Astonishing X-Men #44 Review.

This comic was gifted to me by writer Greg Pak himself and became my first download at comiXology.  More on that in a later column today.

The bigger question here is, how do you review a gift?


Click for more to find out!

The first thing I realized is, I love Greg Pak’s writing.  I’m horrible with keeping track of writers and artists in comics.  Not that I don’t care or appreciate the talent, but I stick with characters despite who the creative team is.  If I’m picking up a new book its because I’ve been told its good, and I don’t mentally check off the box for who made this good book.  Its a horrible flaw for a comic book geek, and I’m working on it.  All that is my way of saying, I didn’t realize how much of Greg’s work I loved.  Planet Hulk is the best Hulk story I’ve ever read.  Dead Man’s Run looks to be incredible.  Hercules is at the top of my “as soon as I can afford to buy a stack of trades I’m getting this because everything I’ve heard about it sounds awesome” list.

Because of this lack of retained knowledge, I was leery of reading this book.  I hated the previous issue, and Pak aside, would not continue reading it.  But hey, it was a different writer!  Clean slate!

So what did I think?

Once your confusion is cleared this is a pretty good book.

Why is Storm back in her mohawk punk era?  Why is Cyclops the only other X-Man I recognize?  Its a crazy reboot time for the X-Men franchise and its becoming confusing to know what is happening where and when.  To that I say: calm down and just enjoy the story.

From what I can tell, this is “our” Cyclops.  He’s fallen for the Storm of another realm/time/earth/universe and they are having a Sentinel destroying adventure!  Cyclops looks like one of the baddest heroes on the planet throughout this book, and its because of the original ideas.  I’ve never before seen Scott Summers use his optic blasts in a pulse manner.  He uses this new control of his power to change his direction!  My mind is blown.  What if Cyclops had full control over his power?  I never thought of what this could mean before.  Hell, he could fly.  Sure he’ll leave a trail of blast destruction in his wake, but he’d be flying!

Unless he’s locked in a jar!  Now the story swerves and we see a teenage Nightcrawler along with a Wolverine rocking the friendly mutton chops.  These, these are not our X-Men are they?

But that’s still not enough of a mystery!  Some… one (warrior? leader? hero? villain?) powerful says that everyone can thank him, their Savior, and the “heroes down below” for making sure their feeble species still survives. He is flanked by a shameful Storm.

Holy crap!  This is where the book jumps from a pleasant single issue to I need to know more.  I’m guessing that this guy, “Savior”, is abducting X-Men from across realities and forming some great team to battle… what?  Is this “feeble species” mutant or human?  Is Savior doing good or evil?  What will happen to “our” Cyclops?  Could this be our Storm from the past or another reality’s version?

I have to thank Greg Pak for sending me this issue and it worked. I now need to buy the next issues.  The first taste was free, and now I’ll be giving Marvel and Pak even more of my money.  Greg Pak is comics greatest drug pusher.

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