Pick of the Week

May 9, 2012 – Uncanny X-Force #25

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.3
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 2.7%
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Rick Remender
Art by Mike McKone
Cover by Jerome Opeña & Stephen Platt

Size: 39 pages
Price: 4.99

Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Today is my birthday? AND it’s comic book day? AND it’s my week for Pick of the Week? In 11 years of iFanboy, I don’t believe that’s every happened before (Well, I think my birthday has fallen on Free Comic Book Day, but never on my Pick of the Week day. But I’m not 100% sure; we’ll have to ask Conor… I digress).

So, it’s my birthday and it’s my Pick of the Week and what book comes out? Why it’s none other than my favorite ongoing series Uncanny X-Force? I then thought to myself, “this will definitely get some consideration…”  I mean, it wasn’t a lock. There were a bunch of other great books that I as gazed at my stack I thought would be in the running. But ultimately Uncanny X-Force #25 locked in the pick of the week by page 3.

Was it a quick decision? You bet it was.

Who’s responsible for this? It’s all because of Rick Remender.

Now, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who may not have read the issue, but it’s my birthday and I’m allowed. In one of the opening scenes, we see Deadpool on a recon mission. Wolverine has told him he’s tracking a Hollywood financier, and Deadpool’s inner monologue has slipped into that of legendary movie producer Robert Evans. For those unaware of Robert Evans, he’s the guy who ran Paramount in the 1970s and produced such amazing films as The Godfather, A Love Story, and Chinatown. He’s also the author of his autobiography, which became an audiobook, which became a documentary film, The Kid Stays In The Picture. For those familiar with Evans, you know he’s insane and speaks in a manner that is… unique. (Check out some clips from The Kid Stays In the Picture).

Needless to say, as a film fan, I’m aware of the cult of Evans, and after page three of Uncanny X-Force #25, when I realized what was happening, I laughed. I laughed and laughed for what had to have been at least five minutes.

Rick Remender, you magnificent bastard.

That said, Uncanny X-Force #25 is much more than one pop culture related gag. In addition to being the 25th issue, it’s the first issue of the next story arc. As the team has recovered from the adventure in Otherworld amongst the Captain Britain Corps, there are prices to pay and changes to the team. First, the Nightcrawler from the Age of Apocalypse universe has decided to stick around, as he is not only growing a bond with Wolverine, but he sees an opportunity to continue to use X-Force to track and kill his enemies from the Age of Apocalypse universe. Additionally, Psylocke has decided to leave the team. With the mounting traumas of what happened with Archangel and in Otherworld (Where she was forced to kill her brother Jamie), she’s decided the killing has taken its toll and proceeds to lecture Wolverine, warning him of the same. In addition, Fantomex, sensing the money that Archangel was providing (thanks to the Worthington family fortune) was drying up, turns tail and leaves as well. And of course both Psylocke and Fantomex’s intimate liaison and the drama associated with that is an unspoken reason for them to move on. All the while, we keep a toe over in Jason Aaron’s world of Wolverine and the X-Men, with the young, reborn Apocalypse and Angel currently at Wolverine’s school. The subtle reminder of the cost of what’s gotten the team to where they are today. Of course, this being the first issue of the arc, we get a sense of the next threat as we find out what Deadpool has uncovered while pretending to be Robert Evans, and it’s linked to a past foe, Omega Red.

And this folks, is why I love Uncanny X-Force so much. A mix of high superhero stakes, plus personal feelings and drama, plus a solid respect for the past that makes for one of the best ongoing reads for an X-Men fan like myself.

With this new arc, we get a new artist with Mike McKone. I’ve previously enjoyed McKone’s work, most recently on Spider-Man and was curious to see how he’d fit in to the fold. I really do feel for any artist on Uncanny X-Force, following the likes of Jerome Opeña and Greg Tocchini is a tall order. I have to say I was impressed to see the subtle change to McKone’s art style to accomidate the previously established look of Uncanny X-Force. That established look is further defined and supported by the continued amazing colors from Dean White. All in all, the team of McKone and White is definitely one that I’m excited to see evolve through this arc.

Uncanny X-Force reached a point at the end of the “Dark Angel Saga” that could have been a natural end point. If Remender had walked away, I would have totally respected that choice after he and his various artists delivered 21 issues of some of the best comics I’ve read in a while. But I have to admit, that every issue since the “Dark Angel Saga” has continued to be a must read and an enjoyable read at that. Uncanny X-Force has continually raised the stakes and put the characters in a position that is challenging and engaging to me as a reader. As we gear up for the next roller coaster of a ride that is the next arc, it’s one ride that I never want to end.

Ron Richards
Seriously, the Evans joke was the best birthday gift ever.


  1. Good choice, Ron. And btw, Happy Birthday!

  2. Ron you may have said this in your review but I have 2 questions:
    1. How many times does it make for this AWESOME comic to get Pick of the Week?
    2. What is the record holder for comic with most Pick of the Week issues?

    Happy birthday to the guy with some of the most infectious enthusiasm for comics and film. Rest assured I share your outrage in the X-Men’s progress in AVX.

