With absorbing relationships and the initial fallout of Charles Xavier’s murder, X-Force #2 is mandatory reading for X-Fans and casual readers alike.
Marvel Comics’ various “Dawn of X” titles have established Krakoa as an utopia for mutants. In X-Force #1, writer Benjamin Percy shattered that illusion with the shocking assassination of Charles Xavier. Of course, we all want to know who killed Professor X. In the second installment (on sale November 27), Percy dives into the X-Men’s investigation of the murder.
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Color Artist: Dean White
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
From the opening page, the script is riveting. It opens with Magneto lamenting the loss of Xavier. “If only I had been here, I could have stopped the bullet,” he says. “If only you were made of metal, I might put you back together. If only, old friend.” Each word is packed with tangible grief but the art team adds even more weight to the moment. Artist Joshua Cassara shows Magneto hovering over the corpse and reassembling Xavier’s Cerebro helmet. (Even when he puts it back together, the bullet hole still dominates the blood-spattered metal.) Similarly, color artist Dean White visually depicts the vulnerable paradise with bloody flowers surrounding Xavier’s body.
Even with such a compelling first scene, the story draws us in even further with striking dynamics between characters. First, Magneto and Jean Grey discuss their plan to bring Xavier back. (Come on, we knew it was bound to happen.) Each word of Percy’s dialogue conveys the high stakes of this mission. “You do understand, Ms. Grey, that we won’t be able to hide what’s happened here for long,” Magneto says. “A terrible clock is ticking.” The implication is clear: without Xavier to lead Krakoa, the island’s sovereignty could be over before it truly began. It’s also worth noting that, during this discussion, Grey transforms the Cerebro helmet and gives it to Magneto. Percy may be foreshadowing that the X-Men plan to somehow weaponize Xavier’s death and turn it into a violent cause.
The relationship between Grey and Magneto is dire, so Percy balances the scales with a wonderfully fun buddy cop dynamic between Wolverine and Kid Omega. To the surprise of no one, Logan doesn’t take Xavier’s death well. He goes off with guns blazing on a mission to find the assassins responsible. This hunt leads Logan to an airport, where he bumps into Omega. Before he even opens his mouth, the contrast between the two is obvious.
Omega is the anti-Logan, something the art team makes abundantly clear. White gives Omega an electric pink-and-blue aura and a neon pink mohawk. As he stands next to the gruff, grizzly Wolverine, we can tell these characters couldn’t be more different. When they banter, Percy leaves us clamoring for more of their love-hate relationship. Omega isn’t remotely afraid of Logan. When Wolverine tells him, “You should head back to whatever Krakokan preschool you escaped,” Omega retorts, “Don’t pretend competency, Grampa Logan.” A few more verbal jabs show that Omega won’t back down, even in the presence of “Ol’ Canucklehead.” The addicting dynamic between Omega and Logan demonstrates Percy’s ability to craft fascinating relationships, which leaves us eager to see how X-Force continues to progress.
We’re still in the early stages of the mystery surrounding Xavier’s murder. But such a rich script makes being patient for the plot to unfold a fun ride.
What’d you think of X-Force #2? Where do you hope to see the series go from here?