X-FORCE #3 / Writer: Ed Brisson / Artist: Dylan Burnett and Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: Cory Petit / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Published Feb 27, 2019
Following the events of Extermination, X-Force make their flamboyant return chasing Young Cable all the way to Transia. In their quest to gain revenge on Young Cable, X-Force ends up teaming up with him and Deathlok in order to save the mutants being chased out of the country by its government. Despite the first two issues being highly entertaining, this issue is where the quality of this comic truly shines.
One of the main strengths of this issue is the way it handles the action. Despite the series already being filled with amazing action sequences, Ed Brisson and Dylan Burnett still manage to double that without damaging the story’s pace. It feels like something gets blown up, shot at, or maimed on every other page. It’s the type of over the top action I want from Marvel’s darker corners and seemed to have been missing for a little while.
Brisson might be one of the most underrated writers currently working for Marvel. I’ve been following his work ever since Iron Fist and Old Man Logan where he showcased his ability to write captivating action sequences. Once again, he gets the job done writing solid books month in and month out. The plot to X-Force #3 might not be the most revolutionary tale surrounding mutant issues, but it takes an approach that keeps this classic theme of mutant oppression fresh. The balance between each mystery that has been set up from the start is good enough to keep my attention. This balance also affects the pacing in a positive way: as the mysteries are slowly unveiled, they allow the story to flow naturally and the reader to get bits and pieces of information here and there.
The one point where I’m a little hot and cold has to be in terms of characterization. So far, the story revolves a lot around Young Cable, and the other characters, for the most part, seem to be there just for bouncing dialogue. This factor does improve a little bit this issue when Cannonball opens up about needing answers. Domino, Warpath, and Shatterstar, on the other hand, serve as muscle more than anything else. This is probably due to the wide cast of characters and that part of the attention is focused on the antagonists’ side. I’m pretty confident this lack of focus will be course corrected in the coming issues, so it’s nothing major. On a positive note, Boom-Boom finally caught up to the team in an explosive entry.
Brisson’s writing has been really good on this book, but the thing that truly catches my attention when reading X-Force is the art. Dylan Burnett and Jesus Aburtov complement each other perfectly. Burnett’s style is a perfect fit for this action-packed book. The over the top yet super-violent and graphic art screams X-Force. There’s also an overblown cartoonish vibe brought forth by the heavy inks, balancing out the violent tone of the book without making it look childish. The black and orange costume design is one of my favorites for a team in a long time, fitting the members of the team perfectly while keeping the stealth theme. Aburtov is slowly carving his spot as one of my favorite colorists over at Marvel. The way he uses colors to emphasize the over the top art of Burnett is delightful to see. I’m also impressed by how he uses colors to make each scene dynamic while putting characters to the forefront constantly. This team is one I would love to see collaborate on a lot more projects in the future.
Another important element of this book is the letterer. Cory Petit really does an outstanding job in terms of comic sound effects. Brisson might write really good action pieces which are brought to life by Burnett and Aburtov in their own insane way, but the sound effects complete bringing every action sequence to life. The thing I love most is how creative Petit is with every sound in terms of style and look. They merge amazingly with every image while still conjuring the sounds in your head while reading.
X-Force #3 is the best parts of 90’s action movies all rolled into one. The entire team put their best foot forward to deliver an entertaining issue, signaling a strong run. My hopes are high for the rest of this run, and I would suggest catching up on X-Force if you haven’t done so already.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 Boom-Booms saving the day