Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #18

Hey, I actually managed to get this review done before I headed out for the night! I'll have Avengers: X-Sanction #1 up later on(like around midnight), but the first comic of the night? The most recent issue of Uncanny X-Force, which just so happens to be the final issue of the Dark Angel Saga, which has been, for lack of a better word, AWESOME. And hey, this issue must be exceptionally important, Marvel polybagged it!

Uncanny X-Force #18:

Summary: Fantomex and Psylocke confront Archangel, who is now more Apocalypse than Warren Worthington. Archangel is tasked with making sure nobody prevents Genocide from using the World to scorch the Earth of all life, which would bring forth a new, better(in Archangel's eyes) world. The two heroes can do little to stop Archangel, as he walks through Fantomex's blades and Psylocke's ultra, mega, super mind blast. Archangel casually tosses Psylocke(and the Life Seed, which she managed to grab) out of the World and stabs Fantomex in the head with a knife. However, since Fantomex has two brains, one is still active and he contacts Ultimaton, telling him to release the Kid Apocalypse he had secretly been growing since he apparently killed him all those issues back. Kid Apocalypse rushes into battle and attacks Archangel(for his perceived “uncle”, Fantomex), much to Archangel's shock, since he saw himself as the one true Apocalypse now. Meanwhile, AOA Sunfire has been absorbing all of the energy Genocide has been firing into the atmosphere, preventing it from raining down on the planet, killing everything. Dark Beast collects the Horsemen and heads to Apocalypse's ship, explaining that whether Archangel wins or loses, they wouldn't want to be on Earth since the Earth would either be scorched of life, or the heroes would be after them. Plus Dark Beast wanted to safeguard Pestilence, who it turns out was carrying Archangel's child(!). With that, Dark Beast and the Horsemen head for Apocalypse's secret base on Neptune. Archangel, being more experienced and stronger than Kid Apocalypse, manages to defeat him. Like any good villain, Archangel stands there gloating, at least until Psylocke approaches him and buries the Life Seed deep into his chest. The Life Seed seems to finally put Archangel down for good, and for the first time in a while, Warren returns, just in time for his death scene. Not wanting her love to die like this, Psylocke enters his mind and uses her telepathy to convince Warren that the two had lived a full and happy life together after quitting the X-Men, and that Warren, now an old man, was dying peacefully. While that fantasy is being played out, AOA Sunfire, unable to contain the energies emanating from Genocide any longer, explodes, taking the World with him. Fantomex collects Kid Apocalypse, and rushes to Psylocke, telling her that she had to get away from the area since the massive World structure was coming down. Psylocke wants to remain with Archangel, but Fantomex spirits her away in his ship with the World falling down all around them. From there he lands away from the battle and with Psylocke, and meets up with his fallen teammates and the Age of Apocalypse X-Men. Psylocke notices a familiar figure off in the distance and realizes it was Warren, back in his Angel form. She rushes over and kisses him, which leads to Warren asking her in confusion who she was...

Thoughts: Um... Huh. That wasn't quite what I was expecting/hoping for... The build to this issue was nothing short of epic, but this issue was a bit disappointing. In a weird way it seemed rushed, which like I said, is weird since it's had such a long build. The arrival of Kid Apocalypse, AOA Sunfire battling Genocide basically off panel, the death(I guess) of AOA Iceman being done in such a offhanded sort of way(he was kicking everybody's ass prior to this issue), it all seemed so rushed. Until Psylocke stabbed Archangel. That is how this should have ended. With Betsy being forced to kill the man she loved, granting him a wonderful fantasy life where they were husband and wife and raised two children, with Warren quietly dying and Psylocke having to live with her actions. Instead, we get the whole big, emotional, Archangel death scene with Betsy, but also get Warren, apparently cured of his Apocalypse corruption, AND having amnesia, showing up to end this issue... If Rick Remender didn't want to kill off Warren(which obviously he didn't), then he shouldn't have went through with this storyline, which kind of HAD to end with Warren's death. Now we get a Warren who won't remember anything he did(nor his relationship with Betsy), leaving the door open for a Fantomex/Psylocke relationship, which isn't exactly something I'm interested in seeing. Bottom line here, this was a case of the lead up being so fantastic, that the conclusion just couldn't possibly do the story justice. Oh well, I'll remember this story for being mostly great, but having a lackluster ending...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Well, somebody had to do it...


  1. mmm duh, aparently I enjoy it way more than you,

    And that wasn't the Kid Apocallypse Fantomex killed, it was a clone that Fantomex created in The World.
    I'm the only one that see a wink to Supermen here? You know the superpowered kid that grew up in a farm?Destined to become the savior of earth?

