X-Force #24 Keeps Benjamin Percy’s “Bad Things Happen In This Book” Promise
Back during NYCC 2019, the Team of X introduced and dove into their various new titles. After the panel, Benjamin Percy’s X-Force. So, what made audiences so excited in the next volume of X-Force? Percy made a promise: “bad things happen in this book.” Indeed, he made good on that promise fast. In the first issue of X-Force, Percy not only indicated that a new villain was using Domino’s skin, but the issue ends with an assassin shooting Xavier – and Cerebro – in the head. Throughout the series, we saw many “bad things.” At one point, Colossus, having just escaped a Russian prison thanks to Kate Pryde and her Marauders, and Domino discussed communal suicide. But instead, they went on a suicide mission. However, despite all the tragedy Percy has put the team through before, X-Force #24 is one of the most tragic since the series debuted.
X-Force #24 Proves that Colossus is the Punching Bag of Krakoa
First, the Russians nearly kill him. Then he comes close to suicide. Following that, Beast – trying to weed out a Russian spy on Krakoa – publicly arrested and humiliated Piotr. Despite all of this, Colossus remained patient and calm. All he wanted was to work the Savage Land flower farm with his new, beautiful, lavender-skinned wife, Kayla. At first, it seemed that there was something off about Kayla. She was too sweet, too caring. Obviously, for the X-Men, that meant imminent danger. But the truth was that she did care for Piotr and wanted to help him heal from his years of battle and heartbreak.
And, so, for the past couple of years, Colossus has been residing with Kayla in the Savage Land. He harvests the plants for Krakoa’s drugs, reads, and grows intimate with Kayla. But more than anything, he takes solace with a paintbrush and canvas. Piotr Rasputin is known as a phenomenal artist and even sells his work. It’s the purest thing in his life.
X-Force #24 takes that – and much more – from him in a devastating way. As it turns out, Beast might have been right to arrest Colossus since he was, in fact, the traitor. But it’s not that simple and so much worse than that.
Piotr’s Villainous Brother, Mikhail, Destroys His Soul
Mikhail Rasputin is not just one of the X-Men’s most formidable foes, but he’s one of the most powerful mutants in the world. His mutant gifts include the transmutation of physical objects as well as the ability to move between dimensions. If he were to accept Krakoa’s amnesty policy, as many villains have, he would probably be on the Quiet Council. But, instead, he further pledged his allegiance to Russia and his own goals.
To achieve those goals, destroying Krakoa for reasons not entirely clear yet, he uses Colossus. But before thinking that Benjamin Percy turned the kindest X-Men character evil, let’s take a step back. As far back as X-Force #7, we started to see the name “Chronicler” pop up, but it’s not until issue #24 that we find out what this character is capable of. He’s a writer. Those are the most dangerous people in the world. Oh, and he can also control someone’s actions and surroundings through his writing.
Locking him in a dimensional rift, Mikhail forces Chronicler to manipulate his brother into unspeakable acts.
Colossus’s Horrifying Actions in X-Force #24
Remember when we said that Mikhail would take Colossus’s art from him? This is how. He’s been using Chronicler to manipulate Piotr into painting secret and essential parts of Krakoa – and then selling those paintings worldwide. Though, we can assume they all ended up in Russia. This is a perversion of one of the only happy areas left of Colossus’s life, and Mikhail turned it into a weapon against him. When Kayla discovers the paintings (well, Colossus left them out), she’s mortified and starts ripping them apart. This alone would end their relationship, but Mikhail takes it even further. He ends Kayla:
But this is just the beginning of Colossus’s anguish. Right now, still under Chronicler’s control, he can’t see the severity of his actions. But he will soon. Xavier arrives at his cabin at the end, wanting to talk. Now, assuming that Xavier will free Colossus of Chronicler and Mikhail’s control, how will he react to not just betraying his new nation, but murdering his new wife? And then, finding out his brother orchestrated the entire thing.
But also, what is Piotr going to do to Mikhail once he gets his steel-covered hands on him? Mikhail just better hope that Ilyana, their little sister, doesn’t find out. She’s very protective of her big brother, but also as all the demons of Limbo at her command.
X-Force #24 is a heartbreaking chapter, but also the beginning of what could be one of Colossus’s best character arcs. Percy’s been building this story for two years. It’s about time we see it take off.
X-Force #24 is available at your preferred comics retailer this month.
What do you think? Tell us your thoughts, theories, and things we may have missed from this issue in the comments. Will Colossus forgive himself for what he did while being controlled? Are you okay? (We are not okay.)
(Featured Image: Marvel Comics)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.