Uncanny X-Force #23
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini, with color art by Dean White and Greg Tocchini

X-Force’s Otherworld adventure concludes with a bit of a twist in this week’s Uncanny X-Force #23.

As you may recall, Captain Britain (Psylocke’s brother) and the Captain Britain Corps abducted Fantomex and Psylocke, taking them back to the mythical realm of Otherworld.  By my calculations, Otherworld is home to all British people in the Marvel Universe–or something.

Anyways, the Captain Britain Corps intended to put Fantomex on trial for killing the child reincarnation of Apocalypse (way back in Uncanny X-Force‘s first story arc).  Before the Corps could wipe Fantomex from existence, Psylocke–who is also Lady Britain when she’s in Otherworld–escaped with him.  Unbeknownst to either of them, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Nightcrawler (the one from the Age of Apocalypse timeline) had come to Otherworld to rescue them before getting pulled into stopping a siege on the Tower Omniverse.

The Tower Omniverse is a tower in Otherworld with doors to all realities in the Marvel multiverse, and a character known only as the “Goat Monk” wanted to spread his dark magic across all of existence.  Oh, and a former barrister and Weapon Plus experiment known as the Skinless Man, or Weapon III, showed up to exact a personal vendetta against Fantomex, who is also Weapon XIII.  He ended up skinning Fantomex’s head.

If it sounds like the plot of this story was a little bit cluttered, well, it kind of was.  There’s a lot to take in here, and a lot going on at one time.  This issue stays pretty much that way.  Wolverine and Deadpool attempt to kill the Goat Monk, Psylocke and Fantomex overcome the Skinless Man, and Captain Britain is forced to make a difficult decision following a big reveal on who exactly the Goat Monk is.

Despite having all of this happen in about 20 pages of story (I’m not counting ad pages in that page count), Rick Remender does still manage to throw in some good character moments.  We see the attraction between Fantomex and Psylocke teased a little bit more, Psylocke coming to grips with the fact that the right decision is not always the easiest one, and Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler’s rough exterior cracking to reveal some of the deceased mainstream Nightcrawler that longtime readers are familiar with.  Additionally, Remender continues to provide some of the best Deadpool banter not written by Daniel Way.

This hasn’t been a perfect storyline by any means, but it has its moments.  Maybe I just need to read the whole thing over again in one sitting, or maybe it carried on an issue too long, but it felt as though it jumped around a bit from time to time.  I will say that the sort  of undefined–perhaps even sometimes hazy–look that the art has works very well to convey the story’s setting, although it is somewhat inconsistently detailed.  Some panels look roughly sketched, while others show a great deal more detail.

The Otherworld adventure has been a nice breather following the “Dark Angel Saga,” but it feels like it falls a little short of the rest of the series.  With that in mind, I’m really looking forward to the next issue, featuring Age of Apocalypse Iceman, and the upcoming “Final Execution” storyline.

STORY: 7.5/10
ART: 7.5/10 

 

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Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.

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