Review: Uncanny X-Men #20 by Kieron Gillen and Carlos Pacheco

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Uncanny X-Men #20
Story by Kieron Gillen
Art by Carlos Pacheco, Roger Bonet

And here it is, folks, the end of a delightfully entertaining run of X-men comics.

I’ve been into the whole concept of Uncanny since it first launched. Cyclops formation of his extinction team really tired my nerd nancies in a knot (that makes no sense but trust me, it’s a good thing) and I’ve been strapped in enjoying the ride ever since the first issue.

But now that Avengers vs X-men is over and just about every lead in this book is considered a criminal or at the very least, wanted for questioning, all we’ve really got left is to pick up the crumbs of the loose ends and see where things will go from here.

A small chunk of that material is uninteresting. The character of Unit was, mildly entertaining when he appeared in the ill-fated S.W.O.R.D. book, but he’s just been a mess since he reappeared in primary X-books. It’s a shame too, because there was definitely a lot of opportunity to give Danger some character development, but it was wasted with Unit (can we talk about how his name is freaking Unit?) doing his megalomaniacal villainous proclamations (even more annoying since we get several of these in this comic.)

I also think it’s pretty hilarious that SHIELD secured Utopia but didn’t bother to release anyone from the X-brig.

When we leave Danger, we jump over to Colossus and Magik. Our Ruskie homeboy is not exactly the biggest fan of soulless demon sister, seeing as his first reaction to seeing her to go all Juggernaut and threaten to turn her into a greasy smear.

Sibling rivalry and all that, I guess. Honestly, I don’t recall things ending so poorly between them (except Spider-man somehow getting them to turn on each other for more access to the Phoenix Force) that would lead to this kind of reaction, but the tables quickly get turned on Piotr.

Once Illyana transports him to her hell dimension, she uses her soul sword to smash the enchantment giving binding him to Cytorrak.

And that, of course, really begets a lot of questions: Could Illyana have done similar to those who were possessed during the Serpent War? Not that I really care, but we soon find out why she wouldn’t have done that.

When Piotr realizes she could’ve freed him anytime she wanted, she tells him that this was all a part of her plan – that she wanted him to know what she felt like to be without a soul. That she wanted him to understand that she was never and would never be the Snowflake he remembered.

Then this happens

And we move on the story that both framed and ends this issue – Cyclops sitting in prison (this takes place before AvX: Consequences) being visited by the X-men’s former Super Human PR Specialist, Kate Kildare.

Who reveals herself to be: MR. SINISTER!


I’m not gonna lie, when I first finished reading this, I had a discussion with Grey about how I was getting real tired of Sinister’s bullshit. He’d always been one of those annoying characters you knew would never die, but his recent propensity for being twelve steps ahead in a game no one else knew they were playing, that was getting irritating.

Having reread the issue however, I have a new take on it.

This whole drama we’ve seen with Sinister throughout the run, it was never about Sinister pitting himself against the X-men, it was about Sinister pitting himself against Scott Summers. And the end of the issue he directly challenges Cyclops to come and get him, because “who else could stop him?”

Which is what it’s really all about. Sinister was such an aimless villain for so long, but now, he’s the Red Skull/Green Goblin/Sabertooth to Cyclops’ Captain America/Spider-man/Wolverine.

There’s an even greater narrative at play here, because we’ve seen what Scott Summers was willing to do for the mutant race. Sinister is his opposite. Essex is, for all the weird ish he’s done to himself over the years, a human. A human gone wrong, a human gone mad, a human with dreams of his homogeneity encompassing the entire planet.

And that is not something Cyclops can ever let happen. Even if it means digging deeper grave for himself in the eyes of the world.

Final Score: 4/5