Continuing the tale of Krakoa’s “CIA,” X-Force #10 gets released by Marvel Comics on July 8th. Writer Benjamin Percy, along with artist Joshua Cassara, color artist Guru-eFX, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, and designer Tom Muller take readers into the heart of the island nation of Terra Verde, which has been overrun by an invasive plant form that Beast is responsible for creating.
As Domino, Wolverine, and Kid Omega fight there way through the temple in Terra Verde; Jean Grey struggles with a crisis of conscience when she learns that Beast has been keeping secrets, not just from the rest of Krakoa, but the other members of X-Force, specifically about his actions in Terra Verde. Later, she joins Sage and Black Tom Cassidy in the effort to destroy the Terra Vedean plant creature and rescue whoever remains from the X-Force team.
Percy and company make a few interesting choices in this issue. First, they continue a decades long trend of making Hank McCoy an inherently unlikeable character. Hank dismisses the genocide he unleashed on Terra Verde as a minor miscalculation, at least until being confronted by Jean.
This brings me to the second interesting choice Percy makes. Rather than show the entire conversation and the resolution to the argument between Jean and Beast, he resolves it using a prose section, which many of the Hickman-related X-titles have been in the habit of using. While these sections are often used to provide supplementary material in the X-books, I haven’t really seen them used to skip past showing an entire sequence of character interactions. I’m of two minds about this choice.
Finally, Percy adds fuel to the fire of the whole Jean/Scott/Wolverine polyamorous relationship question. This issue seems to confirm that is in fact the case.
Art, Colors, and Design
Not all of X-Force’s initial infiltration team makes it out of Terra Verde. Wolverine does, while Domino’s fate is a little unclear. Domino spends a good chunk of the issue as the POV character, but then who inner monologue stops, and we never see her again. However, Kid Omega’s fate is clear, and it is here that the art team does some really great work.
Kid Compost, indeed! These are some really horrific images. The art team really highlights the brutality of Kid Omega’s death (actually, that’s been a theme on X-Force. One wonders how any of the X-characters ever lived through their previous adventures).
Caramagna’s lettering is good in this issue. Nothing flashy, but everything he does is serviceable to the story. Domino’s monologue flows well and accentuates the horror she encounters, while Jean’s telepathic communication provides the exposition necessary to understand how X-Force can overcome the Terra Vedean threat.
My only complaint concerns the aforementioned prose page, which is designed well, but makes the mistake of “telling” where a comic book should be “showing.” That has less to do with Caramagna specifically than with the artistic choice to tell the story this way.
X-Force continues to be one of the stronger X-titles. Its premise as a mutant “CIA” continues to be intriguing. This issue, in particular, sees a bit of a shakeup in the team with Colossus’s involvement foreshadowed. By the issue’s end, Domino’s fate is a little unclear, and how will Beast act moving forward after his confrontation with Jean?
What did you think about X-Force #10? Tell us in the comments below!