While Marjorie Liu’s Astonishing X-Men run started out good, I’ve had mixed feelings since. It wasn’t entire clear where this series was going and some of the issues felt a bit long. This issue fixes all of that and ties everything together. The villain’s motivations are made clear, and now the X-Men are forced to work for her. I wouldn’t quite call this issue brilliant, but it’s still fairly good.
Over the last few issues, the Astonishing X-Men have been infected with nanobots that can hurt them in all sorts of interesting ways. Susan Hatchi, the villain, simply wants them to take over Madripoor to demonstrate to the world that these bots can control pretty much anyone. That’s hardcore. The villain also has a personal connection to Karma, which is revealed in this issue. Aside from the plot development, this issue is mostly build up and character development, both of which are handled well. The cliff-hanger didn’t work as well as it could have however.
The art isn’t quite as good as the main issue. There are a couple panels where it’s difficult to tell who you’re looking at – especially with the women. There’s also an overuse of shadows at times. It’s not bad – some panels in Madripoor look great. If anything, the art in this issue is inconsistent.
This is a good self-contained X-men book that has nothing to do with AVX. The main focus is on the characters in this team. The villain is an ex-mutant who was de-powered on M day and wants to control people through technological means. Everything else you need to know is explained on the recap page or in the main comic. It’s at least worth checking out if you like the X-Men.
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I gotta disagree. I thought this issue was weak. It was OK only by the low standards of Liu’s run until now. In particular, the characterization and dialogue felt flat. I was unimpressed.
From what I’ve seen around the internet, Marjorie Liu’s Astonishing X-Men run is kind of polarizing. I’ve enjoyed most of it so far, but I can also see why others don’t. That’s why I didn’t quite recommend it.