Ninjas At the Rave
Regardless of what you think of the series, because I've seen very mixed opinions already, one thing everyone can agree on is that Ron Garney's artwork is great. The characters al look fantastic, the action flows smoothly, and the colors are absolutely stunning. This book looks great from beginning to end in every way.
Only weeks before this series came out, I blew through the entire Remender run of Uncanny X-Force, and I have to say, Remender left things off in a really interesting place. Humphries is taking the reins given to him in a whole new direction, leaping off of what came before but not simply repeating what we've seen. Yes, Psylocke seems to have gone through a very drastic change from when we last saw her, but personally I think it makes sense. While very introverted, she went through some emotionally drastic times with Wolverine's X-Force, and managed to open up her emotions outwards again by the end when Fantomex finally expressed genuine attraction, not just the harrowing manipulation she previously saw it as. She gave her heart to him, and it didn't take long for him to completely abandon her for his female self. That tends to really upset someone who would've gone through all that and end up with him, just to be thrown away months later for a squicky borderline incestuous new romantic partner. It really justifies her, for lack of a better term, bitchiness.
Humphries also's done a great job at toying around with the whole new status quo for Fantomex. Fantomex is just as charismatic and mysterious as before, his emotions and intentions are very hard to read. His interactions with Cluster are pretty interesting, at times it feels like he's still trying to reason things out with himself, and the balance of what emotions remain in which body is intriguing to try and sort out. But, after barely having a presence last issue, we can see how Cluster's going to end up making her way to the team, though the fact that she's set to join but Fantomex isn't set up some interesting speculation. I'm also really enjoying Storm and Puck much more than I thought I would, and their different personalities help round out the team well. But by far I'm most interested in Spiral. She's set to join the team, and I can see her current goodness shining through, but from what we've seen of her history she's a pretty twisted bitch. But she seems awesome. It kind of explains why Storm and Puck seem to have horse blinders on when it comes to seeing her, this time around, obviously altruistic intentions.
The biggest problem in this issue is that there's just too much going on, and it's all converging too soon. The trio of Psylocke, Puck, and Storm are barely a 'team' and they've still barely begun to get into whatever Spiral is doing, much less Cluster and Fantomex's concern abut the potential strike of Dark Fantomex, and yet Bishop has already exploded onto the scene possessed by some kind of demon bear thing that seems to resemble the Phoenix Force. It's just too much, there's too many unrelated plot points with tons of mystery lingering about in each one.
In Conclusion: 4/5
Despite the crowded nature of the plot, the issue still has a surprisingly smooth flow, with a variety of interesting characters and some damn good artwork and excellent action. I loved Remender's run, and I'm enjoying the way this one leaps off of it with it's own new direction. It's just weird that they're not a team yet, and there's no sign of that happening for quite a bit.