Astonishing X-Men #56

by Tori B. on November 22, 2012

Karma is having a showdown with her family whom she never planned on seeing again, while Kyle experiences just what it’s like to be married to a superhero.


Writer: Marjorie Liu | Artist: Mike Perkins

Colorists: Jay David Ramos & Andres Mossa | Cover: Phil Noto | Publisher: Marvel



Normally Astonishing X-Men correlates with pretty satisfying writing, but in #56 they seem to have hit a bit of a dry spot. It’s reminiscent of a daytime soap opera one that’s hardly original, with what I’m sure the writers may have seen as a plot twist, but the storyline has been played enough times before, it’s not really much of a surprise anymore. There’s a possibility that a story of family drama, wealthy heirs, and newlyweds can be written in such way that’s still riveting, unfortunately that didn’t happen.


The problem with it is that there’s no connection to the focused characters in this arc. While Karma is a very interesting character (as are most of the X-Men!), the way she’s written, just doesn’t attract a reader enough to care. There’s no connection to her motives or any real interest built to want to know more about her past. Flashbacks of an X-Men’s past are often full of good story, but it seemed that Karma’s was lacking. Lacking in originality mostly which is disappointing to say the least.


Karma is cool. And for a more Karma-centric story, it didn’t do her justice. She can control minds and knows how to fight. Yet we didn’t see any of that, how disappointing. Instead we’re left with a slow progression of the plot with a lot of sitting and crying. Plus there’s a small bit with Northstar and husband Kyle, which is related to the story but doesn’t really add to the story. It could have been cut out and wouldn’t make a difference, but it serves the purpose of breaking up the story a little bit, just to add a small distraction from everything else that’s happening. Besides, who doesn’t love to see two happy newly-weds and its trials when one is a superhero.


Despite the lackluster story, Perkins, Ramos, and Mossa did fantastic things with the art. It’s basically what keeps a reader to continue turning the pages. For what little action there was, they turned it into fantastic spreads that were really pleasing to the eye. There was just something about the art; especially the shading that added this grittiness to the overall ambience and that’s what was this issue’s saving grace. At least there was something to add depth to what was clearly lacking.


Perhaps on a more positive note, if you would consider this to be such, this was the conclusion for this story and perhaps we can look forward to going back to more invigorating plots with the Astonishing X-Men.

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stephengervais's picture

Great review Tori!! Welcome to the CTG team. I'm usually a real mutant maniac but this has always been one title I could never get into. I've given it several chances and it just never seems to grab me. On a side note I met Marjorie Liu when I was visiting NYC one summer with my wife. She's one of the friendliest and most charming creators I've ever met. I picked up a copy of x-23 at the store for her to sign which actually reminds me I've yet to read it!