What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Force #16! This one I felt like I had to go out of my way to pick up this week. It has been some time since I read X-Force and this was mainly due to the fact that I wasn’t feeling the direction of the story for the past few issues. This including anything which was tying into X of Swords. So with all of that concluded, I found that this was the best time to jump back in and see what comes next for this team.
So with that said, my first concern was with being able to jump into this new story without feeling like I had missed something. Fortunately this was not the case. This issue started like most others, outside of those which I skipped over. You flip to that first page and there is already a problem front and center which they are beginning to address. This time around being this dark side of Krakoa which they are now exploring for a new danger introduced to the mutant population on the island. Now I know some could say that this is nothing new for the X-Men stories, and yet it is. Most problems dealt with have been produced by the outside world. This was one of those few times where the problem is the island itself.
Problems like this are great to have because we are further seeing the things which could bring about the collapse to this paradise. If it’s not going to be a danger which comes to them, then it could just as easily be a danger which comes from the soil which they call their home.
Now what I found interesting about this story is the fact that they also decided to limit the team to Forge, Wolverine, and Quintin Quire. You would assume they would at least bring Domino along for the ride, though that was not a decision made. Not a problem either, with that said. Even then everyone had their role to play in his. Including Reyes and Beast who had their own moment in creating clarity towards just how dangerous this new threat was.
Getting back to the field team, I expected more of the same to happen down there, and good on this creative team that they decided to shake things up. There was action, a lot of action, though there was also one heck of a close-call by the end. How this situation wrapped up was commendable for the surprising source of help they received by the end. I think I was most thankful that they weren’t trying to turn this into a running gag with Quire begin killed every mission. I have had a consistent problem with the way he tends to be used because he’s an omega-level mutant. At some point he has to be the big guns. This situation wasn’t that time, but eventually it should be. Otherwise he might need to be switched out for someone more suited for this kind of team.
This brings us to the artwork for the issue. Still there is much to love about the work from this art team that I’m also glad is still working on this book. Mostly because their style fits perfectly to most of the problems that X-Force deals with. They just have this way about capturing the part of this world that gives you goosebumps. If it wasn’t the way that these people were infected or the way that they try to infect you, it was the textures and colors used to also make it all seem zombie-like. What stood out to me most was the coloring for the depths of the sea too. Sometimes an art team will try to throw in a light-source which shouldn’t exist. Yet this art team jumped in with the understanding that you need to throw these guys into darkness, and make every encounter scary as it comes into view.
X-Force #16 was just the kind of issue I needed to jump back into this book. And this issue did right by us for the opportunity taken to question just how appreciative the mutants should be for a paradise that can kill them just as easily as an outside threat.