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Uncanny X-Force #29 - No Trust in Tomorrow Review

4

Psylocke commits seppuku to prevent a future where X-Force leads and preemptively kills, but will she live or die?

Some spoilers below.

The Good

We ended the last issue of UNCANNY X-Force with Betsy Braddock "committing seppuku" -- which is basically committing suicide the way the Samurai would in feudal Japan. Seppuku is when a warrior (in this case, Psyclocke) is so overcome with shame that they disembowel themselves with their sword. They are so disappointed in themselves that they see death as the only solution. I think this scene made a lot of sense, as far as the plot was concerned. Psylocke sees the world and what it's become and feels responsible for the state of things because, essentially, her future self and her actions led to all of this -- she is to blame. This entire scene makes sense and works well here.

After she is captured and taken away, she has a vision. It's a very sad vision and it serves to reinforce some things we saw in previous issues, but it's also easy to see how this vision served as a means to control Betsy's actions. It's interesting. I loved the way the style of the art changed in this scene -- it becomes clearer, more crisp. The background is detailed and the colors are bright -- lots of white and yellow shades. It's a great contrast to the dark, dreary reality captured on the pages of the rest of the book. The abstract panels and shapes, the dark colors -- all of this serves to help set the mood and the tone of the story beautifully.

So much of this issue really sucks you into the story, but it still feels as if the story is shrouded in mystery. It's hard to understand exactly what's happening in many parts of the issue because it feels like there is a lot we won't know until the issues that follow this one -- particularly towards the end. That mystery, however, can be good for the story.

The Bad

Psylocke must have some seriously crazy inner strength to go from laying lifeless on the ground, unable to move and sever her own spinal cord to suddenly be running away from The Punisher, propelling herself into the air. I understand that sometimes certain things need to happen in order to move the plot, but she went from being completely weak to being able to function normally. In addition, at the moment when Psylocke stabbed herself, her future self grew weaker and began to fade away. How does the future Betsy go from nearly disappearing to use her psychic abilities to control young Betsy's mind? This just didn't really add up to me.

The Verdict

I understand I may be nitpicking a little bit, but I really do think it's important to have consistency. You can't show Psylocke unable to move in one panel and then depict her running across the page in the next. It's hard to understand how severe her injury was. Aside from this detail, however, this issue is yet another example of the complexities of Betsy's character. Remender isn't only dealing with surface issues, he's really digging deep into her character and dissecting her -- and it's really interesting to see.

One of the things I've really enjoyed about these last few issues is the fact that Remender toys with the idea that the crimes you commit today, mold you in the future. Which is exactly what happens here. As members of the X-Force team, they have had to kill in order to make things right; and this line of thinking is what shapes a "peaceful future" shaped by preemptive murder and fascism.

22 Comments
Posted by broo1232

Can't wait for this. This is definitely one of the best team books currently out.

Posted by JohnnyWalker

she did say she missed her spinal cord. so yeah, pay attention.

Edited by ClawFist

I agree with this review entirely. Its really a work of art, they use the right colors for the right scenes and just do an amazing overall job not just story wise but artistically.

Posted by broo1232

@JohnnyWalker said:

she did say she missed her spinal cord. so yeah, pay attention.

Yeah she did and she is pretty tough so it wouldn't stop her getting up again.

Posted by No_Name_

@JohnnyWalker said:

she did say she missed her spinal cord. so yeah, pay attention.

Whoa there with the attitude. Did you read my review? She rammed a sword through her gut and then just got up like no big deal? Really? Come on now...

P.S. -- I mentioned she DIDN'T sever her own spinal cord. Maybe you should pay attention?

Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau

@JohnnyWalker said:

she did say she missed her spinal cord. so yeah, pay attention.

Posted by ApatheticAvenger

Remender has proven himself to be one of Marvel's best current writers alongside seasoned pro Mark Waid, quite an accomplishment.

