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X-Force #7

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Mike Choi, Sonia Oback (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: X-Force #7 arrives in stores tomorrow, September 24.

Plot: The enemies of mutant-kind are gathering, even the dead ones, to launch an assault on mutants everywhere. It's a War on Mutants and X-Force is busy… keeping its teammates from killing each other.

Commentary: Since issue #5, I've been looking forward to this series more and more each month. It has grit, ultra violence, and all of the dark elements of the X-Men mythos. Moreover, the creative team's narrative is refreshing and immediate, taking familiar characters and developing them away from the massive polemic of the other X-titles to focus on eliminating a select group of truly awful beings.

In this issue, two things remained with me after reading it: Sonia Oback's colors, and an exacting line of dialogue.

First, Mike Choi's art is clean, highly detailed, and effecting. A scene of Wolfsbane gnawing on Wolverine's forearm is as painful looking in its perspective as it is in depiction. Choi positioning of characters and panel perspective create a cinematic and lush world. Oback, who has colored all of Choi's Marvel work, is essential to this effect. The texture of X-23's rosy cheek adds depth in its 3-dimensionality. From flesh tones to mountaintops, Oback is as important in the creation of Choi's powerful art as his pencils that outline the snowy peak's design.

As for dialogue, Kyle and Yost continue to build the moody tension between the team's members. Yet the villain, a recently resurrected Graydon Creed, utters the most powerful line: "They don't want you to know that mutant terrorists are creating training camps right here in the United States." Why lie when the truth is more useful. Cyclops' consolidation of the X-Men in San Francisco, his organization of X-Force, and the building of headquarters to train an army of mutants against those who would kill them, is no different than any other paramilitary force. The established order seeks to undermine the rights of a particular group, this case homo superiors. That group then arms itself to combat these forces, and simultaneously all others who think and act in unison with that established order. Although Cyclops is not likely to be drawn to using terrorism to achieve his goal of mutant preservation, the existence of this force possesses a standing and legitimate threat to the United States.

The real world analysis of this comic universe makes the villains of X-Force all the more real, and all the more frightening. Their villains are the people trying to keep us safe. Of course, Graydon Creed, Reverend Stryker, and Cameron Hodge are being controlled by the genocidal Bastion, but their status in the real world is one of the protector, pastor, and supervisor. When you can't trust the ones looking out for you, where do you turn? X-Force? We shall see.

Final Word: Mike Choi Art. Archangel vs. Wolfsbane. Awesome!







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