By Ed Brisson, Dylan Burnett and Jesus Aburtov
With issue #4, X-Force wraps up it’s first story arc. While the team looks like the crew from the 90’s, with the exception of a de-aged Cable, the story is different and the stakes are higher. As the team adapts to working with Kid Cable and setting their own mission aside, they have a decision to make about where they go after this.
Ed Brisson has been building this story since the pages of Extermination. It’s great seeing the old X-Force crew together, even if Cable isn’t old man Cable. Brisson builds on the team development this issue. Cable dishes out orders that are met with a little bit of questioning, but Domino backs him up. The battle between Ahab and President Constantin throws a monkey wrench into the teams plan, it also allows Brisson to show that the team is capable of putting their differences behind them and overcoming adversity. With the promise of a death this issue, Brisson actually does a very good job of keeping you guessing as to who it is. There are several panels where it seems like one of the team could bite the dust. The end of the issue is something we’ve all been waiting to see, so Brisson is tapping into our love of throwbacks with the cliffhanger.
The pencils this issue are handled by Dylan Burnett with colors by Jesus Aburtov. The pencils by Burnett do take something away from the issue. Burnett, much like Chris Bachelo, has a distinct style. You’re either very into it or you’re not. Burnett does all right here, but the style can be very exaggerated at times. Burnett has a cartoony style. So in a panel where Warpath and Cable are talking with a mutant about Rachel, their faces are very long. Burnett’s art excels when he draws characters off in the distance. In a panel where Cannonball and Boom-Boom are rescuing mutants, Cannonball is mid-flight as Boom-Boom talks to an escapee. The line work is good, the characters look proportioned, this is a good panel from Burnett. His style will take some getting used to, but it is sufficient for the issue. The colors by Jesus Aburtov work well here. Aburtov uses a dark and moody palette. As President Constantin unveils his newest weapon, Aburtov uses the proper amount of green and black for shadows; it’s a very well colored panel. The art for this issue is decent, but it is not the normal style we’re used to seeing on an X-Force book.
X-Force #4 ends a pretty solid first story arc. Ed Brisson has a grasp on these characters and writes them the way they were meant to be written. The art is an acquired taste, but it has it’s charms, and is helped out by good colors. X-Force is a book for fans who love these characters and want to take a trip back down memory lane.