So this is a special Point One issue of Uncanny X-Force. In other words, if you had never read an issue of Uncanny X-Force before, THIS is the issue that new fans are supposed to be able to jump in to with ease. Right? I mean that IS the point of the Point One comic, right? Let us see what this issue actually gives us...
Uncanny X-Force #19.1:
What Happened: We are back in the Age of Apocalypse where we find the last pieces of humanity trying desperately to stave off extinction at the hands of the new Apocalypse, in this case, the AOA version of Wolverine. A leading figure of the human resistance is William Stryker, because, much like Wolverine, he is contractually obligated to appear in EVERY SINGLE MARVEL COMIC BOOK EVER!!! Anyway, Sabretooth and Jean Grey return from the 616 Marvel Universe and tell Magneto(who has made an alliance with Stryker and his humans) that they had basically gotten everybody else killed... Nice... Then, to make Mags day even worse, he learns that the humans had been cloning his long dead daughter, the Scarlet Witch, with the hope that Jean could combine her telepathy with Wanda's reality altering powers to shut off the mutant gene in the AOA as the 616 version of Wanda did. Mags freaks out and destroys the laboratory, seeing this as an unacceptable act. Before Mags can destroy the last Wanda clone, the city the X-Men and the humans were hiding out in is attacked by Apoca-Wolvie and his Black Legion. Mags disdainfully gives Jean the order to try to use the last remaining Wanda clone to destroy the X-gene across the planet, before heading out to face down Apoca-Wolvie with his wife Rogue by his side. Apoca-Wolvie easy dispatches and slaughters Rogue, and eventually overcomes and kills Mags as well. While that scene plays out, Jean manages to connect her mind with the mind of the Wanda clone and gets Wanda to utter the three words I hate more than any other in the history of the Marvel Universe, “No more mutants.” However, Wanda's spell only effects the mutants across a few dozen feet, meaning that Jean had basically stripped herself and Sabretooth of their powers, but nobody else... HA!! Serves her right! By this point, Apoca-Wolvie strolls into the lab, ready to kill everybody present. Stryker manages to toss a grenade at Apoca-Wolvie, buying Jean, Sabretooth and the other human freedom fighters a chance to escape the city. Unfortunately, Apoca-Wolvie destroys the entire city, killing all of the humans who had taken refuge there.
The Good: Much to my surprise, I liked this story! I know, I'm as shocked as anybody else! Apoca-Wolvie is an awesome looking character. I especially love that Mega Man-esque style blaster he has in the place of his missing hand. Jean and the human freedom fighters plan, as much as I personally detest the idea, was quite smart.
The Bad: I'm tired of seeing my beloved Age of Apocalypse bastardized... Seriously, as far as I'm concerned, the REAL AOA ended after Magneto killed Apocalypse and the bombs fell. This is simply a different, but similar, dimension than the original, awesome AOA. If I see William Stryker in another comic book... Seriously, I don't know what I'll do, but it won't be pretty! Mags could kill Apocalypse in the original AOA, but couldn't stop Apoca-Wolvie, who's skeleton was laced with METAL! See, that just proves my theory that THIS AOA isn't the original AOA! So now Jean and Sabretooth have no powers? Um, why not just kill them then? What the hell kind of jumping on point for X-Force was THIS?!?
The Verdict: This was an incredible bizarre read for me... If I look at this as a continuation of the AOA story, it leaves me feeling pissed off. However, I instead chose to look at it as a What If? type of story, and as a What If? kind of story, this wasn't that bad. Does it make me want to read the upcoming AOA mini-series? HELL NO, mainly because Stryker is involved. But if he wasn't? Believe it or not, I'd have been willing to give that mini a shot. Before I end this post, I have to ask, what exactly is the purpose of these Point One issues? I was originally under the impression the Point One comics were supposed to be good jumping on points for a series. If so, this was a HORRIBLE jumping on point for X-Force, mainly because not a SINGLE member of X-Force showed up! Seriously, shouldn't this have been the first issue of the AOA mini-series, or better yet, an AOA one-shot? THIS story in THIS series just made absolutely zero sense.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Does anybody else hear the Mega Man music when they see Apoca-Wolvie? No? I guess it's just me then...