The world as X-Force knows it hangs on the brink of extinction. With Psylocke behind bars and Wolverine out of commission, will Deathlok, Fantomex and Deadpool defeat Archangel's cronies before Genocide begins his extermination?
The Jerome Opena and Rick Remender creative team continues to impress even sixteen issues into the ongoing series. The art is beautiful and matches the story perfectly. The 16th issue of Uncanny X-Force picks up where we last left off; the team, and the team happens to presently be at an extreme disadvantage. After realizing that Psylocke would not acquiesce to Archangel's demands peacefully, the new Apocalypse places her behind bars. Now, with Wolverine temporarily out of commission, it's up to Fantomex to lead Deathlok and Deadpool to fix the mess. Trouble is, Fantomex has never been one for leading anyone; so will he give up on the team and abandon the situation at the worst possible moment?
If I could sum up this issue in two words it would be: action packed. Each and every scene is hard hitting action that absolutely does not quit. Seeing Fantomex take on a leadership role in the previous issue as well as this one is interesting, but you know it's likely not to last. Up until now there's been a part of me that questiond whether Archangel had really fully succumbed to Apocalypse, and the question of whether there is any trace of Warren influencing Archangel is answered here, in this issue. The most interesting scene is the exchange of dialogue between Archangel and Psyocke where Archangel indicates that none of "this" would have been possible without X-Force.
The final pages of the issue will shock you.
The fight between Psylocke and Archangel is incredibly short lived, and I felt that it took her a really long time to come to terms with the fact that Warren is Archangel now, and that any trace of his former self are virtually gone. She's still so hopeful; but it's hard to tell whether this is weakness, willing ignorance, or hope. I would have liked her put up a fight against him, oh well.
Fantomex's subconscious is telling him to flee because that's what he's used to doing, but something tells me that he'll go back because it's the right thing to do. The fact that he acknowledges that his love for Psylocke is "unrequited" is funny too. As sad as it is, it's nice to finally see him admit it to himself out loud. I think Fantomex 16 issues ago would have left and never hesitated; but his character (since Remender has had his way with him) has evolved so much, and it's fantastic to see the evolution of his character play out in the story. The story is definitely not new reader friendly, and I recommend picking up the previous 15 issues or at least start at issue #11 where the arc began to fully understand. We are at the height of X-Force's excitement, and it still feels like things are just heating up and we are nowhere near the end. Personally, I can't wait for the next issue!