Wednesday, June 04, 2014

X-Force, Volume 1: Angels & Demons

X-Force, Vol. 1: Angels And DemonsX-Force, Vol. 1: Angels And Demons by Craig Kyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As dark as the X-Men Universe gets!

The mutants need protectors who aren't hesitant to cross the line, and that's why the X-Force exists. Lead by Wolverine, their mission is to deal with the Purifers, a religious radical group determined to wipe out mutant kind. Wolverine has walked on the dark side, along with X-23, but Wolverine wants better for her, a chance to be normal, instead of the cloned killing machine she was designed and trained to be. But Cyclops puts her to work despite Wolverine's determination to 'save' her. Along with James Proudstar, aka Warpath and Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane, they take on the deceased Reverend William Stryker's successor, William Risman and their fanatical followers, who have executed an extreme solution to the mutant 'problem.'

My Thoughts:

This is a newer arc in the ongoing storyline, taking place after the = M-Day storyline, when many, many mutants lost their lives. There is a clear sense of despair and bleakness to this graphic novel. The artwork has a savagery that is also beautiful. Although quite violent, it's not glorifying of the violence. Between the art and the dialogue/narration, the characters and their motivations are communicated with clarity.

To think I didn't even know much about X-23 until recently. She's a pretty cool character, a ruthless assassin who is playing for the heroic team, and with many of Wolverine's abilities. Of course, Wolverine is always awesome. Warpath has a tortured past that is intricately tied into the X-Men via his brother, and Rahne takes the cake with her own demons.

The negative light that the Purifiers cast on the Christian faith is wince-worthy, but it doesn't come off as an attack on the faith so much as the issue with extreme fundamentalism, or rather, people using religious beliefs as a platform for their prejudice and hatred of others. I have to say that I wanted the X-Force to take them all out with extreme prejudice. I take it personally when people claiming to be of the Christian faith act like that.

The vision of angels is nightmarish to say the least, and I can't say anything more or I'll spoil it. There are some beautiful and terrifying images along those lines in this book.

I found the story very intense, and I was captivated. I was afraid to keep reading, but I couldn't stop. Things end with an understanding that while there was some victory, the worse battle is to come. I just hope my library has all these!

Probably needless to say that this one is not for the faint of heart, but I will say it all the same.

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