I'm not going to pull any punches -- this was a set-up issue, plain and simple! And it was damn good!
Remender brings us along for the ascension of Archangel, not as just the raging side of Warren Worthington III's persona -- but as the heir of Apocalypse! That's right, with Apocalypse's blood congealing on the hands of Fantomex, there is a void left in the Celestial's grand scheme of things; a void that can only be filled by one of his most vicious Horsemen!
The Shadow King weaves his way into the heart of X-Force yet again, shedding light on some of the horrific deeds they have done to ensure the survival of their race. But what happens when the public gets to see those deeds first hand? A line must be crossed to preserve the secret of X-Force, one that will force the team to enter one of the greatest alternate histories ever -- The Age Of Apocalypse!
I've said it before, Remender is writing his opus with these issues, he is at the pinnacle of his craft and there is no plateau in sight. Ferocious action satiates the craving for excitement, but it's the dialog and character interaction that drives this book to be the best any X book has to offer. It is continually pushing the boundaries of what classic comics should be, leaving the readers to reap the rewards.
The only thing that could possibly push this book any farther than it has already gone, would be to get a set artistic team. Don't get me wrong, the team of Tan, Elson and Mounts were phenomenal, but having the same team continually on the series would be even better. This was the first book that didn't have Dean White on as colorist and it unfortunately had a different vibe, still good, but definitely different. The dark, foreboding mood wasn't present in the art, which made it slightly askew from the tone of the story. I am not in any way snubbing the art, like I said -- it was phenomenal; it was just different from all the other issues. I personally vote for Esad Ribic for interiors, if you don't agree, I implore you to look at his amazing cover again. Yeah, that's what I thought! In a perfect world this book would be continually done by Remender, Ribic and White -- the trifecta of perfection!
Another great issue by an every revolving, yet continually amazing team! The stage is set for the best Angel story ever made, one that is full of characterization, action and suspense! If you are an Age Of Apocalypse fan, you MUST get this issue. You stand at the precipice of a roller coaster ride that will keep you reeling!