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

Some Thoughts Before The Review: Things were looking pretty grim for X-23– one of my favorite characters, at the end of last month’s issue of X-Force. Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost wouldn’t actually kill her, would they?!

The Story: X-23 is saved from more torture by an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, Wolverine desperately tries to locate X-23, while Elixir fights for his life. Also, the seeds continue to be planted for the upcoming Necrosia crossover.

What’s Good: X-Force #19 is at its best when the focus is on X-23’s current situation. Thankfully, the bulk of the book is devoted to it. X-23’s scenes are intense, brutal, and executed in a way that takes advantage of the character’s past and unique and slightly odd personality. Now, that’s not to say that the rest of the book is forgettable or anything because on a creative level, X-Force #19 is quite impressive.

Writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost continue to weave a compelling, ambitious plot threads that take advantage of all different areas of “X” continuity. In that sense, X-Force #19 continues the trend of the series reading like no other “X” book on the stands. With Necrosia creeping closer, Kyle and Yost hammer home the sense that pretty much anyone could make a return (possibly even from the grave).

The artwork in X-Force #19 by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback is as expected, extremely slick, clean, and polished. From X-23’s bloody escape, to Wolfsbane’s battle with the Frost Giants, the cinematic visuals hit all the right notes. The characters look great, the action is executed with style, and the storytelling gets the job done.

What’s Not So Good: The problem with X-Force #19 is that you can’t help but get that sense that Craig Kyle and Chris Yost tried to cram too much into one book. The flow of action is often broken by a jump to either another set of characters or some sort of scene that’s laying the foundation for the near future. While I understand the need to jump around because so many threads are being juggled at once, each jump tends to kill whatever momentum is built up.

Visually, my only complaint is that the art team’s females all look pretty similar. While I’ve noticed that in the past, it’s particularly a problem in the latest issue of X-Force because so many females show up throughout the book. Sure they are all attractive and realistic looking, but they look like they all might be related in some way.

Conclusion: A comic like X-Force #19 is tough to grade. It does a lot right, yet for a couple of reasons, it never manages to come together in a satisfying way.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny