By TJ Dietsch
Where there's light, there's also darkness, it's one of those inevitable facts of life. So, as the new Heroic Age spreads across the Marvel Universe, expect plenty of characters to still keep to the shadows, specifically the stars of Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña's NEW X-FORCE.
"They have no business operating," Remender says of the new Wolverine-lead team. "They should be defunct. They're breaking some rules by reforming, breaking some trust. They also have a different outlook on how they proceed with the missions and who knows about the missions. There is a co-captain system set up at first to ensure no one person has control over such a lethal force. There are members of the team who want to do the right thing but have a difficult time with the current modus operandi. However, the deliberation is cut short as the threat they are facing is revealed to be the return of Apocalypse."
The new X-Force team has a network of people looking out for Apocalypse's rise and could be faced with the moral quandary of being able to execute the immortal villain as an infant.
"One of the members of the team has had operatives hunting for signs of the return of En Sabah Nur for years," Remender shares. "We open as the operative discovers what he's been seeking. Turns out when the rest of the world is celebrating the defeat of a tyrant, humanity entering a new 'Heroic Age' is the first big signpost of the Age of Apocalypse. X-Force is
Speaking of Apocalypse, Remender studied the character's long history dating back to his first appearance in 1986's X-FACTOR #5 in preparation for this story.
"I take what I like and focus in, building on the better ideas with my own take on the character's natural next step, natural motivation in response to the current world stage," he explains. "I think the character has been handled well throughout the years, but I'm personally a big fan of the Louise and Walt Simonson version [from the original X-FACTOR series]. But I've read all of his appearances and have a list of the points that seem the strongest, the things I'll be focusing on. We've also developed a lot of new stuff around past continuity, fleshing out concepts that were hinted at or mentioned, [like] a certain society [returning] in a new form. It's important to be mindful of [whom] the character is and what he has done but not allow it to hinder creativity. With these new pages and designs Jerome Opeña is sending in I feel confident we've done that."
With such a dark and secretive missions, Remender promises that his new group will still sport the black-themed duds fans might be familiar with from the current X-FORCE.
"It defines their purpose a bit, reminds them of the business at hand," says the writer of the darker outfits. "These are heroes, people who want to see their actions make the world a better place. However, they're also stained. A band that has been forced to make hard choices in the past, choices that called for hard resolutions. They're like Johnny Cash; the men in black wear it as an external representation of the stains they've absorbed for the good of the common man, and so that other heroes can keep a squeaky clean conscience."
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