Sunday, February 1, 2015

X-Force volume 1: Angels & Demons

Dark, gritty and violent. I was expecting that, but it's a bit too much of it all.

Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Artist: Clayton Crain
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Summary: With the mutant-hating sect known as the Purifiers growing in power Cyclops reassembles the X-men's hard hitting black ops team, X-Force, to get rid of the threat by any means necessary.

My thoughts: I think that I was hoping for something else when I borrowed this book from a friend, having actually asked for it. I knew that it was going to be dark and grim & gritty and all that. But it's a bit excessive in this book. There's this bleakness over everything from the characters' thoughts to the action scenes to the final page and the whole feel of the book in general. There's not a single uplifting thing about it. I can get how others might appreciate this kind of story, but it's just not for me.

But it's not the dark and opressive feel of the book that really bugs me about this book. It's the villains. They're the kind of evil organisation that are a pet peeve of mine when it comes to super hero comics. A evil organisation with thousands upon thousands of followers (at least enough to give X-Force plenty of meat bags to slaughter in fight scenes) and enough funding to have multiple HQs all over america, moles in the top super spy organisation in the Marvel universe, science so advance that they can replicate a mutant's powers in dozens of normal humans within a day of acquiring that mutant's blood and perfect intell on where a massive alien super weapon that's perfect for their plans can be found and nobody but the heroes of the book they're in are ever trying to fight them. Do you know how many evil organisations this description fits? Basically all of them. If you just ignore all the others, which the creative teams usually do, it can kind of work. But I've seen this trope so many times now that I've grown bored with it and I find it a bit infeasible that so many of them exist. I'd love to see an evil organisation have to do most of their work from some shitty barn with a basement somewhere in Poland or something.

The Purifiers in this book do stand out a bit by having religious themes and claiming to be a church. But it's not really used in any clever way. There're rift between different factions in their ranks but all of them look and sound the same, except for their cyborg leader, that I just couldn't muster up enough effort to care. About half the book is devoted to these guys and there's no real character development for the heroes. So I didn't find much to hold my interest in the character front.

The art is overall nice, I am fan of Clayton Crain and his style is instantly recognisable and it does capture the visceral nature of the events in the story. But like the story it's a bit too dark this time around, for me at least, and he doesn't really manage to make the Purifiers stand out from one another.

Basically this just wasn't a book for me. Might work for other people. But not me.

Grade: 2 - Meh

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