Thursday, July 03, 2008

Astonishing X-Men #25

Warren Ellis & Simone Bianchi

Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi take the reigns of Marvel's flagship X-Men title with Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's departure. The cast of characters they utilize in the debut issue of their run is the one you see pictured: Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Storm and Armor. I'm glad that they've decided to keep using the X-Men Hisako from Joss and John's run, as she became quite a standout character as the book progressed, though she does seem a bit off here, demonstrating Kitty's former dilemma of not finding a suitable codename, stepping into that same role as the naive new kid with a bit of fire in her. Storm's return to the team was a good choice, giving the creators an excuse to show off their new uniforms and San Francisco headquarters through dialogue as they relate things to her, orienting the reader along with her. Other than that, not much really happens in the first issue. A lot of talking, but no action, though a little mystery is laid out for the team to unravel. While I do like Simone Bianchi's art for the book, I was really surprised by how dark it is. Everything seems to be bathed in shadows, whether the team is standing in front of a man covered in flames or not. That, and the people all seem a little...bulky. But I'm on board for now. I was just such a fan of Whedon and Cassaday's run that anything would have been jarring. I'll reserve further judgment for subsequent issues. I want to see where this is headed, as Ellis and Bianchi have hardly had sufficient time to spread their wings as of yet.

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