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And So, the Experiment That Was Two X-Forces Comes to a Close

I have long raised a questioning eyebrow to Marvel Comics’ plan over the past year to publish two separate X-Force titles: Uncanny X-Force and Cable and X-Force. Both are about a team of renegade X-Men fighting evil on the fringes of superherodom, and both feature a random assortment of characters, many of whom didn’t necessarily have anything to do with X-Force. It seemed that Marvel was only concerned with wringing as much money out of the brand name as they could.

Well now it seems that grand experiment is coming to an end. Marvel is cancelling both titles and combining only some of the characters into a new adjectiveless X-Force, launching in February

What went wrong? Who can say. Were the titles selling well? Did Marvel wise up and realize the world doesn’t need two separate X-Force titles? Was nobody enjoying Puck?

These are questions that only those in the know can properly answer, and Marvel isn’t returning my calls. I tried reading both comics but gave up after an issue or two because I just didn’t see the point. On the one hand, they were both made well enough. But I didn’t care about the characters or the plots. That’s on me, not on them.

Well Marvel and USA Today are all manner of excited to tell you about the new series, which will be written by new writer Simon Spurrier, with art by Rock He-Kim. Based on the interview, Spurrier is going to take X-Force back to basics so that they’re simply a black-ops mutant team doing black-ops type things.

“What I’ve taken from those early X-Force episodes is a take-no-prisoners attitude towards action,” Spurrier says. “But I like to think I’ve injected a little post-millennial sophistication, too. “This isn’t a steroidal macho-fest: It’s a slick, nasty, oh-so-grim beast that’ll cut your throat and blow up your headquarters before you even know it’s there.”

Of the more than a dozen characters in Uncanny X-Force and Cable and X-Force, only three are going to make this new team: Cable, Psylocke and Fantomex. Though Spurrier does suggest that other characters will probably pop in from time to time.

Of special note is a new member: Marrow! And since I once proclaimed Marrow my second favorite X-Woman of all time, you better believe I’m going to pick up this book just for her.

On Marrow, Spurrier compared her to Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica, and said:

“She’s a fighter too damaged by own experiences to ever really fit in,” Spurrier says. “She’s one of those brilliant characters which the X-books handle so well who can’t rightly be described as a hero or a villain: a product of her own tragedy.”

So because of Marrow, I’ll definitely be buying this book. What does everybody else think?

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About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on November 7, 2013, in Comics, Marvel, X-Men and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Aw, that’s a shame. I liked both books.

    I’m really, really disappointed that Psylocke and the male Fantomex will be on the team together. The shitty job Remender did writing their relationship has made me want those two to stay far, far away from each other. I accepted Psylocke and Cluster because it was pretty interesting. But blah to Psylocke and Fantomex.

    Cool that Marrow’s showing up again, though.

    • Me as well. I’m not a fan at all of Fantomex, or his pairing with Psylocke. So I doubt i’m going to pick this series up. Which is too bad because Psylocke herself, I love.

  2. Which one was Cluster and what was so interesting about it? Though I too dislike the Psylocke/Fantomex pairing.

    • Cluster was the female version of Fantomex. And it was interesting as a same-sex relationship. I would’ve liked it if there’d been more exploration of that, but with UXF ending soon, Humphries isn’t going to have any time to do that. And with her working beside the male Fantomex again, the relationship with Cluster is almost certainly not going to be rekindled. She may end up hooking up with Fantomex again, which would be boring.

    • So wait, Betsy hooked up with more than one of the three Fantomexes?

      • Images Unplugged

        She hooked up with all 3.

      • Now that’s a comic book!

      • Not all at the same time. She initially disliked Cluster, but then got pissed at Fantomex for being a jerk. She realized that Cluster had the sweet, romantic side that she’d fallen in love with, so they started bangin’. Then Fantomex screwed Psylocke over, and she saw Fantomex and Cluster making out, so she left. Then she was captured by Weapon XIII, who attempted to woo her. She played along in order to free Fantomex and Cluster, who’d also been captured.

        It was a cool story, full of twists and turns. And Weapon XIII’s wooing of Psylocke had some gorgeous art.

        It’s funny: Even under Humphries, Psylocke had no chemistry with Fantomex (which I think might have been intentional from Humphries). But she had great chemistry with Cluster and Weapon XIII – his feminine and murderous sides.

  3. Images Unplugged

    I actually like the Cable team as it contained a lot of my favorites. Storm’s team on the other hand was nice until the whole Fantomex arc with Psylocke. Marvel found a cool niche character in Fantomex and are milking it. I’m happy to see Marrow again but haven’t read much of her after the late 90s. I wish Domino was here but at least she will be in another title.

    • I keep hearing bad things about this Fantomex arc. What happened that was so terrible?

      • Images Unplugged

        It was really pointless. At the end of the prior Uncanny the split his three brains into Fantomex, the female Cluster, and the evil Weapon XIII. Then they tried to clean up the whole Psylocke romance that occurred after Warren’s death but only made it worse. Personally I chalked the romance to nothing more than a booty call. And in the end nothing was solved, it was just a convoluted mess.

      • I actually really liked that arc. The big complaint I saw was that it came fairly early in the run, and basically cut out the entire rest of the team for several issues to focus on Psylocke running around with assorted Fantomexes. But the writing and characterization were great throughout it, so I enjoyed it. It did turn Uncanny X-Force into a Psylocke solo title for a few months, and I did really miss Puck during those months (because Puck is awesome), but I thought it was still a good, well-written story.

      • I kind of want to go back to read Uncanny X-Force, both because I want to see what Puck does, and because I believe the series is reforming Bishop. Is that right? Or is Bishop still an evil bastard?

      • Bishop is reformed. He doesn’t even remember hunting Hope. Puck, sadly, hasn’t gotten to do a whole lot. A few jokes here and there. He’s awesome, just not as awesome as he should be.

      • I’m happy for Bishop, sad for Puck.

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