Review by Ian Keogh
It’s slight, but there is a connection between an opening chapter set on the alternate world decimated by Apocalypse and the remainder of Otherworld. Both concern places in effect under siege, and while one has already seen what Apocalypse can do, he’s feared throughout the Omniverse, to which access is available from Otherworld.
The epilogue to the Dark Angel Saga saw Fantomex taken to Otherworld for his Apocalypse-related activities, and this begins with Captain Britain bringing his sister Psylocke there also. Because what Remender’s done so far with Uncanny X-Force has been so good, he’s earned some trust when it comes to an occasional dip, and Otherworld is the biggest dip of his run. It also lags behind artistically as Greg Tocchini is a decent artist, but unsuited to superhero action. There’s no depth to this art, so panels featuring a multitude of characters look cluttered rather than action-packed, and it’s frequently difficult to make out what’s happening. Sadly, that’s not the case for another of the inexplicably unsuitable and gruesome moments Remender feels he needs to use to shock.
The primary action element is Captain Britain and his analogues, protectors of assorted dimensions accessed from Otherworld, under attack from a powerful enemy. Fantomex and Psylocke are within the main castle, while the remainder of X-Force have transported to Otherworld, but some distance away. The addition of the other-dimensional Nightcrawler proves interesting from the start. He’s very capable, provocative and has views that challenge the beliefs of his teammates, some legitimately, others more chillingly. Another fine character moment is a conversation between Psylocke and Fantomex adding a little extra context to previous events. Overall, though, this is poor use of Captain Britain, and never sparks to life. There seems to be some realisation of this on Remender’s part as he brings everything to an abrupt close after dragging it on for three chapters. Lost in the rush is a good ethical point about when needs must, as not much separates the closure from the crime for which Fantomex is being prosecuted.
Fortunately, a final standalone story returns some quality. Most of it is Deadpool, Nightcrawler and Wolverine dealing with the renegade Iceman from another world, where very little goes to plan. It’s a succession of almost cartoon-like gags, but Remender pulls back from that for suitably tragic closure. Nice art from Phil Noto as well.
Remender’s last Uncanny X-Men arc kicks off with Final Execution next, or that’s available with this in both Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender Omnibus, and the second volume of Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender: The Complete Collection.