In our 12th Day of X-Mas, we are looking at the “Revolution” era of X-Force. Revolution was a neat idea. Warren Ellis and a writer sharing his sensibilities took over some of the lower-selling X-Books like X-Force and X-Man. In this case, Ian Edgington is along to do the scripting.
Ellis goes back to his creation Pete Wisdom to bring some direction and snark to the title. No longer a generally mutant-interest book, Wisdom’s new focus is cleaning up the world’s “secret histories, alternative truths, and crimes against humanity.” A discerning reader could probably find some early version of Planetary, Global Frequency, and other Ellis works in this version of X-Force.
The team includes a bomber-jacket wearing Cannonball (who looks a lot beefier than I remember), a dark-clad Warpath, and a midriff-baring Meltdown (who I believe is dating Wisdom? There is chemistry there, at least). The only member who looks like an actual super-hero is Bedlam, sporting a red shirt with a distinctive X on it.
Whilce Portacio is a well-respected artist whose style meshes well with this high concept. With such a science-fiction/horror feel for the X-book, Portacio is able to show off his strength with moody scenes and concepts. X-Force doesn’t look so much like super-heroes, but they look like post-modern television stars, which was probably the point.
I don’t like this as an X-Force comic. I like my Marvel heroes bright and spandexed. Ellis’ penchant to make his characters dangerously cool with bad attitudes has gotten a bit old now, but it was still pretty “revolutionary” when this came out. And I like the core concept behind the book. More than anything else, giving the team a clear goal and reason for existing makes this a GOOD comic and one worth checking out.
I hope you enjoyed the 12 Days of X-Mas! X-Force really had a wild time over the years, with some absolutely fantastic artwork. There is one era I’m purposely avoiding, but that’s because I plan to cover it when I look at a different series during a different holiday.