  2. Yeah this issue sort-of dissapointed me too, and Archangel not dying was just the worst of it, I they did this whole saga villanizing him so perfectly and made it extremely clear that if they put the life seed into him or any such thing he would die, and then we have him back alive not a few pages later with "amnesia" (because that always works out great in comics).
    I do like what they did with Kid Apocalypse thought because that opens up so many doors now, for sure he's gonna be a legit hero for a while but we all know he's gonna be back to his usual old antics in no time.

  3. Disagree, the life wasn't to kill him, whey they went to Dark Beast for help, he said that the only way to to save him was with the life seed, If it was for killing him why they went to another universe, if they could shoot him.

  4. X-Force was not prepared to kill Warren yet, Dark Beast was lying to X-Force alot, bullets cant kill archangel.

  5. I tend to agree with Anonymous here, Alien... I was under the impression that the Life Seed was going to kill Warren if worse came to worse. I kind of thought it was like an ace in the hole for X-Force, where if they couldn't save Warren, they'd kill him with it. But I def could be wrong... I don't remember exactly what happened at the very beginning of this story, but I did think the Life Seed was supposed to stop Apocalypse. I did catch the VERY obvious Superman wink in this one, which did get a chuckle out of me. As for the Kid Apocalypse here, was it a clone or did Fantomex just put the body in a healing tank and heal the Kid Apocalypse he shot? I wasn't really sure which way they went with that.

    I actually agree with everything you wrote here Anon... I seriously thought Archangel HAD to die to end this one(either that or escape to menace the team anew down the road), and HATE the amnesia angle, because as you pointed out, it NEVER works! It's such a lazy writing device, and honestly, I expect way better than that from Remender. I also like the idea of a heroic-type young Apocalypse. It's interesting because, as you stated, while he's good now, you KNOW it's only a matter of time before he snaps and ends up at odds with the team.

  6. The more I think about it, I realized that maybe you are right with Kid Apocalypse, Fantomex could have used his illusion trick when he "killed" Kid Apocalypse.

    ..I still would preferred that Warren get Killed or escaped. But I enjoyed the story anyway.

  7. Hmm... That is a great point that I didn't even think about! We know that Fantomex ended up with Kid Apocalypse's body, but who's to say he shot the kid in the head like we thought? Maybe he simply misdirected the rest of the team(and us naturally) into thinking he did... I'm honestly fine either way, that he took Kid Apocalypse and put him into a healing tank to try to raise him "right" or that he took the body and cloned it, hoping to create a "good" Apocalypse to help X-Force.

    Yeah, overall I def enjoyed this storyline. It's just the lack of finality hurt it for me. Most of the Horsemen escaped, and Archangel simply gets to forget everything that he did... It was so epic until this issue.

  8. "good" Apocalypse? Since when does Apocalypse think that he's evil in the first place?
    he never thought he was the villain in any of the good stories with him. In AOA, he definitely thinks that what he does is for the betterment of mankind, you never see him saying wahahahaa I'm TEH EVIL, what he does is what he's forced to do (remember guys , we're talking about a man who out of all x-villains had the shittiest past but NEVER moans & bitches about it). That's why he has always been much more complex than Magneto .His motives are amongst the most sincere of all, whilst at the same time are perhaps the most brutal. Conquest is a mean for him , not the end!The test & what he can do for the fit is what interests him whether you are human or mutant. the horsemen are just some glorified tools he doesn'thave a vital need for them! (besides here are my new horsemen ;) more details on them later, hope you'll like them!)
    Remender for me completely missed the boat when it comes to En Sabah Nur (maybe less than Milligan who ironically handled him perfectly in FAOCP , if you ever retroreview this I'll fucking sign up it's still one of the greatest x-men stories I've ever read, its darkness & tragedy was just perfect!). let's count shall we:
    -saying the x-men are his biggest foes (BS, he only acknowledges them if he has to fight them or to use them. Cable was the closest one to annoy him (yeah annoy...) & even then Apoc didn't turn that into an obsession)
    - treating the character as a mcGuffin rather than En Sabah Nur (I mean really, he didn't write a single thing where we can actually picture Nur speaking. Look Apoc is monstruous in others eyes but to himself , he 's a savior of this planet & he's kind of right in a certain sense...)
    -Jobbing Kid Apoc to make others look good (Nuff Said...)
    -Forgetting that Apoc is a megamorph & as a kid he's supposed to look ugly not some "young Hitler boy"

    & worst of all , one of their biggest mistake was to actually go to AOA & the fact that Marvel will make another AOA series with Daredevil in it...Okay 1st of all, Murdock in AOA died in Mikhail's ship & Finally you can't make an AOA stuff without oh, I don't know, THE APOCALYPSE DAMMIT!

