That has got to be the nicest megalomaniac ever
The Dark Angel Saga reaches Part 4 in what is certainly an interesting issue, and also probably the best of the arc so far.
Now, I parachuted both into this title and into this story in the second part (issue 12), and that was simply because I love, love, love the Age of Apocalypse. A meeting between that world's unique and interesting X-Men and the X-Force team (coupled with some excellent art) was more then enough to hook me in. Both it and the following part were good, but not perfect. For one, there were two deaths during the time our heroes were in the AoA universe, and one of them was simply not earned. It served only as a moment of cheap shock value, and little else. The one last issue was better, but still iffy, and I suspect the only reason I don't mind it as much is because I don't like the character. And Weapon X as another Apocalypse was...weird. And honestly not as well-handled as it could have been.
So its been a fun but rough ride up to this point. But what about this issue? Well, there's a lot to be said here, so lets start with the prime highlight: I gotta say, Apocalypse-possessed Warren makes for a fun villain. Given how extremely civil and polite he is, even in the face of extreme hostility, he almost comes across as one of the good guys in a different context. Its always fun to see that kind of villain; the ones who are in the wrong, but still come across as civil, and maybe even possessing goals that aren't so bad. But make no mistake: Warren here is indeed a bad guy, as the ending very clearly demonstrates.
The other highlight is seeing Psylocke's thought process as she ruthlessly takes down Archangel's minions with a Batman-like level of precision, before moving in to attack her ex. Now, POSSIBLE SPOILERS HERE I actually hadn't been taking the "We're not going to kill Warren are we?" dilemma seriously up until now. With this issue, I can now buy into the possibility, however flimsy now, of the team having to kill him. That's how good this has gotten with this issue. The stakes have been established without resorting to any more cheap deaths. I can now buy into the dilemma. POSSIBLE SPOILERS OVER.
As for the art, well, it wasn't as good as the art in Issue 12, but that's a pretty high standard. Suffice to say, the art here is still amazing. The stand-out panels I would say would be most of the Archangel shots (thought to be fair its partly because of the wicked awesome design) and a shot of Wolverine attacking Warren. The design of Archangel's underground city is also quite nice, if not also a bit Feudal Japan based. The designs of Archangel's minions (with the exceptions of Dark Beast and Genocide) do leave a bit to be desired though.
It may have gotten off to a solid but iffy start, but I would say that The Dark Angel Saga has peaked with this issue. Great art, good characterization, and a sympathetic and charismatic villain in Warren all help make this a winner. I'm definitely invested in Uncanny X-Force now.