  3. Happy Birthday, Ron! Many happy returns.

    I will never argue with anyone who wants to praise this book. It truly is something special and a genuine treat for long time X-Fans.

    I haven’t gotten my books yet, and the news that McKone is on art detail does not excite me. Never been a huge fan. Here’s hoping he changed it up enough for me to shake it off and enjoy it. I want to be impressed.

  4. Its been minute since this was The pick. Happy bday Ron

  5. Happy birthday Ron!! I felt the backups dragged the book down a bit for me, great art, but i’d gladly trade a good but fairly rote wolvie story & a real mess of a deadpool tale for an expanded main feature. As i said though, great art from opena. My pick was Fatale#5.

  6. Happy B-day & best wishes Ron!

    Fatale #5 is my pick of the week.

    I do not have any interest in Uncanny X-Force.


  7. Happiest of Days, Ron!

    Excellent choice in pick of the week. It almost got my vote, but Rick and co. took that honor in Walking Dead for that bit of business with the bikers and the van.


  8. My pick was avenging Spider-Man loving that series

  9. If Uncanny X-Force had been 22 pages it would have been my pick of the week as well. However I have to agree that the backup stories dragged the book down a little bit so my pick was a different X book, Wolverine and the X-Men. Im curious what you thought of the Wolverine/Cyclops debate. It seemed like Cyke kind of won that one but I liked that Aaron wrote valid points to both sides of the argument. Both X books worked really well for me this week.

  10. Happy successful revolution of the sun. Mine was completed yesterday.

  11. $4.99 seems a bit pricey for 0 pages.

  12. Happy Birthday Ron and great review.

    But I made Batman #9 my POTW because of four men: Snyder. Capullo. Albuquerque, and Tynion. Seriously….I think that last name, Tynion IV, is a name to watch out for in the future.

  13. Happy B-day Ron. Great choice sir. I fucking love this book. McKone is a great artist for this book. This was also the first time I actually read a back up story and not just went ” I fucking hate back ups.”

  14. Happy birthday Ron! I’ve loved this book from issue 1, & I’ve never been a real X-Men fan. Remender & co have been killing it & this book is one of the 3 reasons I have to stay with Marvel (the other 2 are Wolverine & The X-Men (!) & Daredevil). Deserving PotW.

  15. I enjoyed the main story in the issue, but had to mark the book down from a 4.0 to a 3.0 in my writing because of the $4.99 price for a 20-page comic with a couple of reprinted stories thrown in as filler.

  16. I’ve loved everything from this series except for the last arc, and not for the Tocchini art. I love his style, just didn’t care for the story.

  17. BATMAN 9!!!!

  18. Great review. Might want to take that big spoiler about the last arc out though. The trade-waiters still haven’t gotten that arc and it’s not necessary to have it in the review.

  19. Another top quality issue by Remender & co. proper loved it!

  20. The only thing I disagree with you on is you saying Tochinni is a tough act to follow. Maybe you meant he set the bar so low it was hard to do worse? That must be it.

  21. That’s not what luck is at all. =|

    X-Men for life though

  22. …?

  23. Great art work…..Awesome cover! Love this series………I’ve been an X-Fan for 30 yrs……..and this one I can’t get enough of.

  24. Props to McKone,

    One of the only issues in X-Men history where Psylock actually appears to look Japanese.

  25. Absolutely. This was a strong week with lots of contenders but X-Force was definitely the most engaging. After being mostly a DC reader, Remender’s the reason I’m now reading a lot more of Marvel. Plus, while I have been reading X-Force in trade, I’ve now started getting it in issues because the wait is too long. For me, Remender’s great at combining weird, edgy SF stories with rich characterisation. I’ve even started LIKING Deadpool (Shhhh!). The fact that this has such fantastic art by McKone just adds to the quality of this comic. Remender needs to be given a free reign to dig about the back end of the Marvel Universe…

  26. I have recently started buying comics books (been a superhero fan my whole life though) and this is the second time that I have picked up a series based on pick of the week. I am not a big X-Men fan, per se, but I really like this small covert, special ops type book.
    I like Wolverine when he is part of a team, I do not find the character to be very interesting when he is basically on his own, but I really like the Uncanny X-Force (I am a Deadpool fan, so that helps). I cannot wait for the next issue of this and I am going to try and find some of the back issues as well.
    One other little note, is it just me or does Wolverine in UXF kind of have a Batman look to him?

    • The back-issues will be pretty, pretty, pretty expensive, so look for the trades. There’s about 4 or 5 can’t remember if ‘Otherworld’ is out yet or not?!

    • Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it. I will do some research and see if/when the trades are out.

    • I think they are doing an omnibus of the first mega arc which ended a couple of months ago. If not the first regular arc with Remender and Opena is still available.

  27. I think that Fantomex leaving X-Force is, if you will pardon the phrase, a misdirection. Rick Remender did not build Fantomex into a fan favorite character to drop him so easily. Psylocke will probably be back too, but I’m not as sure about her. The team needs at least one distaff member. Emma Frost might be a good addition, since she would probably not have any problem killing bad guys. In truth, she would probably revel in the opportunity to do so.

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