From the House of Ideas: “X-Force Annual (2022)” From Nadia Shammas and Rafael Pimentel is Sure to Reverberate Across X-Books

Have you heard of Nadia Shammas?

Honestly, I hadn’t; that is, I hadn’t until I read X-Force Annual (2022) which hit stores shelves and digital this past week. And I must say, I was extremely impressed with their work.

Annuals can be a crapshoot, I find; sometimes they’re a fine and fun story, other times they’re key to the evolution of a series or a character. Working with artist Rafael Pimentel, Nadia Shammas has crafted what I can only consider to be a story that will reverberate in the ongoing X-Force series.

In this annual, Domino, Wolverine, and Kid Omega are sent on a mission by Beast to retrieve flowers that have apparently been stolen by Orchis (the current big bad in X-Men lore that is determined to eradciate mutantkind). What we soon discover is that there’s more to this mission than meets the eye, as Sage and Emma Frost question what Hank McCoy’s true motives are for sending his covert-ops team on their mission. The three mutants wind up being tested in ways we haven’t seen before.

Rafael Pimentel’s artwork is absoltely fantastic in X-Force Annual, with his character work evocative. A big shout out to colour artist Carlo Lopez, who really makes the (digital) pages pop. Both of their work is a perfect compliment to Shammas’ writing, which I found to be a real page-turner. I’ve written previously that so much about the current X-Men status quo is about political intrigue, and that vibe is maintained here to a large degree. Perhaps not the politics part, but there is some real intrigue and clandestine action on display throughout the book. While the character stakes are never reall in doubt, the repercussions of the mission Kid Omega, Wolverine, and Domino are sent on are sure to reverberate.

The best part of X-Force Annual, though, is that in Nadia Shammas I’ve now found another writer to keep my eyes on. Like me, you can learn more about their current and upcoming work here.

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