X-Force has been a strong sister title for the main X-Men series. In many ways X-Force has been shown to be as important to the X-Men franchise as its brother title. A lot of the things going on such as Charles Xavier’s murder and revival have been things other X-Men comics have been addressing. Having this type of importance has been very helpful in making X-Force come across as a must buy title for X-Men fans. Will that momentum continue with X-Force #6? Let’s find out now.
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Colorist: Guru e-FX
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In Terra Verde X-Force are led by Sage, from a control center, carefully through an enemy infested area. Sage tells the team to make sure no witnesses are left behind, as if this mission never happened.
As Sage does that Beast silently thinks how the X-Men all deal with situations differently depending on their personalities and abilities. In relation Beast sees himself as the conscience of the team as he is responsible for interpreting the data for Krakoa and makes sure the X-Force can clean things up if things get dirty.
Flashing back to the previous day at the presidential estate in Terra Verde Charles Xavier and Black Tom meet with President Cocom, the country’s leader, at a press conference. Charles Xavier and Black Tom are met by some resistance with the government leader agreeing to an alliance with Krakoa.
As President Cocom is about to make his announcement to the press he is attacked by someone who has plant based powers. The person transforms into a plant based form and talks about how he is doing this for Terra Verde.
Two other people with the same powers join in and use their powers to trap Xavier and Black Tom in their plants.
Later, Black Tom tells Beast and Sage about the attack and how there were only minor injuries thanks to him being there. Beast thinks that there was something different from other assassination attempts on President Cocom. Sage pulls up the footage of the assassination attempt and she finds that the attackers were after President Cocom’s son.
At the presidential estate in Terra Verde, Beast interrupts President Cocom’s treatment for his injuries by knocking out the guards and doctor. Jean Grey stops President Cocom from running away. Beast grabs President Cocom so Jean can read his mind. Jean sees that the attackers were Telefloronic scientists who were infected by their work and driven mad by their infection.
Beast sees the projection of President Cocom’s mind that Jean does and seems to realize something. Beast tells Jean that X-Force will need to strike. Jean asks if she should wipe President Cocom’s mind but Beast says he wants him to remember who he is indebted to.
In the present as X-Force deals with the Telefloronic creatures Beast thinks how they are based similar to the technology on Krakoa and are organic equivalents to the Omega Sentinels. Beast uses this information to try to think how he can get ahead of this new threat.
Meanwhile, X-Force take care of most of the Telefloronics. Beast tells Jean to ensure that there are no witnesses left. Jean reminds Beast that they said they would not kill humans. Beast says the Telefloronics are not human anymore as they’ve become Omega Sentinels. Beast goes on to say that Jean needs to ensure these Telefloronics stay down.
Jean does as Beast tells her to. Afterwards Jean tells Beast to never patronize her.
Jean then joins the rest of the X-Force who have found President Cocom’s son standing on top of a structure. When Jean approaches President Cocom’s son, Hadwin Cocom, it is revealed that he is also a Telefloronic when he transforms.
Later, Beast is conducting tests on Hadwin and is able to learn that Hadwin staged his own kidnapping. Beast goes on to find information on how the Telefloronic scientist were able to create almost perfect technology to that on Krakoa. He goes on to find information on how this could prove dangerous if the world learned Terra Verde can create a danger for Krakoans as humans will realize they can reproduce their technology to weaponize for themselves.
Beast then uses everything he learned to erase the information on the Telefloronic to make them appear to be beta-level technology, as it was a mere infection. In doing so Beast takes on the responsibility of knowing what he did may not be seen in the best of light if ever discovered.
Later, Xavier gives President Cocom his son back and is able to get the President to sign a treaty with Krakoa to give Terra Verde access to Krakoa’s medicine.
As Beast thinks of his decision it is shown that Hadwin still has the ability to transform into Telefloronic, taking on a more humanoid form in the process. End of issue.
The Good: Since the relaunch the last few months we’ve seen how much of a global and universal power Krakoa has become thanks to Charles Xavier and Magneto. Slowly we’ve seen how new threats are popping up to match the new power mutants have. X-Force #6 is the biggest example of that with possibly the biggest threat showing itself to the public thus far.
Taking the concept of the Omega Sentinels and applying them to the new Telefloronic creatures made them immediately stand out. Adding in the fact that the Telefloronics were created using some of the technology that Krakoa has developed makes them an even more fascinating characters. This finally opens the door to the threat that has been slowly building as we see that the technology the Krakoan mutants have used to become the global power they are may be the thing that is their biggest threat. It is very poetic in its own way and now we have something to watch out for throughout every X-Men comic book.
