no_name_'s Uncanny X-Force #5.1 - Five Point One review

The "Point One" Issue

As promised, Marvel continues their point-one initiative with the release of Uncanny X-Force 5.1.

The Good

First off, it's X-Force. Who knew I would be so blown away by this unlikely match-up? At first, Psylocke, Wolverine, Angel, Deadpool and Fantomex seem like an unlikely group- until you start reading what is quite possibly the best team-up of all of Marvel's X-Men books. Even at it's worst, it seems that Uncanny X-Force is still actually quite good. The self contained story by Rick Remender opens up with Lady Deathstrike who is determined to destroy Utopia and all of the X-Men. This is where X-Force comes in to play. 
If you haven't read any of Marvel's point one issues, then you should know they are slightly different from other comic issues. Point one issues are meant to both introduce characters to new readers, serve as good jumping on points to the story, and establish the background to the plot. I have not been too crazy about these point one initiative comics, but I have to admit that this one is one of the better issues. 
Remender knows these characters like the back of his hand and presents them eloquently in this issue. The narration alternates between different characters, something that surprisingly does jar the reading experience. The self contained story is surprisingly comprised of several layers, and still manages to flow well and be organized. Not only does Remender present the primary storyline, but he also addresses some of the characters personal emotional conflicts as well as some issues that have not been addressed previously (i.e. Cyclops). 

The Bad

The main problem with these "point one initiative" comics is that they feel so out of place when the series is read collectively. Even though issue 5.1 of Uncanny X-Force presents the team, main storyline, adversaries, inner conflict and lenty of action; it feels like it's trying to accomplish far too much to be a successful "read friendly first issue." It also seems pointless to have a 5.1 issue considering this is an all new series and is only five issues in. Not essential if you have been reading X-Force. 

The Verdict

Good self contained story which you will appreciate if you have been reading the series as a whole, but overall not essential reading for your understanding of the Uncanny X-Force series.
7 Comments Refresh
Edited by longbowhunter

Hearing Skullbuster sing "I Love Livin' in the City" by FEAR was great. Remender must be a big fan of 80's hardcore. I remember reading issue #2 of his Punisher series and seeing a bunch of old punk flyers hanging on the wall in one panel.

As a done in one story this issue is a success. As a jumping on point it is not. Issue #5.1 hits us right after the first chapter of a new stoyline. When #6 comes out new readers who picked this up are gonna think "Whats going on? Why is everyone a Deathlok?"

Posted by entee

Great review, it makes me feel as if I really missed out on a great issue.
Edited by Omertalvendetta

These .1 initiative I feel are not faring well in their initial intentions, as I think they are far from jumping on points... I have asked several comic book stores and every single one I've asked points out that the only people purchasing these issues are people like me with OCD that do not want a "hole" in their collection, and even go further and mention that not a single new costumer (or old customer interested in new series) has actually either purchased a .1 issue or asked what these issues are all about... most people are staying away from them because they are essentially one-shots. 
I loved this issue, however, and I wish I could get more of this villain.  Great issue!  

Posted by longbowhunter
I know what you mean. The only point one issues I've bought were Invincible Iron Man and Uncanny X-Force. Two titles I've been reading since issue #1. I do wish I had bought the point one issue of Spider-Man though.
Edited by jakob187

Nailed it on the head, Sara.  Why is there even a "point one" for this series when there are only five issues?  Hell, they just released a big "issue #1-3" book the week before?  THAT is a perfect jumping-on point. 
But hey...  whatever Marvel has to do to get Rafael Albuquerque to do some artwork on these guys!  Art was excellent, especially since the vampires in American Vampire seem to share more than enough physical traits with Lady Deathstrike.

Posted by AskaniSon295

ok I get the idea of .1 get new readers but why do in the middle of a story arc. This should be Uncanny X-Force 4.1 because it oviously takes place before the events in Uncanny X-Force 5 but because Spider-man has to be the first .1 issue they call it 5.1. I get stand alone issues, I get attracting a new audience what I don't get is wanting someone to start with issue 5.1 and then start reading issue 6 without reading issue 5 the first part of the story, that is just poor marketing and a poor strategy. I thought marvel was smarter than that.

Posted by yeopop

Just by seeing the cover and by reading the review I think I'll start reading this serie.

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