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I really hope that Rob Liefeld isn’t getting paid for that title still… that being said X-Force re-launched with the moniker of “Uncanny” this month. I’m not sure why the last volume of X-Force was cancelled and re-launched, but I can assume that the whole zombie-rip-off-Blackest-Night-thing didn’t boost the sales like they wanted forcing another re-launch of the series.
Off the bat this series has the writing of Rick Remender going for it. Remender’s most recent writing work being The Last Days of American Crime, a title from Radical Comics that was very good (9.3 good!). The issue begins with everyone’s favorite character Deadpool talking to himself as he infiltrates an underground temple of sorts. He has on what’s become the standard X-Force costume of Black and Silver, which makes him stick out like a sore thumb in the well lite temple.
After witnessing a human sacrifice he places a call to an unknown contact which results in his capture. The contact just happens to be Warren Worthington III, a.k.a. Angel, a.k.a. Archangel. He and Betsy (Psylocke) are a couple again (check out the nineties era X-Men) and she is pulled out of her sleep by a vision in Warren’s head. In the previous volume of X-Force, Warren was changed back into Archangel and now can transform back and forth between Angel and Archangel. *cough* Incredible Hulk *cough*
Warren takes the call from Deadpool and then gathers his team for a rescue/destroy mission. The big baddie that they’re hunting is none other than Apocalypse. After a brief scene between Fantomex and Wolverine the crew is assembled and heads out to get Deadpool and destroy Apocalypse. The entire team is concerned about Warren and his sordid past with Apocalypse, but none of them are willing to stop him from his mission for revenge.
This book isn’t what you’re expecting and by no means is that a bad thing. If you’re expecting any of the tone from any of the past volumes then you will be disappointed by the path that Remender has chosen. The story and characters are very reminiscent of their nineties-era-selves with Fantomex being the only exception. Otherwise, while reading the book you may forget that Warren was ever the healing Angel and that Betsy was dead, or that Wolverine got his memories back. It’s a great feel and tone for the book to have and the benefit is that if feels and reads like an X-Men title, rather than a book with an “X” thrown on the cover.
The art is definitely different from a typical X-book, but Jerome Opena’s style works with the characters chosen for the team and the type of story Remender is telling. His pencil’s and ink have a dirty and detailed look that makes the characters very ugly and ultimately real. That’s not to say the Opena’s style is bad or ugly, it’s just one of those styles that people will look at and find it “dirty” looking.
If you’re tired of vampires and Jubilee, but still need your fix of mutants than this book may be for you. The title is already looking like it might fit into one of those corners in the Marvel Universe that aren’t constantly tying into the rest of the Universe all the time. Frankly, I had all but given up on the X-Men and mutants until this issue. It’s not without its faults, but it’s a great start to revitalizing several worn out characters. Let’s just hope that Remender and company fix Apocalypse’s worn out song and dance and manage something interesting with him.
Plot – 8.0
Story – 7.5
Art – 7.9
Color – 8.0
Overall – 7.9
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