What made this new rising threat of the Telefloronics even more interesting is the fact it comes from Terra Verde. If such a small country can secretly develop technology that is reminiscent of the Omega Sentinels there is no telling what the globally powerful countries would send out if they have Krakoan tech. Now the X-Men will have to be much more careful with how they distribute their tech, medicine and other exports as they create these treaties with other countries.
Which all positions Beast as one of the most important mutants on Krakoa. As we see in X-Force #6, Beast has become much more pragmatic in his role as chief scientist. He is now seeing things much more on a top level in how things like the problem raised by Terra Verde. Seeing Beast make this type of transformation is shocking at first. But as X-Force #6 goes on you start getting used to the choices Beast makes.
Credit to Benjamin Percy in getting Beast’s character over in this way. Given that Beast has taken the back seat to all the other X-Men up until this point this was a strong way to make him immediately important. Now Beast can be this character within the X-Men who makes decisions from the shadows that could lead to even bigger storylines down the line.
We already see how those stories around Beast could develop through Jean Grey’s reaction to what he told her to do. Jean clearly did not appreciate being told to kill the Telefloronics. This mini-clash of how to handle the Telefloronics is a good example of how there likely will be bigger clashes as to the direction for the X-Force. On one end we have characters like Jean Grey who are more classic superhero X-Men and on the other side are Beast and Wolverine who show no hesitation in making tough choices that could clash with the others. While Jean did as Beast asked her to do there are enough hints here that create this sort of sub-plot for X-Force.
At the same time, Percy does a great job in using this mission in Terra Verde to further establish how effective the X-Force team are. The team was able to work effectively together to defeat the Telefloronics while keeping this conflict from reaching the public. This furthers the concept of the X-Force team being the Black-Ops team within the X-Men franchise. How they are able to continue taking this direction as more threats rise up will be interesting to see.
Through all this Percy was able to continue to further develop Sage in an Oracle-like role as she was the one giving commands to the team. This is a great way to utilize Sage in an additional role outside being the tech and medical expert on Krakoa. It utilizes what Sage does best while letting the heavy hitters like Jean, Wolverine and Domino execute the plans she comes up for the team from the command center. Hopefully we see more of this from Sage’s character as it will help further elevate her as a key character within the X-Men as a whole.
The calm control from Sage and Beast allowed the more boisterous Black Tom to stand out even further. The character being so full of himself to think that the Telefloronics assassination attempt failed because he was there is perfectly in line with who Black Tom is. Percy does not try to make the character more likeable to his X-Force teammates by changing his personality. This is who Black Tom has always been. Which will add an interesting wrinkle to how the X-Force dynamic is when Black Tom joins them on the field future issues.
The information heavy pages of “Xavier’s Confession” and “Terra Verde” did a great job in adding more depth into what was going on in X-Force #6. We see how Xavier’s recent death and resurrection has had major ramifications on how Krakoa deals with trying to create alliances with other countries. There is now greater urgency to make these alliances happen. Starting with Terra Verde, a country that is trying to become a global power, is a good point to kickstart this direction for Krakoa as a whole.
Stephen Segovia does a good job stepping in X-Force #6 for Joshua Cassara to continue the gritty art style that has been established for this series. The designs for all the characters in X-Force are very similar. The only big difference is how Segovia does not using as heavy inking in his work as Cassara. Outside that, Segovia’s artwork is smooth and keeps the consistency of this series’ look.
The Bad: The one part where X-Force #6 stumbles early on with the inner monologue that opens the issue. It is not made clear until halfway into the double page spread on the third and fourth page that it was Beast inner monologue that we were reading. This could’ve been easily avoided by having the inner monologue use blue and yellow text boxes rather than the white text boxes that were used. Especially when you have a team box there needs to be a distinction between which member is being given this type of spotlight to the reader. Without it there is a risk that it will be tough to tell whose thoughts we are reading, which was a risk X-Force #6 could not avoid.
Overall: The politics around the direction Charles Xavier and others are taking the nation of Krakoa continues to get complicated. X-Force #6 adds to those complications as we see what happens when a developing nation is able to use crude versions of Krakoa’s technology and medicine. Where Benjamin Percy and other writers take this latest development will be highly intriguing to watch develop over time.
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