X-Force #15 Review: Stryfe Strikes!

Hey, everyone… I am going to be very busy doing reviews this week. I have a whole bunch lined up so expect to see them through the weekend to as late as Monday. Third review is for X-Force. Hope you enjoy it.

X-Force #15 coverX-Force #15
(preview | thread)
Writers: Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Pencilers: Clayton Crain

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Hope confusing Stryfe with Cable and him playing it up. Proudstar manages to break free of his confinement to break them up but is blasted away after a few shots at the mutant madman. Bishop takes advantage of his distraction to blast Stryfe and try to get his shot at Hope.

We cut to Deadpool, X-23, Domino and Vanisher trying to gain access to the building where the time suppression device is being stored. Deadpool is feeling sick and so is Vanisher, but Laura pushes ahead anyway.

Next we get a flash of Warren trying to suppress his Death persona but failing and heading after Apocalypse in his transformed state.

Next we go back to the fight between Bishop and Stryfe. Bishop is holding his own surprisingly well and even manages to take Stryfe down briefly. But before he can kill Hope, Styfe retaliates destroying Bishop’s mechanical arm and taking him down.

We go back to the inflitrators where Domino has discovered the building they are trying to break into is Ship. Before they get too far Deadpool reveals that he and Stryfe are in each other’s head and the telepath knows all that is going on.

Back to Stryfe and we find him confronting Cable who reveals he still has some level of his old telepathic powers. Although neither they nor Cable’s guns can do much more then annoy Stryfe they do distract him from the real threat. Wolverine and Elixir attack from behind with Wolverine giving the distraction so Elixir can give him a fatal disease.

Stryfe blasts them both away and forces Elixir to heal him. He makes Wolverine stab himself in the face while he turns to deal with the bigger threat that Elixir poses.

The issue ends with Warren confronting Apocalypse and refusing to give in and kill the ancient mutant despite what he had done to make Warren into Death. Once he is sure that his life will be spared, Apocalypse offers an alliance to kill Stryfe together.

MY TAKE:  This was another strong issue in what is becoming a surprisingly good crossover. I have not really enjoyed the Cable series and therefore did not have much hope for this story arc but it has been consistently solid with a good combination of action, character moments and revelations.

In this particular issue, I was pleased to see things being shown from Stryfe’s point of view. Although he is undoubtedly evil and insane, he is not without his own motivations and personality. Too often the bad guy is simply a one note obstacle to be over come with no thought at all to his feelings and reasons.

There was not as much action in this issue but everyone gets to take a legitimate shot at Stryfe being being beaten and that is pretty rare. Even though he is undoubtedly powerful, he is not being portrayed as unbeatable. It makes his eventual defeat that much easier to take and gives everyone a moment of triumph.

The characterizations are still strong although I felt that Laura was a little flat. But the others seemed pretty consistent and there was still a bit of comedy mixed in with the violence. I think putting Deadpool into the mix was inspired although I am not sure that he would work as a permanent team member. His secret, that Stryfe has been in his head, pretty much explained all the problems they had experienced since the beginning.

While I expected the ending, especially with the Sourcebook that came out his week, I am looking forward to a rematch between Apocalypse and Stryfe. While I can not imagine Cable would enjoy working with old foe, I think it could led to some very interesting dynamics in the story arc.

The gritty painted art is not my favorite style, but it does work for this type of issue. The whole thing looks dark and bloody and suitably desperate, and it would be hard to get the detailed, layered effect in a different style.

While this was definitely a build up issue it managed to be entertaining while giving up hints at the end. If this comic is any indication the remaining story should be a wild and fun ride.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again tomorrow.

Facebook comments:

  1. Great crossover. Nuff said.

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