Here we go, Greg Capullo!
And man, does the art take a turn for the better! Capullo is a respected artist and huge draw now, but this is one of his earliest assignments, so he’s nowhere near as polished as he is on Batman. That said, there is no denying the immediate improvement in storytelling and anatomy that he brings.
Capullo gets to show off with a couple nice fights, too. Deadpool vs. Cable works out pretty well, with Deadpool rocking some Spider-Man poses as he throws down with Cable. I can’t say I understand why Cable wants to go punch-for-punch with DP, except that it looks cooler and more “comic book-y.”
Capullo is the best X-Force artist (so far) at drawing women too. Domino looks fantastic. Without her metal facemask and in some conveniently torn clothing, she looks fantastic. As a more mature reader, I question why her pants now look like a thong and how she got a conveniently placed hole on the chest of her costume, but I’m sure younger Timbotron didn’t mind.
The other fight goes by a tad quicker, but still shows off the team’s powers nicely, Crule suddenly re-enters (almost like a movie skipping back a few seconds) and comes after Cannonball once again. I swear, it is like a few panels of last issue just get erased and Capullo gets to do them over with his better pencils. Is that possible?
This time, Cannonball barks out some orders, setting Shatterstar and Feral after the close-quarters combatant. It’s pretty neat seeing Cannonball treated like an effective team leader. Sam Guthrie was one of my favorites when I was younger, and THIS is how I liked seeing him. Confident and battle-trained, he’s much cooler than he was in the earlier issues. More importantly, with Cable gone, there is actually a role for Cannonball to play. With Cable around, Cannonball barely deserved a few lines of dialogue. Now he’s making decisions and recruiting his best friend Sunspot back onto the X-Force roster.
Man, do I like Siryn. Her costume is so dynamic and cool; I can’t help but like her. That under-arm cape is tremendous! And while Liefeld made his mark drawing Shatterstar and Feral, Capullo is no slouch. Both characters look really nice in these pages. I remain stunned that Shatterstar’s padded facemask can look so neat under so many artists’ pencils! Crule, though? He’s awful. From his name to his generic look, I’m remembering why I blocked this storyline from my memory all those years ago.
This GOOD comic is back to being art-driven, but now it is being served by Fabian Nicieza’s plot and pacing. This is the best it has been since I started re-reading.
Tomorrow, we see how the X-Force team responds when placed into an X-crossover…