Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Kyle, Yost & Crain
Lots of blood, some plot, interesting character definitions and some strange developments. This issue really showcases just how bloodthirsty the X-Force team is. I’m not sure the mission and the character profiles all line up though. I guess this arc has some more room to grow into the story, but for now I am finding this series to be very lukewarm for me.
This issue continues the invasion of the Purifiers lair by Wolverine, X-23 and Warapth. You may recall that Wolfsbane was shot in the last issue. We find out in this issue that she got capped in her knee and is still alive.
Threatening to kill her, Wolverine surrenders, but X-23 has other plans. She detonates the explosives she had planted around the place earlier, without anyone else knowing and creating a ton of havoc. X-23 pursues, but the Purifier braintrust gets away with Wolfsbane. You could ask the question as to how she could sneak around planting explosives and not know Wolfsbane was there, but I wont be too picky.
Wolverine and company regroup to talk things over with Cyclops when Angel shows up and wants answers. He gets some lies and he gets some truth. Not sure if the plans are for him to get involved or not but one would think he will be involved.
The issue wraps up with Brother Craig interrogating his daughter, Wolfsbane, while Bastion orders a change of plans. He wants Wolfsbane dead, as he fears the X-Men coming to get her. It did seem odd that they wanted her alive seeing as how their M.O. is to kill the mutants. I could see using her as a bargaining chip earlier, but now that they are safe and snug at their base why would they want her to live? Also, the unveil a new secret weapon at the end of the comic to help create a little bit of mystery in the overall arc.
The issue is okay. It has some nice action and the trick with the detonator was cool, but the bottom line is that the story just isn’t all clicking for me yet. Part of this may have to do with the character portrayals.
X-23 has totally reverted back to just being a killer. She basically has no emotion. She doesn’t even take orders, she just announces her assessment and then acts. It’s so backwards from how she was at the end of the run in New X-Men. I just don’t buy it. She is acting like a robot.
Wolverine, you could argue, has no blueprint for the character, but in this one he just seems like a dimwitted failure. He isn’t let in on the plans of Cyclops, people on his team are doing whatever they want and he admits he stinks as a leader. This whole issue left me pondering how he is being used like this.
The other characters I don’t even care too much about. I mean, does it even make sense that Wolfsbane is acting alone with no parachute in this? What about Warpath? What exactly is his involvement that is so key in all of this? Perhaps these answers are to come in the remaining four issues of the arc.
I have mixed feelings about the artwork. The style is great. I liked facial expressions of the Purifiers and the look of Bastion. Even the violence and the darkness is failry appealing. However, the X-23 depiction falls short for what I perceive the character. She looks way too old. In some panels she looks a decade older than Wolfsbane to me. The height differentials are good, she looks smaller but her face just makes her look way older than she should be. I found it to be surprising.
Sum it all up and you have some bloody fighting with some good tricks pulled on the Purifiers and some grand plan hints on the side of the Purifiers along with some solid artwork. Take away the odd usage of Wolverine and X-23 and some points of question with the other character’s involvement and you have a slightly above good comic. Probably the real question is whether or not you like blood. If you do then you found yourself some fun. If not, well, you may want to pass.
3 out of 5 geek goggles.