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Uncanny X-Force #18 - Red Sky Blue

5

The heartwrenching finale to "The Dark Angel Saga" has finally arrived -- be sure to keep a box of tissues handy when you dive into this one.

Beware, there will be some spoilers in this review.

The Good

The moment so many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived; issue #18 of "The Dark Angel Saga" reveals what has happened to Archangel, and it's a doozy. Sometimes when a book is really phenomenal it can be difficult to put into words exactly what it is about the issue that stands out. That's the feeling I got when I read the final issue of this story arc. How do you describe something that is so beautiful? So well crafted? So heartbreaking?

Issue #18 of UNCANNY X-FORCE is all of these things. The issue's primary focus is definitely Psylocke and Archangel, but that doesn't mean that Rick Remender forgot about the supporting cast of characters that have played such important roles throughout this story arc.

The book opens with an action packed battle between Shiro and Iceman, and quickly moves from them to a fight between Warren, Fantomex and Psylocke. Shiro (Sunfire), who is a former horseman of Apocalypse plays a very important role in this issue. Remender uses symbolism of "the end" (Archangel) battling "the beginning" (Sunfire).

The battle between Archangel and Fantomex has been a long time coming, and the trash talking in this scene between the two characters is just perfect. There is also a lot of character development in this issue. Although he is heavily injured, Fantomex still steps up to the plate to call the shots and ensure that the planet will not be destroyed. He takes on leadership responsibilities without hesitation, even when he is holding on for dear life.

Psylocke plays a huge role in this issue.

She has come a very long way from where she used to be. Although she may hesitate at first, Psylocke finds her inner strength and realizes that she must sacrifice her love for Warren in over to save the world. Can you imagine what it would be like to face the fact that you must destroy the person you love the most? Remender executes this scene beautifully. Although Betsy must lose Warren, she still shows him a tremendous amount of compassion. Delving into his mind and showing him a life he could never have -- a life where the two of them grow old together and watch their children fall in love and get married. Instead of letting him suffer, she gives Warren a dream of a happy life -- a life they could never experience. It's so sad. The narrative in this scene bittersweet and absolutely beautiful.

The end will break your heart.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. A perfect ending to an incredible story arc.

The Verdict

As a fan of this series and of Remender's writing, I personally could not have asked for a better end to a brilliant story arc. The fluidity, pacing and character development are nothing less than brilliant. The book is beautifully illustrated and the story will leave you wanting more. I don't know how Remender will outdo himself. Definitely not a place you want to start. I highly recommend purchasing all of the "Dark Angel Saga" issues -- you will not be disappointed. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy.