eXit Wounds
written by Peter Milligan
art by Michael Allred
May 2001

Short summary: Introducing the new X-Force team, a team embraced by the general public and hungry for fame. Following the death of Sluk, Tike Alicar (AKA "The Anarchist"), joins the team, amidst much doubt of his potential contributions. Coach sends the team on a mission to rescue a boy pop band, although stuff doesn't quite go according to plan...

Thoughts: Never having been a huge fan of the original X-Force, this was a really welcome change. And what a change! Instead of a theme of anti-mutant prejudice, we have a completely new take on the X-Men franchise, where these young mutants are celebrity superstars. How do they deal with their fame? Not too well, apparently. One member is an alcoholic while another intentionally causes trouble for the sake of ratings.

This is the first non-code approved Marvel book and it certainly shows. They dispatch their enemies with extremely brutal efficiency and pull no punches. This is a stark contrast to the other X-Men comics, where all of the characters actually hold back (heck, even Wolverine, who makes a cameo appearance), regardless of their abilities.

"Eww...Hey, Tike...hand me a spatula, wouldja?" Zeitgeist (left) and The Anarchist take no prisoners and leave behind red smears in lieu of dead bodies.
Axel and Edie have different philosphies on the superhero business

The writing is simply solid. While only time will tell if the concept is a mere gimmick, we are given some pretty top-notch dialogue. Peter Milligan has given us characters that are ultimately flawed and tragic heroes, which readers can easily empathize with.

These guys are the masters of the cliffhanger as well. Suddenly offing 75% of the team in the last three pages, where can we go from there except the to next issue? Stuff like this keeps the audience hungry for more.

X-Force, X-Men and all related characters are trademarked and
copyrighted 2001 by Marvel Characters Inc. All rights reserved