Who knew that Rick Remender was going to launch into a supermassive sci-fi epic of mutants battling through alternate realities using alien god seeds to power the destruction of the entire planet? Whoever knew of these plans, and approved them, deserves a pat on the back. The trust has yielded a tale that stands above most other comics on pure ambition alone, but then zooms out of the atmosphere on the excellence of the delivery. This book is something else entirely and it could surely singlehandedly cure any lapsing reader’s malaise.
Remender has never shied away from dropping too many ideas into the one issue. It’s nice to have to actually think fast to keep up with the pace on the pages. We get a few million years of evolution in a handful of panels and then Deadpool makes some off-key jokes, and they’re ones that are actually funny. The beauty of this book is its inability to be defined easily or as the same thing for too long. Just when you think you understand the gonzo pulp nature of the beast you get a laugh segueing into a fistfight between mutants involving metal wing blades and sentient bullets.
Wolverine is completely absent from this issue and that only means the others get more time to shine. Deathlok steps up for some crazy interrogation and generally badassery. Fantomex continues to be the unsung hero holding this book together. That Remender can make these two characters not only hold a page but our interest and hearts is a massive feat that speaks volumes for the quality of this book.
The well-structured final panel holds a sadness of inevitability that bodes well for the next issue to come. A comic needs to work as a monthly periodical before a complete set collected on the shelf, and this issue showcases why that is a good thing when done extremely well.
The art from Jerome Opena (with Dean White on colors) makes this book feel like it could have been created a hundred years ago by the visionaries who generated the pulpy genres of strong men and strange lands. The art channels the emotional depth and texture masters like Frank Frazetta were able to convey. These characters become real on the page and the worlds that are so incredibly fictional spring to life between your hands and your mind. The zesty colors make each page look fit to eat. This is the wildest and most successfully amazing art shipping from Marvel right now.
‘The Dark Angel Saga’ has been a bold initiative for Remender to craft a unified tale throughout his entire run on “Uncanny X-Force.” The concepts are always high and the fun always maniacal. There isn’t a page without an astounding visual or facemelting concept at work. This book has stripped the true merit of the word ‘uncanny’ away from any other title and owned it completely. When intense action can still make way for character driven moments you know you’re on a winner. The style and flair only exist to enhance the depth of the tale.