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

Seppuku should only be used in a comic if the character is going to stay dead....at least for a while. Not to suddenly pull off a Wolverine healing maneuver and suddenly start running with blood and stuff hanging out.

Posted by pspin

I think that she more "willed" herself to move because she so strongly believed her death would solve everything.

No mention about the great Deadpool-Punisher-Nightcrawler scene? That was great, classic even; Deadpool gives this book another dimension that is just great, man Remender is good.

Posted by jcbart

Still feel that Remender insulted our intelligence by referring to Psylocke's suicide attempt as seppuku.

We all have access to research the word, Rick. It's a ceremony committed by disgraced samurai. Betsy isn't a samurai, she's a ninja. Ninja cannot perform seppuku since ninja have no honour to take, as they were the dirty shadow dealers. Lastly, Betsy doesn't even have the cultural knowledge of such a thing! She's an English woman in a Japanese body with inherited martial arts skills; she didn't become a ninja herself through training! She doesn't even have the mindset of a ninja.

Anyway, just a little nitpicky, but it's a rant that needed to be ranted.

Posted by redwingx

Damn you Remender, Psylock loves Warren. She loved him more than anything. And the last page? Come on, that's never gonna happen, even if the world was gonna end.

Posted by longbowhunter

I think the carbonated beverage Wade was trying to think of is called RC Cola. Yeah, it tastes like someone mixed Pepsi with NyQuil. Glad to see Remender working Evan back into the story.

Posted by cuddles666

@Necrotic_Lycanthrope said:

Seppuku should only be used in a comic if the character is going to stay dead....at least for a while. Not to suddenly pull off a Wolverine healing maneuver and suddenly start running with blood and stuff hanging out.

^Word. I'm just glad this future is done with. I feel like it distracted too much from the (mind-blowingly awesome) main story. I want more Brotherhood in the next ish. Speaking of which, if Remender's moving to Uncanny Avengers after reviving the Brotherhood and Masters of Evil in his other team books, does that mean we'll get a Brotherhood of Evil Masters?! Because that would rock.

Posted by JamDamage

still the best book on the market. pissed Fantomex is dead. Just when he was blowing up. Also, what happened to the Deadpool haters saying he couldn't be written well as a member of a team. Remender writes the best Deadpool out there.

Posted by sparty-dbq

They kinda made a dig at the first story from Deadpool's relaunched title for the NOW! thing.

Pretty clever.

Posted by danhimself

the only problem I had was that Marvel has established that when a character time travels they don't go into the 616 future so how did future Betsy start to die when present Betsy emo'd herself

Posted by Dernman
@danhimself: In recently they have challenging that time travel concept. Right now that future is a possible future. By stabbing herself she was erasing that as a possibility. They could also later on change it from a possible future to an alternate future which would still explain the time quake. Another case about them altering time travel is the All New X-Men. At this time they have stated that really is the 616 X-men from the past. How that works I don't know. Unless they retcon it or erase their memories and send them back that will create a lot of problems.
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Posted by InnerVenom123

Are people seriously caring about the recap page calling it seppuku? Like... seriously? Did it even say that anywhere in the actual comic?

Anyway.... great issue. Starting to think that X-force can't possibly ever have a not-awesome issue.

Posted by Hareil0079

UXF is definitely my top book currently

Posted by cj8822

i have to say that X-force is the best x-book

Posted by rawr

UXF is so good... I was wondering if this arc was bringing UXF to a close for Marvel Now but oddly it seems like a launching point for a new arc? I loved pretty much every moment of this issue and despite my ever increasing destain for Wolverine I even enjoy him in this. I hope it doesn't get ruined during Marvel Now.

Just need to get one thing off my chest tho:

Old Psylocke and Old Wolvie making out is like watching your grandparents hook up. This hook up would have made sense to me right after Siege Perilous in early 90s X-Men but now I find it icky. Sorry. Weird.
Posted by thveej

There is no way they can just kill off Fantomex like that...... there has to be more to it than that just saying. or if he is really dead then ............. :(