Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Uncanny X-Force #6

By Dan Horn
March 23, 2011 - 20:44

Last issue--rather, the issue before the "point one" Marvel fad thingy issue--I really felt Rick Remender was trying to go in a strange new direction, test his boundaries, try his Grant Morrison on for size. That chapter's structure was so different, the artwork was so surreal, and the narrative was so bizarre. Subtract most of that from the equation and you get Uncanny X-Force #6. To be quite clear, this isn't directly a criticism of this issue. I actually really enjoyed this one. To be honest, I've been practicing a new game where I try to deconstruct all of Remender's stories and find everything within them that I dislike, and I tend to come out of the experience still adoring his work.

As previously stated, this issue is not quite as quirky as #5. It's a bit more straight forward, but that's not to say that there isn't a lot going on that's absolutely incredible. The scene where Betsy is confronting (sort of) her twin brother, Brian Braddock (Captain Britain), was especially compelling. It's extremely difficult not to love Remender's classic character development.

But, of course, at the heart of this arc, we have Fantomex, an X-Force member whom everyone else on the team is on the fence about at the moment. He's got custody of the World, a snow-globe planet whose time-stream can be manipulated to process evolutionary aberrations at light speed, and the Father, a mysterious utopianist who has enslaved the future as his Deathlok troopers, is trying to abscond with Fantomex's prized possession. Why? Because the Father is battling Apocalypse. How is that possible after what's happened in last few issues? Funny you should ask that, because I have an interesting hypothesis:

 Just a quick disclaimer: I speculate here a bit about the outcome of this story. Read on if your dare spoil the conclusion of "Deathlok Nation."

Given Fantomex's powers of misdirection, his disdain for unethical conduct, and his hopeless romanticism (towards Psylocke especially), it's not a stretch to think that perhaps he's misguided the rest of X-Force into believing that he killed the Apocalypse child, whereas he's really got the kid sequestered in his miniature World, and the kid has evolved at fast-forward into what he was always meant to be: an agent of anarchic mayhem. Which brings up another brainteaser: if Fantomex didn't really pull the trigger, should he have?

Remender's twists may always be a bit telegraphed (assuming I'm write all of the time, but remember I called this before with Frank Castle's use of the Bloodstone), but all of this twisty-turvy stuff is really just a look at moral gray areas, and what better way to represent a gray area than to show both equally horrible outcomes of one decision? Rick Remender is in the zone when he's talking about morality. Remember, in Punisher, when Frank Castle kills his resurrected family? Good Lord! If that didn't put a lump in your throat and make you wonder where the hell Castle's heart really was then I don't know what will. Uncanny X-Force #5.1's underlying theme of reveling in revenge is another great example of that ethical skein.

This issue has got some other fantastic stuff as well, including more of the actual Deathlok, some cool fight scenes with the Deathlokified heroes of the Marvel U, and Steve Rogers doing something that you'll never have the chance to see him do again. I won't spoil it for you (this is for you B-Man!), but it's a powerfully rendered scene.

Esad Ribic is in excellent form once again. This book has really had some of the greatest art. UXF's artistic lineup has been the envy of just about every other series in the Marvel bullpen. From Opena to Ribic to Albuquerque and back to Ribic? Come on, that's just unfair. This series' readers are spoiled to say the least.

At the beginning of this review, I said that I was disappointed with this issue, only to ruminate further on that and realize that I still loved it. I suppose I was hoping Rick would give us another ten-out-of-ten, but instead he's "just" given us another great comic book. I really can never complain about this guy.

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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