REGENERATION-X: Uncanny X-Force


Uncanny X-Force has been kept out of the Regenesis revamp for a few months due to it being in the middle of a very long story called “The Dark Angel Saga”. But, with that out the way, issue #19 sees writer Rick Remender place his team onto Wolverine’s side of the Schism, aided deftly by Robbi Rodriguez.

The issue is absolutely fantastic, and anybody reading it is bound to want to go back and pick up the rest of the series. I say that because it’s the situation I now find myself in, having ignored the start of the run because the entire cast were awful. Fantomex, Deadpool, Wolverine, Psylocke and Archangel make up the core of the team, and there’s not one of them who isn’t typically a dud. Wolverine can sometimes be made interesting, but Psylocke is a terrible concept for a character and Fantomex murdered our beloved Darkstar. But Remender doesn’t look to make them all heroic and praiseworthy – he instead makes sure to emphasise the anger and tension between all these characters, and to use it as a way to remove the lustre from them. Every single character here has in the past been used to personify ‘cool’, and Remender’s technique is to make the reader aware of how fleeting those moments of fame were.

The majority of the issue is dealing with fallout from The Dark Angel saga, as Wolverine and Fantomex have a sit-down chat – the best sequence in the issue – about the choices they’ve both made so far. And it’s always enjoyable to see somebody patronise Logan at every turn. Although I’m not entirely aware of everything they’re referring to in this conversation, I could pick up most of it with ease. Fantomex comes across as more reserved than he was in Grant Morrison’s hands, and that choice suits him.

We also get to see the remaining characters from the Age of Apocalypse universe wave goodbye to the team, as most of them return to their dimension or parallel earth or whatever. And their version of Nightcrawler joins the team, at least for the short-term. These sequences benefit from delightful colouring from Dean White and James Campbell, whose use of tone is ultimately what defines the book. Rodriguez’s art is superb, bringing to mind a combination of Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo – combining carefully put together character models with artful use of perspective and sequencing.

And Remender’s script is fantastic. He jumps from the stupidity of Deadpool to the love-lost melodrama of Psylocke and Angel with consummate ease. The dialogue is spot-on, and the pacing is measured and interesting. With Remender, editors Jody Leheup and Nick Lowe have rejuvenated an ailing side of the X-Men franchise. Uncanny X-Force #19 is a great comic.

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