Uncanny X-Force #8 Lucky number Weapon XIII
COVER ART: 2/5
KRIS ANKA provides us the main variant cover for this issue. What I like about it is the use of lighting. It is obviously computer generated but the light emitting from Psylocke's Psy-Knife, illuminating both her and Cluster's face is really beautifully done. I doubt that Kris Anka had anything to do with that part though. What I don't like is that Psylocke looks too much like a young Mexican Man versus the sexy English/Asian ninja we are used to seeing. Nothing against young or old or any Mexicans by the way.
STORY ART: 2/5
ADRIAN ALPHONA & DALIBOR TALAJIC share in the artistic penciling in this issue. There is a very distinct difference in styles. This is effective for when the story changes locations and when the story goes into a flashback mode. The art is also effective in portraying Weapon XIII's misdirection. What I didn't like was that the art seemed to be drawn on an etcha-sketch. The first page really fools you into thinking this is going to be a very well drawn book, with a semi detailed home exterior. It is really the color that draws you in though. And the next page, the shock page, of Psylocke and Cluster in bed together, just seemed awkward. The color, however, was very well done. This issue's art was not up to par with what I would recommend as it seemed rushed and with the main character Psylocke drawn with such unusual features it is hard to determine it is her other than she has purple hair - again, the colorist saves the day.
STORY ARC: 3.5/5
SAM HUMPHRIES steps up his game a little from last weeks issue as the love triangle between Psylocke, Fantomex and Cluster become just a little more crowded with Weapon XIII throwing his hat into the ring. What I like about this story is that we really see how Weapon XIII uses his misdirection, and he uses it very well. His smooth, meditative dialogue is hypnotic and coupled with his misdirection, I could easily see how someone could fall pray to his charm. What I don't like about it is that at the end of the book, I feel like I have bee misdirected. I mean, this is X-Factor right!? I had to check the cover twice to make sure I wasn't reading the Adventures of Psylocke.
We start this story in a similar way that we started issue #7, with Psylocke hold up in the bedroom with Cluster for 2 days and Fantomex bringing them champagne. Cluster is concerned because she claims that Fantomex really does love Psylocke. Psylocke is concerned because Fantomex has proven right in his assessment of our Betsy, that she loves to steal. Psylocke even calls herself a low-down thief and that she loves it.
There is a lot of misdirection in this issue, which is partly frustrating to read, but also enjoyable because I can understand better how Weapon XIII's misdirection works. I have read this issue at least 3 times and am still unclear on what actually happened and what is misdirection. Ultimately, Weapon XIII woos Betsy enough to make her fall IN LOVE WITH HIM! He claims that Fantomex and Cluster are using Betsy and Weapon XIII isn't there to kidnap her, but to rescue her from Fantomex and Cluster. He claims they love the IDEA of Betsy but don't truly love her. Betsy is nothing but a "rare jewel" to them that they steal from each other back and forth. Is this true? It could be. The last few pages show Betsy climbing some stairs back to the hotel Fantomex and Cluster are staying at, and see the two in a lovers embrace. Fantomex puts a finger to his lips to "shhh" Betsy as he takes Cluster into the bedroom. We next see Betsy back with Weapon XIII. I don't know if that actually happened or was misdirection.
I do like this story arc if it were titled the Adventures of Psylocke. Psylocke is actually one of my top 10 favorite X-Men characters so following her is great, but the book is titled Uncanny X-Force, where is the rest of the Force? On top of that, we have spent almost half of these issues in lala land, either in someones mind or in a projection of someones mind as a misdirection. I also don't like the fact that an Omega Level telepath, or near Omega level telepath in Psylocke is so easily misdirected by Weapon XIII. It just seems ridiculous to me. It makes her character seem so weak, being so easily played back and forth between Fantomex/Cluster and Weapon XIII.
FINAL VERDICT: 2/5There are a lot of better books out there to buy if you are strapped for cash. If you just absolutely love Psylocke, like I do, you may be a bit frustrated with the way she both written and drawn in this issue. If you like Fantomex, Cluster, Weapon XIII, you will love this book. It is full of them using their talents flawlessly. If you are looking for Storm, Puck, Bishop, or any of the other characters of Uncanny X-Force you are out of luck. It is only Psylocke and the split 3 of Fantomex. If you really love these characters, then these are the people I recommend this book to.