Review: Uncanny X-Men #17
First…the X-Men lose one of their own. Then…the new Black King of the Hellfire Club makes a move.
An X-Man has fallen forcing the team to face their current situation and their real legacy. It also forces a showdown between Cyclops and Wolverine who have had a tense alliance since each has returned.
Writer Matthew Rosenberg delivers an emotional issue with Uncanny X-Men #17. It’s not just an exploration of the current state of the team and reality of what it is to be an X-Man but also has us see the death of Rahne Sinclair. With every scene, every word, Rosenberg is clearly thinking through details and what this issue is saying.
Sinclair’s death is shown through flashbacks as Wolverine attempts to mourn in his own way and as the tension builds you’re unsure of exactly where it’s going but know it’s only going badly. The scene uses transphobic wording to justify the attack against her and her eventual murder and this use has to be on purpose creating another group of individuals whose struggle the X-Men take up through allegory. While absolutely triggering for some, the scene just becomes even more of a gut-punch due to that detail turning from over the top tragedy to something a bit more relevant.
Then there’s the fallout as Cyclops and Wolverine go at it about what has happened. Each has a point of view that’s both right and wrong and the dynamic gets more interesting. The past, the two’s split, is evoked, and it’s something that’s been brewing. There’s also the backdrop that these survivors think all of their friends are dead instead of just in an alternate reality.
The art by Carlos Gómez, color by Guru-eFX, and lettering by Joe Caramagna has a roughness about it that enhances the pain and hurt. There’s a dark cloud about it all that evokes both the sadness and anger. There’s also a simplicity to it all that keeps the focus on the situation and what’s said, a smart decision overall.
The issue is a good one delivering a cathartic release to the tension that’s been building since Rosenberg’s run began. There’s a lot he’s packing in and this issue focuses on the two visions of Wolverine and Cyclops and how each sees the X-Men and its legacy. Then, like solid X-Men writing we get the twist a the end to take us on their next adventure.
Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Carlos Gómez
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review