Uncanny X-Force #16

Story by
Art by
Jerome Opeña
Colors by
Dean White
Letters by
Cory Petit
Cover by
Marvel Comics

"Uncanny X-Force" is one of the few books that feels like it's got content warranting the $3.99 price tag, and yet this issue actually only has 20 pages. Go figure. Rick Remender makes each issue count in a way that is quite remarkable. While you walk away with only the next step in the story, the saga is so epic in scope that each step feels like it has seven league boots on. The war between Wolverine's hit squad and the new forces of Apocalypse gets nasty in this issue.

Remender keeps his scenes short and punchy. Anything that's going to take a while gets a few crosscuts to keep the kinetic flow moving. With solid editing, and an ability to build beats on each page, Remender turns what might have been two fights and one chat into an issue where so much is happening that you feel like you're back in the Silver Age. It's a glorious way to read such a frenetic and whacked out book.

This team is the wetworks squad, the ones who don't mind killing. This frees the book up to be more violent than the rest of the bunch. You buy into this book and you've been forewarned: expect bloody insanity. What the new Blob does to Fantomex couldn't even be described on this family friendly site. What Wolverine does to one of the new Horsemen showcases why he is still the best there is at what he does. Archangel also shows that his metal wings aren't just for blingy show. This comic has sharp edges and should be handled with care.

There's something mesmerizing about the way Jerome Opeña draws an extremely large and disgusting Blob. It should be repulsive, and it is, but it is also the work of a very gifted individual. It's a skilled artist who can turn such repugnance into beauty on the page. The violence, and the ice monsters, and the alien evolution also all look magnificent. Dean White delivers everything you want with his coloring and yet manages to leave the majority of Opeña's glory on display. It's a brilliant collaboration on artistic duties.

"The Dark Angel Saga" is going to make one hell of a collection. Remender has not used the term "saga" lightly, and has gone for broke in terms of scope and innovation. Each month, this storyline has delivered. It will go down as a modern classic in the superhero genre. Remender plays with continuity to build something that seemingly stands above it all to succeed and delight. This is the sort of comic monthly fans are rewarded with because you are constantly left loving it and waiting for more.

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