The Creators – Charles Soule – Writer, Jim Cheung – Artist, Mark Morales + Guillermo Ortego + Walden Wong – Inkers, Richard Isanove + Rain Beredo – Colours, VC’s Clayton Cowles – Letters
The Players – Psylocke, Angel, Bishop, Old Man Logan, Rogue, Gambit, Fantomex, Beast, The Shadow King, Surprise Mystery Character
The Story – The Shadow King is making a play from the Astral Plane to burn the Earth down with the help of its psychics.
The Take – Astonishing X-Men is the latest title to make its appearance in this new era of X-Men books and unlike X-Men Blue or Gold, it bears no resemblance to its former iteration. It features an all-star lineup courtesy of writer Charles Soule and artist Jim Cheung, with some of the more interesting characters to ever appear in an X-book, not to mention, some characters who simply do not have a home as of yet in any team book. Though it is only the first issue, Soule has already started to pepper the book with some intriguing dynamics revolving around Psylocke and Fantomex and between Gambit and Rogue. Adding a conscience to the team in the form of Beast should also make for some good stories, as well as having the man hold the team in check when things start to cross the line. As it is, the book begins by introducing the cast, giving the reader a peak at what the players has been up to while weaving it into the story that is being told and then running straight into the thick of the action. Once it gets going, the pace never lets up and Soule brings the heroes together as Psylocke assumedly goes crazy, the X-Men only knowing that they have to do something before she brings a building down in the middle of London. The cause of such is eventually determined after the day is saved, but it is far from over and Psylocke swears upon the urgency of the situation which finds the mutants rushed into another mission mere minutes after rescuing their friend. Cheung’s pencils are as good as ever, really making each page of the story polished and exciting. While the X-Men look great under Cheung’s hand, The Shadow King looks even better, both menacing and evil and as formidable as ever. Best of all is the fact that Soule and Cheung leave the book off on one amazing cliff-hanger, guaranteed to make readers want to come back for more. At the moment, Astonishing X-Men with only one issue in the can is the best team book going in the X-Universe which says a lot about the creative talents behind it.
Worth It? – Yes