Monday, July 27, 2015

Review # 166: "X-Force/Spider-Man - Sabotage"

The X-Force/Spider-Man crossover "Sabotage" has a special place in my collection. I feel it is my duty to preserve it for future generations so they can see everything that was wrong with comics in the early 90's.

The giant firearms; the 'roided freaks; poorly-drawn feet; pouches, pouches, POUCHES! These are the defining characteristics of Rob Liefeld. While I will stand up for the poor guy now and then as there are some good drawings to his name, there is no disputing that his work on "X-Force" was garbage. The art; my LORD, the art. Shatterstar's shoulderpad, Cable's silver armour, Domino's headgear, Cannonball's completely wrong face structure, Feral's.... well, just everything about Feral. This supposedly bad-ass mercenary team is a laughable disaster. Mix in the strange lined shading which appears to give everyone facial scars, and poor panel-to-panel storytelling, and in "X-Force" numbers 4 and 5 you have some of the most garish, most "90's" bad art you will ever see.

Sadly, in the Todd McFarlane-drawn "Spider-Man" things don't get much better. While contortionist-Spidey looks as cool as ever and Sam Guthrie's face at least looks correct, if exaggerated, you've still got your over-muscled Warpath and... my goodness. Did anyone bother to count the number of teeth they were drawing in a person's mouth? When Juggernaut got his hands on the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak, did his mystical powers include EIGHT extra teeth?

Ah, yes. Ol' Juggy. There's a famous Spider-Man story where he faces off with Juggernaut and this is not it. In this lark - where Juggernaut and his man-crush "Black Tom" Cassidy attack the World Trade Centre (touchy) - Spider-comes across X-Force acting like fools. So he schools them in how Juggernaut can't be stopped but can be slowed down. I'll give the future "Spawn" creator some credit: this is pretty well-told artistically, despite the fact that I have to turn the book sideways to look at it. Parts two and three of this are done in that style because... 90s!!!!!

Unfortunately, as we return to Liefeld again for said third part the entire venture becomes pointless. X-Force, Spidey and Juggernaut stand around for a while and then Juggy pretty much just... walks away. Hell of a climax.

In conclusion, "Sabotage" is terrible. But it must be read to appreciate how terrible it is and thus prevent this horrible chapter of Marvel's past from repeating.

Rating: 1.5/10

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