Monday, July 24, 2017

Astonishing X-Men #1 Review - Marvel Monday

Astonishing X-Men #1 Review

Writer: Charles Soule
Art Team: Jim Cheung, Mark Morals, Guillermo Ortego,
Walden Wong, Richard Isanove & Rain Beredo
Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Cover Price: $4.99

The Right Stuff

The X-Men Resurrection lineup wraps up its relaunch by finally dropping its final title Astonishing X-Men.  With a team made up of a unique mix of morally ambiguous characters it’s definitely an attention grabber for sure. So does this cast of characters translate into a team you care reading about going forward? Do you have too many X books on the pull list already and aren’t sure if this should be added?  I’m about to break this down, spoil it, and tell you right ….. now.

The issue starts as some ominous narration occurs over the events we’re witnessing on the pages during the first act of this issue from a mystery guest we’re not privy to just yet. The situation doesn’t waste any time getting off the ground as several psychics around the world are being attacked to the point of death before the focus moves to Psylocke. Psylocke, in London at this moment, ends up becoming the next victim of these psychic attacks screaming in pain as a result.

She is able to get a psychic signal off to several ‘X-members’, she knows of in surrounding areas, via psy-butterflies. There is a brief introduction to the rest of the characters involved in the series as we see each receive their signal from Psylocke and they immediately all begin converging on her location to help her fight off this uncontrollable attack she is having.

Rouge and Old Man Logan are first on scene as Rouge decides to do her thing and attempt to suck Psylocke's powers to calm the situation. However, as Rouge gets close she starts becoming pelted with ‘psy-arrows’, begins taking too many hits, and can’t withstand the punishment. The attacks begin penetrating her impenetrable skin as things begin to look gloom for Rouge before Angel thankfully arrives, just in the nick of time, flying in to save the day. He wraps himself and Rouge in his wings to stop the attack from coming back and taking Rouge out.

Gambit and Phantom-X are the next to arrive in the craziest damn vehicle I’ve ever seen. The ship finds itself quickly obliterated, and along with Old Man Logan, the crew moves their fight the ground in an attempt to save the fleeing people in the area. Bishop quickly joins the fray to save everyone’s asses this time before being quickly taken away by Angel who states ‘Rouge needs you’.

Bishop, Angel, and Rouge move in to confront Psylocke together coming up with a clever plan to save the day ‘for now’ as Rouge absorbs Psylocke’s power, who transfers it to Bishop via locking lips, who then expels it with a blast in the sky … great teamwork can still happen in comics!
Together again the X-Men regroup, ‘Beast’ (sporting his Beast Cat look) out of nowhere appears to arrive on the scene and joins the discussion, as Psylocke fills everyone in on what exactly just occurred. She clears things up a bit stating she was basically hacked by the Shadow King aka the Spider aaka Amahl Farouk. Psylocke further explains, that the Shadow King is after psychic’s, building a web to force his way out of the astral plane, and back into the real world to take over. Psylocke suggests to send a portion of the group into the Astral plane to fight Shadow King to keep him from coming back as we end up with OML, Rouge, Beast, PhantomX and Gambit, ultimtealy being choosen.

As soon as the group arrives Shadow King is revealed to be our narrator from the beginning, while also spilling to us he has a giant ‘Ace in the hole’ … an Astral Plane Charles Xavier under his control.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic start and what the X-Men Resurrection relaunch titles should have been from the beginning.  The beginning of the issue takes time to introduce each and every character involved, but in an intriguing and interesting way, that sucked me in from the get go. Although the story didn’t accomplishing a ton narratively, mostly showing just a large scale battle occurring, it still tells the reader everything they need to know going forward about this teams mission, and what they have to do to stop it while being very action heavy which is never a complaint from me.

The entire art team was fantastic everything is detailed perfectly. There are a few transitional issues between panels late in the issue, during the battle with Psylocke’s attacks, but I hope this group returns for more, in this series of a rotating artists.

Bits and Pieces

This is the best individual issue of a team X-Men comic book I’ve read in a long time. With an action heavy start the issue does an excellent job of bringing a team together all while revealing to the reader the threat this rag tag group of X-Men will take on. The start of this series shows a lot of promise and is a rare case of, dare I say it, #1 Marvel issue being worth $4.99.



  1. PLEASE LET IT BE CHARLES!! For real this time, and not just another damn imagination. The x-men are so lost without him. This maybe the turning point of all the xmen comics and may be the reason i go back to marvel. If ever.

    1. Im with you this better not be some teasing the reader nonsense going on ... bring the boss back Im tired of rotating leaders every relaunch