If you've been reading UNCANNY X-FORCE since the team has been on Otherworld for the trial of Fantomex and have found yourself slightly confused, this issue might explain a lot of things that have been going on. Think that the appearance of Jamie Braddock in this series has been a little, well, weird? virtually everything is cleared up in this issue. Oh, and it's guaranteed to blow your mind a little bit, too. So lets look at what was good about this issue. The book opens with a flashback from when Brian, Jamie and Betsy were kids. While opening the book with this scene may seem a strange way to start the issue, Remender makes a point to bring the theme seen in these first few panels full circle by the final page of the book. Although Psylocke has shown some hesitation when it comes to murdering people in the past, she is to a certain extent "quite a killer." By the end of the issue you might find yourself wishing that Marvel would make Ms. Braddock their next Captain Britain; she's that fearless in this issue.
Remender gives readers another fantastic portrayal of character interaction in this book. From the interactions between Betsy and her two brothers, to the interaction between Nightcrawler and Meggan, to the reveal of Betsy's underlying sentiments towards Fantomex ( "They're all in danger because I refused to help them fight -- because I came to save you.") Remender's ability to develop both the plot and his characters simultaneously is brilliant and I continue to be impressed.
Unfortunately, I continue to have an issue with the art in this book. With so much action, I feel that crisper lines and less abstract panels would have helped the reader follow the story. Instead, this issue has a watercolor over watercolor pencils and little to no inks. The result is pretty, but doesn't seem practical for the story that the creators are trying to relay. Sometimes to get a scope of the chaos of battle the panels need to be clear.
Issue #23 is the final chapter of the "Otherworld" story arc. This is a solid ending to an overall solid story, but I am a little bit glad to see it end. It was, in my opinion, not as enthralling as the previous story arc (Dark Angel Saga). Then again, that story might be hard to top. This story arc managed to develop a lot of these characters, made some big changes to the status-quo of the Marvel universe, and for the most part kept me at the edge of my seat. I'm definitely looking forward to the start of the next story arc and I'm hoping it will involve Fantomex taking a trip to the plastic surgeon. Poor guy.