While the last issue of ‘X-Force’ gave us a pure following of Cable (as well as the mysterious blowing himself up and being just fine trick), in this issue the focus is on everyone’s favorite assassin ninja highborn British omega level telepath Psylocke. I could probably also throw in that Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock is Captain Britain’s sister, has sold her soul, can create a psychic knife to stun people, has telekinetic powers, and used to date her current teammate Fantomex. With each issue of this series giving us a specific character’s point of view, I was both looking forward and fearful of the one starring Psylocke. I have to say that I really felt Spurrier nailed it.
Not to say that there wasn’t a huge problem with this issue, but that was near the end and I’ll get to that in a moment. First it all starts with Betsy giving us a countdown of how many days it has been since she has given into her addiction. Her addiction? Killing. As we’ve seen in this entire series, she has been struggling against giving into her desire to take life and in this issue not only is that brought up but Marrow goes off on why she is even on the team with her reluctance to take a life.
The issue revolves around tracking down Volga so that they can find out what really happened during the Alexandria incident. While Cable still maintains the team is there for a bigger mission, anyone could tell from the first issue that the only thing he cares about is finding a way to wake Hope back up and that all stems from the man he has targeted. They have a location on where they can find more on him and it quickly becomes clear that they are going to need to break into a mutant holding facility. It also quickly becomes clear that Marrow isn’t going to drop that Betsy is on the team and as her swearing quickly annoys her, she snaps her fingers and much to the amusement of the team (and the readers), Marrow’s swearing turns into gibberish.
As they fight their way in we get flashes of how Betsy wants to handle each situation in black and red showing that what she wants to do is kill the guards – each and every one that she comes across. What she actually does is take the time to knock them out while the rest of the team kills those that get in their way. They realize as they get to the final room that there are supposedly too many guards so they release the mutants in holding to help them break in. As Cable is getting ready to have everyone rush in, Psylocke just says “No” and knocks everyone on the team out. Then she goes in and kills all 50 of the guards herself. She wakes the team up and says she knows why each of them is here. She hints that Cable found them when there was no X-Force after what really happened in Alexandria. Fantomex is there to search for something or someone, Meme is there and should tell someone the truth, Marrow is there for her loss. She than goes on to say that she wasn’t recruited, she volunteered and is there because she wants to be. She wants to kill.
After that we go into a whole mess of Volga showing up and taking everyone out including the mutant they had just come to save. Apparently he’s not just some rich tycoon in charge of a company but also a mutant or has powers from some other means. Also, he believes that Cable should be dead (which could lead into why he is going around with 1 arm and eye as well as seeming to show up after being blown up the previous issue.) Mysteries with Cable and his true agenda aside (I’m betting he’s either running clones as AI’s or LMD’s and is in horrible shape himself.)
I’m sure this will lead us into next issue where we will see things through either the eyes of Meme or Fantomex. Not many single points of view left to go through before we can see the true team interactions begin.
So my complaint? Cable has on a headband and Fantomex has his mask on and these are both said to prevent telepathic interference. So, how did Betsy get through? I’m hoping there is an offhand explanation in the next issue and this isn’t sloppy writing because sloppy is the last thing I would add onto Spurrier’s style. I suppose we’ll see in the next issue!
Side note, I’m still not a huge fan of the art style in this comic though was so engrossed in this issue I didn’t really notice it until reading back through it.
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Rock-He Kim