X-Force #18 Review: Disarmed

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here…I will be doing several reviews this week. Since it is a overload week, I am not sure exactly how many but at least four I expect. So let’s get started with ‘X-Force’. Hope you enjoy it.

X-Force #18 cover X-Force  #18 (preview | thread)
Writers: Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Art: Mike Choi & Sonia Oback

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with H.A.M.M.E.R. departing with X-23. They leave two soldiers behind with orders to kill Boom Boom. One them is starting to get a little frisky when Proudstar shows up and kills him. He takes out the other goon as well and is tending to Tabitha as he sees the sudden light show.

Domino is racing to the source of the disturbance only to find Archangel and Wolverine have things under control although Noriko, Elixir and Keller are all down. They transport the youngsters to a nearby safe house and try to figure out what happened to Laura.

X-23 is being transported by H.A.M.M.E.R. They land in the Facility where Kimura and the scientists are waiting to take custody of her.

We get a brief interlude with Rahne and her Wolf Prince fighting the Frost Giants. Hrimhari is doing a good job hurting them and orders Wolfsbane away but she refuses, wanting to stay and fight at his side.

Another scene change and we find Caliban, Eli Bard and Wither at a grave in Salem Center. They somehow raise the occupant and we see it is Doug Ramsey.

Back at the X-Men headquarters, Surge, Foley and Hellion are being tended by Beast. Wolverine tackles Cyclops and pins him to the ground telling him if anything happens to the kids it is his fault. Cyclops takes responsibility and Logan fills him in on a bit of their mission to the future. He leaves to try and find Laura.

Wolverine, Domino and Proudstar interrogate Tabitha and she remembers the name S.H.I.E.L.D. Division C. That sparks something to Logan and he orders the Cuckoos into Cerebra. We then see Laura being rudely awakened by Kimura. One arm has already been cut off and Kimura is applying a chainsaw to rest of her.

MY TAKE: This is mostly a clean up and a set up issue but it is still a strong start to the next brief arc. As always the writing and characters are well done and though I personally do not like the direction things are going, I hope it will lead to some good stories coming up. It seems to be a smaller and more personal story that is beginning, which is a welcome buffer between Messiah War and Necrosha.

Wolverine is particularly strong in this issue and it is nice to see him holding Scott responsible for his decisions and to see Logan’s concern for Laura. Most of their relationship has been subdued or off panel and hopefully we will get to really see his feelings as the storyline progresses.

I am a bit surprised at the amount of disturbing bits that were included. We see attempted rape, torture and murder in this issue alone which is unusual mainstream books.  It is all handled well and done in a way that is not too blatant or over the top and it does fit with the overall tone. Still you have to wonder if this series is heading into MAX territory or if people are going to be shocked and stop buying it. I am a big fan of Laura so her torture was especially hard to read.

The Necrosha story also starts here with a well-publicized resurrection. I am certainly torn on bringing Doug back although I have no idea how lasting this will be. I am interested to see the explanation of how the powers are being combined to work on raising the dead and why Ramsey should be first.

Still, I would have preferred that they wait to start the new story until the current one is wrapped up. The biggest problem I had with this issue was the severely fragmented focus. It jumped both scenes and stories every few pages which made it harder to relate to. I understand that this is the nature of a transition but they could have left out a few scenes in order to focus on the central issue of saving the young X-Men and searching for X-23.

In the end it was a strong if a bit dark comic. The story and characters continue to be well done and it is nice that everyonel generally gets the focus shined on them. While I do not really like the way it ended, I am hopeful that this will create a stronger bond on the team, especially between Wolverine and Laura and lead to a couple of great issues before the next big event.

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 next time.

Facebook comments:

  1. i’ve been reading and enjoying this book, my only question is that how come it isn’t MAX yet..it’s a very bloody and dark book just like you said..any thoughts? is it because of universe/continuity issues? and are max books taking place on the earth 616 universe? thanks..

  2. I think it is because there is a stigma on MAX titles in general and in fact all adult comics. It’s like the difference between rating your movie R (Parental Advisory) and NC-17. Still though I think it needs to make that step.

  3. I agree with you about the part when Laura is tortured. That was hard and I wonder, I thought Laura had her skeleton laced with adamtium, or is it just the claws? Anyway, I didn’t like that part at all.

  4. Just the claws. They were actually extracted, coated with admantium and surgically reattached while she was conscious just to endure her to pain.

  5. Thanks for the answer, I did read X-23 miniseries but it’s been now a longtime and I forgot some details. I hope they won’t do something very very stupid with Laura like what they with Wolverine in Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk.

  6. Well I am sure she is not going to be killed off but at this point most of the ‘healing mutants’ can recover from almost anything anyway though thankfully not to the extent of Ult Wolverine vs Hulk

  7. To answer your question, marco. Some of the MAX books are in continuity, and some of them aren’t. For example, Brian Bendis’ “Alias” comic is in 616 continuity. Whereas Kirkman’s “Destroyer” limited series is not. Just like with regular non-MAX Marvel comics, it varies from series to series.

    As for this book becoming MAX, while it is getting very violent, one only needs to look at the recent “Marvel Zombies Return” series to see pure gory ultra-violence with no MAX rating. That book made me queezy with its level of gore, and yet there’s no MAX rating to be seen.

    I suppose we’ve just come to a point in comics where the standards for what can and cannot be done in a regular book have been changed.

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