on 11 February 2002
The new X-Force are a very different superhero team; not for them ideals of heroism or duty, they don't believe that their great power brings great responsibility. They're in it for the fame, the fortune, the girls; yes, they're celebrities. They're also the most popular mutants in America.
Actually, this tale of celebrity superheroes isn't about the X-Force team as such; I didn't come out of it feeling I knew Phat, Vivisector or even the Anarchist all that well. Our real stars are the depressed, suicidal team-leader the Orphan and the self-seeking, selfish U-Go Girl, and it's their relationship that increasingly takes centre-stage as the book progresses.
This book probably won't be for everyone - it's cynical and adult, not normal superhero fare at all - and all illustrated in a strangely retro style. But it's an interesting read, and probably a more realistic image of how superheroes would behave in the real world.
on 7 January 2002
Then get ready for the comic book with shampoo AND conditioner, as the creative team behind X-Force re-launch the brand as the thinking fan's cross-media-reality-gameshow with a body count. Milligan and Allred have remixed the traditional concept of the super hero team, and New Beginnings is their first Mutant-Tekno crossover novelty hit record!
Hero-Mission as Marketing Tool:
At a time when popularity ratings, tie-in merchandise and guest appearances are "all part of the job", you can forget about secret identities - this is a branding war! And with a line-up of freaky teens with chemical dependence issues, suicidal tendencies and troublesome blocked pores, you know that saving the planet is just one more publicity stunt before that big break into spandex catalogue modelling!
Medium as message:
Utilising both ultra-retro 2-D block-colour and high definition digital photo-realism, and with a plot saturated in sound-bite and satire, New Beginnings resembles nothing less than the mediablitz of a CNN World War III Special - crossed with an MTV award ceremony and a "trailer park clear-out" episode of Jerry Springer. Now that's value!
This all-new, tangle-free, kissable X-Force explores the concept of buying up and selling out in the Super Hero market, where the consumer is king and reality lies in the eye of a floating mutant gherkin called Doop.
Just buy it.