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Comic Book / Uncanny X-Force

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There's one rule: Nobody can know.

"Ain't no man can fight against who he is forever."

Written by Rick Remender, in the aftermath of the Second Coming crossover, the X-Force title underwent another, albeit smaller, relaunch as the Uncanny X-Force. This time, the team is not sanctioned by Cyclops and operates in secret to protect the interests of the still endangered mutant population, under the leadership of Wolverine.

This team's roster consists of previous team members Wolverine and Archangel (the only members retained from the last team), and new additions Fantomex, Psylocke and Deadpool. Later members include Deathlok, the Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler, and EVA.

While reaction to X-Force vol. 3 was decidedly mixed, Uncanny X-Force has been hailed as a modern classic. The series lasted for 35 issues (December, 2010-February, 2013). Some of its dangling plot threads carried over to Remender's next series, Uncanny Avengers


For the second volume of Uncanny X-Force, see X-Force (2013).


  • The Adjectival Superhero: Uncanny X-Force
  • An Arm and a Leg: Famine is at Wolverine's mercy and claims Wolverine said he wouldn't kill him. Wolverine agrees and hacks off both his arms instead.
  • And I Must Scream: Psylocke defeats the Shadow King by sealing him in a body previously occupied by the artificial mind of Omega White, from which he can’t escape, and has Captain Britain lock the body in Otherworld’s vault.
  • Ass Shove: The Age of Apocalypse Blob's default attack, to the disgust of all.
  • The Atoner: You can say it's Wade's primary motivation for joining X-Force.
    If he can lay down his life for someone he loves there's hope for all of us.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Psylocke vs the Shadow King.
  • Big Bad: Apocalypse.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Deadpool cuts off "Father's" head moments before Fantomex is sliced into ribbons.
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    • Fantomex brings the X-Men from the Age of Apocalypse into the fight with Archangel.
  • Bittersweet Ending: So, X-Force was able to save the world, a bunch of AoA X-Men, and Warren (well, a clone), as well as get Kid!Apocalypse to fight for the good guys. However, all Archangel's followers have fled, there is a new heir to Apocalypse and a bunch of the AoA X-Men were killed, including Warren.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • The series is a never ending Trauma Conga Line for Psylocke.
    • The new Brotherhood want to break down Evan/Genesis so that he becomes evil. Back to being Apocalypse.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Deadpool loses his healing factor late in the series, which makes things a lot more dangerous for him.
  • Brown Note: Famine is a former Civil War drummer. After his family was killed, his mutant power came out: he could induce Body Horror on whoever hears the percussive sounds he creates. While he mainly uses his old drum, it's not a necessity; he is held captive in EVA and escapes by drumming his fingers against a flat surface, incapacitating her.
  • Canon Immigrant: "The Dark Angel Saga" features Genocide, who's basically 616! Holocaust from the Original Age of Apocalypse story line.
  • Central Theme: Is it ever right to murder, even when it would prevent further murder?
    • Determinism vs free will; nature vs nurture.
  • Character Development: Psylocke. She grows the most throughout the series, and is the only member to carry over into the next Uncanny X-Force series.
  • Cloning Blues: Genesis has to deal with this as part of his character development.
  • Cool Ship: E.V.A., which doubles as Fantomex's external nervous system.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Psylocke "sacrificed" her ability to feel sorrow to save Fantomex. She even points out she never would've had what it takes to save the multiverse without making the deal.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • It doesn't get grimmer than issue 16. The end of the world is nigh and Archangel is poised to wipe the earth clean and kill everyone on the planet. Deadpool lies in a puddle, Deathlok is mind-controlled, Betsy is being transformed into Death and Fantomex has promptly turned tail. It all falls to Logan, who's facing a high-powered alternate version of Iceman who's several hundred feet tall.
    • Issue 27 is pretty bad. Fantomex, dead. Gateway, dead. Ultimaton, out of control. Kid!Apocalypse, captured. The newest Brotherhood of Evil Mutants(The Omega Clan, Mystique, Daken, Sabertooth, Weapon III/Skinless Man, Shadow King, and A.o.A.!Blob) is bent on exposing the Force, and destroying them.
