Thursday, July 03, 2008

Astonishing X-Men #25 review

Ghost Box

For the record, while I've read the first 12 issues of Whedon's run in hardcover, I don't have the final half for the fact that I'm waiting for the hardcover. In fact, I'm just picking this issue up solely to see how Ellis handles the X-Men proper. This Hisako character? No clue who she is. Cute as a button, though.

So what did I think?

I agree with the guys from The Stack, it's basically a very sleepy issue. Starts off with Wolverine sleeping in a tree, Beast sipping coffee, random guy getting burned alive, Beast singing to himself. Some snappy patter between Beast and Hisako. It's a fine enough start to the book. Ellis is just settling himself in. But almost all of the character intros are of them in bed or just waking up. The Stack's Alex is probably right that Ellis might be writing just a bit too much, cause the writing probably does reflect his mood at the time of writing the script. Sleepy, needing coffee, and after seeing Scott Summers and Emma Frost in bed for the ten billionth time, probably had a major case of morning wood.

Let me have this moment to say that I've never seen two characters screw more then Scott Summers and Emma Frost. When Summers and Jean Grey were together, it seemed like a very mature relationship. With Scott and Emma, it's nothing but fucking at every opportunity. Maybe it's cause the writer's can't find any rational reason for these two to be together so they just fall back on hot sex. But the moment they resurrect Jean Grey, honestly, they need to break these two up. The only thing Scott Summers had going for him was Jean Grey and the fact that he's screwing the White Queen proves what an addle-brained dickhead he can be. The only other character more liable to think with his knob end is probably Nightwing. But seriously, he meets Jean Grey and starts dating her. She dies and immediately falls for her clone, Madelyne Prior. He marries her, knocks her up, Jean is resurrected and like a total douche he leaves Madelyne for Jean and lets his brother Alex have the sloppy seconds. After being mentally violated by Apocolypse, he proves what an weak, insecure pussy he is and starts having a crazy psychic affair with Emma Frost. Can you believe this guy? And he's the leader of the X-Men? Is it any wonder mutants are hated and feared? Shit, I'd be advocating their genocide too if mutants were real.

Oh but I do go on.

Right, so we get a bit of a tour around the new X-base and get acclimated to the new squad, which is Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, Armor, and Storm. We see some of their new equipment which is in one case donated by the City of San Fransisco (guess they really don't need money for law enforcement or something) while the rest is gotten by either Angel or by a non-profit organization called Mutantes Sans Frontieres (set up in return for so the X-Men can have a "greater focus on African matters") set up by Storm, recetnly married to the Black Panther, who in turn is the king of Wakanda. All that sounds much more plausible then the old reason, which was Xavier's daddy had set him up a trust fund. Some trust fund! So instead, the X-Men are now funded by various kinds of bribes and kickbacks in return for favors. Seriously, African matters? Beast is too prejudiced to consider the idea of human/mutant interbreeding to lift their recently decimated numbers (see Endangered Species one-shot), do you think he gives two shits about blacks? "Oh, yeah, AIDS vaccine, coming right up! *whispering* (My blue ass...)" Seriously, I think they went from Xavier having a dream of mutants and humans living in peace to just watching out for themselves. Hey, do what ya gotta I say.

Speaking of Beast, Ellis comes up with a simple and nifty explanation for how the X gene works in this issue. It's explained that it sits on he 23rd chromosome pair and uses "exotic" proteins" to send chemical signals to mutate the other genes. I really liked this grounding in plausible, or at least plausible sounding, science.

But, even though the story is supposed to be centered around a murder mystery, it in fact is a fairly slow going, albeit witty, issue. All in all, like Beast's coffee sipping, meandering stroll around the new base and taking in the view of the Golden Gate bridge, that's what we get in Ellis's first issue. A casual, leisurely stroll gazing around the X-Men's new environs. It's not bad, actually very pleasant and enjoyable, but nothing to rush out for.


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