This Wednesday sees the release of the final book of Matthew Rosenberg’s 22-issue run on Uncanny X-Men. It may be overshadowed by the ensuing new X-books to be written and shepherded by Jonathan Hickman, but it’s worth celebrating that Rosenberg did some solid work during his tenure.
In the story of a world where nearly all of the X-Men have vanished, Rosenberg had the chance to play with the recently resurrected Wolverine and Cyclops as they sought to uncover the whereabouts of their missing teammates while fighting against more big bads; finally, these two had more in common than their love of a certain redhead. Rosenberg even made Scott Summers code name more apropos, as Cyclops lost an eye courtesy of the Mutant Messiah and his own foster-granddaughter, Hope Summers.
Rosenberg also took quite a few characters off the table, most notably with his controversial off-screen killing of former New Mutant and X-Factor member Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane).
The writer received a lot of heat for Rahne’s death, which to many was analogous to the frequent deaths of members of the transgender community, but done in a way that some thought was trite and maybe too on the nose. However, the X-Men books and mutants have always been used to comment upon intolerance in all its forms, so it’s hard not to feel as though the writer’s heart was in the right place, even if his work angered some.
While the story told across these 22 issues may not have been groundbreaking, Matthew Rosenberg’s writing was always consistent and put two of the core X-Men back where they should be – headlining a team book that’s always thrived on conflict and tragedy; here there was an abundance of both. Where they go next will be up to Jonathan Hickman, but Matthew Rosenberg is leaving Marvel’s Merry Mutants in a good place.