It's been a few weeks since we got another issue of Uncanny X-Force, and I must admit, I was beginning to go through some withdrawals! Thankfully, Marvel released their Uncanny X-Force Fear Itself tie-in, but the question remains, does it hold up to the ongoing X-Force series by Rick Remender? Not exactly.
If you have been keeping up with Marvel's Fear Itself story line then you will immediately recognize many of the concepts from that arc in this issue (basically because it's a tie in). The writer for this book does a solid job of structuring the issue in a way that is easy for the Fear Itself readers to understand. He also provides a quick overview of what Uncanny X-Force is and why this separate team has been established. The issue is written in a way that is completely laid out and easy for a Fear Itself or X-Force fan to understand. In addition to the basic overview, we are provided with the basic premise for this three part mini series very early on in the story. Surprisingly, the writer does not muddle the three ongoing stories and manages to relay these concepts in a very clear and concise way. Simone Bianchi's art on this book is also an added bonus; he can just make almost anything look good.
While the issue may have been clear in that the concepts and the background to the stories are easy for the reader to grasp, I wasn't entirely blown away by the story in this issue itself. To be honest, it wasn't altogether interesting, and that may be because it felt like I had read the story at some point before. In this issue, X-Force must go toe to toe against the Purifiers, who are (as usual!) holding a mutant captive and threatening to eradicate innocent people. This is a story I feel has been told time and again. When it isn't the Purifiers, it's the Friends of Humanity or the Church of Humanity. It just wasn't that interesting, in my opinion.
I initially went into this issue with some very high expectations, and wound up slightly let down. This is not an X-Force book, it's a Fear Itself tie in which happens to feature the X-Force team. However you may notice that the dynamic of the teammates is very different from what we see in the X-Force books, so don't expect that here. That's not to say that this issue is bad, because it isn't, it's just not what I am used to. It's a solid story that is well organized and well structured.