Someone's killing mutant allies in ways that defy the odds across the globe. Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino hasn't been herself since coming back from the mission that literally skinned her alive: her luck has left her. Could this mystery assassin be the answer as to why and will Domino survive when finding the answers?
Benjamin Percy starts us off bloody in this issue as mutant allies drop like flies on the opening pages. It’s paced in an interesting way as it sets up the storyline immediately with the first couple of pages but then slows the pace down before ramping up the action again. Domino’s luck’s gone and it looks like someone else has somehow stolen it and is using it to kill mutant allies.
This issue has a bit of everything: murder, action, and emotional trauma. Let’s talk about trauma first. Percy uses Domino’s and Colossus’s respective trauma as parallels of each other to ask some interesting questions. Neena went on a mission for Krakoa, was caught and literally skinned alive, she lived and is now healing from those physical injuries while dealing with the psychological ones. Colossus also went on a mission for Krakoa and was badly injured (shot by a tank) in the effort, he is also healed but is disturbed by the whole experience. Percy examines this in a moonlight encounter on the beach (sorry shippers no funny business) between Neena and her former lover Piotr Rasputin.
Percy seems to posit through Neena’s introspection that sometimes the past scars of experience are important to a person’s historical experience of the world and their ability to learn from them and that this new status quo of almost no consequences from death is actually not as carefree as one may have thought before, as seen through Colossus’s discomfort after being healed with no scars. It’s the first time that the new status quo is questioned in this kind introspective way by Krakoan natives and it’s deftly handled in a wistful and melancholy tone which really helps balance the issue out as more than “a hey you guys lets go get ’em” book, which really appeals to me.
There is action though as Domino and Sage do the leg work which takes Domino to Tahoe and brings here face to face er mask with the assassin. Domino manages to save the next target and it’s a James Bondesque confrontation on skis (it reminded me of For Your Eyes Only) as Domino pursues her faceless enemy but ultimately loses her in a case of bad luck for her and good luck for the assassin whose face is revealed on the last page and its a shocker!
The mutant cast is limited on the art page side as it’s really Domino, Colossus, and Sage (who’s instrumental in gathering the intel for Domino to catch up with this thief of luck) but while that’s going on Percy gives us some insight into what old Beast is doing on the data pages side. I have to say Percy really has captured Forge’s and Beast’s voice well in this series and the documented exchange is both funny and also menacing as Hank continues to explore clandestine avenues to extract information from key human and superhuman locations with Forge’s help.
Jan Bazaldua steps in after Stephen Segovia on the last issue as the artist and she does a solid job. Bazaldua was the artist on Mr. and Mrs. X as well as Domino’s late, lamented solo title. Her main character’s facial expressions are good and her paneling and splash page work is dynamic and convey motion and pace well. I’m particularly fond of how he laid out the ski scene. Once again Guru-eFX on colors like previously and again it’s a little brighter than Dean White’s coloring but it still feels like they’ve maintained an overall symmetrical feel for the series when it comes to the coloring which I like personally.
Interesting to note that all the lettered sound effects are colorless and black-bordered white through the issue… I don’t know if I have just noticed this now or not but I like that particularly in the ski scene it blends into the color scheme of the paneling really well and I think that’s a nice touch by VC’s Joe Caramagna.
It’s no secret I am a huge Domino fan and love it when she gets a cover. This one is truly excellent as Edgar Delgado uses a simple color palette to emphasize Weavers striking imagery and symbolism of the cover.
X-Force #7 is a brilliant balance of James Bondesque shenanigans and emotional introspection and continues to be the best book in the line in my opinion.
X-Force #7: When Luck Runs Out Do It The Old Fashioned Way
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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