A review of Uncanny X-Force #19.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Rafael Grampa
The Story: The aftermath of The Dark Angel Saga! A member lost! New members gained! An Avenger discovers the secret of X-Force! Fantomex and Ultimaton must allow the world's most powerful weapon to leave their care. Elizabeth Braddock must say goodbye to the man she loves. New friends must stand and make a suicide march. Next generation superstar artist Robbi Rodriguez joins Rick Remender to break your heart.
When the Dark Angel Saga ended with #18, Uncanny X-Force #19 had some big expectations to live up to. SPOILER ALERT: Remender delivers.
Uncanny X-Force #18 left the team triumphant, but also in ruin. Deadpool was in pieces in a bag, Wolverine was nearly dead, and Psylocke thought she killed the man she loves, only to find him wandering around nude in the snow with no memory.I should mention briefly that Jerome Opena is not on art here. Robbi Rodriguez does okay and his more "cartoony" style contrasts highly with that of Opena, but I definitely miss the gritty realism of Opena.
We open on Fantomex having a conversation with Genesis about good and evil. It's an interesting insight into what I'm certain will be the ongoing "nature vs. nurture" debate over the little Apocalypse. Then we jump to the Jean Grey School and the remainder of the book attempts to serve as a jump on point for new readers (hence the Regenesis tag). There is a lovely moment between the alternate Age of Apocalypse (AoA) universe's Jean and Wolverine as the AoA team prepares to return to their dimension. As they step in, AoA Nightcrawler tells everyone that he will be staying so that he may take vengeance on the on the AoA baddies that remain in this universe. We end with Fantomex hanging a new portrait of the X-Force team when several alternate universes' Captain Britains (aka the Captain Britain Corps) burst through a portal from Otherworld and demand to see Psylocke.
All in all this is a great issue. Is it a great jump on point for new readers? Not really. If a reader decided to pick up this issue as part of the Regenesis stealth reboot, they might find more questions than answers. Why is Angel so confused? Who is this teenage Apocalypse? Why are Jean Grey and Nightcrawler alive? While it's not impossible to figure out the answers to these questions (especially if you have the internet), with the 18 issues under his belt, Remender has built a deep, complicated mythos that would be EXTREMELY difficult to explain to new readers in 25 pages.
But, if you are looking to start reading this series, I say definitely pick this issue up and decide if you're interested enough to catch up with the trades. In my opinion, Uncanny X-Force is the best ongoing book at Marvel right now. Issues #1 - #18 make up an incredible, sprawling opera that shouldn't be missed by any comic book fan.
Review by: Tyler Mills, Outhouse Contributor