Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Uncanny X-Force #20
Remender, Tocchini & White
The latest issue of Uncanny X-Force launches into a new storyline that still is building off of previous ones. The team is still dealing with the effects of killing off the child Apocalypse and with integrating their new team member. It’s a dense issue as Remender packs in a lot of plot and expands his ideas within this issue rather than dragging them out over three or four issues. The direction he is taking the book promises to be a good one based on this issue. If you are looking for a jump-on point to the series then this is it and not the “.1” issue.
Remender has two main tracks in this issue. The main one deals with Fantomex and Psylocke in the Otherworld with Captain Britain and his Corps. The other thread deals with the rest of the members of X-Force trying to get along, specifically trying to get the new Nightcrawler up to speed. However, the Otherworld plot has subplots.
Psylocke’s brother is Captain Britain and there is a rocky history there. This is explored in this issue. It’s engaging but it doesn’t really get bogged down too much in the continuity, which is refreshing. The drama isn’t lost despite the fact that I was a little confused about the inner workings of the relationships. Also, knowing Remender’s style, he probably is teasing a surprise or two down the road and that may also be a factor at play here.
The main subplot is the trial of Fantomex. This is excellent as the members of the Otherworld apply some twisted logic and justice in their prosecution of Fantomex. The cliffhanger brings some of this together in an outstanding way.
Tocchini was the artist for Remender’s amazing Last Days of American Crime series so I was familiar with his style coming into this issue. I was cringing because his style is so un-superhero-like. However, the two splash pages are simply amazing. The visual of the carnage in the Otherworld is breathtaking (just count the dead bodies he packs in that spread). I do recognize that the style will simply not be to everyone’s tastes. It looks washed, almost un-inked and the coloring makes the pencils look like rough drafts. The main flaw in the style and presentation is how colors change throughout a given page. Hair, clothing and even stripes from familiar flags noticeably change color which is not something you typically see in a super hero book. I enjoy Tocchini’s style so this visual story mostly worked for me.
Uncanny X-Force is building a second epic story and Remender is bringing a heavy story with the opening issue. This book isn’t just one of the best X-Men books or super hero books, but it is also one of the best science-fiction and big idea books out there now. I definitely recommend checking this out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles