“Uncanny X-Force” #33 is a solid superhero tale thanks to some creative thinking from Rick Remender and clear storytelling from Phil Noto. Though not the strongest issue of the series, there’s plenty to enjoy thanks to the skill of the creators involved.
Since its debut, the central team in “Uncanny X-Force” has been full of challenge and rancor, and it’s Remender’s constant outside-the-box thinking when it comes to characters and plot that keeps things fresh. How fitting it is that Daken, as Wolverine’s son, would be the one to figure out how to kill him? Although we all know it won’t hold (it never does), it’s still a good idea and crafting the method as Daken’s brainchild makes it both all the darker and more telling about the character. In the same vein, Nightcrawler’s defeat of Blob is brilliant, horrifying and also somehow humorous. It’s certainly the kind of surprise I wish more comics writers could deliver. Even when a story of Remender’s doesn’t blow my mind, his work is still wildly creative and enjoyable. It’s not only easy to tell how much he loves what he’s doing, the amount of thought he puts into it is nothing short of impressive.
Everything these characters have been through with Evan since the very beginning of this series is coming to a head, and the futility of trying to “fight fate” is heavy in the air. It’s dark and depressing, but appropriate given the stakes. If anything, the issue suffers a bit by trying to jam in too many stories, giving it a slightly choppy feeling as it jumps around from character to character.
I’m a huge fan of Phil Noto’s work and his art here is solid, but he doesn’t seem as perfect a match for the story as some of the other artists we’ve seen on “Uncanny X-Force.” The book is traditionally pretty dark and Noto’s clean and refined style just doesn’t lend itself naturally to the grittiness of Remender’s characters and plots. It’s lovely, but almost too lovely — if that makes sense. The story doesn’t play to Noto’s strengths, and conversely Noto is not quite able to bring out the natural darkness in the story. Frank Martin Jr. and Rachel Rosenberg’s colors are adequate, but they lack the nuance and subtlety that you get when Noto is able to color his own work.
“Uncanny X-Force” has been an incredibly strong book since its inception, and though this isn’t my favorite issue of the series, even when it’s underperforming it’s still a good, solid superhero comic.