X-Force, X-Men and all related characters are trademarked and
copyrighted 2002 by Marvel Characters Inc. All rights reserved
written by Peter Milligan
art by Duncan Fegredo (guest)
Synopsis: Dealing with the aftermath of U-Go Girl's untimely death is not easy. Spike Freeman is on Guy's back about not spilling the beans, while Guy wishes to honour his dead teammate's wishes regarding the team's new name.
At the same time, they must audition a few new members, plus deal with much more in-fighting than they have been used to. Who needs villains to ensure good ratings when they have each other?
As Mike Allred takes an issue off to gear up for the impending X-Statix relaunch, we are given the art of Duncan Fegredo (Jay and Silent Bob). While he was able to pull off dead-on likenesses of the actors in which the characters are based (namely Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes), it doesn't look as good here (and slightly stiff in some instances).
Still, the artwork is secondary to what's really going on, which is character and plot. With The Coach long dead, their financial backer, Spike Freeman, is taking a significantly more vested interest in the team's direction, right down to teammembers and their new name.
But "X-Storm"? Well, at least it was something that was due to extensive research, testing groups, market analysis, media consultant firms, focus group statistics...
But then, Guy has plans to honour U-Go Girl's final wishes.
Inter-team politics are a deadly game and all the members of X-Force are pawns in Spike Freeman's chess match. Spike is proving to be an especially antagonistic prick towards everyone, especially still-team leader Guy.
Fortunately, Lacuna is there to put a temporary hold on his self-destructive tendencies. Being known as the mutant trickster that left the team on her own volition (almost all members are killed outright before they get a chance to leave), she invites Guy onto her show for a little one-on-one.
With Guy pouring his heart out on national television while expressing his dead girlfriend's wishes, the response comes pouring in. This leads to an interesting flip-flop on the part of Spike Freeman (as if we were expecting anything less!).
Over the past 14 issues, creators Peter Milligan and Mike Allred (and of course, guest artists Darwyn Cooke and Duncan Fegredo) created one of the more intriguing reads from the X-Universe. While some of the fandom of the old X-Force has failed to embrace the new team, there is no denying that this is one of the more innovative directions that has been seen in the past few years.
While this issue is the last we will see of X-Force, the story is nowhere near over, as X-Statix, the renamed X-Force team, is on the horizon. That book promises to be more of the same, and then some. With the unpredictable narrative rollercoaster that we have seen through X-Force, we can expect nothing less with the new book.