Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Salvador Larroca, John McCrea, & Juanan Ramirez
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg & Nick Spicer
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
In some ways I feel exploited by Marvel’s latest reboot of Uncanny X-Men. I enjoyed it from the first page of Ed Brisson & Pepe Larraz’s Extermination #1and faithfully picked up the weekly Uncanny X-Men #1-10 for the Disassembled storyline and enjoyed it immensely. Then the ramp up to the crossover event Age of X-Man became apparent and Marvel was going to quickly move to a massive event full of mini-series with the intent of draining every dime from their readers pockets. I was disappointed that Marvel went in this direction but thankfully the Uncanny X-Men was left out of the Age of X-Man, it would continue on its own with the return of Cyclops and Wolverine in Uncanny X-Men #11, sadly with an $8 cover price.
Uncanny X-Men #11 has many positives but one big negative and that is the price of admission. Not since 2011’s X-Men: Schism have Cyclops and Wolverine been on the same (or as close as these two have ever been) of the struggle for Mutant equality. Since X-Men: Schism both heroes have been on vastly different paths, became bitter enemies, and sadly both have been dead for some time. Yet in comics dead is rarely dead and both iconic X-Men have recently returned and Uncanny X-Men #11 is the bitter reunion for these classic X-Men.
Uncanny X-Men #11 is one story told from three different perspectives. Matthew Rosenberg, now writing the book solo, begins the book with a wonderful black page with a little red box with “Every X-Men Story is the Same.” Then charges into yet another story of persecution, outcast Mutants, and a world that wants to destroy them.The world of the X-Men is once again in shambles. In the wake of Uncanny X-Men #10 all of the X-Men have disappeared and are presumed dead. A cure for the Mutant Gene, developed secretly by Hank McCoy, has been released to the public and countries around the world are vaccinating new children and forcing older mutants to take the cure. Anti-Mutant rallies are once again then norm and a new group of hate mongering politicians are rising to fame and power by harnessing the hatred. This is the world that the recently returned Cyclops finds himself in. For a man who sacrificed his life for the dream of a better world, a kinder world, and an accepting world it’s a sad state of affairs to return to. Cyclops wastes no time in hunting down the remaining mutants of the world, with the reluctant help of Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man. Cyclops also finds himself antagonizing the Anti-Mutant Hate leaders, getting into a fist fight with Captain America, and drawing every anti-mutant themed enemy of the X-Men to the former Westchester Mansion, where he gains the much-needed assistance of his old friend. The Second POV runs parallel to Scott’s story yet from Wolverine’s perspective, and the conflicts that he comes into prior to reaching the former grounds of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Children and reentering his violent former life. The final POV is a tragic tale from an obscure X-Man, Blindfold, who is a lynchpin for the issue and guides both Scott and Logan to their eventual reunion. While not as entertaining as the first two stories it does flush out some of the details from the previous tales and makes the readers empathize more with the tragic character arc of Blindfold.
Uncanny X-Men #11is a well written story, but in my opinion, an overinflated issue that is a bit redundant for the amount the reader is asked to pay. The issue could have easily just been the Scott Summers story, drawn by new/returning artist of Salvador Larroca, and I would have been happy. The story was on point with great writing and artwork that drew the reader in and left them wanting more of the story with a great cliffhanger. The rest of the issue felt repetitive. Even though the issue was from other characters POV it was a bit ostentatious to add Logan’s story and Blindfold’s. I would have been more interested if these tales played out over the rest of this arc. The art was enjoyable. Salvador Larroca’s style has evolved and devolved over the years and even though this is his return to the X-Books after being a staple throughout the mid-‘00s. Currently his photo realistic style has become gritty with fierce lines and a darker tone. It’s not quite what I expected but it fit the story, which needed a dark tone for the sense of loss and danger present. John McCrea’s veteran pencils continued the dark tone as he took on the Wolverine pages while Juanan Ramirez rounded out the artistic team by taking on Blindfold’s tale. There was very little bright or colorful in this tale and the moody colors and artistic choices really helped to amplify that feeling. Yet as I come back to it, the $8 price tag was a big ask for a dark book that was repetitive. Uncanny X-Men #11should have been a triumphant return of two classic X-Men and should have had an introductory price to it to bring in new readers or bring back readers who have bailed over the last few reboots of the X-Universe. Marvel began this reboot brilliantly but they are already falling on bad habits of the X-Men past and I hope they remedy this quickly, since this has been an excellent reboot and has the potential to be great, if Marvel allows it to be.
Verdict: Uncanny X-Men #11 had the potential to be an excellent issue. Matthew Rosenberg has a great grasp on the X-Men lore and mythology but with a modern storytelling sensibility. The artwork is dark and brooding and the issue was overinflated. What could have been a great introduction and wonderful return feels like an overpriced and overinflated issue. If you’re a true fan of the X-Men and have the money then it’s a Buy but as a jumping on point or for a new reader then they should pass on this and go pick up the Extermination TPB, which probably costs as much as this one issue.