Review: Uncanny X-Force #9

Published on May 10th, 2011

So, last week we got our hands on Uncanny X-Force #9.  This is now nine opportunities that Mr. Rick Remender has had to let us down with this bookand nine times he has failed to disappoint.

Written by Remender with art by Billy Tan, Uncanny X-Force #9 was a standalone issue that focused mainly on Wolverine and Magneto.  The book as a whole focuses on a special team that Wolverine has assembled consisting of Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex, Deadpool and more recently, Deathlok.  This team exists in secret with one purpose: to hunt down threats to mutant-kind and do to those threats what the X-Men can’t do…kill them.

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Uncanny X-Force #9 is mainly about Magneto and Wolverine.  Magneto gets information about a former Nazi who is now in hiding.  Nothing is said about what connection Magneto has with this former Nazi, but the assumption is that he was a guard at the prison camp in which Magneto was held as a child.  Magneto then surprises X-Force in their hideout, revealing that he has known of them all along.  He tells Wolverine that he wants X-Force to kill the Nazi for him, to which Wolverine protests, saying that X-Force deals with threats to mutant-kind and that they aren’t a, “…revenge squad.”

Magneto then asks Logan on a personal level to do this for him.  It’s clear that Magneto can’t do this himself due to years of being deeply horrified of the SS officer.  By leaving the history between Magneto and the officer  untold, it truly makes the reader imagine the most horrific scenarios that must have scarred Magneto as a child and made him so terrified as an adult that he couldn’t confront the officer.  It’s a very rare, vulnerable moment from Magneto, who hardly ever shows fear or any emotion for that matter.  Wolverine decides to track the SS officer down and kill him himself, but realizes when he finds the officer that things aren’t quite as black and white as he had thought.

Remender took this single story issue and really crafted a fantastic, character driven story that shows the normally stoic Magneto in a completely different light than we’re used to.  My only complaint about the writing in this issue is the fact that it’s a one shot story.  I would love to see Magneto become a full time member of X-Force.  He really belongs in the lineup.  Otherwise, Remender is creating such incredible stories in Uncanny X-Force.

Tan’s artwork is really great for the tone of this book.  The benchmark for Uncanny X-Force will always be the omni-talented Jerome Opeña, but Tan is pretty damn good, himself.  His style is actually very reminiscent of Opeña’s, so Uncanny X-Force #9 feels like a return to the early days of this title.

When all’s said and done, it’s hard to find a better X-book than Uncanny X-Force, and issue #9 is no exception.  It’s also a great jumping on point, so if you haven’t been keeping up, run on out to your local comic shop and pick this issue up!  You’ll thank me!

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com