If you've been reading my rants, you've probably noticed that I've been taking a liking to books such as Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers a bit more than usual. This is because of one man: Rick Remender. He's single handedly turned X-Force into possible the best book being published (not to mention making Deadpool tolerable and actually fun to read) and did what very, very few writers could do: followed Warren Ellis and actually upstaged him.
Uncanny X-Force #22 - Otherworld: Chapter Three
After going against her family, Betsy has saved Fantomex (for now). However, now a new threat from his past has emerged in Weapon III. Turns out, Weapon III was a mutant who could stretch his skin until the Weapon Plus Program took him. After a mission to steal something Otherworld, though, Fantom followed, stopped him and left him there for sentencing. Which means they stripped him of his skin. Entirely. Now he wants his revenge. How will he do this? By stripping Fantomex of his face. And all this while Wolverine and Deadpool go after an evil Goat God, Nightcrawler and Meggan fight off an army of ogres and Britain and the Corps try to save the entire realm. That's a lot of poop on their plate.
Secret Avengers #23 - A Victory for the Little Guy
Turns out all those robot people are the new Reavers, which is pretty old school and obscure. As Ant-Man rides the Adaptoids back to their base, we get Hawkeye walking in as Cap America tries to get Venom to join the team. Not wanting anything to do with "one of the "world's most notorious villains", Clint is showing why he may be just the leader this team needs. Nobody puts Cap America in a corner! Anyhow, as the Adaptoids bring that lady (Yalda) to Father (which is actually the "name" of the guy from Force that got Weapon III to join the Plus Program. Coincidence.....?), he finds that she is completely against helping them in anyway. Which is fine because her son is all they really need. As the Adaptoids strike, Ant grows and tries to help. Unable to save Yalda, he takes the kid and runs but he can't escape. As he lays, head under the foot of an Adaptoid, broken and bloody, we are left with a final page of him saying,
"No matter what choices I made before this, today I died saving an innocent child--
And I didn't think twice about it."
With a "KRETCHH" and blood splatter, we got a "to be continued".
Remender has proven his strength with these two books and it's team dynamic. We have had nearly next to no interaction with Ant-Man and yet in this one issue, you feel his "death" as though he had been the series lead for a long time. And just to say it now, I doubt he's dead and bet the nest issue starts with us seeing the blood and KRETCHH were from the Adaptoid.
I digress. Both books have shown great team and character and I'm ready for him to take over another one. Hell, I'm putting the call... Nay, the dare out to Marvel to revamp Power Pack with Remender. It'll make the top ten sales list faster than Johns taking over another character to reboot over at DC.
Either way, read these books. They're amazing.