When I saw Ramon Perez credited for art chores on “Uncanny X-Force” #10, I found myself intrigued enough to take a closer look at a comic I had forsaken a few issues ago. Sam Humphries’ work on the title wasn’t bad, but Perez on pencils provided ample incentive to check back in, especially after seeing the preview pages for the issue.
What could have been great starts out interesting, but then collapses into a pool of mediocrity as Humphries uses much of this issue to explain the concept of the Revenants and their gripe with Lucas Bishop. Never mind the fact that Bishop might be on the precipice of recovery and could be a valid addition to the heroic ranks of the X-Men quadrant of the Marvel Universe. That, evidently, will be coming later as this issue focuses on an all-too-familiar plotline of X-Men wrestling and losing against their inner demons. Humphries provides a chuckle or two along the way, but those moments are fleeting as the story marches in place, making loud footfalls as it does so, but essentially goes nowhere.
The trek of the story in “Uncanny X-Force” #10 is an unfortunate metaphor for Perez’s art, which starts off beautifully with the panels disguised in a layered arrangement to become an interesting page. The Revenant Queen is cloaked in an owl mask and a white hooded cape, giving her an appearance similar to Snowbird, but just edgy enough in the opposite direction to ensure Alpha Flight fans that this is an altogether different beast. Three pages into Perez’s story, the artist delivers a double-page spread to accommodate the mad history of the Revenants according to Bishop. Unfortunately for Perez, the art gets murky while the background colors run the gamut of the rainbow. After that, the backgrounds melt away while the attack of the Revenants is portrayed as a bunch of genericized non-vampires swarm over Storm, Psylocke and Puck. Perez has some finer moments as each of that trio encounters his or her Revenant, but mostly the comic book slips into darkness.
The end of the issue is a continuation of the story we’ve seen all too often: an X-Man, alone, is left to confront their possessed teammates. What could have been great simply feels rehashed. I like the concept of the Revenants, but I’m not a fan of the execution in this issue. Humphries and Perez can do better. I’m hopeful that “Uncanny X-Force” #10 was simply the first issue of writer and artist figuring things out as this subpar to average issue misses out on its potential for greatness.