What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Force #6! If I wasn’t already hooked on X-Force already, this creative team knocked it out of the park in the past couple of issue. You couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling chapter than what we got from the outcome of Domino being set on her path of vengeance. The mutant’s enemies may have grown bolder, but they are not prepared for what happens when “No killing humans” stops applying to everyone.
With all the action delivered to us in the first five issues of this book, it was about time we could get to a chapter where there was a stronger focus placed on the intelligence half of this new iteration of X-Force. The simple fact that there is counterintelligence is one of the biggest pluses to this new book. It sucks to say, but the hard truth is that we have been there and done that when this tends to be the kind of book which only offers murdering your enemies before they reach your doorstep. Now the idea has evolved to the point where the X-Men are genuinely looking at their enemies and trying to shut them down before they become too much of a problem. Well, not to say that some haven’t already become that. That is the greatest statement you could make about this new nation adapting to the world around them.
One thing I enjoyed more than anything in this chapter is the feeling of liking Beast as a character again. Up to this point he hasn’t been written to receive much love from us readers. He was confrontational, believed he could do no wrong, and was too consumed by the idea that humanity didn’t need to be treated like the enemy. This new Beast corrects all of those problems because he understands the error in not preparing for the worst, and not seeing the worst before he sees the good. At the same time it was enlightening to see how he looks at the team from his perspective. This also the first time where we have an X-Force team where it looks like there is actually a dynamic rather than just being a team of the most dangerous killers.
That said, this chapter is the start of a new mission too. This one involving a new piece of new technology indeed. I was definitely on the fence about such a thing already being dangerous enough to threaten the whole nation, but this creative team did not disappoint in showing us just how easily it can be to create an extinction-level danger. The whole thing is actually pretty crazy, you would think that the mutants should be untouchable, and with every step forward we are proven wrong by weapons which surprisingly take advantage of the advantages the Krakoans are supposed to have over everyone else.
The best takeaway from this chapter aside from everything else was seeing where those like Beast and Jean draw the line. Even as the counterintelligence, there had to be some point where two like them would say that killing is the only option. Now we know, and that makes the function of this team even more believable than it was before.
Like the issue before, Joshua Cassara, Dean White and Rachelle Rosenberg continue to amaze through the their interior work for this book. In the previous issue I was blown away by the creativeness that went into the organic weapons provided to Domino, and the kind of violence she could administer with it. X-Force #6 took the next step with that creativeness when it came to the organic weapon which humanity could introduce. Visually that was a thrill to take in because it was exactly like looking at a dark reflection of what Krakoa offers mutantkind. I had no doubt that they could do great things with this because if there is one thing that doesn’t let you down about the Dawn of X books? Its the way that everyone draws things Krakoan. Whether it is the beauty in the way these plants weave into objects, their bulbous and bold lights, or the natural coloring, the experience with it all is surreal. Aside from this, the action was satisfying for the intensity, flow from one panel into the next, and the pacing.
Overall, this was another engaging issue of X-Force which gave us the right kind of exposure to the function of this team. Now we understand their structure better, and where intelligence plays the biggest role in being different from every other version of this team we have gotten up to this point. Not to mention, this may be the best writing we have gotten out of Beast in a good long while.