Astonishing X-Men #31 (Marvel Comics)
by Warren Ellis, Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning
I’ve been following this series from the start, but I think this is my last issue. While this is the beginning of a new story arc (apparently about an alien invasion that’s about to befall Earth), this chapter is really nothing more than an action-packed rescue mission full of so many coincidences and unbelievable delays that suspension of disbelief is pretty much impossible. I found it incredibly frustrating that the heroes seem to spend as much time talking about the rescue as actually executing it. Furthermore, previous arcs in this series featured new and unusual concepts for conflict, but this one seems to turn back to some familiar (though inhuman) X-Men antagonists. Basically, this issue of Astonishing didn’t have the special feel that sets this series apart from other X-titles.
Phil Jimenez’s artwork has evolved since his first hit the scene. No longer does his style seem like a pale imitation of George (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds) Perez’s, though the influence is still apparent. Still, this issue full of gritted teeth and intense glares just didn’t hold my attention all that much. I found the design for the X-Men crash suits to be awkward, and the figures often seem stiff. Mind you, the look of the organic incarnation of a previously mechanical foe at the end of the book was appropriately creepy. 5/10