The Story So Far:
X-Force #2 finds the X-force pushed into an alliance with Deathlok, and Kid Cable due to circumstance. The President of Transia declared in X-Force #1 that Transia would be a haven for mutants thus mutants flocked to the country.
As often happens in the world, what the president of the country declares matters less than what the military leaders of that country think. Although the high-end tech and weapons that have given Transia a military boost were in exchange for the promise of mutant refuge, those same high-tech weapons were being used by Commandant Constantin to hunt down and kill every mutant in Transia. Needless to say. Once the President found out, he was less than pleased.
A bizarre coincidence and the rash actions of Kid Cable provided Constantin all the evidence he needed to turn public sentiment against all mutants and to usurp power. By framing Kid Cable for the assassination of the President, Constantin was able to leverage circumstance to declare Martial Law and death to all Mutants within Transia’s borders. Unfortunately for Constantin. The X-Force is within Transia’s borders, and they don’t take kindly to mutant genocide.
Publisher: Marvel Series Rating: 3.5/5 Issue Rating: 4/5
Writer: Ed Brisson Penciler: Dylan Burnett Cover Artist: Pepe Larraz
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
X-Force #2 explodes from the start in true X-force style. With new allies Kid Cable and Deathlok, the X-force attacks a convoy in East Transia that contains mutants who have been rounded up. Trading bullets with the military doesn’t stop Domino from calling Kid Cable on his culpability for the current state of affairs and in the heat of battle Cannonball finds it harder and harder to remind his teammates that they are not killers. The pain of their lost mentor and the bitter taste of a forced alliance with his killer is wearing on all of them.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read X-Force #2 There May Be Spoilers Below
The Enemy of My Enemy
Only the threat of national mutant genocide is keeping some members of the X-Force from punching Kid Cable’s ticket, but that doesn’t mean this alliance is going smoothly. Shatterstar and Warpath are walking balls of anger and grief. Domino is keeping her emotions in check, but it’s clear that she’s not inclined to trust Kid Cable. Cannonball is doing all he can to keep everyone focused on the real mission. To further complicate matters, the X-Men are missing and safe places for mutant refugees are few and far between.
For his part, Kid Cable isn’t doing much to endear himself to the group, but he’s willing to clean up his mess. They uneasy alliance finds among the military guards an unexpected ally in a mutant that was somehow able to escape detection. They formulate a plan and put it in motions just before Constantin’s Mechs attack the refugee camp. It’s all hands on deck as X-Force fights to protect those who can’t defend themselves but how long can the X-Force last against technology from the future?
Familiar Evil & Personal Hatred
Constantin discovers that wiping the “mutant disease” as he puts it from his country is not as easy as he thought. We learn that his fight isn’t just a xenophobic fear but a personal hatred for what he feels mutants have done to his son. He looks to the help of a madman stranded out of time. Those who read EXtermination will recognize this insane castaway.
Constantin’s ally explains to Constantin that mutants are not contagious and one doesn’t become a mutant via contact. Constantin takes offense at the idea, and we see the very personal reason that he is determined to wipe out all mutants. The fact that he has acquired such a potent ally is going to prove to be as much a difficulty for the X-Force as it will be a shock to see him again.
Art & Writing
I’m still not completely in love with Dylan Burnett’s art style, but there is no denying how perfect his style is for the raw and fierce action scenes that are so purely X-Force. The first two-page spread in X-Force #2 is a testament to the strength of his style. It is a glorious battle scene.
There is less dark humor in X-Force #2 than there was in the last issue, but that is because there’s nothing funny about genocide. Brisson’s writes solid emotion into every major character in this issue. Warpath’s fury at the traitorous mutant soldier, Shatterstar’s anguish over the loss of Cable, Kid Cable’s dark determination, Constantin’s blind hatred—each of them communicated distinctly and unflinchingly. Brisson writes these emotions the way our characters would feel them—raw and honest.
The story still leaves newbie in the dust because understanding the insanity of Constantin’s ally and the predicament that he’s in, gives a depth to the story that will not be there for the new reader. While I still miss the softer lines of Baldeon’s Domino, I must give this series credit. The paring of writing and art are an undeniable strength of this series. I’m here for every issue.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
Marvel’s age recommendation is 12 + for X-Force #2, and while I wouldn’t necessarily alter that, I’d advise some caution for tweens based on the level of violence. Genocide isn’t exactly gentle and opposing a violent tyrant intent of wiping people off the face of the Earth simply for being born different requires fierce opposition.
Best Line: “I may not be exactly like the Cable you all know and love… but I’m the Cable you’ve got.”
Why: Kid Cable understands that he’s ripped the hearts out of these people who have done nothing to him. He’s not proud of that fact, but he sees his actions as necessary. He’s not backing down. We get a sense he has honor and maybe somewhere deeper in, a heart.
Next Issue: February 27, 2019