Review: Astonishing X-Men #1

An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-Men discovers the truth behind the threat, but there is no time left. Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue, and Gambit will attempt to save a world that hates and fears them. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE X-MEN.

WOW, now this is how you kick off a new title!  Charles Soule hits the ground running in this first issue giving us an interesting line up of X-Men who are thrown into action almost immediately and discover an old foe has returned. We’re introduced to various X-Men and given a brief description of each, but also an interesting explanation on how they are all alike aside from being mutants. It was a great way to set up the team, and really gave me something to think about with each of them, presenting them in a way I hadn’t thought of before. But then BOOM, the action hits and it is non stop throughout the issue. Soule shows that he really knows these characters and their history which makes this all the more enjoyable to read; a very interesting line up with characters who have not so great pasts between them who have to let all of that go and come together to take on the threat.

Aside from a great set up story, the art work is my favorite part of this book. Jim Cheung does a beautiful job of bringing these characters to life. I have been a long time fan of his work (especially his time on Young Avengers) and he did not disappoint here.  His detail and facial expressions definitely read and shows us clearly how these characters are feeling, and the action panels are big and explosive and don’t slow down!  I absolutely love his depiction of Psylocke’s psychic powers at work and I really like seeing her butterfly effect again. The only thing that threw me off was his depiction of Beast. He has shown up looking much for feline, where as Henry has had a more ape like appearance since his last mutation. Don’t get me wrong, I always preferred Beast looking more cat like, but it just didn’t mesh with how the character has been shown in other books. But a small detail to otherwise beautiful work.

If you can’t already tell, I absolutely loved this first issue. The action was there right from the beginning, we have a new group of X-Men coming together that will definitely have some growing pains when it comes to working together and we have fantastic art that makes this a book you do not want to miss. Throw in a great classic villain and a reveal at the end that had my eyes widen and you have a first issue that is truly astonishing.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Jim Cheung
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy