Astonishing X-Men #32 Review: Brood-ing Fingers

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… This is the second and final review that I missed. So here is ‘Astonishing X-Men’.  Hope you enjoy it.

Astonishing X-Men #32 (preview)
Writer: Warren Ellis
Penciler: Phil Jimenez


RECAP: The issue opens with Emma facing off against the organic Sentinel. She initially believes it will not hurt her but still manages to go to diamond form before it hits her. Scott blasts one of its hands and Wolverine attacks as well but is quickly blasted away. Beast and Agent Brand go to their ship as the Sentinel fires out Brood missiles from its fingers.

Storm quickly blasts one of the Sleazoids and attacks the others. Beast fires the grapple from the X-Jet through the Sentinel’s head and begins to drag it out to sea. The others are fighting the remaining Brood. Armor manages to smash one of their heads and Wolverine slices up another one.

Beast and Brand get in trouble when the Sentinel fights back and starts to overload the ship’s engines. Beast applies a bit of science with some rockets and is able to destroy the Sentinel’s head. He has some of Warren’s people, Mutants Sans Frontieres, haul the body back to the X-Men’s headquarters to study it.

Taking their ease in the Med-Lab, Scott refuses pain killers for a wound he took during the fight. Instead the X-Men press Agent Brand about the Sentinel and what she is hiding. Eventually she divulges that there are still a lot of people looking to finish the mutant population and that both the Sentinel and the Brood missiles were based on Henry McCoy’s own theoretical work.

MY TAKE: This was another oddly mixed issue with science fiction and action scenes mixed in with the super hero elements. While it works for the most part, there are definite problems with the focus. The issue reads well enough and is still entertaining but it is just not quite sure exactly what type of story it wants to be.

The plot is not bad and pretty well done. While we have seen a lot of plots recently about destroying all of the remaining mutants, having them use Beast’s ideas is a nice touch. The alien element, while a bit out of place, does serve to incorporate Agent Brand. The timing of bringing back old mutants from the dead, is unfortunate due to the sheer number of resurrections that are occurring as part of Necrosha.

The tone shifts from humorous moments to intensity and back and it does not always work. Some of the dialogue sounds corny and the reactions are a bit overdone. Especially with Hank and Brand’s relationship. Still most of the characterizations are done well and the X-Men, outside of Beast, feel more natural then they have in other arcs. Although I have not been a big fan of Armor and Wolverine’s relationship, I actually enjoyed their interactions here.

The weakest point is some of the absurd and unexplained plot points. The biggest example is Beast telling Brand that there are no weapons on board the jet and then a few panels later firing what appear to be missiles at the Sentinel. They never seem to explain exactly what happens to that bio-robot either. Perhaps it was mentioned last issue but I do not remember and would have liked an explanation on what exactly destroyed it. The Brood missiles confused me at first also. Although they are mentioned later, it just seemed very out of place.

In the end this was a good issue and a fun read but there were too many questions and tonal issues for it to qualify as great. I am glad to see the Brood back and even the new Sentinel makes an interesting villain but so far the story has not used them very well. Still the potential is definitely there and if plot can be shored up and made to be more even and logical, I think the rest of the arc could be very good.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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