With how terrible Point One #1 turned out, THIS is the title I should have named this week's Pick of the Litter, and as such should have been the first comic I read. Oh well, at least I can read it now. The past several issues of this series have been amazing, here's hoping Rick Remender keeps up the superb work here.
Uncanny X-Force #17:
Summary: We kick this issue off with Archangel and Psylocke, who was transformed into Archangel's own personal Death last issue, sharing a kiss. From there the scene shifts to Wolverine, who is trying to battle the Age of Apocalypse version of Iceman... And not doing a very good job of it. Wolvie knows that he needs to reach the World to stop Genocide and kill Archangel, but alas, Iceman is preparing to deliver the deathblow to Wolvie. Luckily for Wolvie(and Marvel Comics!) Fantomex returns to the battle with some reinforcements, the Amazing X-Men from the AOA. AOA Nightcrawler teleports to Genocide, takes him away from Dark Beast and teleports Genocide to Archangel and Psylocke. From there, AOA Nightcrawler opens Genocide's helmet, unleashing his fiery blasts onto the surprised Archangel before teleporting away with Psylocke. AOA Nightcrawler brings Psylocke to Fantomex, where Fantomex tells the angry Psylocke that he only wanted to talk to her... Back with Archangel, he is obviously angered by this turn of events, and after he gets Genocide's helmet back in place, he decides to bring the Life Seed to the World personally. Nightcrawler teleports Wolvie and three of his Amazing X-Men teammates to Archangel, but the quintet are unable to stop Archangel, as he slices through them and tells AOA Iceman to keep the meddlers away while he headed to the World. AOA Sunfire ends up getting caught by AOA Iceman, but AOA Nightcrawler is able to teleport himself, AOA Sabretooth and Wolvie directly in front of Archangel, at which time they all crash to the earth below. Meanwhile, Fantomex is trying to get through to Psylocke, but apparently fails as Psylocke slashes his throat with a hidden blade. However, upon watching Fantomex fall to the ground, Psylocke realizes something was wrong and we end up taking a trip into her mind, back to her first meeting with Archangel at the Hellfire Club. While reliving Psylocke's earliest memory of the man she loves, AOA Jean Grey enters her mind and points out that the Death persona was hiding in her twin brother, Captain Britain. Jean manages to cage the Death persona, leaving Psylocke free of it's influence and able to return to the real world, where she finds Fantomex alive and well due to, you guessed it, his misdirection abilities! Back with Wolvie and company, Archangel begins to tear the trio of heroes apart, until AOA Jean arrives on the scene. However, the Phoenix entity inside of AOA Jean agrees with Archangel's plans of death and rebirth, and takes Jean out of the battle itself(!). Wolverine manages to tackle Archangel while he was taunting Jean and prepares to deliver the killing blow, but finds himself unable to kill his friend and teammate. That proves to be a massive mistake as Archangel downs Wolvie with a massive energy blast. From there, Archangel makes quick work of AOA Nightcrawler and Sabretooth and flies up towards the World to deliver the Life Seed and put an end to humanity. Upon entering the World, Archangel finds Psylocke and Fantomex standing before him, the last obstacle before Archangel's final victory.
Thoughts: What can I say? Once again, Remender gave us one hell of a roller-coaster ride. The dialogue was incredibly strong(I loved the banter between Wolvie and AOA Sabretooth), and the story has climaxed perfectly, with Archangel facing down Psylocke, the woman he loves, in order to accomplish his goal as Apocalypse... Add some awesome fight scenes showing just how UBER-powerful Archangel has become, and you have yourself a fantastic comic book. If I had one complaint it would be that Death Psylocke was defeated too easily, but I guess between Fantomex's misdirection and Jean Grey's awesome powers, she didn't really have much of a chance... Still, I would have loved to see Death Psylocke get to do more before she was “fixed”. So yes, I loved this issue. The next issue is the eighth and final part of the Dark Angel Saga, and I really don't see myself NOT thoroughly enjoying it... I mean if Remender writes the conclusion half as good as he's written the rest of this tale, this story should be a personal favorite of mine for years to come.
Score: 9 out of 10.Okay, I have to say it, Apocalypse-Archangel? He's pretty awesome.