I've been a fan of the Fantomex-Psylocke relationship from the very beginning, so for me this issue was a treat. I like how they behave together, what their strange connection does to them. I liked her reasons and strategies for saving him in Otherworld several issues back, and I loved his rescue and sacrifice to do the same for her here. He's a brilliant character, using everything available to him right up to the moment his heart is torn out, and even though it's hard to believe a superhero character's death, the ripples of Fantomex's demise were powerful in-story and for me as a reader.
And yes, I love this new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Not just because they look so scary and bizarre as a group, and not just because there are so many colorful characters amongst their numbers. What I appreciate most is how put together they are. That many bad guys with that much power pulling off such a multi-faceted plan so easily? Imagine what else they might be capable of. Chills.
So Rick Remender was got me firmly back on the Uncanny X-Force cheer squad now, aided in no small way by the art team of Phil Noto & Dean White. In particular, their Mr. Skinless is an imposing, hideous creature. Almost a storybook villain, but for sick-minded grown ups. And I was quite taken by Eva's evolution (how much you want to bet she's the one who saves them from the explosion at the end?). Her new form exudes all the wisdom and confidence she has always possessed, and she looks pretty badass now, too, which is a bonus.
But the truest visual delight is the final page, where we get a full view of the Brotherhood in its maniacal, sociopathic glory. Even standing in a nice room and smiling, they are a terrifying lot, and now they have their own pet Apocalypse. That on top of Fantomex's noble death means the stakes are as high as they've been for this series in a long while, and as we move further into the story, it's bound to get a lot more intesne. Bring it on, says I.