‘The Dark Angel Saga’ was the most loved X-event of the year, if not many previous years. The entire 18 issue run built to a shocking and satisfying crescendo. Publishing the next issue a week later is a bold move, indeed. It wraps up a few emotional threads and casts all eyes to the future. “Uncanny X-Force” stood alone for so long, but now aspects will dovetail with other pieces of ongoing X-continuity. By the end of these pages, you’ll feel safe with the direction of the ship.
These scenes could just as easily be teaser vignettes for each of the characters within the team. The emotional growth, or lack thereof, is the center of each scenario and so everything works on its own brilliantly. The conversation between Fantomex and his ward sets up plenty for the future while meaning something right now. Remender comments on the state of superheroics and villainy while also setting up a tabula rasa to prove, or disprove, his variables and beliefs. This is an experiment about comics within comics.
Psylocke is the character with the most turmoil on her plate right now. This is not being ignored. In fact, the pages devoted to her, and her undying love, are confronting and mildly disturbing. There is no reset button at play and the path Remender wants to go down is strange and fraught with dark corners. The are two panels of strangeness and Psylocke’s body language therein shows the sort of acting comics relies on — a sublime melding of script planning and art execution.
Robbi Rodriguez makes his debut on the title and leads strongly. His style is congruent with the diverse range so far showcased in the book. This isn’t a glossy X-book by any standards. Angles are strange, with faces contorting to display emotion rather than biological accuracy. The feeling on the page is the most important thing and Rodriguez feels this title. In a superhero comic where the soap opera is the most important aspect, Rodriguez experiments on the page and keeps you intrigued by what goes on within the characters as well as around them. Dean White brings consistency to the colors from previous issues while also constantly providing an extra layer that is certainly one of the reasons this book has been the best thing all year.
“Uncanny X-Force” is suddenly a mess of random jigsaw puzzle pieces. They won’t ever truly fit together for standard coherence, but the opportunity for abstract art and experimentation is much more exciting than conformance. The last story shook the infrastructure. As things settle in slow motion, the prospects for the future feel good. This book isn’t done being the best there is at what it does.