Review: Uncanny X-Force #17

Uncanny X-Force #17
Writer:  Rick Remender
Art:  Jerome Opeña
Color Art:  Dean White with Jose Villarubia and Chris Sotomayor 

After taking a backseat to the action for the majority of the last issue, Wolverine finds himself front and center in Uncanny X-Force #17.  Not that he can help it, though.  Last issue, Deadpool was frozen and shattered by the Iceman from the Age of Apocalypse universe; Psylocke was still a prisoner of the new Apocalypse, Archangel, and eventually became his new Horse(wo)man of Death; and Fantomex had seemingly retreated and left the others on their own — and after being caught in the ass-end (literally) of the Age of Apocalypse Blob, who could blame him?

It turns out, however, Fantomex had a plan of his own.

As Wolverine is being frozen from the inside out while vainly hacking away at the alternate universe Bobby Drake, who is capable of becoming an ice giant while controlling smaller Iceman “avatars,” Fantomex returns with some other familiar faces from the Age of Apocalypse — that universe’s Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Sabertooth and Sunfire.  Turns out, Fantomex only left so he could find Gateway and bring in help.

The rest of the issue pretty much sets the stage for the climactic battle in Uncanny X-Force #18‘s conclusion of “The Dark Angel Saga,” due out in just under a month.  All you really need to know about the remainder of this issue (without revealing any major spoilers) is that there’s a fantastically done psychic battle in Psylocke’s mind and Wolverine is charred to a crisp for the second time in as many issues.

Rick Remender does a good job of keeping the story flowing despite the massive amount of action and number of characters he’s dealing with.  Despite this, the story does get a little bit confusing as the number of characters involved in any given part increases.  Once the conclusion hits stands next month, it will be interesting to go back and read the story all at once in its entirety to see if this confusion persists.

Jerome Opeña’s art remains stellar.  It is crisp and basic, reminiscent of books from the ’80s and ’90s.  The coloring job done by Dean White with Jose Villarubia and Chris Sotomayor really makes the pages pop, as well.

It’s been somewhat clear how this story is likely to end for a while now (especially since the post-Schism X-Teams were announced), but that hasn’t made watching the events unfold on the way there any less fun.  It’s also still possible that the eighth and final chapter of this saga could throw us a curveball.  While I’m not sure that some parts of “The Dark Angel Saga” could have been condensed into fewer issues, none of the parts have really felt like filler.  That’s something Remender should be proud of.

Story: 8.5/10
Art: 9.5/10 

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Roger Riddell
Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.