Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 3.3
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Size: pages
Price: 29.99

I think I know what the biggest problem is with Warren Ellis and his mainstream work. He writes his characters a bit too smug for my liking. Now I have always liked his run on Thunderbolts, as late as it was, because that was a group of insane villains put into one team. So Ellis can write insane from experience if you can believe it. He’s also did that Ultimate Human story but that had some problems too. When you read the diaologue he puts in the characters, you just hate them. It’s pretty much the same problem I have with his run on Astonishing X-Men.

It would be insane to think anyone, even as big as Ellis, could do any better then what Whedon/Cassaday did with their run. I think we could almost all agree that could be the best run on X-Men on any title. But when you compare this ‘Ghost Box’ story to what Whedon did, it’s almost a joke to compare. I can’t even explain most of the story because I have no idea what was going on. All I heard was ‘multiverse’ and unless it’s DC then I want nothing to do with that word in a comic. Well to be fair, Marvel might have more alternative dimensions then DC (at least they stayed with 52), but something like that doesn’t work with me. Plus the characters are just off putting for the most part. His Wolverine is not the Wolverine I have always read; Cyclops is just a jerk (when isn’t he now a days?), and Emma is just unbearable. However, I will say that he has a perfect voice for Beast. It’s been awhile since I have read a well written Beast but Ellis writes him perfectly. Also his Storm and Forge is nicely written as well; especially Forge because he’s been missing forever.

Now we get into the big elephant in the room with Simone Bianchi. Reading this as a whole, I will say that he won me over a bit. He does some very gorgeous backgrounds in this, maybe the best I have seen in a comic. That two page spread with this ‘Tian’ area just makes your jaw drops. But when it comes to actually drawing the character or actually trying to layout a fight scene….it’s just not that good looking. Fights are difficult to understand and people are literally off model from panel to panel. Cyclops head changes shape at least a couple dozen times in this. It balances with the backgrounds, but it’s just something that you can’t shake your eyes off for.

So as a whole, I would say don’t buy this. I love Warren Ellis and I would recommend so much more from his bibilography. This is just a boring and uneventful comic and you would do so much better by buying the previous trades of this series. Heck I don’t even think this series is around anymore, so maybe it’s for the best if this isn’t ongoing anymore.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Thanks for the review, it pretty much supported what I already expected. Astonishing should have ended with Whedon. 

  2. Look, the biggest problem with this whole run can be summed up with one word…areolas.  I’m sorry, but I haven’t seen ANYONE comment on the first issue with Simon Bianchininini, and the fact that when he drew Scott Summers laying in bed barechested, he gave the guy enormous areolas, and that’s affected my entire viewpoint anytime I open one of these issues.  I didn’t mind the story at all, but if Simon drew it, I just saw big areolas.  Not enormous, I should say, but just large enough to be kind of freaky.  Ugh.

  3. Good point about how unlikable Ellis makes these characters. I haven’t read much of his other work, but with this I couldn’t stand it past the second issue. These weren’t really the X-Men I knew; instead they were all stuck on "pompous jerk" setting. It was like hanging out with some friends and then all of a sudden you realize that for whatever reason they’re all being enormous assholes to each other, and you decide to just leave the building, unsure if you ever want to hang out with those people again, in disbelief at how jerky they are, wondering if they were always like that and you just never noticed it.

    $30 for this trade? Ouch. I hope you didn’t really buy it.

    The title should have ended when Whedon and Cassaday left. As far as where they rank in terms of "best X-Men teams", they’re definitely the best at least since the old Claremont days. They’re the best X-author/writer pair of their generation. I would say that in my opinion Grant Morrison’s run was better (Whedon owes a LOT to the seeds Morrison planted), but Morrison’s run was longer, and no artist collaborator that Morrison had was anywhere near Whedon/Cassaday in terms of creative synergy. Go read some of the old Claremont/Paul Smith stuff, though, if you’ve never read that. Cassaday’s look reminded me of the old early ’80s Paul Smith stuff.

  4. My belief is that Ellis really doesn’t like writing superhero comics and tends to spend too much of his time looking down on it.  Reading any of his mainstream superhero work for me has always made me feel like the sub-text is saying, "Boy you’re stupid for liking this, but you want your stupid hero shit, well here it is asshole."  After awhile it gets frustrating and apart from his run on Iron Man I’ve really disliked all of his Marvel work.  I loved Whedon, but I dropped this two issues in.

  5. @Jazzlawery, I’ve always heard the same thing about Ellis not like superheroes. The same with Ennis. I just don’t have any interest in reading a writer who doesn’t even like what he’s working on, you know?

  6. See I think Ennis/Ellis can write great superhero work. Ennis did Punisher for a long time, and he did do some aspects of the Marvel Universe with the character. Plus again, I love Ellis’s run on Thunderbolts because it was a no brainer.

    If they don’t like doing superheroes then they probably shouldn’t be working for the company. But then again that’s where they get the money from.

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