I’ve been wanting to re-read the beginning of Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run (and finally finish it!) for a while now. With Charles Soule’s Astonishing X-Men starting this week with a similar cast, it seemed like a good time to make it happen.
Remender’s take on X-Force is about as far from the X-TREME ‘90s as possible. And not just because it has fewer ‘roided-out characters and needless pouches*. This team’s a covert strike force, and the book’s story orbits character moments. In its first arc, Apocalypse has been reborn, and Wolverine and company want to take him out before he rises to power. Remender contextualizes Apocalypse’s threat not in simple terms of loss of life, but in the specific ways that En Sabah Nur dehumanized Angel (and, to a lesser degree, Logan). Every major beat of the story changes the balance of the team. Yes, it’s big and violent and bombastic at times, but it earns its fireworks in its quieter character moments.
I have mentioned before that this Uncanny X-Force run was the book that made me want to get into reading monthly comics. The first issue was free in the early days of Comixology, and I fell in love with Jerome Opeña’s art and Dean White’s colors. It sounds naive now, but at the time I didn’t know comics could look like this. Even re-reading it, I still think these are some of the best pages out there between Opeña’s fluid, detailed lines and White’s vivid, glowing colors.
I will always have a lot of affection for this run on Uncanny X-Force and for its’ creators work. I don’t think, though, that that is controversial. This book is the product of some of the most talented creators in comics. Not only did it hook me on the medium in a way that none of the trades I had picked up before it did, but even with thousands more issues of comics under my belt now, it still holds up. I couldn’t recommend it more.
* Do not think, for a moment, though, that this stops Deadpool from joking about pouches. Unless you want to be wrong; then by all means, go ahead and think that and stand there in your wrongness.
- Uncanny X-Force, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Solution (#1-4)
- Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender, Vol. 1 (#1-19)
- Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender Omnibus (#1-35)
Writer: Rick Remender | Artist: Jerome Opeña | Colorist: Dean White | Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit | Covers: Esad Ribic | Designer: Jared K. Fletcher | Assistant Editor: Jody Lehup | Editor: Axel Alonso