Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Uncanny X-Force #19.1

By Dan Horn
January 4, 2012 - 15:27

We're knee deep in the denouement of "The Dark Angel Saga" with Uncanny X-Force #19 setting the precedent for Rick Remender's future installments of the series. In Uncanny X-Force #19.1, however, readers' attention is diverted to another place entirely. The issue follows the Age of Apocalypse X-Men, who had left for Earth-616 to aid X-Force in stopping Archangel, returning to their own dimension. Waiting for them is the opportunity to finally end the Age of Apocalypse, but when the Black Legion infiltrates the X-Men's operation, all hope seems lost.

Rick Remender, as always, provides plenty of interesting twists in this issue, not to mention one hell of a cliffhanger, but ultimately this issue feels like a hasty set-up for the Age of Apocalypse series coming from Marvel in March. What opens with an intriguing narrative and frenetic action quickly devolves into a tale that seems more than a bit pressed for time. There are quite a few gut-punches here, but because of the issue's slapdash build-up, you'd have to be very familiar with the "Age of Apocalypse" epic from years past to feel the true impact of any of those heart-rending moments. Whereas previous issues of this series have spent quite a bit of time developing plots, especially those featuring the Age of Apocalypse characters, the abruptness here relays little more than advertisement for David Lapham's upcoming project.

Billy Tan's art, however, is a saving grace. Some of Tan's panels are really brilliant. The artist successfully creates a viscerally stunning spectacle of this installment's many action sequences.

This isn't a terrible chapter in Remender's UXF series, but it certainly feels incomplete. I wouldn't have liked to see this stretch on for any more issues, but I would have liked to have seen a more restrained and thoughtful prologue here to Age of Apocalypse. Even something like Prophet's vignette in the mess that was Point One would have sufficed if dilated to a single-issue story. With UXF #19 just released and #20 right around the corner (Rick Remender remaining as industrious as ever), it's fairly easy to dismiss this book's flaws, enjoy its strengths, and look eagerly to the future.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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