One of the most important things a new series needs is a clear mission statement. X-Force #1 lacked that, but the second issue not only solves that but a begins weaving a new place for these mighty mutants.
Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Dean White, Joe Caramagna, and Tom Muller show readers the place this team has in the new world.
Charles Xavier is dead, murdered by a new squad of Reavers. On Krakoa, Hank McCoy and Jean Grey try to reboot Cerebro into one of its backup units while Sage and Cecilia Reyes learn more about their attackers. Meanwhile, Wolverine joins forces with Quentin Quire to find the Reavers and those backing them… and they makes several discoveries even more horrifying than they expected.
There is a lot going on in this issue. Percy writes an extremely dense and involved plot, but with a purpose, it gels a lot better. The pace is quick and exciting, and while there’s a lot going on, it doesn’t ever get confusing.
It doesn’t solve all the issues of the first issue however. The story has problems connecting with its characters. Beast and Jean both feel detached, while Reyes and Sage both feel more like plot devices than characters. The exception is Quire though. Every panel he appears in is full of life and personality, both thanks to how Percy writes him and Cassara draws him.
Cassara continues to be the best part of the book. I really enjoyed how he drew Krakoa and the strange biological tech the island is full of. He adds a lot of urgency to the plot thanks to how he lays out the page and paces the story. He even makes an autopsy scene engaging, which is extremely difficult in a static medium. The only complaint I have his extremely minor- the way he draws Wolverine’s cowl looks more like Batman than Logan. White has also found his footing, with colors that are dark but not muddy.
X-Force is quickly becoming an exciting espionage adventure. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
X-Force #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.