Friday, July 18, 2008

X-Force #5 review

Picking up where last issue left off, Warren Worthington III is once again ARCHANGEL with them big giant bad ass metal wings. Cool shit, man. So he goes flipping out andtears out of his mansion looking for revenge. However, the pain caused by his new wings has clouded his mind and he's basically lashing out right now. We swing on over to Matthew Risman, planning an assault on Bastion. Risman has had some serious problems with Bastions plans and now intends on shutting him down with his brand new army of his own archangels called the Choir. But it's not only Risman wanting to go to war, Bastion himself is using William Stryker to lead the Purifiers in an assault against Risman. In the meantime, Reverend Craig is sent to finally finish off Wolfsbane. He shoots her in the thigh, but it partly deflects off her shackles, breaking them and allowing her to escape her cell. While X-Force follows a mad Archangel, who is trailing the Purifiers, the Choir draws first blood and begins the assault on the Purifiers. What proceeds is a massive battle between the two groups and a great two page spread with lots of gore. The issue ends with Risman and Bastion face to face.

This issue, when I read it initially, confused me. The story between Risman and Bastion has been so underplayed in the previous issues that I didn't actually realize it was going on. So when this issue came along, I was left scratching my head wondering if I missed something. Well, it was there...kinda. But the whole thing was just sort of backburner material. The gist of the stuff with the Purifiers involved bringing back a bunch of major X-Men baddies like Bastion and Magus and Donald Pierce. But looking back, it was there. So re-reading it with a clearer view, I gotta say that issue itself is pretty decent. X-Force basically take a backseat this issue so they can concentrate on the Purifier stuff. Rahne is finally back in her right mind, free of heroin and the Purifiers mind control. Basically everything is starting to come to a head with this issue and I'm anxious to see what happens.

On the other hand, so much was done with this story line that there is no wayu they can resolve any of it in the next issue. Magus? Pierce? all those guys from issue #3 they brough back? They haven't really been seen since. Unless that was all set up for a future arc, I guess that's fine, but they made a really big deal out of it during the build up of the story. I'm guessing Kyle and Yost have big things in mind for this series, but they should have played that stuff in a more subtle fashion while playing up the inner conflicts of the Purifiers.

Clayton Crain blows me away again this issue. That two page spread is just cool shit. Seeing a bunch of guys getting decapitated like that, I think that's the most graphic thing I've yet to see in a mainstream Marvel comic.

I'd recommend this book for the art alone, but the story really faltered this issue in some ways. The stuff with X-Force has followed through for the most part, but the Purifier's story just leaped forward too rapidly with not enough development and ignoring the stuff already established ealier in the series. Given the premise of the series I expect lots of violence and bloodletting in the next issue. What happens after that, however, will be a mystery to me since #6 will be my last issue.


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