black_forces_shorts_victor black_forces_shorts_storm
Full Name: James Xu
Nationality: American
Organization: Black Force
Occupation Agent

Creator: Matt Rogers
Time Span: 2018 - 2018


James Xu is an agent with Black Force.

As explained in a similar write-ups for fellow agents Jason King and Will Slater, Black Force is an unofficial American military operation, conceived and created by upper echelon officers, "top of the food chain" as King refers them, to take on the missions that they felt needed to be done but which few in their right mind would attempt and certainly none would admit to. As a completely off-book organization but financed through funneling from legitimate projects, it sent its men all over the world to handle "things that never would have ordinarily been sanctioned". The man in charge of this "group that didn't exist" is Lars Crawford and it was Crawford who personally vetted and selected the members of the group, pulling each man from the various Special Forces organizations in the U.S. military.

Each of these agents are considered solo acts, sent in alone to handle a mission and fully prepared to suffer the consequences if something goes pear-shaped. The isolationism is probably a good thing because for the most part, these operatives do not really play well with others, which, come to think of it, might have been one of the original reasons for the 'one mission - one man' directive.

"Black Force had never been advertised as an easy gig. In fact, it had never been advertised at all. Xu knew surprisingly little about the organisation, considering he'd put his life on the line for his country well over thirty times now. The job had no official protocol and no rigid instructions, which made it all the more satisfying when he pulled off the impossible."

James Xu is a Chinese-American born and "raised" in Brooklyn; that last word was in quotes because from the small references we get to it, it was a particularly harsh upbringing and one that Xu does not like to recall and never with any fondness. This poor childhood resulted in his learning at a early age how to defend himself and, more importantly for his future employment, how to bring pain and suffering to others. He is an expert in muay thai fighting.

Xu enjoys his life and enjoys his challenges. He is smart enough to know he cannot keep doing it for much longer but while he can, he will.


Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2018

The author, Matt Rogers, initially brought out a series of books detailing the adventures of Black Force operative Jason King. After seven of these, plus one novella, he introduced another Black Force operative, Will Slater, and gave us a couple of his adventures.

At that point Rogers presented a series of 10 (so far) "Black Force Shorts", novellas involving a handful of operatives handling missions, as always, on their own. While a couple would show early missions of both King and Slater, the first and the sixth gave us the following missions for James Xu.

1 The Victor The Victor
Written by Matt Rogers
Copyright: 2018

Black Force Shorts #1
Operative James Xu arrives in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn to infiltrate a shady tournament. He knows he is in for a lot of trouble. He had no idea it would be this much.
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2 The Storm The Storm
Written by Matt Rogers
Copyright: 2018

Black Force Shorts #6
James Xu is in Lagos, Nigeria, to find a Cambodian-American named Jimmy Neak and learn why the man had been radicalized after his brother's death. The reason will open a whole new mission for Xu.
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     I really enjoyed these stories about Xu and would not have been at all upset if there had been more. There aren't, of course, likely because the author has devoted so much time to his King and Slater stories which is, from an action reader's perspective, a good thing. But being greedy like I am, I cannot help but wish for a few more about Xu.

     I like the idea of an Asian-American operative. I also like the little bit of the history of this man that we get. Xu is definitely someone I would want on my side and someone I would not want coming for me.


My Grade: B+


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