Astonishing X-Men’s new creative team of Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi debuted this week to a variety of reaction.
Ryan of Coke and Comics loved the issue:
This title has been receiving over-the-top reviews since issue 1 and I’ve been tempted to hop aboard for a while now. So when I heard that a new creative team is taking over in #25, I just had to pick this issue up. The new creative team has Simone Bianchi as the artist and no less than Warren Ellis as writer. I personally love Ellis’ work and am glad to see him here after reading his run in Thunderbolts. The man is truly the master of science-fiction. No other guy can write SCIENCE and fit it into a superhero story the way he does.
We first find each member of the Astonishing X-men spending some downtime in San Francisco, their new home city. I am pleased to see the roster we have here: Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Wolverine, Armor, and Storm. Sad to see no Colossus but Ororo is a welcome addition, making this the truly “alpha” X-team at the moment. Bringing Emma and Storm together is a brilliant move given their history from before. Both are the strong female type so they’re sure to have a lot in common and Ellis writes their interaction extremely well. I can’t believe how much fun Emma Frost is and I’m definitely looking forward to more of her and Storm together.
The reviewers at duncan_dip’s livejournal didn’t care for the issue:
What will Ellis’ contribution to “Astonishing” be? Too soon to tell. But he’s off to a bad start. To parrot Dave’s review, Warren Ellis writes characters who are so driven by purpose and carry such uncompromising visions of themselves that they sometimes seem incapable of talking about much else. Emma Frost and Cyclops’ morning discussion wasn’t about their relationship, or the changes in the team–they simply talked about themselves at length, as though their sleep cycles were infinitely more fascinating than, say, being superheroes. Armor harbors self-doubt, sure, but it manifests itself as a tedious discussion of her own codename–should she change it or stick with “Armor”?
The self-doubt that Cyclops carried as he led the team, the bitter tension between Emma Frost and everyone else, and the loss that the reader felt when Kitty Pride drifted out into nothingness–these things have all melted away and been replaced with a group of people who just like to hear themselves talk. Talking was never Ellis’ strong suit, and if he doesn’t stick to his talents and draw these characters into a conflict, rather than their morning coffee, “Astonishing X-Men” is going to lose the well-deserved luster it had during the previous 24 issues.
The Star Clipper’s reaction is somewhat mixed:
It’s always hard to develop a full opinion on a creative team after only one issue, but what I can tell from the debut is that Ellis likes himself some chatty X-Men. Ellis’ X-Men even reads more like a sitcom than Whedon’s X-Men, and Whedon is an actual sitcom writer. Perhaps this is just Ellis overcompensating from the get-go to win over long-time astonishing fans, but I know I don’t want to read The Real World: X-Men. Again, this is only the first issue and Ellis has set up a strong plot to send the X-Men to Chapapanga, a beach junkyard, to look for a possible unknown mutant killer. Ellis is setting up a good contained plot and what worked so well for Whedon is how Astonishing X-Men worked as a stand alone story not implicitly tied to X-continuity. Hopefully, Ellis will have the same success.
The other major factor is art, and new artist Bianchi has defiantly not won me over yet. I’m really not crazy for any of the new costumes, but the new X-men street clothes are just atrocious. Emma Frost in camo pants and not even a bit of cleavage revealed. Come on it’s Emma Freakin’ Frost! Plus, did Storm’s street clothes look like a bad homage to 90′s TLC to anyone else? On the other hand, Cassaday stuck with relatively classic x-customs, but still made me completely love Kitty Pride. Meeoww!
So what do you think?