As probably many others are, I am getting a bit overloaded with the number of X-titles currently on sale. I actually haven't counted and don't want to know how many there are. ASTONISHING X-MEN has been a title that I've read off an on, never fully committing to it. Until now.
Ever since Marjorie Liu made the jump into comics at Marvel, I've been a huge fan. If you've read her X-23 issues, you know she excels at character development and relationships as well as cramming in loads of action. While we're all saddened over the end of that series, having her take on her own X-Men title is pretty sweet.
Within her first issue, we do see a lot of development for characters such as Northstar, Cecilia Reyes and even Gambit. The angle that most of the characters she'll be writing don't want to spend all their time with the X-Men and are looking for time away is a great angle. Obviously when push comes to shove and things start blowing up, they won't have much of a choice. It's just great to see them trying to have normal lives rather than just sitting around waiting for the next mission.
When it was announced that Mike Perkins would be joining Liu on this title, I was definitely intrigued. He definitely takes on the task of drawing action and non-action scenes with enthusiasm.
As a first issue for a new direction, there's a lot to cover. Depending on what you're looking for, you're not necessarily going to see a lot of action in the first half of the book. This shouldn't be a bad thing unless you're craving non-stop action, but who really wants that all the time? Those that cringe at emotions being put on display will have to accept that these characters do and should have feelings. When the action does begin, it explodes in your face. You're almost left wondering what's going on.
And there was one panel where Wolverine looked a little funny.
There's some good news and bad news for X-Men readers. Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins' take on ASTONISHING X-MEN is off to a great start. The good news is we have another great X-Men series to enjoy. The bad news is you have another great X-Men series you have to buy. Liu always manages to bring life and energy to the characters she writes. The X-Men have always had that underlying feeling of family and humanization, despite the fact that they were mutants. We all want to see crazy and intense action but there should be time taken to allow the characters to grow personally as well as in terms of powers and abilities. Mike Perkins manages to capture this feeling and handles the task of drawing quiet intimate scenes as well as big time action. The mix of the two causes the action to come later and when it does, you're almost left wondering what's happening. Once you catch your breath, your anticipation for the next issue will rise all over again.