Here we find ourselves at the end of yet another X-Book. Everything coming to a close before Hickman takes over to reshape the world of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe in a couple months.Of course this made it difficult to not take everything you read here with a grain of salt. As much as any of us could have loved this chapter of the X-Men for the way it took us back to basics, it was hard to deny the fact that almost none of this will stick soon. To some extent that has been normal for the X-Books, though that doesn’t make it right either. Regardless, this is where we are currently with a world that doesn’t remember the existence of mutants.
What pained me is that we couldn’t have started off on a better note. There was of obviously going to be that talk from Dani, and it wasn’t good. Writers these days find it way to easy to beat Scott down. To make him live up to that label of being the downer or Mr. Negativity. This was not the time to play into that stereotype of the character. There was some losses in this last fight, but everyone here made the decision to fight alongside him for this big mission. It was hard to make sense of anyone trying to rack up the guilt he already must have felt. Rosenberg could have shook things up to break from the mold, but in the end he pulled the same tiresome trick that others would to villainize a hero who fans have wanted more from. There was a sincere moment in there, but it was hard to ignore a horse beat to death.
From there, I counted numerous ways in which this final issue could have ended better than it did. We all know that this story technically doesn’t matter when in some months everything is about to change once more. However, an X-Men book is an X-Men book. I wish that this wasn’t me disappointed, but it is despite enjoying much of this run of Uncanny X-Men up to this point. Uncanny X-Men #21 was bold for what the X-Men decided to do for the sake of surviving what could have been their end. Then came this issue and once more we were tricked into thinking that someone was willing to stick with their twist to their story.
Even what was supposed to be the biggest moment from this finale turned out to be quite the letdown because it was just a series of scenes that came out of left field. Where did they come from? Why are they kissing as if nothing from the past happened? Why did they just ruin a good thing for the sake of their pride? There was just one too many story decisions that were crammed together with little room to absorb how it was all happening at the same time.
I would have enjoyed the interior art at the very least, but they had to do that thing where part of the issue was done by one artist, and the other done by a second. I enjoy the work from both artists, but I also couldn’t understand why two were necessary for the final issue. Where the art changed hands didn’t even present itself as something different enough to justify the need for another style. The last thing you ever want from your art team in the last issue is to lack consistency. Now if I were being fair, I would still give them credit for the fact that there was still a strong character focus through the pencils, intense action sequences, and explosiveness through the colors. The art at the very least jumped out at you when it mattered most. I know that not everyone loves this art style too, but one artist’s work is never going to be for everyone.
Uncanny X-Men #22 could have ended on a much better note. I wish I could have loved it till the bitter end, but sometimes this is what you sign up for with the X-Men books. Some story decisions you will love, others will leave you asking why. Here’s to hoping that Marvel has figured out what they want to do with these characters in their next chapter.