Apparently, in ‘Uncanny X-Force’ #14, Archangel was possessed by Apocalypse and caused the destruction of a town in Montana, wiping out a population of 5,000. Psylocke could have prevented it by killing Warren, but she chose not to. Even so, his personality was wiped out. He became a Tabula Rasa. (For more on that, see ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ #4.) In the place of the town, appeared a large white dome that is a temporal anomaly. The X-Men must investigate, so Magik teleports them inside. They find the survivors of the town battling giant bat creatures. Magik goes to work teleporting the humans to safety, as the X-Men take up the battle. The X-Lab team analyzes the creatures and inform Storm of a way to drive away the creatures. The X-Men split up into teams of two to investigate. Magik attempts to ascertain that her brother hasn’t become completely corrupted by the Juggernaut’s power. Storm and Cyclops’ search is cut short when Scott gets yanked away and captured by a mystery foe. Hope flirts hard with Namor until the run into a nasty looking sea monster. Magneto pairs with Psylocke to determine exactly what went on with the X-Force mission. The pair discover a group of primitives who now worship X-Force as gods. It appears that the mystery threat reveals itself by the close of this issue.
Most of this issue was setup. I don’t honestly get all of what’s going on in this issue because I didn’t read the ‘Uncanny X-Force’ issue that set it up. They do a decent enough job explaining things, but I still don’t quite get the mysterious world inside the dome. Hopefully more will be explained as this storyline progresses. There’s an interesting exchange between Cyclops and Captain America (via hologram), which makes me wonder about the upcoming ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’ Crossover. They seem on excellent terms as of right now. There are some excellent character beats. Storm expresses to Psylocke that “I’ve been told that some find me hauty. I am attempting to mitigate.” When a humorless Namor states, about himself, “A complete compilation of Namor’s virtues would be a far lengthier list.” Hope then teases, “Would it include ‘Great Abs’?” he responds in all seriousness, “Yes. They would be documented.”
The biggest draw here is the GORGEOUS artwork by Greg Land! His work is beautiful! Some accuse him of being too “cheesecake” which can be valid. His women are quite sensual, but it’s just so gorgeous and easy to look at, I simply cannot find fault with it. I’m going out on a limb here and declaring his faces to be the absolute best in the business! They’re just amazing!
Art-wise, this book is stunning! It’s worth the price alone. Story-wise, I’m not as sold. It was okay. A little convoluted. Not necessarily the most compelling. But it is just the start of a new storyline, so it could pick up. Ultimately…
UNCANNY X-MEN #20
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Greg Land
Cover by Greg Land and Justin Ponsor