Uncanny X-Men #13 // Review
A new team of X-Men arises in Uncanny X-Men #13, by writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Salvador Larocca, colors by GURU-etc, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Cyclops moves his team into action in this one, trying to solve some of the problems the X-Men are uniquely suited to deal with before times runs out on mutant-kind.
The X-Men are hiding out in Harry's Hideaway, a bar by the old X-Mansion. Cyclops gives his new team a list of problems the team needs to take care of. Havok doesn't think they should do it, pointing out that they have nothing, not even costumes when Logan reveals he found a stash of old uniforms in the tunnels under the old X-Mansion. The team tracks down Dark Beast, who has been experimenting with cybernetics. They are able to contain him and go back to Harry's, only to find that the news has misidentified the Mutant Liberation Front as the X-Men and that there two surprising new members of that team.
Again, Rosenberg does a great job of presenting Cyclops as a man on a mission. Cyclops knows that in the current situation, mutants might not last long and he wants to make sure they don't leave any problems. Even with the odds pointing towards complete failure, Cyclops can't help but do the right thing, regardless if that right thing is making sure mutants leave a good legacy. Havok acts as a spoiler, and it's nice to see the Summers brothers interact again.
Bringing in Dark Beast is a nice touch, especially because Cyclops has a plan here and has proven in the past he's willing to go to great lengths to protect mutants. Is he going to try and use Dark Beast's prodigious intellect in some kind of scheme? The whole time since Cyclops has returned, there's been a feeling that this was a back to basics version of the character, but some of his actions in this book point back to a Utopia era Cyclops. Rosenberg is either trying to keep readers guessing what kind of Cyclops they're going to get or showing the many facets of Scott Summers. Regardless, it's welcome and a great hook.
Salvador Larocca's art is improved in this issue. His line work is strong and things are incredibly detailed. There's some excellent action in the book, his character acting sells the drama, and he's behind a somewhat surprising redesign of Dark Beast that's pretty cool.
Uncanny X-Men #13 is chock full of good stuff for X-Men fans. So far, Rosenberg is focusing on rebuilding Cyclops, and he's succeeding wonderfully. Man on a mission Cyclops is the best Cyclops. The team line-up is intriguing and could lead to a lot of fun character interaction. Bringing back classic costumes, including Wolverine's best suit, is another significant element. This feels like an X-Men book in a big way, and that is very important, given the creative trials these characters have gone through over the years. One of the biggest strengths of this issue is that it has a standalone issue feel, the kind of book that can be handed to a new or lapsed reader and they could get into it quickly, while also giving a great little hook to keep them coming back. This is a near perfect comic.