X-Force #34 Review

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Art: Chris Allen, GURU- eFX, VC’s Joe Carmagna, Tom Muller, Jay Bowen, Dean White, and Joshua Cassara

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $4.99

Release Date: November 23rd, 2022

The planet Arakko is a new target for Arakkii pirate Sevyr Blackmore in this week’s all-new X-Force #34 by Benjamin Percy. But where there’s crime, there’s inevitably punishment. And that’s where X-Force comes in along with hired hands Maverick and the Mercs! But are even their combined forces up to the task of keeping these deadly warriors from overrunning the solar system?

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the X-Force #34 Review.

THE DISPATCH

My goodness, X-Force has become twisted and dark. The biggest takeaway I think anyone would discover throughout X-Force #34 is the level of corruption that runs deep in any corporation, institution, or even nation. The dark secrets that continue to pile up alongside the sinister, underhanded manipulations to get what you want that keeps a nation together are quite diabolical. Truthfully, it’s what every government-based movie thrives off of. And now, Percy dives into the deep end in X-Force #34 showcasing Sage in a downward spiral provoked by Beast as well as a secret prison orchestrated by the same man who used to do insane testing.

In conjunction with Percy’s Wolverine, we see just how far gone Beast is. This, however, takes the cake. Whether it be pride, greed, envy, power, money, or all of the above, it doesn’t matter what Beast’s motivations are. This Beast is dark and twisted… and I can’t think of a more interesting story within the X-books. Think about it. X-Force #34 said it best through Sage. She’s always calculating against outside threats from everywhere… nonstop. Who would think the biggest threat is actually someone they trust within their own walls?

Sadly, the Sage angle is also interesting. I say sadly because it’s focusing on a sickness she has which has basically been provoked and amplified by Beast. She’s become a raging alcoholic to drown out the pain from all the killing she’s been orchestrating on behalf of Krakoa through X-Force. Readers have seen this coming but after reading X-Force #34, it’s epically clear. When Omega Red is the one cleaning you up, you know you’ve fallen big time. That all said, I absolutely love this story beat for Sage who normally gets overlooked or provides a short side narrative. This is the perfect thread to help build the character while making her more compelling to the readers.

ART

Surprisingly enough, this was the only area where X-Force #34 came across as a bit flat. The opening pages were way too busy with the dark color scheme used making the comic hard to decipher, especially since that was supposed to be the more stimulating moment for Sage. I wish the art was more crisp and clean (especially in the beginning) in order to focus more on Sage and her struggles. That said, once Omega Red finds her out in the field, the colors are bright and vibrant again with the more crisp appeal I was searching for. Again, I just wish the beginning looked more like the middle in terms of rendering and color scheme.

Furthermore, the panels were frequently small and again rather busy adding to the confusion within the action sequences. This was true in the prison, Domino’s escape, and even the beginning summary of Sage. There was just way too much detail in the background at so many points that the focus came away from the character and forced my eyes to blend the surroundings into the characters. Trust me when I say, I love the detail in my comics. However, if the issue gets too busy and complicated, it starts to draw your attention away from the impressive aspects of what’s going on. And that’s what happened in X-Force #34 this week. Hopefully, we can have more space for Chris Allen and GURU-eFX to shine next month.

FINAL THOUGHTS

X-Force #34 provides a rather compelling story in conjunction with a dark tale around Beast who seems to be “Breaking Bad”. Percy is pulling at some rather intricate and ingenious threads that should really lock readers’ interests deep into this series. Beast as a villain has so much potential. I would love to see Percy ironing this entire storyboard out in both Wolverine and X-Force. Moreover, it’s great to see Sage become more than this simple dashboard computer that pops in and out of each issue periodically. Percy is providing depth to the character that may hinder her for a bit. Nevertheless, I feel it will provide some context to what she’s been doing this entire time home the scenes while also connecting with her readers on another level.

Sadly, the only real disappointment was a huge portion of the art this week that complicated the reading crammed the pages immensely, and made the X-Force #34 a bit difficult to read at times. The detail is great, however, enlarge the panels and choose some colors that make the comic pop. You can still provide a darker tone without muting the appearance and taking away the depth and texture of the issue. Overall, the story/ plot is going in the right direction and I highly recommend jumping back on this series. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

8.7/10

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