Writer: Ben Percy
Art: GURU-eFX, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Tom Muller, Dean White, and Joshua Cassara
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 2nd, 2021
Espionage is afoot in this week’s second installment of the HELLFIRE GALA X-MEN crossover event. As X-FORCE #20 by Ben Percy commences, Beast resumes his dirty secrets in the shadows while Emma continues her party plans with awe and circumstance. Nevertheless, Beast’s agendas, which may “appear” to have good intentions, normally backfire and produce some pretty rotten fruit. Well X-MEN fans, this issue is no different. Additionally, WOLVERINE finds himself on guard duty crossing paths with an old friend who seemed to have “misplaced” his invite.
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Percy somehow manages to make a dinner party interesting. I’ve had my concerns heading into this GALA. What’s the point? Why do we need another dinner party (and yes we’ve already had one in X OF SWORDS)? And, why would so many humans and heroes want to come, especially to a place with telepaths? Well, I still don’t understand “why” anyone would want to come yet Percy still found a way to add some sneaky espionage, intrigue, and excitement to an otherwise uppity dinner party.
Furthermore, I’m digging Percy’s take on Beast. And if he continues down the path he’s going, could we see a resurgence of Dark Beast? Plus, readers will enjoy an entertaining showdown with WOLVERINE and a special unannounced guest. I, for one, left the issue excited for WOLVERINE #13 after the cliffhanger due to the fact of where Percy left the story. Of all the past storylines within Percy’s X-FORCE, this returned plot twist was my favorite to date.
Cassara thrives with his close-up facial expressions. Tony’s sunglasses while looking at Kid Omega, the incredibly creepy look on the Ambassador’s face, and Sage’s boredom, or even shock at X-FORCE’S home base are all examples of Cassara’s expertise. Plus, his thoroughly eloquent design for the females involved in this issue were radiantly flattering yet not too promiscuous and revealing. Overall, Cassara’s illustrations complemented Percy’s tale masterfully.
Fans of Percy’s X-FORCE will like the return to an old plot thread while long-time X-FORCE fans will relish the return of a longtime member… if only for a short time. Moreover, Percy continues to be one of (if not thee) best X-MEN related writers currently by flexing his writing chops in such a way that makes a stuffy GALA exciting and intriguing. If you’re all in on X-MEN, as well as the HELLFIRE GALA, this issue is for you. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!