Monday, March 12, 2012
Uncanny X-Force #1-4
I’ve been hearing good things about the breakneck action in Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, but I held off because I enjoyed Chris Yost’s take so much over the past few years. Then Comixology had a nice 99 cent sale and I figured it was time to sample. I’m quite happy I did.
It seems Apocalypse is back on the scene, reincarnated or recreated in the body of a young boy. His old associate Ozymandius is pulling strings to make sure this kid grows up to be the Darwinian manipulator we all know and love. Apocalypse also has four new Horseman and a new sentient Ship, making his team a sort of “best of” from his old flunkies. (Although weren’t the Dark Riders his group too? A bunch of generic 90’s baddies, I think.)
After the larger cast in the last series, Remender whittles the lineup down a fair amount. X-Force is now Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex, and Deadpool. There was no real “forming the team” moment, but I’ve seen so many origin stories, that is certainly fine with me. The team seems a bit awkward, with Fantomex pining for Psylocke, but she’s gotten back with Archangel. And Deadpool just annoys everybody.
The new Horseman are nice and tough, with some original powers. The upper hand gets mixed up quite a bit, as the Horsemen are darn capable of causing serious damage to the X-folks. In fact, the new Famine drains Archangel so badly that Deadpool is forced to empty his pockets to feed him (Pop Rocks and soda), then slice flesh off and feed it to the angelic guy. Pretty dang gross, and now there are two cannibals on the X-Men (since Wolverine ate his own flesh in the early issues of Wolverine: Origins).
I should mention this fight is happening on the surface of the moon. Pretty dang cool. The entire storyline is visually stunning, with Jeremy Opena exhibiting a level of skill I had no idea he possessed. This is a beautiful book; the characters don’t look like perfect cartoons like so many comics, they are lumpy and a bit imperfect, but wonderfully rendered. The designs on the new Horsemen are unique but very iconic. You know which Horseman is which as soon as they use their powers.
Regarding digital comics, the colors really pop and I found the navigation between splash and regular pages to be flawless.
I really enjoyed this opening arc, and I’d love to read more of the series. But $3.99 per issue is steep, and I can’t justify a 16 or 17 dollar trade for four comic books. Let me know if you spot an X-Force sale on Comixology!