X-Force #9 is a comic that delivers on as many fronts as it can manage. While the focus has largely been on Domino in the last couple of issues, the issue is a bit more encompassing. A fan-favorite character returns, and there’s a party for the ages on Krakoa.
Do you hear that sound? Ever so faintly, a chorus of fans can be heard chanting from all over the place. They shout one name in unison, over and over, “Gabby.”
Well, dear reader, Benjamin Percy, and co have indeed heard your cries, and come bearing gifts. Wasting no time, Gabby is right there on the first page no less. She’s “bonding” with her brother, Daken, and father, Wolverine, as they play a rather unique version of spin-the-bottle.
The game came to a gruesome end, unsurprisingly, with Daken coming out the loser. What are a few claws through the head among family? It’s fun though, to be honest. I would even say it’s the funniest opening to any issue of X-Force thus far. While it’s perhaps not what folks had in mind for Gabby’s grand return to comics, at first at least, it’s charming as hell. It’s a solid introduction to yet another huge Krakoan party, the kind which seems to go on indefinitely.
A Brand New Domino
After dying in her mission with Colossus in X-Force #8, Domino is resurrected. I’ve been waiting for this since the beginning. If only because it seemed foolish to have her walking around with half of her skin when she could be resurrected in perfect health.
Percy’s expert plotting really worked out here. He saved this seemingly easy moment for an emotional beat where he makes it work for the story, as well as the character. They didn’t follow her wishes in letting her retain all of the bad memories she wanted to keep. This touches more on the concept that resurrection doesn’t bring people back perfectly, just very close.
A Mission To Terra Verde
Beast is growing concerned in X-Force #9 with the situation in Terra Verde that’s been evolving as the series has gone on. When Beast dispatches the team of Domino, Wolverine, and Quentin Quire, they are immediately met with an obstacle. Much like Kate Pryde in Marauders, they can’t get through the Krakoan gate. However, in this instance, it’s due to something blocking the other side that prevents their entry.
The Struggle Of Black Tom
Even among the mutants on Krakoa, Black Tom has a unique power set and position to fill. He’s arguably more steeped in Krakoa than any other mutant, except possibly Doug Ramsey in New Mutants since he can communicate with the island. This connection has a cost though, and it’s apparently Black Tom’s sanity, as he is really starting to lose it in X-Force #9.
He gets into a scuffle with Gorgeous George, another surprise appearance in this issue, and gets far too drunk. He’s fumbling with his place in this new society, and just needs some time away from the island. Luckily, Sage has a task for him and is ready to send him onto the field at long last, giving him at least a brief reprieve.
The Art Of X-Force #9
X-Force is what I would call the body-horror comic of the current X-line. Cassara is drawing some of the weirdest, most grotesque imagery I’ve ever seen in a Marvel comic and it’s truly fascinating. White pairs so incredibly well with him, adding a flavor that really seals in just how gross what’s happening is. It’s straight-up unsettling and I love it. The detail packed into the line-work, and the darker tones in the colors really make this stand out as the grossest X-book I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
Should You Read X-Force #9?
X-Force is really consistently delivering some of the most exciting moments in X-books right now. This issue has it all, delivering on fun moments, balanced out with plain and simple body-horror, and dealing with trauma in the face of death and duty.
There’s so much to unpack with Domino alone, much less Black Tom and Wolverine as well. It’s a thrilling ride that’s playing the long game on every front, developing countries and opposing forces that could be troublesome for years to come. The mileage this book can generate is insane and if you aren’t reading it, you are doing yourself a disservice.