingly more tattered over the last two years) is the character Rachel Grey. She’s supposedly one of the most powerful psychics in the universe. She was the only host the Phoenix had who wasn’t completely overwhelmed and consumed by the power. More than that, she thrived in that power. She lived with it for years, in continuity, becoming a powerful X-Man, the power house of Excalibur, and (eventually) the savior of the world when she led the Akansi Clan. And, since the launch of X-Men Gold, she has developed the psychic equivalent of a glass jaw and been forcibly regressed to Hound three times. She also dated Nightcrawler, who is well over a decade too old for her and basically her interdimensional uncle. That’s neither here nor there, but still, the last year’s have been… quite the comedown for fans of the character.
Make no mistake, she’s still helpless and brainwashed in this issue, but at least it looks like Brisson is going to build her back up again before he closes the door on the series.
This issue basically involved a lot of waiting around. X-Force waits (a month) for Deathlock to work. Stryfe waits for the techno-organic virus to destroy his twin. This pacing is not a mistake, nor does it do a disservice to the story. There are a great many wonderful character moments (one scene with Warpath and Boom Boom was especially effective. Did you know that Warpath was a fan of Romance novels?) and the plot does move forward in some important and satisfying ways.
There are some very big explosions coming, and I am excited to see them.
The art continues to be perfectly suited for the material. Dylan Burnett’s sketchy, intentionally-grotesque line-work enhances the tone of the story and is, frankly, a pleasure to see on the page.
All things considered, this was a satisfying issue — a long fuse leading up to the BANG!
The pace of this issue allowed for moments of superb characterisation while not stinting on moments of real dread. The art is effective and stylish. This is a series to pick up.
X-Force #7: Love is a Virus
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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