Posted on January 24, 2013 AT 05:27pm
After only a short run, Marvel has relaunched the Uncanny X-Force series once again, this time for Marvel NOW! With a brand new team both in roster and in creators, the series now boasts a new look and new problems for this team of heroes to face. X-Force is well known for doing the dirty jobs that the X-Men are too in the public light to do, and do it in secret, as it usually involves lots more killing than the primary team is willing to take on. With the new group of Puck (leading the team, apparently after a stint in Alpha Flight, then Hell), Storm, Psylocke, Spiral, and Cluster (a clone of Fantomex with a portion of his splintered brain), the new X-Force is ready to go, but is the inaugural issue worth the effort?
The issue centers around Psylocke, who claims to have destroyed X-Force after they got too far out of control. Now with a new team and a new mission, Psylocke shows that she has some issues, and while she’s not quite the team player anymore, the new era of X-Force begins. Puck looks to be running the team now, bringing the rest of the team in to grab another member of the group, all the while setting his own plan into motion during the ensuing action. The plot of the series thus far stems from a lot of conflicting personal issues, especially on the part of Betsy Braddock, who is particularly annoyed at the world at the moment. The end of the issue brings forth quite a few questions as well, making this an especially angst-filled and confusing issue. While plot flow is structured pretty well, there seems, as of this issue, to be no real direction for the team of the characters themselves, which will hopefully be rectified in later issues.
Sam Humpries, one of the newer talents at Marvel, made his name by releasing some strange and controversial material independently. Now working on several Marvel titles, Humphries is getting put into the category of the writer of odd titles, which seems to be something he’s taking seriously. This is an odd book thus far, and unfortunately, not in the good way. The writing style seems aimless, and the use of profanity (usually depicted by symbol-filled censoring, but now done by redacting the words) seems completely out of place. Humphries seems to have no real handle on the characters, as many of the biggest names in Marvel canon seem completely different than they would usually be. Storm and Psylocke seemed especially odd, with their boundless (though justified) anger carrying too much weight in the overall narrative.
The art team of Ron Garney on pencils, Danny Miki on inks, and Marte Gracia and Israel Gonzalez on colors are on the right track, however. Garney and Miki’s work on the title looks great, with forms, environments and shadowing looking terrific. Gracia and Gonalez are not quite as revered, however. The work that Gracia and Gonzalez undertake is always terrific, and when the color scheme is being done in a standard color scheme, it looks amazing. However, that’s not always the case. Many panels take on overall color themes, with one panel being almost completely orange, one completely purple, etc. This color choice happens through about half the issue, and it takes away from the visual quality of the issue itself.
Summary: Judging by the first issue, Uncanny X-Force is going to be an exercise in patience. Hopefully the book will pick up, but with the writing and artwork as they are now, this book has far too many mixed signals to really be fully enjoyed. The story is aimless, the coloring work is confusing and distracting from the plot itself, and when everyone is this angry at everything, it never really goes that well. With future issues this may change, but thus far, this roster of Uncanny X-Force is more farce than anything.
- The Good: Strong Artwork Throughout Most Of The Issue
- The Bad: Confusing And Aimless Story, Oddly Chosen Color Schemes
- The Ugly: Last Page. You’ll Figure It Out.
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