Astonishing X-Men #33 Review: Getting a Head

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… My second review for the week is ‘Astonishing X-Men’. Hope you enjoy it.

Astonishing X-Men #33 (preview)
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Phil Jimenez


RECAP: The issue opens with Agent Brand explaining to the X-Men how Hank’s theoretical work was stolen and used to create the abominations that are threatening mutantkind. The person behind it is called Kaga and he is a ghost that no one has ever seen. It was his asteroid base that Abigail was raiding before she crashed to the Earth. Kaga has taken DNA from other mutant enemies and recreated them as well, including the Brood.

They are interrupted by a massive attack on the surface of the complex. Cyclops gathers the X-Men to face the creature which appears to be part Krakoa and part Brood. The creature is trying to destroy the evidence of the Bio-Sentinel but Scott decides to completely cut loose and blasts away half of it.

Cyclops realizes that there is no way their enemy is going to leave them a huge body and gets the X-Men into the rescue vehicle. The plane has taken a beating though, and is practically falling apart around them as they fly off. Beast is able to detect the enormous enemy vessel as it appears and snatches up the corpse.

The X-Men use the grapple and latch onto the plane and Wolverine jumps down to cut a hole into the hull. Armor then goes down to secure the breech followed by the rest. Storm does her best to seal the break but it is not perfect and the X-Men are forced further into the ship.

Wolverine uses his nose to find the pilot, the dead head of a mutant techokine infected by the Phalanx. It was this being that hacked Beast’s files and exposed his research. Scott has seen enough and orders Hank to connect into the computer and get control so they can find Kaga and kill him.

MY TAKE: This is a fun issue but still has some pacing issues and plot holes. I am definitely warming to the science fiction feel of the story arc, especially with the monster movie appeal of this issue. The plot is still kind of slow though with a lot of time being devoted to splash pages and most of the story advancement coming from a few pages of character dialogue.

While the characters are not exactly the same as the other titles they are still recognizable and entertaining. Cyclops, in particular, is very amusing and is actually enjoyable to read. In most other series, he is still shown to be too uptight but here he has a legitimate sense of humor. I still think he is a bit too dark but that is an understandable change. The rest of the characters are alright as well although still a bit two dimensional. I am getting a bit tired of seeing Logan as the butt of so many jokes though.

Still there are some definite issues with the plot. The biggest one is that there is some person with his own asteroid and city size spaceship that no one knows about. Someone with that kind of power would be monitored by all sorts of people including S.H.I.E.L.D. Even with the advanced tech and resources there are simply too many super geniuses around for anyone to stay truly hidden much less be able to keep a massive space ship flying around all the time.

There also seemed to be a bit too much effort involved in trying to explain things. While I appreciate tying the plot into the X-Men’s current problems, when you have to spend a couple of pages explaining how information could be stolen from the Beast, it seems like a stretch. After all plenty of people want mutants dead and could have envisioned ways to kill them. There are other ways to tie into their history too and make sure that the X-Men take the threat personally.

Still it is a fun read with some really good ideas. I loved the Krakoa monster and although the Techno-organic zombie plot is already being used it was still a cool reveal. I was leery at first at the merging of so many science fiction elements into the comic but they are starting to really pan out. Hopefully we will get some more impressive story ideas in the issues to come with a little less focus on the sprawling visuals.

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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