Astonishing X-Men (Marvel – Ellis / Bianchi)
It was hard for me to see a decent replacement for Joss Whedon on Astonishing. Ellis didn’t seem right when it was announced. I was happy to see Whedon not end his run, but plant seeds to continue the Astonishing run. That was a good start, and I’m happy to say it’s stayed pretty strong since.
The book continues in it’s slightly out of continuity way, and along a more cosmic than earthly bent.
More interdimensional mayhem, infinite and similar parallel universe mischief, from the master. The characters aren’t particularly deep, but we can give that time and I suppose that sort of thing is harder to establish with established, controlled characters. The dialogue is spry and clever like you’d expect, although some of it seems force. The plot unexpected and intriguing, probably more intriguing than the characters. I do wonder why Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes came out as a 2 issue mini-series, rather than just the next two issues. I wish the publishers would stop worrying about volume (and cash flow) so much and just keep story lines linear and tidy.
My biggest issue with the book is the art. I like Bianchi’s thick heavy textured style, his anatomy is flawless. My problem is that his story telling is weak and often confusing sort of like random images to go with those words the writer sent over. His strength is cover art, maybe he’s transitioning from cover art to interior art, which are two different art forms. We’ll see.
Over all Grade: B+. Couple of flaws in Writing and Art, but overall better than yer average book.