What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Force #14! I have to admit that I was very on the fence about this issue right here. I took some time off from reading comics, and then I came back to see that as this event kicked off? This was pretty much one where you had to be all in if you wanted to genuinely understand what was going on. This is the part here which troubles me most. X of Swords seemed great in concept, and if you are able to fully invest in it, you are golden. Though if you can’t read ever book involved with the event? Then not everything is going to click the way that it should.
For me? That was exactly how I felt with this issue of X-Force, and I’m going to speak for those who probably find themselves in the same position. At first it definitely felt a bit problematic that there was consistently this feeling that I was missing something. That I had to read a book that I probably wasn’t following in order to understand what was going on in this moment. Such things like what’s going on with Captain Avalon and Saturnyne. Not to mention what happened to Betsy. And that was only a couple of questions I had to ask myself without jumping into spoiler territory here.
Now if I was speak for what clicked to me, then there was some enjoyment to take from this issue. When you set aside everything which maybe didn’t make sense or made you feel like you missed something, there was plenty to simply take for what it is. Such things as the continued contests which hit with a fast pacing. Up to this point I was under the assumption that this was going to be the standard tournament where everyone fought with swords to the death. Though apparently this was much more than how it looked on the surface. That much was not a problem for me because this allowed more room for a creative team like this to mess with these characters in way you did not expect. Some things were intense, other things goofy. There was anything you could call dull that any of them experienced.
And with that said, there was a solid twist thrown in where we are seeing the overarching problem with this war in general. You honestly would have assumed Krakoa would do great here, but clearly it seems that this has been set up for them to fail. It really does make you wonder just what is going on here. Wouldn’t the person who even put this all together be on the side of the people trying to protect their world? For everything that might seem wrong in execution, I will admit that they do enough to make you want to still see where this is all going.
That aside, the interior art was something which I loved most about this issue. Not to say that the artwork for X-Force has ever been bad, but this is also the best that the interiors have looked. The pencils were clean, the colors were smooth, and everything blended together quite nicely as a whole. If anything impressed me more, than it was the fact that there was so much going on and packed into this single issue, and yet all of it was easy to read. There are some books out there which would have made a mess of issues like this. Fortunately for us, this was not one of those books. At the same time, you have to give credit where it is due for this art team that they could put together all of these contests and make them so unique with every flip of the page. This had to be a lot of work, though you could see that there was not one point where the attention to detail was lost between the characters, settings, or their actions.
Overall, not a bad issue of X-Force, though as a chapter to X of Swords? Unfortunately it left much to be desired.