If you’ve been reading Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca’s run on Uncanny X-Men you know characters are dying left and right. Most recently Chamber died in battle and prior to that Joseph, Magneto’s clone, got his head lopped off. Two more meet their end this week in Uncanny X-Men #20.
Those include a character named Shinobi Shaw, presumably related to Sebastian Shaw, who commits suicide with his own superpower:
And then, Magik kills Dark Beast:
And the character’s left to hang with blood dripping from the ceiling where he was grafted in to suffocate. At this point, even if it’s villains, this is still extremely grating. It’s not even the first time this kind of nastiness occurred in Marvel since the turn of the century. Back in the mid-2000s, there was a Spider-Man story where Morlun returned and ate the star’s eyeball, and in 2012, there was an X-Force story where Prof. Xavier’s brain was pried out. Why, even more recently, in War of the Realms, Loki meets a bitter end:
That artwork looks as lousy as the scene is disgusting. And Thanos too met a grisly fate in the recent Infinity Wars:
What’s most irritating is how women’s sexuality was dumbed down and suppressed during Alonso’s run as EIC, yet acts of jarring violence like these are given approval without a whisper of complaint. You could reasonably argue that anybody who’s opposed to sexiness could possibly be desensitized to violence. Which could explain any and all sugarcoated press reviews of books like these excusing the most repellent of mayhem.
It’s also dismaying that Adventures in Poor Taste, in their official review, despite admitting all the violent deaths are excessive, went along and praised the mess anyway. As stated here:
Not everything is perfect in Uncanny #20. Those who have grown tired of the bloodshed may not be impressed with the issue’s story progression. It seems like a death in Uncanny is no longer surprising. The real spoiler is when an issue goes by without someone dying a violent death. There are no spoilers here, and the deaths are particularly ugly.
The biggest problem is one of the deaths is filled with emotion. Unfortunately, since mutants dying in Uncanny has become a running joke, the entire moment loses all sense of gravity. It happens and it is disgusting, but it does not have the emotional impact it should.
But then the reviewer says:
Uncanny X-Men #20 is a step in the right direction. The storytelling is more focused, leading to increased tension. Things are also moving at a slower pace that allows readers to actually take in what is happening. The negative impact of a string of deaths is fully felt in this issue. A highly emotional moment comes off as flat and pointless. Still, it’s good to see an issue that has focus.
But it’s bad to see a review so jumbled in judgement. What could possibly be so “focused” about a story where sensationalized deaths are so common? I can’t see his point. This is almost like the Marvel equivalent of DC’s Heroes in Crisis, demonstrating how Marvel’s got the same problems their counterpart does. And it all reeks of “internal conflicts” involving superheroes vs. supervillains as though it were all a whole family feud. So long as Quesada’s still around at Marvel, and even Cebulski, their output should be boycotted as much as DC’s should because of DiDio. If this is what the X-Men’s come down to, that’s why the X-franchise alone’s become a book to avoid for the same reasons.
Originally published here.