Review: Uncanny X-Force #18, OR Apocalypse Wow!

Uncanny X-Force #18
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opeña with Esad Ribic

After several months, Rick Remender’s epic “Dark Angel Saga” concludes in Uncanny X-Force #18.  Over the course of its eight chapters, the story saw the transformation of Archangel into the new Apocalypse and took readers on to the Age of Apocalypse timeline and back.

Most notably, it put Wolverine in the backseat for a change.  Admittedly, Logan did have some spotlight moments with the Age of Apocalypse incarnation of Jean Grey, but let’s face it, the “Dark Angel Saga” revolved primarily around the relationship between Psylocke and Archangel, as well as the love triangle that has been building since Fantomex’s attraction to Psylocke was thrown into the equation.

Several plot threads come to a head here.  Namely, there’s the aforementioned love triangle, Archangel’s affinity for planting “seeds” (*cough* Pestilence *cough*), and what exactly Fantomex has been doing with the reincarnated child form of En Sabah Nur, the original Apocalypse, who he’s kept in a test tube ever since the rest of X-Force believe they had assassinated him in the book’s original story arc.

There’s not a lot I can really say here without spoiling too much.  If you’ve loved Remender’s work on this book so far, you’re probably going to like this issue.  It resolves bits of plot that have been around since the first issue hit shelves last year, all while weaving in new threads and underlying themes of the “nature versus nurture” argument and the futility of war.

If you’ve read any of my other Uncanny X-Force reviews, you probably also already know that I’m a huge fan of Jerome Opeña’s art on this book and that, combined with Dean White’s color job, it really reminds me a bit of the art style from Watchmen.  It’s not overdone, and is highly detailed while remaining fairly simple.  Cover artist Esad Ribic also handles a few pages of the issue, which have a washed out feel compared to the rest of the  issue.  For what those pages are supposed to convey (once again, I’m not going to spoil anything for you guys), it works to great effect.

Overall, “Dark Angel Saga” has been a fun, dark ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing how X-Force is worked into the new X-Men status quo now that the book is joining the rest of Marvel’s X line-up in the “Regenesis” crossover.

Story: 9/10
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.