  • Deal with the Devil: Lampshaded by Dark Beast when they spring him from jail.
    Dark Beast: Shall we get down to the inevitable Faustian pact?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mainly Fantomex, but Deadpool and Wolverine have their moments too.
  • Death of a Child: Fantomex shoots Kid!Apocalypse.
  • Designer Babies: Of a sort. The White Sky manufactures hitmen this way. This is where the Omega Clan come from, cloned from genetic matter of the original Omega Red.
  • The Determinator: Wade shrugs off his cancer and lack of healing factor in order to protect Evan.
  • Dirty Business: With our protagonists dealing lethal force some angst about it is to be expected. One example is the Otherworld arc, where Betsy saves the multiverse by killing her brother Jamie when Brian refuses to. She justifies it as necessary to save everyone, but condemns Brian for leaving her to do it for him so he could still consider himself good.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: A.o.A!Nightcrawler is rather annoyed that he keeps being compared to 616!Nightcrawler, as they have totally different personalities.
    A.o.A!Nightcrawler: Do not call me elf. I find it...effeminate
  • Dream Sequence: In issue #18 (February, 2012), Archangel is dying and Psylocke uses her telepathy to give him an elaborate dream. In it, the two are a married couple, raising two daughters in Colorado. They grow old together, and Warren dies of natural causes. All those decades in a few minutes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Psylocke, when confronted with a fascistic Bad Future that she rules over, in an attempt to prevent that future from happening.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the Dark Angel Saga, there is a truly ludicrous amount of beer cans scattered around Wolverine.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: It's pretty obvious that the rest of the team views Deadpool as either a clown, or a psychotic mercenary who's only in it for the money. Deadpool even wonders why he's brought up as the pariah, when it was Fantomex who shot a kid, something nobody was comfortable with.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The team manages to resurrect Fantomex, Wade actually gets to be called a hero and Psylocke and Jean-Philippe get a much needed vacation. It's not a happy ending for everyone though: Wolverine needed to kill Daken, or else he would have killed all the students at the Jean Grey Institute. There's also the matter of the evil Fantomex clone gone missing...
  • Erased From Existence: What the Captain Britain Corps planned to do to Fantomex.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Really not surprising, given three members' involvement in Weapon Plus, but Fantomex gets hit with this in Otherworld. His incredibly unique sentient bullets were never given a proper explanation until he meets up with the man whose skin was used to make them, Weapon III. And guess what, he wants revenge.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe:
    • Deadpool makes it quite clear to Dark Beast that he doesn't give a shit about his "stupid fake world."
    • AoA!Nightcrawler will cheerfully trade the future of the mainstream Marvel Universe for revenge against the man who killed his wife.
  • Face–Heel Turn: There's a reason a major story arc is called the Dark Angel Saga. Also, The Sinister A.o.A. Iceman.
  • The Faceless: Fantomex. He wears his mask like it's part of him. Justified in that the psychic dampening plates protect him from harm. This later becomes very literal when Skinless Man cuts his face off.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Deadpool and Fantomex go this route. Fantomex even later admits that Deadpool has grown on him.
    Fantomex: If there was ever a time to set aside my feelings about you and give a motivational speech, it would be now.
    Deadpool: Go on.
    Fantomex: No, well. It was just the thought that I should do it. I'm not capable of telling you that you're a tremendous fighter, and that we'll halt whatever mischief Worthington has devised.
    • Wolverine is naturally hostile to the Age of Apocalypse's Sabretooth, but eventually comes to regard him as a good man, even giving him Ogun's sword and saying Ogun told him to give it to a man he met that was more honorable than him.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Hero: Wolverine, team leader and resident Cool Old Guy. Pretty disciplined when you get right down to it.
    • The Lancer: Deadpool. Motor mouth, nowhere near as disciplined, but damn funny in contrast to Wolverine's seriousness. Also not seen with the team until the very end of issue #1.
      • He's also the one who calls the team out on Fantomex killing Kid!Apocalypse
    • The Smart Guy: Fantomex. His teammates opt more for bladed weapons while he's more of a gunslinger. He does also have multiple brains.
    • The Big Guy: Archangel. His "you go, I'll handle this" moment in issue #1 pretty much puts him right here.
