Friday, December 17, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #3

“The Apocalypse Solution” chapter three, by Rick Remender and artist Jerome Opeña.  At the end of last issue, X-Force had been defeated by the Final Horsemen of Apocalypse; this incarnation of the minions of the Dark Lord seemed as if taken out of a major motion picture.  I was really impressed by the new concept for these Horsemen, and couldn’t wait for what was going to happen next; then their origins were presented, and I started to get a little turned off.

Horseman Death has powers that should have made him Pestilence instead; Famine’s abilities did not make much sense -even for a comic book-, and War is just a man-child.  Many will agree with me, however, that the “best new villain” award goes to Horseman Ichisumi and her creepy mutant power.  Let’s hope we’ll see more of her beyond this arc.

Most of the issue is dedicated to the second round of the fight between X-Force and Apocalypse’s servants, but this time the tables turn thanks to Fantomex a Psylocke, who use their powers to create illusions and make the Horsemen think they were winning.  What a poor way out of a predicament.  Maybe superheroes should plot against bad guys by making them think they have won, or making them fall in love with them and be done with it, instant world peace!

Uncanny X-Force is my first real exposure to Deadpool; I have tried my best for years to stay clear of that character since comical relief is not my thing, and while I was perfectly fine with Wade on the first two issues, this chapter is where I went “this is why I have stayed away from him!” The tent, the soda, the chips, and all the non-sense talk were making me cringe.

Variant cover by Marko Djurdjevic
The issue ends with Psylocke coming face-to-face with Apocalypse, now incarnated in the body of an innocent child.  Will Ms. Braddock do what needs to be done in order to save the world from lots of pain and suffering?

I like the role Psylocke has taken on; not the team leader, yet the one in charge, just like she was at the end of the Australia era in X-Men.  Archangel should have had a more active role since he is the one most directly affected by Apocalypse’s actions, but his lightning keeps being stolen.  Fantomex is much better used here than in Uncanny X-Men, and little by little he is becoming a favorite.  As for Deadpool and Wolverine, well, they are used just to sell more copies.

Jerome Opeña’s art and Dean White’s colors are a great combination, and perfect for this title; just the right amounts of darkness and coldness to create the ideal atmosphere.  The painted covers by Esad Ribic have not made justice to the interiors, and should be replaced with work by the actual artists.

Overall, this third installment of “The Apocalypse Solution” is not as good as the previous two; more thought should have been put into the background of the Horsemen and a more creative way out of the fight should have been used.  The issue still has some very strong points, though, and if the story regains strength in chapter four, then it is worth picking it up.

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