April 12, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Comic Review: Astonishing X-Men Volume 1

A group of X-Men come to the aid of one of their own when a psychic attack hits London in this new series.

A friend recently asked me out of the blue if I was up-to-date on the X-Men titles as she was considering checking some out and wanted to know if she needed 20 years of backstory before trying something out.  My general answer was Marvel does new #1’s so often that some new series that launched in 2017 were probably fairly safe for new readers, and if not, there was always Wikipedia.  It’s the X-Men, not rocket science.

Then I figured I should do a week of X-Men reviews like I did for Batman not that long ago.  So, let’s begin X-Men Week with the first volume of the current Astonishing X-Men series, the first part of the Life of X storyline.

Our story begins with psychics around the world dying.  Most of them were loners and hermits, but when the same psychic entity attacks the X-Man Psylocke in the middle of London, she summons some help in the form of various X-Men and some other mutants who were hanging around at the time:  Rogue, Old Man Logan, Gambit, Warren “Angel” Worthington, Fantomex, Bishop, and, for some reason, Mystique.  Who’s the target?  The Shadow King is back, and he may have brought the late Professor X with him.  Or not.  Something seemed off about the Professor from where I was sitting.

Writer Charles Soule did a decent job here.  It was a little confusing to me as I was reading it, but the biggest problem with this trade is that it is maybe half of the whole story.  The series also had what appeared to be a new artist on every issue.  That was a little odd.  None of the artwork was bad, but the styles were very different every time.  As such, it didn’t grab me as much as I would have hoped given my general high regard for Soule’s work.  8 out of 10 weird plays on the astral plane.