Astonishing X-Men #2

by Ryan.L on August 16, 2017

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Astonighing X-Men have been brought together by a threat to all the psychics in the world. Psylocke called on whoever was close to come to her aid. Now the team has traveled to the astral plane to confront the Shadow King who has been responsible for the attack.

This issue we see the team caught up int he illusions the Shadow King has trapped them in. Turns out that he is playing a game with some very high stakes with none other than Charles Xavier. Who until recently was believed to be dead. His mind still lives, trapped in the Astral Plane.

Ok, so here is the thing about this issue. This was an alright story, that was crafted pretty well. The problem is Charles Soule's writing has this very dry, stiff and formulaic style to it. When RessurXion was announced, Marvel promised that they would deliver new stories with the fun, exciting and adventurous style and tone from previous generations of X-books. While I can't say that Soule's story is bad, it is missing everything that Marvel promised and feels much more like the previous X-titles from just before the RessurXion launch. With X-Men Blue, X-Men Gold and even Jean Grey delivering those promises and much much more, it becomes even more apparent that Soule is not on the same train that the writers of those series are.

Again this story is interesting though. I was shocked when the final page in issue one surprised us with Charles Xavier. It asks so many questions, and even in this issue Charles motivation even while appearing to be a prisoner himself, comes into question. While I was reading this issue I had to stop a few times because I was just getting bored with how stiff Soule writes all the characters. None of the jokes he wrote were landing and I think Soule has talent, but the X-Men is just not his forte. He doesn't seem to have the unique magic it takes to write an X-book. The members of this team that Soule chose have so many dynamics that would lend to such fun and amusing stories, but Soule seems to miss all the chemistry that has been developed between these characters for the last several decades.

So overall this is a book that I would put middle of the road. It's not great but it also isn't terrible. If you are on an X-Men high and want another X-book to read, then yes pick this one up. You might find something to love here. If you are a new reader and got into X-Men Gold and X-Men Blue and really love them and you are looking to check this one out, don't expect this one to be anything like those books. It's still got an interesting story but is a lot more dry in it's style and tone. 


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