We’re continuing in the two part story introduced in ‘X-Force’ #8 which leaves Cable’s band of misfit mutants still hot on the trail of Volga and right into the middle of a British covert operation in Afghanistan! Not only are they dealing with the actual British military’s black ops team here but MI-13 shows up to really throw a wrench in the gears.

Spurrier starts off the story pretty strong and as always with his writing, there is a surprise in store for us. In his ‘X-Men Legacy’, which I probably reference too often, at the end of each of these two parters I would always close the last page feeling fully satisfied. ‘X-Force’ #9 might just be the first issue I did not feel that sense of completeness after finishing. Still a fun read and we get movement forward but it didn’t feel as complete as most of his work.

Rock-he Kim has a style that is more hit than miss and it felt like a good feeling of murkiness for a war torn setting. While none of the action sequences stood out as memorable, it all had a muddy tone that fits the series and specifically this setting so I had no complaints there. His artwork didn’t blow me away but for the story being told, it just felt right.

In this issue we see MI-13 trying to decide if they should be working with their own troops or X-Force and it quickly turns into a free for all between the three factions. The fights we see are honestly primarily between MI-13 and X-Force as the military, even though trained for it, don’t stand much of a chance here. Where does it go from there? Well no more solid of a lead on Volga than when this side trip initially started off, however we do find a very key piece of information at the end of the issue that will be sending Cable’s team off into an entirely new direction.

Will this new threat to mutant kind pan out for Volga or how to cure Hope and Cable? Probably not. I have a sneaky suspicion that when this whole series plays out we’ll see that the Hope that is in Meme is a new manifestation of her powers that will leave us with the original Hope in her body and the new Meme-Hope in her new one. Two Hopes with two completely sets of experiences.

I could be wrong but with how things are going it just feels so right!

Not at all the strongest issue in the series but once again it points us to a new target. Now we’ve got Volga and this new target on Cable’s radar and still we’re no closer to getting a cure. Clearly by the series end they need to find one, I just don’t know if it’ll end on that note or if we’ll see the two restored and continue on fighting as X-Force prior to the series closing.
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Rock-he Kim