Uncanny X-Men #14 // Review
Cyclops and the X-Men are making moves in Uncanny X-Men #14, by writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Salvador Larocca, colors by Guru-eFX, and letterer Joe Scaramagna. A lot is happening in this issue as Rosenberg looks to be setting the table for the future in this one, as Scott makes an alliance with an old friend and the X-Men discover a familiar tragedy.
Police are chasing the mutant Reaper, a member of the Mutant Liberation Front, as Scott and Logan meet with Val Cooper, former government liaison to mutants. As the three of them discuss possibly working together, the other X-Men subdue Reaper and bring him in. They get a lead on the MLF, but it's not one they can use yet when Dark Beast offers them info on another name on Cyclops’ list- the Marauders. They track them down, but the Morlock Callisto shows up, also hunting the Marauders, who have attacked the Morlocks. Chamber, a former member of the X-Men, berates Scott for never helping the Morlocks and Scott gets in touch with Valerie Cooper. The X-Men take a secret mission for her and are able to find the Morlocks a new home. As the X-Men are celebrating, Captain America shows up, wanting a word with Scott.
Saying a lot happens in this issue is an understatement. Rosenberg packs in multiple plot point, from the X-Men's shadowy new alliance with Val Cooper, a future confrontation with the MLF, a new Morlock massacre, and finding a new home for said group of mutants. That's a lot of ground to cover, but Rosenberg is able to fit it all correctly. With all of that plot to get out of the way, it would be easy to imagine that this would be a dialogue-heavy book and while it is that in a lot of places, Rosenberg knows when to throw in a good action scene to keep things lively. Each turn of the plot adds something to the book, setting up future confrontations and giving the team a crucial Alliance. The group even adds another member, as Chamber re-joins the team to get revenge on the Marauders.
Again, Rosenberg makes it very clear who the star of this book is, as Cyclops remains the focus here. He makes a deal with Valerie Cooper to get help when he needs, but also a way to get other things in return. It's the kind of two way alliance that the more ruthless Scott of Utopia would have made, a tit for tat relationship with an official of a government that is openly hostile of mutants. Later in the book, Scott looks upon the Morlocks being targeted again and uses this relationship he set up with Cooper to get a home for the Morlocks where they won't have to hide. This is textbook old school Cyclops, the superhero exemplary. This is the most well rounded the character has been in ages.
Salvador Larocca's art is great, plain and simple. This book has been coming out biweekly, but the quality of his work has not dropped one little bit. The pages are detailed, his linework is sharp, and his characters look great. The only weakness of his art, though, is that it lacks a sense of motion and fluidity. It works in a lot of this book, but his action scenes are very dry. They're like snapshots of an event. They look nice, but there's no sense of motion to them.
Uncanny X-Men #14 is a plot-heavy chapter but is able to squeeze a lot in and not feel bloated or boring. Rosenberg knows when to cut around, giving all of these plot threads an excellent sense of momentum that keeps things moving while still setting things up for the future. Larocca's art looks great, but his action scenes could use more fluidity and a feeling of movement. All in all, this issue continues the streak of quality this book has been on since X-Men Disassembled ended and maintains it's pitch-perfect rehabilitation of Scott Summers.