Where to Go?
After a big epic story is pretty much positive that there is going to be an epilogue or a "How this effected us" kind of story. This issue is that kind of story. Although what's great about this issue is that even though the two big things that Rick Remender has been setting up for has finally been brought to a conclusion, we still have so much more loose ends to tie up that this series could go on forever (and I seriously hope it does.)
The two big things Rick Remender was building up to, was Angel becoming the bad guy and Fantomex's clone of Apocalypse. Most of the time when characters change in comic books it's never permanent unless it's a REALLY good idea. With these two changes we get one change I hope becomes permanent and one change I don't think will last very long.
Now let's go to the one change I don't see sticking around for long, that change being Angel. Angel's change isn't really an improvement. It's interesting and all but for a character I never really found all that interesting I'm just left with a feeling of "meh". It's obvious he no longer has any purpose on the team, and his new attitude just makes him less of a man and more of this shell of a man. Which is what Remender is going for, he's basically taken a character I never liked and given him a clean slate. It can go anywhere but I can guarantee all the Angel fans will want the old angel back. This reminds me a little too much of Franken-castle....awesome death, interesting idea for a rebirth, but such a massacre to the old character that it just won't stick around for long.
The things being set up in this issue are great, obviously we got the "spawn" of Apocalypse as a possible threat in the future, but we also have Fantomex facing a few problems. He's lost one of his three brains and the side effect of that is shown a little bit in this issue. I'm interested to see where this will go. And the cliffhanger at the end was a pretty big "WTF" moment. Beast finding out about X-force and learning about X-force's new position in Wolverine's grand scheme of things are great. Making X-force the "bodyguards" to Wolverine's school of mutants sounds like a bad idea, but it works here and I'm interested to see where that'll go.
The artwork is great, it takes a bit to get use to and some of the really bizarre angles and character designs might not be for everyone. Robbi Rodriguez is a nice change of pace from the original artist, but Jerome Opena is still my favorite Uncanny X-Force artist. I'd like to see the guy who drew the awesome cover draw a few issues, now that would be cool. Robbi's artwork seems a little too cartoonish for a book that is for a more mature audience. I can see if the issue focused on the one cartoony member of the team (Deadpool) then it would be a natural fit, as is. It's great artwork, just not sure if it's right for this book.
In short, this is a great issue to pick up if you've always wanted to read this book but didn't know where to begin. Things have changed and we'll just have to wait and see if it's for the better. I'm really digging what Rick Remender has done with Apocalypse, and I hope he continues with the awesome work.