  9. Whew! I can't wait to read this and figure out what the hell happened. It sounds to me like Remender came up with a very creative way of tying up the story without killing Warren or Apocalypse. I'll revisit the discussion after I read this issue...which could be a while (got to catch up in Uncanny and Avengers Academy). Speaking of Academy, I saw some spoilers of that issue recently that made me question my further interest in the book. To be continued...

  10. Yeah, but the point is that while Apocalypse considers himself good, nobody else does! Dr. Doom considers himself good, and hell, even Hitler thought he was a "good guy" who was helping the German people. But it doesn't make any of them "good". A younger version of Apocalypse working with X-Force, trying to do legitimately good(ie: heroic) things is different to the X-Men mythos. Sure, Apocalypse thinks that by killing all of the weak and promoting the strong, he's doing the world a good thing, but in all honestly, the whole, "killing the weak" thing makes him a villain. It doesn't matter what Apocalypse thinks of himself, it's the perception of everybody else, and everybody else sees Apocalypse as a villain.

  11. I'll have my review for Academy up tonight at 8 local time for me, TRobb. Hopefully you'll have read that issue by then 'cause I'm curious as to what you're getting at.

  12. Oh, my 2 cents on the questions here:

    -I always thought that the En Sabah Nur in a test tube was a clone, NOT the kid Fantomex killed in the first arc. They showed throughout the series the kid's age in days, and the earliest numbers were way younger than the kid who got killed.

    -They were going after the life seed in AOA to SAVE Warren, not kill him. Look back at those issues and I think that should be clear.

    -I'm not crazy about him having amnesia - I would've bought being possessed by the Archangel persona. At least it's a double-edged sword and he doesn't remember Betsy either. Now that he doesn't need her any more, will they be together?

    -I don't see Apocalypse that way Saidi. OG Apocalypse was very bitter against the world for how he was treated as a youth, and foresake the world of man. I also think he took sadistic pleasure in the idea of watching the world burn as he rewrote it in his own image. That was a key difference between him and Mags - I don't think Magneto reveled in the suffering in the same way Apocalypse did. Apoc was as evil as they come. I think the whole evolution angle came after the Celestials got a hold of him, augmented his power in exchange for servitude. But the hatred for mankind never dimmed.

    I've greatly enjoyed the adventures of Kid Loki in Journey into Mystery, and can only hope that Kid Apocalypse can give us some of the same!

  13. LOL, dude I will try to finish it up by then (I'm only an issue or two behind), but I can't promise much! You know what's been distracting me (well, besides real life) - dat UMvC3! Getting closer to a main team now (only switching between a dozen chars) and tried out online play for the first time :)

  14. I found this issue confusing too. For a lot of the time I thought Sunfire was still fighting Iceman. Seems like they were trying to wrap up a story in one issue that needed at least two. It looked like Angel still had metal bits as well, so I am not sure how cured he was (although it looks cool).

    I am curious on your review of Avengers Academy also. I mostly enjoyed it but there was a long tangent that I thought was forced and awkward.

  15. " I shall , Apocalypse , answer to your questions, personnally. Ozymandias, DEPLOY !

    It doesn't matter what Apocalypse thinks of himself, it's the perception of everybody else, and everybody else sees Apocalypse as a villain.

    Once you live 5000 years , & see numerous kingdoms & civilizations crumble to pieces due to the greed & constant bloodlust , it shall hardly make you the villain to try using the very nature of mankind against itself to make it better & more worthwhile.Morality is nothing but an ill-conceived idea. At least I didn't hire 5 gullible teenagers to do my bidding, such as a certain aging bald man on a wheel chair... I even turned the most laughable of them from a pigeon to a bird of prey, did that ungrateful child ever thank me?

    Apocalypse was very bitter against the world for how he was treated as a youth, and foresake the world of man.

    Oh , TRobb come now. Why should I be bitter? because the only person that was ever kind to me tried using me as a weapon, forced me to fight every day of my life under death threats & then died in my arms? Or is it because the young woman I've saved directly betrayed because I looked ... well like this... Had she waited maybe a year I could've mastered my megamorphism better to look like Johnny Depp, but she directly shunned me.Maybe it's because various young fools spit at me on various forums while idiotic hacks mishandle my character? That MY son, I am not! I ENDURE all these taunts & mockeries & tomfooleries, FOR I AM THE STRONG !

