By Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost (Writers) and Mike Choi & Sonia Oback (Art)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: The X-event The Messiah Complex was one of the reasons I got back into reading comics. So, needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to the sequel. That said, I’m not really sure what to expect from it, quality-wise. I really like what Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Mike Choi, and Sonia Oback (along with Clayton Crain) have done with X-Force. However, Duane Swierczynski and Ariel Olivetti have left me feeling fairly indifferent towards Cable. While I’ll readily agree that Cable has improved quite a bit since its rocky start, I can’t help but wonder if the crossover will maintain a level of consistency between the different creative teams.

The Story: The Messiah War kicks off with…well… mostly a summary to get readers caught up on the events that have lead to the crossover. Cyclops sends X-Force into the future to help Cable protect Hope, where they run straight into a familiar, unstable mercenary. Meanwhile, Lucas Bishop hits a bar in an attempt to persuade a returning “X” adversary to help eliminate Cable and Hope.

What’s Good: Event one-shots are something of a necessary evil. They must accomplish the rather tricky task of explaining enough about the past in order to make new readers feel welcome while at the same time advancing the story enough to satisfy longtime fans. And as far as that task is concerned, I have to consider the Messiah War one-shot to be a success. Simply put, the creative team manages to present a comic that keeps the old information from feeling stale and the new stuff from feeling too stunted. The narration and dialogue from Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost adequately sums things up by establishing what’s at stake. As for the visuals, Mike Choi and Sonia Oback do a nice job telling the story while, at times, putting forth some of the best work I’ve seen them do. Especially worth noting are the scenes featuring Deadpool, as they are almost worth the price of admission alone. Hilarious and disturbing, just like something involving the Merc with a Mouth should be.

What’s Not So Good: Despite being well handled by the creative team from both a writing standpoint and an artistic standpoint, there is no shaking the “been there, done that” feeling the first half of the one-shot gives off. It seems as though the whole section might have been better suited to being part of one of those free Saga releases so more time could be spent on advancing the War plot. In all honesty, the situation is understandable. But it still warrants a mention or else I wouldn’t be doing my job.

Conclusion: Messiah War definitely gets off to a slow start, but things pick up well enough by the time the first chapter reaches its conclusion. I look forward to seeing where things go next. Hopefully it involves more Deadpool.

Grade:  C+

-Kyle Posluszny