Fans rejoiced when Marvel announced that Uncanny X-Men would be returning at the end of 2018. Though some were skeptical about the weekly release date, there was still plenty of excitement. “X-Men Disassembled” was a rapid fire story arc that pleased most fans, but still had its dissenters. The previous issue saw a more carefully paced story. Was that a harbinger of things to come or the exception to the rule?
Uncanny X-Men #12 is a well paced issue that delivers both great action scenes and emotional storytelling. This can be hard to pull off in one story, but writer Matthew Rosenberg is able to do so. The opening scene has the type of excitement you would expect from an X-Men book before displaying the type of emotion you also would not be surprised to see. It is a moment that can easily become corny, but Rosenberg writes the scene perfectly.
Rosenberg makes sure to pace each scene very well. There’s never a moment that seems either too rushed or too long, making each interaction in the book more meaningful while adding a sense of gravity to each battle. This is very much a classic X-Men story. The team constantly has their backs to the wall and have to resort to hit-and-run tactics to survive. Quite simply, there is not enough time to have deep exposition, so what the readers get is meaningful.
Unsurprisingly, Rosenberg’s writing is very funny. This time around, though, the humor is a little different — this is not the off-the-wall silliness that was seen in last year’s Multiple Man miniseries. Instead, the comedy here is much more subdued. The best examples are in the exchanges between Wolverine and Cyclops. The two long time frenemies take little jabs at each other that are more tinged with familiarity than hostility. It makes sense considering the situation and makes the comedy more honest, for lack of a better term.
The story is aided by some beautiful artwork from Salvador Larroca, whose depiction of Scott Summers is one of the better ones, and his Wolverine looks downright vicious. There is also a great split panel scene featuring the two returning X-Men against an upgraded Sentinel that looks awesome. Characters look amazing in Uncanny X-Men #12 despite the desperate situation.
Larroca also does an excellent job of mixing emotion into his art. The first time this is seen is when Wolverine and Cyclops are breaking in the O.N.E. facility. They have won what appears to be a fairly easy battle until Logan notices something is slightly off. This is a great moment that if done incorrectly can be difficult to understand or even look generic. Larroca turns it into a touching moment that draws the reader in.
This is done constantly throughout Uncanny X-Men. There are moments of sadness, anger, and resignation that Larroca is able to convey. The art never misses any of the story’s emotional beats. Larocca does a great job of working with Rosenberg’s writing to tell a great story.
Uncanny X-Men #12 is a wonderful addition to the X-Men library. It tells a great X-Men story that longtime fans will be familiar with and new fans will be able to jump into. This issue is filled with emotion and action-packed, and will leave fans wanting more.