I never thought I’d say this, but here we go. After hoping for an all-out slugfest this issue, “X-Force” #27 has managed to make a ten-page fight rather dull. I suspect it’s because Craig Kyle and Chris Yost elected to make those first ten pages without dialogue, narration, or any other words. It’s just the X-Men fighting Nimrod-level Sentinels from the future, something that should be exciting. Without the dialogue, though, the book’s first half more often than not descends into a series of pin-ups. There isn’t much dramatic tension or excitement going on; in short it’s everything that this fight shouldn’t have been.
Fortunately, the second half of “X-Force” gets the book on a more even keel. The existence of the X-Force team (what little left of it exists) is revealed to more of the X-Men, we learn just how many Nimrod-level Sentinels are still out there, and we even get a plan to stop them once and for all. It’s everything that the first half didn’t have; there’s some drama, some tension, and a twisting of the knife on the final page as we learn one last bit of information. That little surprise feels a bit like a reprise of an earlier situation from “Messiah Complex,” but it still works here and gives an extra level of danger to the X-Men team sent off to what appears to be their doom.
Mike Choi is also back on “X-Force” along with colorist Sonia Oback, and I’ve missed their occasional contributions to the title. I like the smooth lines of his art, and he’s the kind of artist who can pack twelve panels onto a single page and not make it look crowded. I do think that Choi falters a tiny bit in the first half of the book, but I think the script he was given didn’t lend itself to a strong final set of pages. Considering how much better his art is in the second half of this issue, I’m willing to write off the first half of the issue as a nice idea that just didn’t work for any of the creative talent involved.
After several issues of losing steam, this chapter of “Second Coming” finally kicks the story back into high gear after an initial misstep. With just five chapters (and a handful of tie-ins) to go, that’s a good thing; it’s nice to see some pep back in this crossover. For readers who might’ve been getting a little bored, rest assured, the fun is starting to return.