    • The Chick: Psylocke, of the Lady of War variety.
    • Sixth Ranger: Apparently Deathlok, and later AoA!Nightcrawler.
      • Sixth Ranger Traitor: AoA!Nightcrawler betrays the team after Mystique gives him the opportunity to kill AoA!Blob, the man who murdered his wife.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Wolverine thinks Fantomex is quoting Hemingway in the first issue. In issue ten, Wolverine is seen reading The Old Man and the Sea.
    • When Archangel and Genesis are fighting in The World, three statues can be seen of various Weapon Plus subjects. Dr. Mindbubble, Skinless Man, and a woman whose name is obscured. Since Skinless Man is Weapon III, the other two are likely Weapons II and Weapon IV, though they could also be Weapons V, VI, VIII, or IX. Remender, in an interview, admitted to having plans for Dr. Mindbubble.
    • When Future!Punisher is tempted to kill Deadpool, he asks Future!Giant-Man just how important he is in the timeline. He responds with "Remember the zombie Nixon thing?", which refers to the first arc in Deadpool's Marvel NOW! relaunch.
    • Wolverine explains to AoA!Nightcrawler that, in this reality, Sabretooth and Mystique are villains, confusing Nightcrawler as in his reality they are his dear friends and allies. At this stage, the main versions had not yet shown up in this series yet, but they are members of the team that poses the final threat of the series.
    • Omega Red's remains are use to create three individual foes, the Omega Clan, each with distinct but different aspects of the original. Later, the same machines is used to revive Fantomex...and creates three individual versions, again distinctly different but definitely parts of the whole.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Final Horsemen are all this, coming from inauspicious beginnings to pose major threats to the team.
  • Funny Schizophrenia: Very averted with this incarnation of Deadpool. While he is still pretty funny, Remender explicitly states that he views Deadpool's mental problems as caused by very traumatic things in his life, like many real mental disorders, instead of just using it to make Deadpool funny.
  • Gentleman Thief: Fantomex. In the first issue, he races Wolverine to the British crown jewels simply for the thrill. Upon being beaten by Logan, he then agrees to pay him by giving him a case of the world's most expensive cognac. It was implied to be a bet between the two of them. Whoever got there first had to buy the other a case of alchohol
  • The Heart: Deadpool takes on this role after Fantomex killed Kid!Apocalypse. He's also the only one to even consider the fact that using the life seed on Warren may kill him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kid!Apocalypse turns into Genesis.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sunfire, Fantomex
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Apparently, Deadpool thinks people have this. Too bad soda and pop rocks don't help Angel any... so Deadpool had to feed him pieces of his own flesh.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Fantomex points out how the Captain Britain Corps find the shooting of one kid "evil," regardless of the work he's done to raise Genesis as a savior. Yet, they're perfectly OK with skinning a man alive and erasing another from existence.
    • Deathlok. During Final Execution, he shows X-Force a possible future created by them, which involves killing people before they even have the opportunity to commit crimes. Wolverine refuses to stop killing, citing the need to kill the few in order to save the many. Seeing no way to convince them to give up killing peacefully, Deathlok hands over the controls to his human host, in order to kill X-Force to stop them from creating a fascist future. That's right, he tries to preemptively murder X-Force because they won't stop preemptively killing threats to prevent the future where they preemptively kill future threats. Deadpool calls him out on this too.
  • I Choose to Stay: Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler stays behind to ensure that Dark Beast gets what's coming to him.
  • It's Personal: Thanks to false memories, the Omega Clan feel this way, blaming X-Force for the deaths of their parents when no such event happened (and, being manufactured hitmen, never had parents).
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Both Deadpool and Psylocke wield katanas. The latter's is psionically charged.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Angel, after the Life Seed is used on him.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Deadpool is frozen by the Sinister Iceman and broken into pieces. After the battle, Deathlok gathers up every part so that he can heal.
  • Mirror Reveal: The Shadow King creates this illusion for Evan, where he looks into the mirror and sees the face of Apocalypse staring back at him.
