A Show of Force
Force Works #1
Writers: Abnett and Lanning
Penciller: Tom Tenney
Inker: Rey Garcia
Inker: Rey Garcia
Colorist: Joe Rosas
On the latter, there were two main responses. Books either tried to define themselves against what Image was doing (a la 1963 and the Ultraverse), or they tried to imitate it.
So, as flawed as the logic was, part and parcel of the Force Treatment was finding a Liefeld-lite artist to draw it. The first attempt at the Force Treatment was actually made by DC in the 1992 Titans Hunt storyline. DC tried to hire Liefeld himself to take over the New Titans and do what he’d done to the New Mutants. The deal fell through, but it eventually resulted in the Team Titans, a bloodthirsty strikeforce with a grizzly big-gun-toting leader. The art on the first few issues of that series was by Kevin Maguire, whose clean, classic style that blunted the perception of the book as an X-Force rip-off.
There you have it: "An aggressive policy of defense and security."
And if you took a gander at that art you’ll realize that Marvel found a suitably Liefeld-esque artist to work with writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. His name was Tom Tenney, and he had just a couple of credits to his name before getting the Force Works gig. As far as Liefeld clones go, Tenney at least showed some signs of individuality. He clearly had some other influences, like Jae Lee and Liam Sharpe. Unlike Liefeld, he seemed to actually enjoy depicting background detail, and his storytelling wasn’t bad. He had the potential to grow into a formidable superhero artist, but that wasn’t to be. Tenney only stayed on Force Works for four issues, and then fulfilled his destiny by going to work for Liefeld. After a couple of brief assignments at Image, he disappeared from the comic book industry.
Force Works was an intriguing book, but never overcame its lack of originality. The new member of the team, Century, had an ugly design and failed to make much of an impact. But in the hands of more solid and experienced artists, like Paul Ryan on issue #5 and David Ross on issues #13 and 14, the book flashed its potential. Writers Abnett and Lanning, of course, would go on to better things, creating the version of the Guardians of the Galaxy that James Gunn translated to film.
One final aspect of the Force Treatment is that death of a major character had to be involved somehow. Fantastic Force grew out of Mr. Fantastic’s apparent demise. For Extreme Justice, it was Ice, who had been an integral part of the beloved Giffen-DeMatteis-Maguire Justice League. In the first issue of Force Works, Wonder Man is killed. Of course, these deaths were short lived, just like the careers of the artists who drew them, and the titles themselves. Force Works lasted 22 issues. Fantastic Force, 18. Extreme Justice, 19. Proven commercially unsustainable, the Force Treatment was mercifully abandoned as a go-to move.
“Extreme Crimes Call for Extreme Justice.” https://www.cosmicteams.com/jla/_chron/extreme-justice.html
Johnson, Kim Howard. “Crisis of Infinite Comics.” Comics Scene #35 (July 1993)