And now true believers, it is the final part in Gischlers 'Open Contract' arc for Jubilee and the Security Recon Team, a lot happened in this issue but I'll go into detail with later on, first ? Let's get a low down on the main bits and bobs. So, following from #26's mishap, Psylocke and Storm excluding a severely injured Raizo are down, while Jubilee faces off against a very intriguing new character, Lord Deathstrike. Meanwhile, the rest of the Security Team and The Forgiven finish up with their "battles", can i add, i still love the fact that characters i never even knew about were brought into the mix and played some sort of roles in the story but their departures and KO's were just...meh. I'd say the most exciting part of this whole issue was a new and improved Vampire'lee fightning Lord Deathstrike who had actually come for Raizo Kodo, much to Jubilation's annoyance. All the fighting scenes were really eye-opening and mind-boggling, really, for me anyways, the whole issue in itself was Jubilee-centric so that's not exactly a suprise, i guess you could say the mutant-turned-Vampire was a little cocky while heading into the fight at first until she learned who was in charge, then we got to see some really interesting stuff happen, she let him know what it meant to be a Vampire and what was more or less something that would happen to her on a regular basis and she was such a complete BAMF while doing so, this is the issue where Jubilee finally-grows out of being the quirky, spunky mall-rat and into something else entirely, but i love it, so i definitely recommend picking everything from #20 and onwards.
The good bits of this issue was that Domino still, and always will have a thing to say in all matters, usually, Psylocke is supposed to be the De Facto co-leader of this team as shown in the Regenesis arc of this series, but as she was taken out as a result of last issue's psi-bomb, that wasn't the case. Something that is quite evident is that Domino has got tons of experience under her belt and Gischler somewhat let that show, i liked how she managed to round up The Forgiven then find Warpath and make a "dramatic entrance" or, what ever that was and like Gischler himself stated, he likes the character anyways which is most probably she's getting more panel-time than most. Jubilee's fight was intense, everysingle panel was asking for more until that knuckle-biting last moment, i love how Gischler has taken her under his wing and turned her from being a depowered mutant into something more and something better, like the rest of her Generation X classmates, she has grown up. Also, constantly loving Molina's art, it's perfect for a series like this and I'm so glad he'll be atleast staying on the covers for the time being, his artwork is amazing and brought Jubilee's fight to life.
There were still something's that i found quite disappointing with this issue, firstly, even though Psylocke was taken out she had absolutely nothing to do or say withing the issue itself and that's getting annoying, when there is interaction with Domino and Betsy, she'd be unconscious, not to mention, Colossus yet again only shows up for literally two panels and his presence in this issue just wasn't needed, he needs to leave and unfortunately he wont. Warpath is one of the teammembers who actually belongs with this team given his past with X-Force and this is more or less an X-Force like team, at last on the Blue Side anyways, but, Gischler still manages to only keep him within one page, at least he managed to beat his opponent in record time though, not to mention, all the previous showdowns with certain members of The Forgiven and members of the Security Recon team were for some reason cut-short or someone decided to forfeit, that was annoying cause i was expecting a lot more than a couple of panels for each fight, then a whole issue went by and that's when the fights happened, still give credit to Gischler for bringing them in, though.
All in all, 'Open Contract' has been a very fun ride, mainly for Jubilee anyways, she's made a lot of choices with her time as a member of the Security Recon team and she's now found a better place for her given her current situation as a Vampire, which is with The Forgiven. I wont lie, this story-arc as a whole didn't really solidify the teams mission statement as a whole, granted, they did help act as Security along with The Forgiven by protecting the Island but, isn't that what X-Men usually do ? Still, it's been good and i will most definitely miss Jubilation Lee, her departure from the titles and from the X-Series as a whole will be felt, and it was extremely sad, I'll miss her but at least her departure is actually explained which can't be said for most characters I'd say. 2.5/5