    I also think he took sadistic pleasure in the idea of watching the world burn as he rewrote it in his own image

    Wait? Is it because I sat on a throne made of skulls? but that was "IN", it was fashionable at my time. Forgive an ancient man for having a rather "unusual" appreciation for that kind of display, but when your youth is spent in war & machination you'll find the aroma of blood...agreeable. But it is an acquired taste, I am nothing but sensible to your astonishment.

    I don't think Magneto reveled in the suffering in the same way Apocalypse did.

    I do not revel in suffering! who do you believe I am? Carnage? Pain is nothing but a shadow, that follows me at each step. Magneto threw an EMP at a good chunk of the earth. That was rude! At least when I do something that drastic , I at least have the decency to announce that at least 5 minutes beforehand. Magneto is a racist , I on the other hand accept anyone fit regardless of race or orientation. And Between us , I saw him snorting cocaine in the bathroom, such shame...

  16. Oh, and I think the life seed was corrupted into a death seed. That is why, instead of curing him, it was suppose to kill him (Unless another seed showed up, the issue was confusing).

  17. Apoc was as evil as they come

    Evil? I am not malevolent! I simply am! I do not do that by hatred but by duty. When some worthless fat leech rises at power while never actually gaining that leadership right, do you not feel disgusted... do you not think I should do something about that?

    I think the whole evolution angle came after the Celestials got a hold of him, augmented his power in exchange for servitude. But the hatred for mankind never dimmed.

    The evolution angle came with my natural curiosity TRobb, when I saw the devices of Rama Tut & When Essex told me about the term mutant. Yes , the celestials are the Zeus to my tortured Sysiphus,such as the cenobites are to the leviathan, but I stay undeterred!What hatred of mankind are you speaking of?If it was the case I would have already exterminated them long ago, with their own weapons. I love mankind! I am the last humanist & you shall know that who likes well chastises well. Those who survive the chastising will understand that.

    only hope that Kid Apocalypse can give us some of the same!

    But I intend to...nothing is purer than the words coming from a child. The classroom will be improved once I become its deleguate pupil! Homeworks will be done under the threats of whips & chains! I am nothing but burning with passion for the future fellow students.Now pardon me, but i have to send fruits & presents to Louise Simonson& Dan Panosian"

    Yours truly
    En Sabah Nur

  18. ...Jermox, Archangel asked for a Death seed to the celestials, and he used it to made of Betty, his new Death.

    And the life seed was to one they binged from AOA.

  19. Hmm, you know, after reading these comments, one thing immediately comes to mind... Rick Remender could have done a better job explaining just what the hell was going on with all these Seeds, as well as the Kid Apocalypse/Fantomex situation... Out of the four of us who read and commented on this comic we all seem to have come to different conclusions! :D

  20. I skimmed back and Alien was right. They were using the life seed to make that other planet/world/whatever. So whether it was suppose to kill Angel or not, IDK.

  21. Ah, cool. I still kind of think Remender could have done a little more to really hammer home what each seed did. There seemed to be too much confusion about that.

  22. Lol, awesome. Big shout out to Mr. Nur, thanks for taking time out from your silent plotting to let me know what's up!

    Yeah X, the whole seed thing was shuffled to the back burner as this event went on. I think AlienDW has it right.

    As for Kid Apocalypse, I'm thinking this will be cleared up soon, as the UXF figures out what to do with the new En Sabah Nur. After following UXF and Venom, I have utmost faith in Remender - him and Gillen are my favorite writers at Marvel.

  23. It is all there, but the first issues came like a year ago so the confusion is understandable after some revision this are my conclusions
    There were 3 seed 2 life seed and one Death seed

    The First life seed, Was in Dark Beast's laboratories in AOA, it was destroyed for one of the Amazing X-man

    The second life seed was taken from the corpse of a death celestial in AOA
    this is the one that Dark Beast took to restart evolution and the same with Betsy stabbed Warren

    The third one is the Death seed, given for the celestial to Archangel to transform Betsy into the Death persona.

  24. Thanks for the clarification, Alien. I seriously blanked on the early issues of this storyline(the AOA stuff), throw in the fact that there were THREE seperate seeds, two of the same type, and I can see exactly why I didn't remember what was what!

    Same here, TRobb. After reading and enjoying X-Force and Venom as much as I have, I'm pretty excited to see where Remender takes us with Kid Apocalypse. I honestly think there's some potential there.