  • Murder Water: Fantomex douses himself in a pool after escaping from the Blob’s rectum, and right as he thinks they’re in the clear, the water starts forming into Iceman’s giant avatar and tries to kill him.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Fantomex actually creates a clone of Kid!Apocalypse to see if someone with his power could grow up to be a good person, rather than a dictator bent on cleansing the world of humanity.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the members of the Black Legion is Orange Hulk.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Psylocke. She sacrificed her ability to feel sorrow in order to save Fantomex.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: AoA!Nightcrawler makes it clear that he's here purely for revenge against Dark Beast.
  • Not So Stoic: Fantomex tries to keep up appearances but occasionally falls into this, especially after being subjected to Blob's signature attack.
  • Off with His Head!: AoA!Nightcrawler likes to use this. He does it to Deadpool, noting how he did it to the AoA's version of the same man, Dead Man Wade. Later, in a Danger Room session, he smugly postures that decapitation works on all villains, only to find himself being attacked by the disembodied head of Lady Deathstrike and the cybernetics within.
  • Offing the Offspring: Wolverine kills Daken by drowning him. Sabertooth then reveals that he manipulated Daken into causing the entire mess just to force Wolverine to kill his own son. Sabertooth knew this would hurt Wolverine worse than anything else Sabertooth could do to him.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In the middle of the Final Execution arc, we briefly skip ahead to the aftermath of the Final Battle, where a badly wounded Wolverine is kneeling on the ground while Evan, who seems to have embraced his heritage as Apocalypse, looms over him. A few issues later, we catch up to that scene to find Wolverine is distraught over killing his own son, and Evan is actually comforting him.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: War is a huge Minotaur wielding an axe, as per the standard. However, his appearance is simply his mutation. He was considered a freak in Ancient Rome before he became a gladiator.
  • Parking Garage: Archangel ambushes a man with incriminating information about X-Force here.
  • Pest Controller: Pestilence's power is to vomit up a swarm of insects.
  • Pungeon Master: Deadpool, natch.
    "Why did the nickel jump off the building but the dime didn't?" "Because the dime had more cents."
    "How do you kill a circus?" "Go for the juggler."
    "Why was the little shoe unhappy?" "Because his father was a loafer."
    "What kind of soldier doesn't need bullets?" "The kind that's always shooting his mouth off."
  • Put on a Bus: Angel, along with Deathlok, go along with Genesis to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning.
    • Deathlok returns briefly in the final arc to let the team know what the Brotherhood is up to, but does not join them on the mission, claiming he knows too much of future events to get involved.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Deadpool takes the time to give one to the future Punisher.
    “Look, for what it’s worth, I always hated you. You are a boring, two-dimensional, self-serious relic from the 70s. Oh, and Chuck Bronson called. He wants everything he ever did back.”
  • Recruiting the Criminal: To solve the Archangel problem, they need someone with intimate knowledge of Apocalypse's machinations, and Wolverine reluctantly decides to bring in Dark Beast.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Deadpool is red, while Fantomex is blue.
  • Restart the World: The intent of the newly ascendant Archangel in the Dark Angel Saga, his group intends to raze the world using Willaim Rolfson AKA Genocide to burn the earth to the ground and then use the energies of the Celestial Life seed coupled with the Year Outside, Hour Inside nature of The World to create gardens on earth each exploding with possibilities' untold. pity everyone will have to die for that to happen.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Inverted with Deathlok. The AI recognizes the value of human life, but when it's time for a bit of the old hyperviolence, he switches control of the body back to it's original human host.
    Fantomex: Our cyborg's gone all "Ted Bundy" on us.
  • Screaming at Squick: Once he is saved from the bowels of the Blob, the normally-unflappable Fantomex dives into a nearby pool of water while screaming "UNCLEEAAAAAAAN!"
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In one of the chapters of Dark Angel Saga, Deadpool was fighting against the giant Sinister Iceman (the Age of Apocalypse version who betrayed his teammates by cowardly running away) when he was apparently frozen to death and he was absent throughout the arc until he got better in the epilogue.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Genesis is raised in a small, out in the sticks farm town, raised by "Ma and Pa"? Fantomex has been reading too much Superman. He even says he wanted to teach Genesis how to be "super."
    • The future depicted in Final Execution is similar to the film Minority Report, as both feature "thought-criminals" being preemptively arrested for crimes they intend to commit.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: How Deadpool releases himself from Father's control.
