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Uncanny X-Force #19.1

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Uncanny X-Force #19.1

Credits

  • Words: Rick Remender
  • Art: Billy Tan
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 4, 2012

Rick Remender delivers an explosive prologue to the new Age of Apocalypse series.

Well, holy crap. As far as introductions to a new series goes, Uncanny X-Force #19.1 does the best job in recent memory. The Age of Apocalypse universe has been cherished by fans since its initial release many years ago, so readers would be right to feel nervous about this property getting a sequel of sorts. Luckily, Rick Remender extinguishes all doubt with this explosive prologue to the new Age of Apocalypse series.

The AoA characters initially made their reappearance during the Dark Angel Saga, and there readers found out that the AoA Wolverine was now ruling the world as the new Apocalypse. Worse, Sunfire and Wild-Child bit the dust helping out X-Force, leaving the desperate resistance team with even less of a chance of survival. Also introduced were members of the Black Legion starring several characters combined into terrifying new beings: Chamber and Thing, Doc Ock and a demon, and a Ghost Rider mixed with Iron Man, among others. They are fun additions, but when they make their reappearance here, attacking with unbridled ferocity, Remender shows that his new creations are no joke.

As the issue opens, there is a stunning introduction to Willaim Stryker, who is a godless man with the skills of a super ninja. Pretty cool. The story quickly delves into a sinister plot that does not make mutant-leader Magneto happy, but he does not stick around long enough to be sour about it. Whatever readers were expecting from this series, Remender thoroughly shakes them of it and sets out to tell a story of hardcore desperation that is so against the protagonists that it just does not seem fair. That gripping quality is what makes this issue so good, and will hopefully be the backbone of the series.

Billy Tan does a knockout job on the art. He creates a realistic environment not unlike Jerome Opena or Esad Ribic made for Uncanny X-Force. His action is brisk and his imagery unrelenting in its violence. The scenes with Magneto are especially haunting due to the superb use of facial expressions and body language, making the reader feel his sorrow, rage, and hopelessness one right after the other. Remender’s script has a great sense of economy, fitting in a dense story where many plot developments occur, but it feels neither crammed in nor rushed. The Age of Apocalypse is back.

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