Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Chris Allen, GURU- eFX, VC’s Joe Carmagna, Tom Muller, Jay Bowen, Dean White, and Joshua Cassara
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 4th, 2023
Xeno finally strikes and the Man with the Peacock Tattoo has had his sights on X-Force for some time now. However, as Domino, Deadpool, and Omega Red embark on a mission, they seem to fall right into his clutches as X-Force #36 begins to unfold! Let’s dive into the first issue of the Xeno saga finale, as the team closes in on the Man with the Peacock Tattoo, and the full breadth of his plans are finally revealed!
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X-Force #36 opens with a variety of questions. How has everyone moved past the Beast incident from the prior issue? How is he not in the pit? How is Beast allowed on the team? I’m sorry but the beginning of this issue makes no sense with what appears to be a ton of off-panel story fans are missing out on making it difficult for this reviewer to jive this tale together. X-Force #36 diminishes this evil Beast line of stories and makes it seem pointless. Furthermore, no one is wondering where Wolverine is. Really? After what they just saw hearing Beast say he’s “on a secret/ classified mission” and no one wonders the validity of this statement is just plot lines overlooked that make no sense. Readers, there is a gap here that doesn’t connect, the actions that take place in X-Force #36 don’t make sense in conjunction with what we saw leading up to this event, and now I’m supposed to forget about all this evil Beast setup. I can’t do that nor does it fit any of the previous story beats.
Moreover, the cover along with the solicit makes it seem like the Man with the Peacock tattoo was going to have more of a role in this issue. That’s also not very true. The story has Domino infiltrate a group of people who say they’ve mastered the biotech as Krakoa has. My point is that this wasn’t even Xeno until X-Force #36 wrapped causing this reviewer to feel a bit misled again. Sure, the action isn’t that bad but the issue even became too wordy at times jamming up a few of the panels and bogging down the issue.
Nevertheless, on a more positive note, Percy dangles a Colossus tidbit that hasn’t been revisited for what feels like years at this point. This plot point with Piotr felt lost, never to be revisited again. And honestly, it’s been so far removed that I thought Percy forgot about it. Yet, as I live and breathe it appears as though Percy might be poking the Russian Bear once again. And I’m hoping for a wicked story to come from this. Alas, I was hoping the same thing with this evil Beast angle that built up to ultimately get pushed to the side too. So, we shall see. Additionally, on a side note, I did appreciate the behavior of the X-Force team toward Sage. They feel she’s the true team leader and isn’t up to anything sneaky behind the scenes which logically makes sense. However, this current plot thread could have been pulled after successfully dealing with Beast and the events from the last issue.
X-Force #36 is ultimately a bit misleading, skips over story beats that feel as though they happened off-panel, and feels as though it leaves its “regularly scheduled program” to provide fans with a story they simply didn’t need yet. Moreover, the Deadpool jokes were flat, many of the panels were cluttered with dialogue, and the Man with the Peacock tattoo wasn’t shipped to us like we all thought he would be. Look no further than the solicit and cover to provide support for that angle.
Readers, X-Force #36 feels like we should be having some type of trial for Beast after his actions. Instead, we get Beast back at work, the team giving him the “silent treatment”, and another raid on another Krakoan threat like any other issue. Sure, there are a few positive stories beats like the egg and Colossus that could amount to something more. However, after we waited FOREVER for this evil Beast thread to evolve only to see it fizzle and put off panel, what’s to say these plot threads won’t do the same? I can’t help but leave X-Force #36 disappointed. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!