By Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larocca, Rachelle Rosenberg, John McCrea and Juanan Remirez and Mike Spicer
Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 showed us the return of Cyclops, and writer Ed Brisson filled in many of the gaps and questions about his return. This week, we dive into Uncanny X-Men #11, which shows us what Scott is doing since he’s come back. Scott is a leader, but what do you do when there isn’t anyone to lead?
We get three stories in this triple sized issue, and they all deal with different characters. The first story centers around Cyclops as he tries to put the pieces back together of the disassembled X-Men. Rosenberg does an excellent job on characterization here. There were some worries that Cyclops lost his edge after the events of the annual, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as he disrupts an anti-mutant rally and gets into a verbal spat with Captain America. Rosenberg also shows us both sides of Cyclops, the no nonsense, do anything for his people, leader, and the caring and compassionate leader as he attempts to stop several men from teasing and harassing Blind Fold. The ending of this story is the beginning of a big arc for the remaining mutants, and Rosenberg did an amazing job. The next story focuses on Wolverine and how he found Scott and how he’s been tracking him. Rosenberg writes Logan well here too. What works in both of these stories is the characters feel like they used to. They are not being written to fit the story, the story fits the characters. This is an interesting story because Logan gets to interact with young Cable, which is fun, as well as Black Widow and Winter Soldier. Logan and Scott’s stories essentially end in the same place. The last story focuses on Blind Fold, who was in both Scott and Logan’s story. This is the segment of the book that has drawn controversy. I had no problem with this story, people deal with grief and hopelessness in their own way. Fan outrage is always going to be a thing in the day of Twitter and message boards, but I didn’t have a problem with how this segment was handled.
The pencils for the Cyclops story are handled by Salvador Larocca, with colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, Wolverine pencils were handled by John McCrea with colors by Mike Spicer, and pencils for the Blind Fold story were handled by Juanan Ramirez with colors by Rosenberg again. Salvador Larocca has been around the block when it comes to the X-Men. He’s drawn everything and Everyone. This issue his pencils are amazing, which is not unusual. Cyclops unleashing an optic blast on an angry crowd of anti-mutant bigots is gorgeous. There is a panel where Wolverine is lunging at the reader, which is about as life like as it gets. The colors by Rachelle Rosenberg are insane. Everything she does just seems to work out perfectly here. An early panel of Scott in a diner drinking coffee shouldn’t be as amazing as Rosenberg makes it. What should wow you here is that half of his face is shaded and the red from his glasses is so vibrant, we’re drawn to that panel. Another great panel is the fight sequence with Wolverine and Cyclops. Rosenberg uses a red background to essentially silhouetted figures of Scott and Logan. The red from Scott’s blast is a slightly different tone than the background; just perfect coloring.
The Wolverine story by John McCrea and Mike Spicer offer a different style of art. The work by McCrea is grittier than Larocca’s style, which is fine and fitting. McCrea takes a less is more approach as he gives us the most important things we need to see. As Logan launches himself at a would be assassin, we see only Logan, the assailant and the top of the building. This style works well for this story.
The last story with pencils by Juanan Ramirez and colors by Rosenberg is a dark tale. Ramirez gives us something similar to a horror comic art. It’s dark, gritty and overall entertaining. Rosenberg’s colors are great here too. Am I the only one who thinks Blindfold is wearing a Freddy Kruger style shirt?
Uncanny X-Men 11 should meet everyone’s expectations. It’s a triple sized issue, but it really crams a lot of good content into it’s pages. Matthew Rosenberg has shown he can write any character in the X-Men’s wheelhouse. The pencils and colors in this issue are different in style, but the end praise is all the same. This issue is a triumph for everyone involved.