Uncanny X-Men #12 // Review
Cyclops and Wolverine go head to head with the Office of National Emergency in Uncanny X-Men #12, by writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Salvador Larocca, colorist Rachel Rosenberg, and letterer Joe Caramagna. This issue sees Rosenberg revisit his Astonishing X-Men run, bringing the O.N.E. as a big new threat to a weakened mutantkind.
Wolverine patches Cyclops up after their fight at the ruins of the X-Mansion. Cyclops laments the status of mutantkind, blaming himself for what has happened and why the X-Men are no more. Wolverine tells Cyclops that's not the case though, and the two of them try sneaking into an O.N.E. facility. Their subterfuge fails and they're confronted by three Sentinels… piloted by Transmode virus infected X-Men Strong Guy, Dani Moonstar, and Shan Coy Mahn. They rescue them and make their way into the facility, where they find more captured X-Men- Magik, Wolfsbane, some of Jamie Madrox's dupes, and Havok. As they escape, O.N.E. activate their failsafe, costing one of the X-Men their lives but allowing the rest of them to escape.
Rosenberg gets Cyclops completely right in the beginning of this book. Cyclops has always been a character that operated under a crushing sense of responsibility. It drove him as leader of the X-Men, drove him as the leader of mutantkind after M-Day, and drove him to become a near villainous freedom fighter after the war with the Avengers. Even though he died, he would definitely blame himself for what has happened to his people during the interim of his absence. That's just who Cyclops is. Later in the book, Rosenberg again gets the character right, as he takes command of the situation in O.N.E. facility. As an added bonus, he gets the interplay between Cyclops and Wolverine. Neither man was very happy with the other before their respective deaths, but they fall into their old relationship naturally and work just as well together as they always did.
Using O.N.E. as antagonists is an inspired choice. Besides Rosenberg's run on Astonishing X-Men, they've been little used. Their status as an anti-mutant organization has been established, but they haven't been used to death over the years. It will be interesting to see what Rosenberg with them and what their plans are in the future.
Salvador Larocca's art is great. His detail and character acting are great but where he really shines are the action sequences. This book has a lot of them and all of them are clear and kinetic. Rachel Rosenberg's colors make it all pop. Since Uncanny X-Men started, she's been the art team's secret weapon, her colors bringing an extra dimension to the art and this issue is no exception.
Uncanny X-Men #12 is a mile a minute thrill ride. Rosenberg sets things up quickly and gets right to the action, giving Larocca and Rosenberg a chance to shine with some great action sequences. It will be great to see where all of this is going and what role O.N.E. plays in all of it. This book has gotten way better since Rosenberg took over sole writer, giving it a focus that it didn't have before. Uncanny X-Men #12 tells a satisfying story and sets things up for the future.