Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #14

While I'm not normally a big fan of grim and gritty stories, I make an exception when the stories are well-written.

The list of comic book writers who can do that is a pretty short one: Frank Miller, Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon and Beau Smith leap immediately to mind. But I think we can safely add Rick Remender to that list, thanks to his work on Uncanny X-Force.

This one is about as dark as Marvel gets. It focuses on a block ops team assembled by Wolverine to take out the bad guys too nasty for the "regular" X-Men teams.

A sign of how well-written the story is: I'm actually interested in the "Dark Angel Saga," even though it brings back a story I never cared much for: the Age of Apocalypse.

In a complex story that has the team working desperately to save the Angel, who has become the Archangel, the successor to Apocalypse.

It's a complex story that winds across alternate realities, involves some familiar (and not-so-familiar) faces, and includes brutal fight sequences and some deaths along the way.

It's all held together with strong characterization and lots of plot twists.

The art is unusual and very effective, as Jerome Opena works with color artist Dean White to deliver a unique, painted look to the art. It's dark and intense and perfect for the story. And oh, that last sequence...

The story is so disturbing in places, I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers - but older fans who can tolerate this kind of grisly tale will enjoy it.

Grade: A-


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