Monday, October 31, 2011

X-Force Vol. 1 Angels & Demons Hardcover Review

X-Force Vol. 1 - Angels & Demons
Marvel Comics
144 pages
$19.99 (2008)
$15.99 (2009) TPB
ISBN 9780785135524

Contributors: Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Clayton Crain, and Cory Petit

Reprints: X-Force (2008) #1-6

Synopsis: William Stryker was an anti-mutant evangelist and his legacy is the paramilitary religious sect called the Purifiers.  They're actively targeting mutants for termination and have even infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. with a secret motive.  Cyclops tasks Wolverine with putting the X-Force team back together in an effort to stop the Purifiers latest plot, but this team is a decidedly different group of individuals and their mission is akin to a black ops assassination.  The team is comprised of
  • Wolverine - healing factor, unbreakable adamantium bones and retractable claws, skilled tracker
  • X-23 - clone of Wolverine with similar abilities and less conscience, hot chick
  • Warpath - Native American with enhanced speed, agility, and invulnerability
  • Wolfsbane - Irish werewolf raised by a strict Catholic priest, major guilt issues
  • Angel - billionaire playboy with wings, genetically modified by mutant evolutionist Apocalypse
It isn't long until the group is knee-deep in Purifier blood, but they never counted on the return of some of the most heinous villains from their past.  Will the group last long enough to accomplish their mission and how much emotional damage can these creatures sustain before giving in?

Pros: Bloody, good writing by Kyle & Yost, fascinating art by Crain - he does an impressive job of pencils/inks/computer colors, nice cliffhanger endings between issues, return of Archangel!, return of Nimrod/Bastion, Rob Liefeld never touched this project

Remember this showdown?
Cons: Crain's art is a bit too dark/murky at times and highly stylized, story is mostly action, could have used more recap on characters and plotlines (inherent problem in almost all modern X-books)

Bloody variant
Mike Tells It Straight: This initial story by the Kyle/Yost writing team brought X-Force back in a big way.  The bloody, excessive violence (not suitable for young readers) was very popular and is backed by an interesting plot, plus Clayton Crain's art is phenomenal.  Things happen a bit fast for new readers and some seriously old characters are brought back into play.  You'll enjoy the art regardless of the story which is heavily geared toward long-time X-Men readers based on the return of the many old characters. I was a huge Archangel fan and was stoked to see him return in a believable way.  This one gets a worthy recommendation.

TO BUY and Recommendations: