It was a good break from the X-Men’s normal activities to see their ties into the War of the Realms story, and find out what Emma Frost has really been up to all of this time away from the spotlight. Though with these things passed, for the most part, here we find ourselves questioning what comes next for Cyclops and the team.
I mean, of course the list would continue, but who knew what to expect next. I was a bit surprised by who their next target turned out to be. Maybe there was a few wholes in my X-Men history, but some of the mutants who they ran into this time around just did not register. Did that mean they weren’t good? Not at all, just simply not as familiar as you would think. And who could argue with that? These days you want stories where you can’t truly guess what comes next. Especially with a story like this where it is the end of days for mutantkind and anything goes for those who are left fighting the good fight. Solid action scene if you ask me. Quick, intense and straight to the point for a book where the story tends to trump springing into action.
What came next was definitely a problem worth focusing on. The big thing since the X-Men went missing was the cure being spread across the globe. This could have easily just been something they accepted and moved on from, but it was way better that they decided that this would be something important enough to find a solution to. It would have been way more problematic down the road if we got to a point where there was no saving the mutant race, and they didn’t cover every base to save themselves aside from preserving their image to the rest of the world. With that said, I was definitely caught off guard to find this the highlight of the issue. Not everything was as it seemed with this scene, and no one was prepared for what they should have been bracing for since day one. Fighting for their future has never been so challenging as it is now.
Aside from what happens in the first half of the issue, the right move was made to continue what happened after the conclusion of the issue before. Wolverine taking the fight to the Hellclub is a big move on his part. Not the smartest, but it was bold. It was an excellent action scene they created, and it took an interesting turn with third-party involvement. The best takeaway from this was that Emma is in over her head. She has been since she got herself locked up. It was about time that they made her story a bit bigger to tackle what comes next when that confidence of hers has reached a limit.
With the previous issue being one focused entirely on Emma Frost, I was worried that we had reached a point where they were willing to change the art team. Not that I don’t like change, but so far Salvador Larroca has been a perfect fit for this book. This is an artist who knows how to tap into the gritty side of the X-Men. This is their darkest hour, and he captures that through the way he draws these characters, the intensity of their fight scenes, and the lengths they are willing to go to deal with their enemies. No one ever needs blood, but you have to love that this art team is ready to go there. The fight scene with Wolverine and company was pretty cool. This Psylocke had a great sequence of moves taking on a Mystique who reminds you of how dangerous she can be when taking full advantage of those she has fought over the course of time. Every move and transformation from Mystique effortlessly flowed into the next. That aside, the colors as usual brought out the excitement of the artwork. Guru-eFX knows how to set the mood, make certain actions pop, and make renderings look complete. Every highlight, gradient, and glow made a big difference in this action-packed issue.
Uncanny X-Men #20 raised the stakes at a time where we needed to see the boat rocked. Saving the future of mutantkind was always going to be easier said than done, but never has that been more true than it is now. Particularly when Cyclops and this team have no idea that they have been puppets this entire time. Playing a game that has not truly been theirs. Hopefully after the events of this issue that changes moving forward.