Uncanny X-Men #16 – Review

Matthew Rosenberg’s writing works on a level that I find relatable. Based on coverage I see, I’m not the only one. He’s also demonstrated that he’s not afraid to throw in those “Oh, Damn,” moments. Of course, he’s also getting known for picking up dropped plot threads and making them work. His X-Men team is practically a collection of mutants left behind from the big event, and he works it extremely well. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself.

UNCANNY X-MEN #16

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colors: GURU-eFX
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Salvador Larroca

Solicitation:

Cyclops and the X-Men have set out to save mutantkind…but the Mutant Liberation Front isn’t going to just wait for it to happen! Led by one of the X-Men’s own, the MLF is willing to do whatever it takes to stop mutant oppression…even kill any mutant who stands in their way… 

Rated T+

Review:

Like I said, reading this comic is watching Matthew Rosenberg pick up all of the loose threads of the morass that is the 1990s and 2000s in X-Men continuity. Last issue saw the Mutant Liberation Front, including Forearm, a mutant created and named by Rob Liefeld because he had four arms. Among Cyclops and Wolverine’s team is Chamber, one of the stand-out and noticeable members of Generation X.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the issue, but the big villain and one of the “Oh, Damn” moments involves a little left over from the X-Men continuity. To be honest, I had read a spoiler of this issue. The reveal still surprised me. There is a cameo by a former X-Man that is one of those remnants of continuity. Since the cover shows her, Kwannon shows up, making a definitive impact.

One aspect that I really like is the X_men pointing out that there are a lot of leaders on this team. The way that they deal with it is unique in X-Men history. That’s what I look for with Matthew Rosenberg. He will find the most unique approach and make it completely work in the context of the story. He also crafts a world that while firmly in the Marvel Universe, it feels like our own. The way the X-Men are dealing with anti-mutant sentiment is made as more of a parable for racism than it’s been used in modern continuity.

The sense that this world is much like our own is reinforced by Salvador Larroca’s art. I first really came to like his artwork with New Universal, but his use of photo reference was painfully obvious there. It’s not so much an influence here. These characters look much more like their iconic interpretations, with the only exception being Wolfsbane. Even now, this is in line with the character’s development. To be honest, I had to research the character’s history. Her decision in this issue lines up with her recent past.

Of course, that circles back to writer, Matthew Rosenberg.  He treats these characters a organic people, going where they should go rather than where he wants them to go. Salvador Larroca’s more naturalistic style reinforces this, with the X-Men seeming like people, rather than characters. I like this group of X-Men, which is something I’ve not been able to say for a while.

Rating: 9.0 (out of 10)

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