Tuesday, September 18, 2007

X-FORCE #5 – December 1991

Under The Magnifying Glass

Credits: Rob Liefeld (plot & art), Fabian Nicieza (script), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Brian Murray and Renee Witterstaetter (colors)

Summary
Toad and Blob kidnap Dr. Karl Lykos and force him to transform into Sauron. Gideon tells the media that X-Force was involved with the World Trade Center bombing. G. W. Bridge meets with Val Cooper, Nick Fury, and Henry Gyrich to discuss Cable and X-Force. Cannonball begins to question Cable, Feral flirts with Shatterstar, Siryn officially joins the team, and Warpath runs around with his shirt off.

Miscellaneous Note
The letters page is starting to print a few negative comments. One letter writer complains about Cable’s various mysteries, and wants to know why Feral wears gloves over her claws. One letter writer brings up the idea of a character called “Douglock”, combining Doug Ramsey with Warlock. The editor’s response is “Douglock, Dan? Douglock!? Don’t you think we have enough characters with enough mysteries with enough complications without adding a resurrected terran/alien symbiote to the cast? Gee whiz!”


Douglock would first appear two years later in Uncanny X-Men #313 and soon join the cast of Excalibur.




Review
It’s been over a week since I reviewed an issue of X-Force. I knew something had been missing in my life. In this issue, Cable doesn’t shoot any unarmed men, so it’s at least better than the last installment. In fact, Cable doesn’t shoot anyone in this issue. This is actually the first issue of X-Force that doesn’t really contain any action. Practically nothing happens so it’s hard to write anything about it. There is a pretty embarrassing scene with Warpath running shirtless through the woods, angsting about the various indignities committed against Native Americans throughout history.

Some of the art in this issue just doesn’t look like Rob Liefeld. It’s Liefeld-ian, but I wouldn’t say that it’s Liefeld. I’ve heard over the years that Marat Michaels did ghost work for Liefeld on this series, but now I can’t find any information about this online. Does anyone have a source on this? Michaels says that he was Liefeld's "assistant" during this time on this official site, but that's all I've found.
I’ve posted some of the not-quite-Liefeld panels below. Liefeld or just Liefeld-ian?
























4 comments:

James said...

The fourth panel definitely looks like someone else's pencils. For one thing, there's more expressiveness and emotion in Cable's face than Liefeld usually draws on people. Which isn't balanced by the hilariously overwrought musculature.

I'm on the fence about the other three. One looks like it could be Liefeld. The second, I'm not sure, because Cable's face looks slightly different than Liefeld's style, but still a very close imitation (if it is one).

Cove West said...

Funny that you mention the MLF being like a '90s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the X-FACTOR review, 'cuz I was just thinking that the BoEM basically disappears for a decade after this X-FORCE storyline. Sure, there's Dark Beast and Dark Havok's "Brotherhood" around the Onslaught era, but anything resembling a traditional BoEM doesn't reappear until...geez, I'd say not until Carey's current run. In the meantime, Pyro contracted Legacy, Blob wandered around getting into one-shot fights with X-Force and a funny Strong Guy/Juggernaut slugfest, and IIRC Phantasia (as much a BoEM "member" as the '90s produced) was recruited by Exodus for Avalon in X-FORCE #25. Which is a shame, because the Brotherhood SHOULD be the X-Men's opposite number.

And then there's Mystique. Hard to imagine that it's been more than 20 (TWENTY!) years since Mystique was an out-and-out villain in the pre-Freedom Force days. But once Freedom Force disbanded, Mystique disappeared for what, 4 years? until popping up as Forge's new romance in X-FACTOR.

So far in the "Mutant Genesis" era, we've seen the "death" of Magneto, the death of the Hellions, the destruction of Donald Pierce, the coma of the White Queen, the beginning of the last '90s appearance of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a behind-the-scenes limbo-trip for Mystique. We're like 6 months in and half of the X-Men's rogues gallery have been kicked to the curb! Amazing to think that at the height of X-popularity, the franchise was depending almost entirely on Apocalypse (or Apocalyptian associates like Stryfe, Sinister, and Exodus) for all its villainous needs.

Jay Penn said...

I think that last image is by Brian Murray, who went on to do Supreme for Rob and Image. Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.

Bill said...

Totally agree with you Jay. Brian Murray without a doubt!