Tuesday, March 17, 2009

X-FORCE #66 – May 1997

Tragic Kingdom
Credits: John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Marie Javins & Team Bucce! (colors)

Summary: Caliban tracks Risque down to the Wackyworld amusement park in Florida. When he finally catches up to her, he has another seizure. Risque considers leaving, but turns back to offer help. The remaining members of X-Force soon arrive and grab her. She agrees to take them to Warpath, who is in Detroit. Meanwhile, Warpath finally awakens. He’s greeted by a freakish looking man named Sledge, who shows him footage of Michael Whitecloud, a member of his tribe who was believed killed in the Camp Verde massacre. Sledge offers to hand Whitecloud over to him, if he’ll return a favor. X-Force soon arrives with Risque. Warpath refuses to speak to Risque and walks away from her. Elsewhere, Domino is recruited by G. W. Bridge to help an undercover SHIELD agent. She’s shocked to learn the agent is Dani Moonstar.

Continuity Notes: Risque claims that she owed Sledge because he helped her out of a “bad situation”. Blob and Mimic are working for him because he “provided…the means” to help them better control their powers. Sledge has the technology to block Cerebro, in case you were wondering.

I Love the ‘90s: The title of this issue is a reference to the No Doubt album, which was huge during this time.

Review: This is an entire issue dedicated to selling Risque as a character, and while Moore does create a sympathetic portrayal, I don’t recall Risque really taking off (she was eventually killed off off-panel by Grant Morrison). The extended chase scene with Caliban takes up a lot of space, but it remains entertaining and comes across as more than just time-killer. With the exception of a horrendous interpretation of Caliban on page two, Pollina produces some very impressive artwork that helps to sell the story. He does a great job with the cartoony figures from the theme park, which is something most superhero artists probably wouldn’t be able to pull off. The story doesn’t fully resolve Risque’s mystery, but it doesn’t feel like too much of a cheat. Moore is at least advancing the Risque subplot and using it to transition into a story about the Camp Verde massacre, a mystery that predates even X-Force #1. And, the long-running Dani Moonstar plotline is also advanced. The book finally has a forward momentum, which is nice to see.

5 comments:

wwk5d said...

Good issue overall (love the cover), and the issue does succeed in making care about Risque. Wasn't she pretty much written out of the title in this issue? It's too bad noone else decided to do anything with her until she became cannon fodder for Morrison, there was definitely some potential there.

rob said...

I adore this issue, from Pollina's imaginative art to the portrayal of the characters. I'm not fully enamoured with the stories (Risque and Camp Verde), but Moore sells it with his presentation of the cast, a bit of humour, and, like you said, some feeling that things are finally moving.

Matt said...

(she was eventually killed off off-panel by Grant Morrison)

An unfortunate description of a lot of characters in that run...

wwk5d said...

i think that era as a whole, as opposed to just morrison...austin got rid of a few, as did tieri, who also had a pretty big kill list...i sometimes think the whole idea behind M-day was to 'get rid' off many of the mutant characters without having to kill them off. but that's just me...

one thing about this issue: does the stuff we learned about mimic and the blob contradict that Onslaught upgraded their powers?

G. Kendall said...

I wouldn't say it contradicts the Onslaught story. Sledge says he helped them learn how to deal with their powers, not that he personally upgraded them.

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