Technically, I have not yet finished X-Force, but for all intents and purposes, the original X-Force line is done and X-Statix starts up but calls itself X-Force for a while. So I am gonna say I finished X-Force volume 1.

How was it? Umm, as with all these series it is a bit of an up and down affair. The series comes immediately out of the New Mutants title, as Rob Liefeld takes his love for big guns, big muscles, and misshapen anatomy to the next step. Say hello to 90s comics. I'm not gonna say I hated Liefeld's stuff. But story-wise he makes some poor creations that would just get cast off down the road due to their incongruity with the X-Men line. The Externals for example.

Look at those dimensions on Cable. Liefeld's always good for a laugh.

Anyhow, Liefeld throws off most of the New Mutants except for Cannonball and Boomer while keeping their mysterious leader Cable, he of the big guns and no motivation. He brings in Warpath (angry), Feral (angrier), Shatterstar (he just wants to stab something), and Siryn (more angst). He splits X-Force off from the rest of the X-Family, as they are supposed to be ruder and cruder in their ways of fighting the "good" fight. So yeah, you can probably guess how this goes. Lots of fighting, lots of anger, kinda tiring. Oh and Liefeld's art is just all over the place. People loved him back then, but have wised up since. He's kinda a mix between Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane, but the combination does not make for a good one.

So, he goes off and starts his self-owned materials, Youngblood etc., with the rest of the big artists of the time over at Image, and X-Force gets taken over by Fabian Nicieza. Tony Daniel does some entertaining art within this period and the title overall is okay, but it mostly just holds onto the Liefeld status quo until Jeph Loeb steps in and makes X-Force into X-Men Lite. This period is entertaining if only for the characters. The stories are pretty much expected and they live in the mansion as basically junior X-Men, so it just doesn't feel unique. Adam Pollina's art though is highly enjoyable.

ooo, more wrap-around covers

Eventually the team finally splits off from Cable under the writing of John Francis Moore. It was a really long time coming, and boy was it needed. They set off on the road and after a few fun furious adventures on the way, come to San Fransisco to make their own name. I probably liked them on the road best of all. They also finally bring back Dani Moonstar from the New Mutants and by this time Proudstar (formerly Warpath) has gone through the necessary growth to make him a more worthwhile character. Sunspot finally gets his character redeemed even from back in the New Mutants days. The waste of space that was Shatterstar is gone (I really wanted to like him, but they never did anything worthwhile with him). So yes, this was a good point. Pollina eventually steps down on art and Jim Cheung steps in on art duties. I have grown to like Cheung's newer stuff, so it was fun to see him a bit earlier in his career. I didn't like it as much as Pollina, but it was clean and concise and good.

So then, as a number of the lesser titles were struggling, Warren Ellis was brought in to do a "Revolution" for X-Force (along with Generation X and X-Man). There were very obvious changes Ellis was looking for. He wanted to make the series edgier, darker, and give it more of a distinct area of operation. So he brings in (gasp) Peter Wisdom to bring X-Force into the world of spy games and black ops, etc. I think the angle was good, but the damage done to the characters was poor. I just couldn't see the characters taking the path Ellis sets up. And the "edgier" moments felt too forced. But, it didn't matter for long because Ellis couldn't save the series so it got cancelled about a year later along with the two other titles he "revolutionized".

Hmm, this review is missing quite a bit... Oh well.

aww, such a happy looking image for the end

1 comment:

Stuart said...

When do I get my next comic review? Angst!