When the January Marvel solicitations hit, the descriptions for the pair of X-Force titles sure made it sound like one would be ending. As it turns out, both are, with a All-New Marvel NOW! relaunch hitting, billed simply as X-Force #1. The team, written by Simon Spurrier and drawn by Rock-He Kim, will feature an amalgam of the two prior teams, and launch in February 2014.
Cable, Psylocke, Fantomex, and surprise member Marrow will make up the roster, at least to start, as Spurrier focuses the series on "a take-no-prisoners attitude towards action" but with "a little post-millenial sophistication, too," the writer told USAToday.com. "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."
The writer says the series will feature X-Force going up against other like-minded factions from around the Marvel Universe, showing what happens when the proactive mutant group runs into similar groups from around the world.
"Switch on the news and you've got unmanned drones violating international borders, governments listening in on their enemies — their allies and their own civilians alike, —unregistered aeronautical tech deployed in the field, defected oligarchs dying of radiation poisoning, whistleblowers vilified and so on. So we're playing with a lot of layers here. Factionalism, politics, violence, plus all the very human-level dramas that underpin any good team book."
Spurrier expressed his excitement for each of the characters, calling Cable "carved from stone" but full of "boiling rage and hope and passion." He said Psylocke is "unrivaled when it comes to stealthily killing enemies, and yet she's trying her damnedest to pursue a non-lethal path." He likes that he'll get to play with Fantomex and Psylocke's lingering romantic issues, and that Fantomex is "a wonderful bundle of extreme coolness and gentle insanity." As for the surprise member, Marrow, he compared her to Tank Girl or "Starbuck" from the modern Battlestar Galactica. "She's a fighter too damaged by own experiences to ever really fit in," Spurrier said.
There will be new characters, good and bad, including a new mutant called MeMe that sets off their first adventure, and while these are the four "core" characters of the team, others will come in and out. That perhaps at least partially addresses the fact that out of the two teams of X-Force characters right now, only three out of the thirteen or so members are listed here, with a new recruit making four.
Spurrier's current book, X-Men: Legacy, looks to be ending around the February timeframe, but wasn't addressed in the interview.
Check out more character designs by Kim here.