UNCANNY X-MEN #12
Wolverine joins Cyclops on a suicide mission to break out the captives of the O.N.E. containment facility. After securing uniforms and gaining entry to the base they discover that the Sentinels are guarding the site, but this time with an added horrific twist. While the mission is a success and the two heroes gather the survivors and escape, there are however some heavy casualties.
*WARNING: SPOILERS IN REVIEW SECTION*
Finally the payoff of the New Mutants: Dead Souls miniseries and the plight of the O.N.E. abductees. Not since the creation of the Prime Sentinels by Bastion have we seen the use of human subjects in the Sentinel program. And now with this latest inclusion Matt Rosenberg has considerably amped up the stakes, not just in the way the discovery is made of the horrific butchery, hooking the test subjects so callously into the hardware. But he has also given a new dimension to the experimentation upon mutants and the opportunistic way Callahan treats his new guinea pigs. We of course gained last time as we got Karima Shapandar, but this time we lost.
The Madri are ten a penny and are always being used as cannon fodder, but this time there was also Jamie’s best buddy and wing man. While some may see the death of Guido Carosella as anecdotal, given it’s not his first time, there is also a bittersweet flavor to it.
Yes he is often seen as somewhat comical and the center of much lampoonery. The Grey Poupon scene in X-Factor #71 and his creation of the word ‘Blork’ notwithstanding though, there has also always been an element of honor and sacrifice with him. From his very first appearance as Dazzler’s saviour when she crashed out of the Siege Perilous he also had the added tragic edge, due to his powers causing him constant pain. And yet he always joked and smiled through the pain. And so while it may be temporary, it is still a loss, especially as once again he sacrificed himself for others
On to the point of the main story though. It would almost appear as if Rosenberg has tapped into a literary allusion to Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote here. Wolvie could almost be playing Sancho Panza to Cyke’s ‘Impertinently Curious’ Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha, as he joins him in the mission to save the remaining X-Men from the O.N.E. As they set off tilting at windmills he offers a grounding diatribe giving us the distinct echo of that old team dynamic returning between these two, which hasn’t been much apparent since Schism.
And at the finish we not only got a little tragedy with that moment as Illyana refuses to leave Guido, but also the affirmation of the brotherly bond between Scott and Alex, again something in short supply for these two in some years. Given they will be on the same team now there will surely be more of this to come, but the moment here, even in the heart of the action was also much needed and appreciated and backed up the plight with some true emotion.
Salvador Larroca also delivers, matching the narrative with a similar depth. As Logan approaches the O.N.E. grunts in the bar there is so much rich detail in the tiling it actually draws the eye in to the central image on the page, rather than drown it out. Similarly as Wolverine and Cyclops later arrive at the site the POV looking down from above has a feel of a Metal Gear Solid game cut scene. And you can almost hear the crackle of energy as Havok hangs from his restraints and the angle shot from below as Cyke and Magik watch on helplessly makes for a more dramatic and perilous feel.
And Rachelle Rosenberg also gives stark realism to the colors as the fighting begins during the break in and also as both Summers brothers let rip. Not to be outdone Joe Caramagna also makes sure he gets in on the action, putting the pressure on with some dynamic lettering. Of course we have the standard smash and grab entrance and the sound effects of Cyclops and his power signature. But also the firefight as they smash there way in, adding drama to the break in scene.
Overall this issue seemed to end too quickly, but that’s because it was a complete page turner. I had to read it twice to even get a sense of the drama as it was so fast paced. But despite the loss there was a lot gained here. The formation of the team is apparent now and there is so much to play for. I can’t wait to see where this leads next. With so many X-Men gone and now the bare bones of a reclamation, what is going on with all the villains? We saw the non mutant enemies attack last issue but where are all the mutant villains hiding? With no one to man the defences why has no one taken advantage?
Short and not so sweet tale with tragic consequences. But still giving a glimmer of hope for the future, with the rescue of some lost loved ones, friends and team mates.
Uncanny X-Men #12: Two Against O.N.E.
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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