The first issue of Sam Humphries’ Uncanny X-Force had Psylocke, Storm and Puck teaming up to track down Spiral and a new mutant. In between the action, it explored some of Psylocke’s issues since quitting Rick Remender’s X-Force lineup. It was a fun issue and it had solid plotting, but Psylocke’s characterization felt a bit off compared to Remender’s Uncanny X-Force’s ending.
This issue is fairly similar in quality. It’s pretty much an issue-long fight scene between the three heroes and Spiral. Psylocke is locked in a bar fight, using telepathy to get some much needed help. The page describing exactly how she’s controlling her “friends” is hilarious. The way that Storm and Psylocke interact with Puck is also entertaining. Psylocke feels a bit unbalanced in this issue considering how she seemed to have recovered at the end of Remender’s run, but the fact that she’s dealing with Spiral arguably has something to do with it. Otherwise, I have no complaints about the fight scene.
The fight scene is occasionally interrupted by Bishop’s wild antics after his return at the end of the last issue, and a Fantomex(es) scene, and they’re not as good as the former. Bishop seems to keep shouting for no apparent reason, and at the end of the issue, he claims that Bishop is no more. At this point, there is no indication of what is going on with him, other than the fact that he’s hunting after the new mutant that everyone else is fighting over. At the least though, Bishop feels appropriately menacing for the role he plays in this comic. Fantomex’s scene however is kind of disturbing. Fantomex and Cluster (female Fantomex) are having a romantic relationship, which really creeps me out. That is by far this comic’s biggest turn-off.
For the most part, the art in this comic is good. Each location has its own unique colour palette that helps set the mood. There’s also a lot of creative background work, from the neat moon glare combined with Storm’s powers, to the previously mentioned page showing Psylocke’s telepathic control. The art isn’t perfect, but its flaws are easily ignored.
Humphries was wise not to attempt to write Uncanny X-Force the way Rick Remender did. His Uncanny X-Force series could become entertainingly weird from here, and there are a good number of continuity nods without being intrusive. There’s lots of action and humour, and if any of this sounds appealing to you, check it out. I’ll give this a few more issues at least, but I’ll eventually only be picking up one of the X-Force titles (have to cut back somewhere).