X-Force: Sex & Violence #1


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X-Force: Sex & Violence #1


  • Words: Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
  • Art: Gabrielle Dell'Otto
  • Story Title: Sex & Violence
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 14, 2010

All of the proper X-books have been embroiled in a massive crossover for the past three months. No title has been untarnished by it effects (save for Mr. Claremont’s special Forever corner of the universe) and the overarching theme of a messianic rebirth of the mutant race. Needless to say, many causal X readers checked out of the whole affair, maybe waiting for the trade or just reading spoilers until they can get their books back, free from a sometimes dense and heavy continuity. Well, X-Force fans, the wait is over.

Writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost give us a nice little stand alone tale featuring team members Domino and Wolverine that seems to take place before the Second Coming kick started. This is a story that takes the miniseries title literally. It starts violently, continues violently but with a tinge of sexual tension, and then ends with a meshing of the two, giving us a brief day-in-the-life style glimpse of their relationship.

Domino unwittingly takes a job from the Guild of Assassins, involving the ninja-rific Hand, that ends up putting her in the crosshairs of both organizations. Wolverine takes it upon himself to give her unasked assistance, leading us into a flirty conversation during a car ride. The writers reference the last time I remember these two characters hooking up, back in Grant Morrison’s run of New X-Men.  This was a fun and lofty scene, that is, until someone gets shot in the face. If this book knows how it to do anything, it’s balancing the give and take between sexual tension and extreme violence. If only Ross and Rachel were this entertaining.

Along for the ride is the notoriously slow output, but painstakingly lush artwork by Gabrielle Dell’Otto with its incredibly distinct and painterly style. His brush strokes have depth, but extreme fluidity, almost like Alex Ross doing manga with a very in-your-face, kinetic energy. His work is rich, detailed and oddly grimy, which all add to the tone of this particular book. In the past, sometimes his talents did not complement the tone of a story. His sensibilities lend themselves better to dark and damp corners than bright colored superheroics. Kyle and Yost use their artist in the correct forum, elevating both their story and Dell’Otto’s art.

This particular iteration of the X-Force has at times left me cold during its just wrapped two-plus year run.  I don’t know if was the cast, costumes, writers, or artists, only that its importance fell further down my stack until I just stopped picking it up all together. This fun issue, introducing what has the potential to be a tight little miniseries, capitalizes on the inherent and manic joy that was in that series. Perhaps if the team had a chance to develop apart from impending crossovers and events, then this would have been par the course. For now though, we have a good little action tale to commemorate this era of X-Force.

With this mini, we say farewell to Kyle and Yost’s time on the book. Bring on Remender and Opena.

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