no_name_'s Uncanny X-Force #5.1 - Five Point One review

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The "Point One" Issue

As promised, Marvel continues their point-one initiative with the release of Uncanny X-Force 5.1.

The Good

First off, it's X-Force. Who knew I would be so blown away by this unlikely match-up? At first, Psylocke, Wolverine, Angel, Deadpool and Fantomex seem like an unlikely group- until you start reading what is quite possibly the best team-up of all of Marvel's X-Men books. Even at it's worst, it seems that Uncanny X-Force is still actually quite good. The self contained story by Rick Remender opens up with Lady Deathstrike who is determined to destroy Utopia and all of the X-Men. This is where X-Force comes in to play. 
If you haven't read any of Marvel's point one issues, then you should know they are slightly different from other comic issues. Point one issues are meant to both introduce characters to new readers, serve as good jumping on points to the story, and establish the background to the plot. I have not been too crazy about these point one initiative comics, but I have to admit that this one is one of the better issues. 
Remender knows these characters like the back of his hand and presents them eloquently in this issue. The narration alternates between different characters, something that surprisingly does jar the reading experience. The self contained story is surprisingly comprised of several layers, and still manages to flow well and be organized. Not only does Remender present the primary storyline, but he also addresses some of the characters personal emotional conflicts as well as some issues that have not been addressed previously (i.e. Cyclops). 

The Bad

The main problem with these "point one initiative" comics is that they feel so out of place when the series is read collectively. Even though issue 5.1 of Uncanny X-Force presents the team, main storyline, adversaries, inner conflict and lenty of action; it feels like it's trying to accomplish far too much to be a successful "read friendly first issue." It also seems pointless to have a 5.1 issue considering this is an all new series and is only five issues in. Not essential if you have been reading X-Force. 

The Verdict

Good self contained story which you will appreciate if you have been reading the series as a whole, but overall not essential reading for your understanding of the Uncanny X-Force series.

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