In the wake of a massive psychic attack and with an old threat thought gone rising to wreak havoc, a new team of X-Men answer the call to arms in this stellar first issue from Charles Soule and Jim Cheung.
The story in Astonishing X-Men #1 begins with some interesting observations regarding Psychics in the Marvel Universe, and what potential threats, or uselessness they could provide, with all of this being stated by an unknown voice. Things ramp up quickly from that point on, as writer Charles Soule skips the first issue shenanigans that are usually expected from a first issue. Marvel seems to be bringing back Mutants and the X-Men in full force, with Astonishing X-Men being the third main team title to launch this summer, alongside X-Men Blue/Gold respectively. You would think that by this third title you would be exhausted by these team titles, but you would be incorrect.
The team dynamics in each series of X-Men books are mostly different from one another, but it is the team in Astonishing that is the most. With the team assembled on a last minute distress call by Psylocke, we see members of the X-Men universe at their most intense and mission ready, and Soule manages to convert that excellently without need of slow wasted pages of character development. The main players are introduced by the first few pages, leaving plenty of room for the action to go down. Rogue, Old Man Logan, Bishop, The Angel, Gambit, and Fantomex all have plenty to do in this issue and are characterized wonderfully.
The Art by Jim Cheung and inks and colors by Mark Morales, G. Ortega, W. Wong, R. Isanove, and R. Beredo are also visually pleasing, with tons of different colorful panels adding more to the story and making this issue an exciting and interesting read. Overall, Astonishing X-Men #1 puts the series off to a great start, and leaves me ready and more than willing to pick up issue 2. The story itself seems promising of adventure and psychological thrills like no other X-Men book, and to top it off with excellent art? Count us in. – Ernesto Valenzuela
GRADE – 9/10