Uncanny X-Men #18
The X-Men fight the Marauders in Uncanny X-Men #18, by writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Carlos Villa, inkers Carlos Yueng and Juan Vlasco, colorist GURU-eFX, and letterer Joe Caramagna. Lots of things happen in this issue, but it feels incoherent.
After Wolfsbane’s death, Wolverine leaves the team. Cyclops and company find and attack the Marauders, but are trumped by Mister Sinister. A member of the team is taken out, then Mister Sinister shows up and the team fights him to a standstill. Havok is able to stop Sinister at great cost to himself. Karma leaves the team, but they are being watched.
This whole issue feels disjointed. Wolverine leaves the team, then the rest of the group fights the Marauders. There is very little fanfare for his exit from the book before it runs into an action scene that feels unearned. Sure, the Marauders killed the Morlocks way back in Claremont’s run, but the reason they are on Cyclops’ list is very old. Why not take down them years ago? Why kill another member of the team in this conflict?
Mister Sinister is a big deal and the fight against him is kind of cool, but this whole thing feels like page filler. Sinister may be on Cyclops’ list, but this issue feels cheap. It feels like throwing stuff against a wall and seeing what sticks and none of it sticks. Rosenberg has been better than this so far. This book feels like it’s trying to too fast to get a bunch of thing out of the way before Hickman takes over. Readers are again reminded of how no one remembers Emma Frost, but other than that, this whole comic is forgettable and inconsequential. Things have fallen far.
Carlos Villa’s art is okay, but this book misses Salvador Larocca. His pencils are competent, but there’s nothing about them that makes an impression. Much like the last issue, this feels like the X-Men house style of the first ten issues of Uncanny X-Men. There’s nothing terrible about it, but there is nothing special either.
Uncanny X-Men #18 is a miss on all fronts. Rosenberg has always tried to cram a lot into every issue as if he was mid-90s Scott Lobdell, but this one is a failure. Nothing feels like it has the room to breathe. Events happen, but it’s all so suffocating that none of it has any impact, not even the death of an X-Man. Villa’s art is merely there, doing nothing to elevate the script. The developments with Emma Frost promise something, but with the way the book has suddenly gone, there’s guarantee it will be anything worthwhile.