Some evil won’t stop. Some evil no prisons can old, no force can contain, no plea can soften. Sometimes to truly save lives the only option is to take them. The burden of that truth falls on a covert team of mutants assigned to those jobs too dirty, too dangerous for the X-Men. That team is the… Uncanny X-Force.
Right. So Fantomex took the decision to put a bullet into the boy who would be Apocalypse, leaving Captain Britain and the Captain Britain Corps no alternative other than to whisk Fantomex to Otherworld where he is sentenced to death. For reasons unknown, even to herself, Psylocke dives in as Lady Britain to save Fantomex, whilst Wolverine, Deadpool and Nightcrawler follow suit in order to save their team-mates.
But there is conflict in Otherworld, pitting Captain Britain and the Corps against overwhelming odds, Wolverine, Deadpool and Nightcrawler against something particularly wicked, and the escaping Psylocke and Fantomex against someone particularly twisted (and malleable).
Issue 22 of Uncanny X-Force delivers part 3 of the Otherworld tale from writer Rick Remender and to be honest, this issue acts very much as a setup title, basically crafting the battle scenarios which will surely fill the pages of issue 23 from start to finish. Basically a lot of dialogue split between the three main groups of characters mentioned above, brief action as the initial encounters play out, and not all that much else.
It reads okay, if a bit slow, and to be honest, I’m not so sure the witty dialogue between Deadpool and Wolverine feels all that natural, taking into account the gruff character that is Wolverine and the situation they find themselves in. Nevertheless, it does an admirable job as a springboard towards the epilogue of the Otherworld storyline, so worth picking up if you are actually following the rest of the series.
The art front is a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. Artist Greg Tocchini has a very rough, rushed style, and while it certainly is artistic, it does look rushed in a lot of places, and there are a lot of faulty body proportions and disappearing details that should have been picked up in the cleanup process. His style will certainly feel at home on a horror title, and I guess Uncanny X-Force is meant to carry a gritty feel, but to be honest I find his style misplaced here.
It wasn’t a badly written episode, but unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy Uncanny X-Force issue 22. I do however get that it is the “setup” issue so I can’t really complain all that much if I insist on ignoring the bigger picture. That said, it did make me look forward to the next issue, meaning it did it’s intended job, so there’s no faulting that! :)