6.02.2011

6.01.11 Review

Uncanny X-Force #11 (Marvel): Rick Remender and (yet another) fill-in artist Mark Brooks start part 1 of the Dark Angel Saga, moving the team with Dark Beast into the dystopian alternate Age of Apocalypse timeline. If I have to have a fill-in artist, Mark Brooks is thankfully probably the best I’ve seen so far. His style is more Jerome Opena than Billy Tan, with a dash of Jim Lee thrown in for good measure. Whether you’re a fan of Jim Lee or not, his style really did help define the modern look of the X-Men. Deadpool’s banter makes a comeback, and there are plenty of cameos as the team tries to find the Celestial “Life Seed” to help save Warren from Archangel. We get to see Nightcrawler, Sabretooth, Sunfire, and more, along with a surprise appearance at the end within the Atlantis stronghold. One of the best things about this title is the nice balance between swift plot development and small character moments. The action isn’t mindless, but rooted in the way the characters’ mutant powers actually work. In the middle of all that, you get things like the sexual tension and mental energy between Fantomex and Psylocke really heating up subtly. I really like the way Remender is positioning Logan as an introspective leader, and one more aligned with Charles Xavier’s dream than Scott’s more militant stance seems to be currently, probably done so as a favor to Jason Aaron and his impending X-Men: Schism storyline. The inevitability of the Rise of Apocalypse also lends a somber tone that I’m really into. By the end, you realize that this book has action, shared history that remains accessible, along with those fun character moments. It’s basically everything you’d want from an X-Men book. Grade A.

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