  • Someone Has to Do It: The crux of the series conflict comes from the fact that En Sabah Nur was actually occupying a needed position in the Celestial's designs for the earth. If someone doesn't step into the position the celestials might well destroy the world.
  • Spiteful Spit: Famine does this to Wolverine's burning body once he gets free of EVA's prison.
  • Split Personality: Fantomex has three different brains, likely a hold-over from his status as Weapon XIII. It's said this is why he could act as a hero, and then murder a child. Captain Britain, who hated his guts before, even said it was a testament to his character that he was able to function at all with his different personalities. They are described by Shadow King as noble, a trouble-maker, and a vile place. In the last issue, each brain gets a separate body. One identical to the old body, another with a mostly-black suit, described as not very nice, and a final, female body, with a white suit, who claims to be "the nicest."
  • Spotting the Thread: Fantomex at one point notices that Psylocke's eyes are flecked with gold. He quickly pulls a gun out and finds himself aiming at Mystique.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Pestilence apparently has this attitude, and tries to convince Psylocke to be a passive partner to Archangel. Psylocke is unimpressed.
  • Stepford Smiler: Deadpool just wants to be loved...
    • It's implied Fantomex is this as well, behind his bravado. When questioned by Wolverine why he would try to raise a young Apocalypse to defy his supposed nature and become a hero, specifically what he himself Fantomex would get out of it, he simply says he wants to see if there's any hope for himself.
  • Superhero Team Uniform: The team wears matching black and white outfits.
  • Tear Off Your Face: The Skinless Man does this to Fantomex and to his own ex-wife. The former gets better; the latter, not so much.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This runs through most of the series. In the early days, Psylocke spends a lot of time sniping at Fantomex, and nobody likes Deadpool. Later, when Nightcrawler does not return to the Age of Apocalypse, he is very cold to the others.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Wolverine is falling to catch a live bomb in the Iceman fight, and tries to say this exact line. He manages to get all but the last syllable out when the bomb blows up in his hands.
  • Those Two Guys: Deadpool and Fantomex are definitely the odd men out in the main roster. Neither technically count as mutants, and they rarely, if ever, appear in any big X-Events. Both of them had to be hired for the team, and they interact with each other on a fairly regular basis. In the context of the Uncanny X-Force series, however, they're just as important as everyone else.
  • Token Good Teammate: Psylocke is the most straight-forwardly heroic of the team compared to Pragmatic Hero Wolverine, lovable mercenary Deadpool, tormented Archangel, and shady Fantomex. The series likes to punish her for this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Psylocke. She goes from not being able to kill Warren, despite his death being the only way to save the world, to forcing one of her brothers to kill her other brother to save the multiverse.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Psylocke and EVA for X-Force, and later Mystique and Omega Blue for the Brotherhood.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Considering this series is about a hit squad, a surprising number of bad guys get away clean:
    • Dark Beast and the Final Horsemen escape during the climax of the Dark Angel Saga and don't show up again.
    • Mystique is saved and taken away by the AoA Nightcrawler before Evan can kill her.
    • Sabretooth runs off laughing after getting exactly what he wanted.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Deadpool and Fantomex. Each has a very low opinion of the other until the end of Deathlok Nation, where Deadpool saves Fantomex's life at the last second. During Final Execution, Fantomex admits that Deadpool's grown on him. Later, Deadpool avenges Fantomex by stabbing Skinless Man through the throat.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: AoA Blob, unfortunately.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Weapon Omega (Age of Apocalypse Wolverine) became the successor to Apocalypse and began oppressing baseline humans because the Celestials would've destroyed the entire planet if he hadn't.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of The Apocalypse Solution, Fantomex standing over the child Apocalypse with a smoking gun.
    • After "Deathlok Nation'', inside the World, there is a shot of Ultimaton guarding Fantomex's lab, and specifically a growing clone of En Sabah Nur.
  • Winged Humanoid: Archangel, the only member retained from the previous team (not counting team leader Wolverine).
  • Wolverine Claws:
    • Guess.
    • Deathlok sports some lightsaber variants.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: As established in previous series the World is this. Only now the possibilities are explored as millions of years are made to pass in less than a day. This is not a good thing.