February 17, 2011

Marvel Reviews: Uncanny X-Force #5

Uncanny X-Force #5
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Esad Ribic
Cover: Esad Ribic

“Deathlok Nation pt 1”: With certain members of the team having conflicts about what took place last issue, things get pretty heated during an impromptu meeting called by Deadpool. Yeah, you read that right. Deadpool called a meeting so he could get some things off his chest, and ends up pissing Wolverine off. From there we shift to what is essentially a very heavy focus on Fantomex, who is in possession of the World which he’s been keeping safe for some time. It seems as if there is another interested party who wants the World for himself, and a slew of Deathlok amalgams (as you can see from the cover) attempt to steal it from him.

Now as I said earlier, this issue is pretty heavy on Fantomex, and a lot of his inner dialog is setting up this current arc. The problem with this is that a lot of people will have no idea what the hell he’s talking about if they don’t have the slightest bit of info on his background. Sure, you could wiki the guy, but seriously if you have to go online to understand a comic then that means that someone dropped the ball somewhere. Personally I liked the issue, however, I know that is only because I have a passing knowledge of the character’s origin and I think that Remender using this fairly new territory is a cool idea. Plus, Fantomex is what Wolverine used to be before we knew everything about him, so he’s the perfect character to focus on for now. His newness and mystery adds to the story, and when you throw in the killing machine that is Deathlok it can only get better! Now I’m hoping it’s really Deathlok and not some fake, but we’ll have to wait for the coming issues to see about that. Remender also switches things up in this arc by having someone pick a fight with a member of the team instead of them just going right into another pre-arranged mission. Remender also gives us a pretty rare glimpse at Deadpool being serious, which was a bit refreshing. It reminded me of the character’s initial introduction into the Marvel U before he became the inner voice hearing, fourth wall breaking, merc with a mouth.

After getting used to and thoroughly enjoying the artwork from Opena, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss them here. Not that Ribic’s style is horrible or anything, I was just really wanting more Opena. What we did get to see from Ribic still made you want to turn the page to see what was coming next, especially during the attack on Fantomex and his “mother” by the Deathlok/hero hybrids. That entire sequence was just great, and helped to break up this very wordy story. Also, he was able to keep the look that Opena established in the first arc, which gave the issue a feel of familiarity.

As much as I liked this issue, it really could have benefited from a character recap or bio at the end of the book to get some fans acquainted with Fantomex. This is done in plenty of Marvel titles with the more established characters that fans have plenty of knowledge of already, but it just would have made a lot more sense to do that here. This is still a strong issue in my eyes, and I’m pretty anxious to see how Deathlok plays into all of this, along with how Fantomex’s decision at the end of the last arc affects the team dynamic.

For more X-Men related books check out The Uncanny X-Piles!

Infinite Speech



  1. Jeff Jackson

    My only question was when did Deadpool become so soft? More to come in this week’s X-Piles…

  2. I don’t it’s him being “soft” at all Jeff. It was more of a return to the original Deadpool but I’ve never seen him kill children in any of his books. So this is bothering him a bit which I don’t as being too much of a problem. I think the better question is “When did he turn into a voice hearing jokester?” That’s not how the character was portrayed during his beginning. I just think Marvel kept pushing the envelope with his personality but the fans liked it so it sticked. He’s always portrayed as crazy but he’s actually one of the most sane-crazy people in the Marvel U. Plus he’s still got his morals even though they may not be as black and white as a regular person.

  3. Eli

    I didn’t know Wade in his beginning, but I liked how this went down with him being the one to voice his misgivings about it. I like this Wade, hopefully he’ll be around for awhile.

    I liked this issue, looking forward to Deathlok & Fantomex.

  4. Billy

    Yeah, Marvel definitely should have thrown a quick bio story about Fantomex in there to get newbies aquainted.

  5. I didn’t think this issue was as strong as the the first four issues. I too, missed the art work from Opena. I think Deadpool was way out of character in this issue and the Fantomex stuff would be very confusing if you don’t already know some of his back story.

  6. I don’t think it’s fair to blast Remender, or Marvel editorial, for not providing more background on Fantomex. It’s not their fault if you haven’t read Morrison’s NEW X-MEN run…you know, one of the most important X-storylines in the new millennium. Not only did it kill off Jean, that series also introduced secondary mutations, Emma Frost joining the X-Men (and getting together with Scott), and yes, Fantomex. Anyone who has read New X-Men could follow this issue just fine and without a hitch.

    To boot- New X-Men should be read (by now) by anyone who calls themselves an X-fan. To that end, this issue was brilliant. I love how Remender got us inside Fantomex’s head after how #4 ended. And his mother dying, well, karma’s a bitch and I think Fantomex understands this.

    This issue rocked. Don’t hate.

  7. @Speech, I fully admit that I’m not up on my Deadpool, so I have no idea of this was out of character for him or not. But in my notion of who he is as a psychotic mercenary, I thought it was strange. So forget info on Fantomex, I needed more info on Deadpool! Haha!

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