REVIEW: Uncanny X-Force #19 (X-Men Regenesis)

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It was going to be difficult to follow the events of Uncanny X-Force #18, but writer Rick Remender continues to impress as the series enters the X-Men: Regenesis era. The X-Force team has been put through the wringer and the status quo for a number of characters has dramatically shifted. Issue #19 provides a coda for what’s come before and sets the cast on the next stage of their journey. It’s a good example of how the latest X-Men rebranding effort should be applied to a later issue of an ongoing series.

Spoilers for Uncanny X-Force #19 will follow.

With an assist from the staff of the newly opened Jean Grey School featured in Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men series, Remender nicely ties up the continuing story for two characters prominently featured in his run on X-Force, Angel and Genesis/Kid Apocalypse. Their tale will continue at the new school and while I know to look for the next chapter in Wolverine and the X-Men #4 based on a recent interview with Remender, it would have been nice to include a note about that in the issue. Their presence at the school is just the beginning of the secrets Wolverine and company are dragging their friends into as their clandestine hit squad becomes a bit more public. It was very satisfying to see Hank McCoy pointing out how wrong everything they’re up to is, but given the line he drew with Cyclops over the same issue it’s a wonder he was willing to continue his affiliation with Logan. He’s very invested in the school, but I look forward to seeing how this strains their relationship going forward.

At the same time Remender ends this chapter of Uncanny X-Force (which is nicely acknowledged visually within the issue as Fantomex hangs a portrait of the former team in Cavern-X) he brings in the next threat the team will face. Members of the Captain Britain Corps arrive from Otherworld to hold Fantomex accountable for his crimes and it’s nice to see the mysterious product of the Weapon Plus Program will continue to be a focal point of the series. The story for a group of characters from the Age of Apocalypse that have recently been featured in the series also spins out Uncanny X-Force #19 into issue #19.1. The second “Point One” issue of the series serves as a lead in for the new Age of Apocalypse ongoing series and should bridge what Remender has done with that alternate timeline with what David Lapham has in store.

I was glad to see that the Rafael Grampa image that had been circulating with the solicitations was the regular cover for this issue, which also shipped with two variants. The latest installment of Nick Bradshaw’s interlocking Regenesis images graced one cover while a Ron Garney image of Angel was featured on the aptly named “Spoiler Variant.” I have to give Marvel credit as I didn’t see that image anywhere before today and it’s fair to say it might have spoiled the ending of The Dark Angel Saga. Robbi Rodriguez’s interiors with colorists Dean White and James Campbell are a bit cartoonish at times but it takes nothing away from the fairly serious tone of the story. There’s not a lot of action within and Rodriguez get some solid emotion across in his art.

In terms of providing the jumping on point the X-Men Regenesis issues are meant to, Uncanny X-Force #19 does an admirable job. However, I can’t imagine anyone starting here and denying themselves the fantastic ride Remender and company have provided on the series so far. Collections of the first 13 issues are currently available and the final chapter of The Dark Angel Saga will ship March 14, 2012. I give the series and this issue my highest recommendation, as it’s one of the best books currently on the shelves.

Read more about X-Men: Regenesis on MyLatestDistraction.
and keep up with our reviews as each of the X-titles enter this new era.

X-Men: Legacy #259 / X-Factor #230(coming soon)

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