By Benjamin Percy, Martin Coccolo and Guru-eFX
X-Force has been one of the most consistent books that the X-line has put out since it’s relaunch with Krakoa. Benjamin Percy has written the book since the beginning and has had a clear plan and path that he wants to follow. Some story lines have been building up and haven’t been fulfilled yet, but probably the biggest one that everyone wants to see is when is Beast going to get his comeuppance. I believe with issue 23, we’re starting to see some of that come to fruition.
This issue brings us around to see what Mikhail Rasputin has been doing, and it’s not good. Percy does a fine job of making Mikhail come off as a serious threat in this issue. Percy lets us know that mother Russia does not care for the nation of Krakoa and considers them Selfish and Xenophobic. As Mikhail works with the man with the Peacock tattoo, Beast examines the body of one of Peacock’s fallen soldiers. This, of course, is something he is not supposed to do. Beast gets attacked and needs help, because that’s what always happens when people do secret things like this. Percy brings in Black Tom, who steals the issue. Percy writes Tom with a fun and carefree attitude. Tom provides comedic relief in the issue, and we also get to see Wee Tom again, which is a plus. Overall, this issue is right in line with the good work Percy has been doing on the title. It seems like we’re finally getting somewhere with Beast, and that his days of being secretive about his bad behavior is coming to a head.
The pencils this issue are handled by Martin Coccolo with colors by Guru-eFX. Coccolo draws this book beautifully. The pencils come off very clean and are easy on the eyes. Seeing smaller versions of deadly soldiers pop out of corpses is always a joy to see, especially when it’s drawn as nicely as Coccolo does it. Beast looks good this issue too, Coccolo does allow him to appear as a big behemoth next to Black Tom. The colors by Guru-eFx are amazing as always. His work makes the book vibrant and soar off the page. In panels where the man with the peacock tattoo is dealing with Mikhail, there is a black background and the colors of the characters stand out. As Tom and Beast walk through the shadow room, the vibrant blues draw your attention and look futuristic. The pencils and colors for this issue are great and the artists and colorist have done a wonderful job of making this book enjoyable.
X-Force #23 is another good issue in the series that has been slowly building to the downfall of Beast. Benjamin Percy has a knack for writing good stories that have long term effects on characters we love. The art was superb and both colorist and penciler knocked it out of the park. X-Force is a force to be reckoned with.