WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Uncanny X-Men #14 by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, GURU-eFX, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Carmagna, on sale now!
After a huge kerfuffle involving Nate Grey and Legion (it’s a long, weird story), the entire team roster, as well as other prominent X-Folk, were spirited away to a parallel existence, leaving the recently resurrected Scott Summers being both the first and last X-Man standing. But Cyclops wasn’t alone for long. Slowly, but surely, good ol’ Slim was joined by other other mutants who were also left behind, including the also recently-ressurected Wolverine. Now, the team appears to be nearly complete, and the newest member joining them in Uncanny X-Men #14 is a welcomed addition.
Which characters wind up getting sidelined in X-Men comics can be frustrating, especially when fan favorites get benched. And while this isn’t to say every single Mutant needs their own comic book series, there are plenty of characters who could use more love. One of the most baffling examples of a fan-favorite character getting pushed to the X-Men peripheral is Jonothon "Jono" Starsmore, better known as Chamber. Everything from Chamber's justifiably grumpy disposition to his outlandish character design has made him a a darling within X-Men fandom from the day he arrived.
Debuting in Generation X #1, Chamber quickly became something of a goth comic folk hero, embodying the brooding, leather-clad aesthetic of the same counter culture from the '80s and '90s. You could say he's the greatest character of his ilk not created by Grant Morrison, a hero who, unlike others created around the same time who represented a counter culture movement (such as Grunge of Gen 13 for example), was complex enough of a person to earn him long-lasting appeal. With this in mind, it's hard to understand why Jono often played second fiddle (or no fiddle at all) to characters who may have broader audience draw due to name recognition, but might not be quite as interesting.
Thankfully, it looks like change is coming. When Cyclops first stumbled upon Chamber after returning from the grave, Scott discovered the British curmudgeon leading the Morlocks. Jono was dedicated to protecting his people, so naturally he refused Scott's request to help put the X-Men back together -- but his tune quickly changed in Uncanny X-Men #14. Shortly after Cyclops' meeting with Chamber and Callisto, the assassin team known as the Marauders (or at the very least, Scrambler) attacked the Morlocks, decimating their ranks.
The tragedy leads to Chamber joining Cyclops on a mission to secure a save haven for the surviving Morlocks. Once refuge is secured, Jono offers to stay on board with the X-Men, and pretty much demands to be on board whenever the team goes after the Mauraders (who are on Cyclops' hit list, of course). Now, whether or not Chamber will stick around for the mission leading up to the team facing off against the Mauraders is yet to be seen, but we have a sneaking suspicion the roster call at the start of the next issue will feature an additional head shot.
Chamber has been a member of the X-Men in the past, but not under these type of circumstances. In fact, the current state of things is rather unique to most of the heroes on the team. After all, the world just got a lot smaller for Cyclops, Wolverine and company. With the vast majority of their allies gone, the X-Men haven't been this outnumbered by traditional villains since the early days of their exploits.
The ever-expanding roster was practically snuffed out, governments are targeting mutants during a state of panic -- and enemies smell that panic, which means every member of the team is vital for the survival of not just their fellow teammates, but perhaps mutantkind as a whole. Seeing a wonderful character like Chamber help shoulder that burden with the first X-Man is a perfect way to promote Jono from the bench to the starting line-up.