Episode 61: X-Cutioner’s Song Part 12

It’s the climatic… thing….

Listen to Episode 61: X-Cutioner’s Song Part 12.

You can subscribe to the Council of Geeks Podcast, home of 90s Comics Retrial on iTunes or on Stitcher.


Finally, a reminder that the podcast theme song is by erica dreisbach, and you can find more of her work at her website right here.


2 thoughts on “Episode 61: X-Cutioner’s Song Part 12

  1. Frank says:

    Wow, was your coverage of X-Force #1 prior to my listening to/commenting on this show? I know I’ve heard that episode, but I never seemed to say anything about it.

    Rob Liefeld was one of those new style “busy” artists like Todd McFarlane I noticed coming up on books I didn’t want to read, but still tossed through and went “ooo, that’s a lot of detail.” I got some more exposure during the awful X-Tinction Agenda crossover, but didn’t really pay him much mind until the famed New Mutants #98 introduced Deadpool, Domino and the underappreciated Gideon. I hadn’t read Judas Contract at that point, so I was blown away by Deadpool’s takedown of a team I’d never liked or respected. Domino and Cable seemed cool, while Gideon’s evil manipulation of Sunspot intrigued me. It all culminated with #100 and the introductions of the characters and concepts that would springboard into X-Force. I loved Liefeld’s art style and was emboldened as a notebook artist by my ability to reasonably approximate his look freehand.

    I was almost as excited for X-Force #1 as I was for X-Men #1, and I wasn’t quite as let down by the former as the latter, but both heralded a lasting discontent. X-Force was a non-starter for me, and I was already debating my departure around #6. It quickly became evident that Liefeld couldn’t plot a course across a mall parking lot. He just filled books with violent incidents and new characters that demonstrated diminishing returns after Shatterstar and Feral. Once he quit drawing the book, the deficits became so overwhelming that those are still some of the most hateful reads I ever inflicted upon myself.

    Given the across the board quality drop on the X-titles, I blamed editorial, and held naive optimism that Liefeld would do better at Image Comics. By Brigade #1 I’d come to realize Liefeld was his own problem. X-Force immediately improved with his complete departure, as scripter Fabian Nicieza finally got to write stories instead of just using dialogue to interpret the inane plots. Nicieza had already proven himself capable with teen heroes on New Warriors, and was joined by a more capable storyteller in Greg Capullo (who I still feel was at his peak during this run.) Before taking on McFarlane as his primary influence, Capullo offered a more chiseled take on MIchael Golden that I found very appealing. Suddenly, X-Force was one of the better X-books instead of the worst of them. I even miss the art deco “GC” signature he later abandoned.

    X-Cutioner’s Song interrupted the upward trajectory of the book, with too much wheel spinning from Nicieza for a story centered on characters he commanded. There just too much going on with too many characters for Capullo to render effectively, and all to no end besides selling trading cards. As noted, nothing was really resolved by this twelve chapter onanistic opus. I will torture you further by pointing out both Uncanny and X-Force feature codas that ought to be read to offer some sort of closure to this thing.

    Despite still halfway enjoying X-Force, I committed to dropping all the X-titles with “Fatal Attractions” as my big send-off. Capullo left a couple of issues later to be replaced by Tony Daniel, who I never liked, so I was further assured in my choice. Aside from grazing the Deadpool pages ahead of his movie as podcast research, I’ve never revisited that twenty-five issue run, and have no lasting affection for any of the characters that appeared in the series (excepting New Mutants #98.)


  2. I have been enjoying your look at the crossover and listening to you slowly lose your minds as the EX-TREME excesses of the 90’s have run roughshod over your enjoyment of what story there is and you have brought some joy to my nightly dog walking. It reminds me that I tend to forgive a lot of 90’s stories of sins that I would rake a modern story over the coals for. Ah nostalgia. I am just hoping that you got out of buying monthly comics before the abomination that is the Phalanx covenant happened.
    I had been sharing the posts with my blog Page of Apocalypse, but since I am likely to shut that one down soon, I have recently re-shared your posts to mymarvellifepresents.com so that what few readers I have can give your excellent show a listen.
    Keep up the good work, the 90’s deserve a fair trial, but not necessarily an acquittal


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