The Deal: The X-Men's assassination squad — aka X-Force — is back with a brand-new series (the last series ended a few months ago) featuring three new members. This time around, X-Force is a secret even to the leader of the X-Men — Cyclops — who formed the last iteration of the crew. And this issue starts out with the team hunting a new/old target.
The Bad: I always got a lot of crap for saying that the last X-Force series was one of the best comics Marvel was publishing at the time. For many, especially critics, the book was a senseless blood fest, showcasing violent acts on every page in place of real character development. The thing was ... that description was pretty accurate, but the comic was also action-packed, it frequently explored themes like how killing impacts the killer, and it was fun. This new version of the book, however, isn't much fun at all ... so far. That probably has a lot to do with the cast, which is made up of uninteresting characters like the boring Fantomex, the oversaturated Deadpool and the one-note Psylocke, among others. I'll give writer Rick Remender a little leeway; maybe he hasn't filled out the team all the way just yet. I'm hoping new additions to the roster can wipe away some of the "blah" hanging over this title. And I'm praying that Remender doesn't go off the rails and screw things up like he did in the pages of The Punisher. (Franken-Castle, anyone?)
The Good: The art, by Jerome Opeña, is pretty much a revelation. His style is gritty (think Joe Kubert) mixed with a European flair. I hope he can keep up with a monthly grind. I'd hate to see a fill-in issue drawn by Ron Frenz or somebody like that.
The Verdict: The comic was a little dry, but I'll give it a few issues before I drop it.
Random Comic News
If you're up for a road trip, hop on over to Myrtle Beach from Oct. 22-24 to attend X-Con World. A convention that promises to focus on comics, gaming, sci-fi and more, X-Con is scheduled to feature big-time guests like comic writer Jonathan Hickman, writer Tim Seeley, artist Sanford Greene, actress Sarah Douglas and more. For more info, visit www.xconworld.com.
Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.