The hunt for Apocalypse is on! After getting wind that some of his followers may have found a way to resurrect Apocalyspse, Archangel assembles a team to help him stop that from happening. Archangel, Deadpool, Wolverine, Fantomex and Psylocke form the new Uncanny X-Force, a team whose sole mission is to kill Apocalypse and prevent his return and rise to power.
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opena
Age: Older Teens
While some may question the choice of characters on this team, we soon learn that everyone has their place. Their biggest trait is that these characters can take a beating and keep on going, a great combination as they always give that down but not out impression. The relationships between everyone is all over the place, yet mindful of the history anyone may have shared. Archangel does a good impression of Batman, setting up his own version of the Batcave called Cavern-X. Cavern-X serves as both a base of operations, but also as a museum for the X-Men, something that was lost now that the X-Men live on Utopia and not at the mansion. Deadpool finds Apocalypse’s followers and by the time the team meets up with him, shit has already hit the fan. From this point on we join a vicious game of cat and mouse as X-Force hunts down Apocalypse.
Rick Remender has a love and knowledge of these characters that is evident in every page, and combined with his unrestrained imagination, we end up on one crazy ride. He introduces four new Horsemen and with single page back stories he forever establishes them in our minds. War, Famine, Plague and Death are so powerful and crazy that they give X-Force a brutal beating. I’ve seen the X-Men down and out, but haven’t been on the edge of my seat like this in a long time. Remender gives each character their own voice and watching each different interaction is pure joy. From Warren and Betsy rekindling their romance, to the mutual respect between Wolverine and Famtomex and even listening to Deadpool constantly talking to himself and annoying his teammates, it all just makes sense. This book is a nonstop thrill that pull you in after just the first issue.
Jerome Opena’s art is gritty while somehow keeping the superhero aspect present. He knows when to keep to simple lines, when to add hatch lines, and finally when to just let deep black inks dominate. There is also a very alien feel to everything which leaves the reader as unsettled as the characters. I would like to say Opena does all the work, but credit must be given to Dean White, whose colors leave nothing to be desired. He sets the mood by keeping this dark and grimy, everything just seems dirty, yet he also manages to set up a contrast as whenever the team is dealing with outside stuff we see everything in brighter colors. Opena and White really pull off something special and for that reason alone I would suggest the book.
The biggest strength of this book is that it doesn’t feel decompressed, Remender writes a dense script and doesn’t waste any space. Opena follows suits, keeping the story flowing beautifully with great angles and no big splash pages just for the sake of it. If you are a fan of Apocalypse then this is the book for you. Otherwise, I suggest this book if you want something a bit more mature and involved. While this book is crazy and violent, it is not unnecessarily so. Uncanny X-Force doesn’t tie into anything and marches to the beat of its own drum, something that is very rare in the X-books nowadays. While debatable, I believe this is the best X-book coming out and maybe even the strongest and most consistent Marvel book at the moment.