Here’s the thing about stories. Sometimes it’s not about how original it is, it’s in how it’s told. Uncanny X-Men #11 is not the first time mutants found themselves on the brink of extinction. It may, however, be the best.
This oversized issue launches the next era of the X-Men. It comes from Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larocca, Rachelle Rosenberg, John McCrea, Mike Spicer, Juanan Ramirez, and Joe Caramagna.
The issue is split into three full length stories. In the first, Scott Summers tries to fight back against the apparent death of the X-Men and encroaching extinction of mutants. In the second, we see Logan shift his feelings and allegiances to rejoin Scott. And in the last, we see one stalwart X-Man push back against the fate she’s been in vision.
Rosenberg gives us a bleak world, but is somehow able to fill it with hope. As hinted at above, this is a familiar trope, but he is able to make it about the X-Men rising above. He also strikes a balance between rising above, and hopelessness, as seen in the story of Ruth Aldine that stretches through the issue. The young X-Man struggles with depression and the hopelessness she sees in her future, and the end result is heartbreaking.
Each of the three art teams do excellent work. Larocca has been getting a lot of criticism for his realistic style going too far, but he shifts here back into some of the more superheroic work of his past. He is able to sell every bit of Scott’s journey, and then shift it from a journey to an action tale on a dime. It’s all sold even more with Rosenberg’s moody colors, which set the scene wonderfully.
McCrea and Spicer’s story is full of action, with exciting angles and layouts. They’re able to keep it engaging even when Wolverine isn’t stabbing people. Ramirez and Rosenberg meanwhile tell a heartbreaking story of someone struggling with mental illness, putting Rosenberg’s script beautifully on the page.
This might be the best X-Men story I’ve read in a long time. I’m excited for what’s next.
Uncanny X-Men #11 is available now from Marvel Comics.