Writer: Matthew Rosenberg / Artist: Salvador Larocca / Marvel
“You came back soft, Scott. The world has no place for soft anymore.”
Cyclops, arguably no more than any of the other marquee X-Men, suffers from a cluttered family tree stretching both to the past and the future. Following the “retirement” of his son Cable by a younger version of himself, and the disappearance of Jean Grey (“Disassembled” story arc) and Rachel Summers (“Extermination” mini-series), Mr. Summers finds himself and brother Alex as their last family bonds. Still, in this current arc, where mutants are hated and hunted more than ever, even blood ties mean nothing in times of war. When the previous issue ended, a literal glimpse of Hope (Summers!) in league with the Mutant Liberation Front presented another complication for the survival of “the last X-Men.”
Uncanny X-Men #15 begins just where the previous issue left off – an awkward standoff in the doorway of Harry’s Hideaway between two of the most influential men in the 616. A list of people you don’t want knocking on your door uninvited include the police, To Catch a Predator’s Chris Hansen, and Captain America. Unfortunately for the current lineup up of X-men, when Cap’n Steve Rogers himself shows up at their current base of operations, he is not collecting donations for the VFW. After their previous incidents attacking O.N.E. (Our National Emergency) facilities and the capture of Dark Beast, Cap shows up to offer Scott two pieces of advice – 1.) Don’t trust Val Cooper, and 2) Let him help. He even goes on to warn Cyclops and his scavenger hunt lineup of mutants that if they are going to continue to do what they are doing, then at least do it in secrecy and to find a better place than the basement of a dive bar to keep their prisoners. While the issue starts with a long, tense showdown of will and words, as the the pages play out, two shocking acts of violence come out of nowhere to remind us all – yes, everything is at stake and no one is safe.
The X-Men just don’t know when to stay away from political rallies. Either someone ends up dead and the mutants take the blame, or mutants die and humans rejoice. After chasing down D-List MLF member Reaper in the previous issue, Multiple Man receives word via a text on their captive’s phone, that the group will stage an attack at another political rally. When the X-Men finally confront the MLF head on, Cyclops finds his grand-daughter Hope and one-time X-Man Banshee setting up a shot to assassinate the senator at the rally. Raised by Cable and now abandoned by the same man after his death, Hope feels nothing for Cyclops and saves a bullet especially for him. The bullet barely misses its mark but leaves enough damage for Scott to literally earn his codename. If you ever doubted the friendship of Wolverine and Cyclops, let Logan’s revenge on Hope be all the answers you need. #BrutalPanelsAlert
Writer-penciler team Rosenberg and Larocca continue their unique, near pitch perfect collaboration of rebuilding the X-Men through breaking them apart and destroying them even further. Although Cyclops means well in his hopes to make one last stand for mutantdom, his foresight may leave something to be desired. Although allowing Dark Beast to live amongst them as a privileged P.O.W. proves to be fortunate as he heals Mirage and Karma of their technorganic infections, his enthusiasm to become a real member of the team is betrayed by the fact that he is still a demented techno-eugenicist. Time will tell how Cyclops’ intentions to rid the world of the X-Men’s greatest threats will actually play out and if his entire team lives to see those plans to fruition. If this issue was any indication though, he may want to consider changing his costume to something a bit more bullet proof.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Ungrateful Grandchildren
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