watch octagon the in divx Ellis’ run on Astonishing X-Men continues the title’s long-held tradition of keeping its own, erratic shipping schedule in exchange for high-quality goods – and make no mistake, we are dealing with high-quality work here. It’s not perfect, but it is both practised and unique, and that’s more than enough to be entertaining as well. The series also feeds nicely on from Morrison and Whedon’s X-Men runs, while retaining a recognisably Ellis-esque tone, both in the heavy science fiction plot elements, and the sharp, individualised dialogue.
Ellis makes interesting use of Forge, re-casting the maker as an almost renegade mutant scientist with his own agenda. Not something Forge is known for, but it does generally fit with his past actions, and assuming Ellis doesn’t make him the storyline’s token casualty, it might give some direction to a character that’s largely been allowed to stagnate ever since X-Factor free annie get your gun movie download
was cancelled the first time around, leaving him without a home.
The increased focus on Forge does leave the issue presenting a slightly odd gear-change in the ongoing arc, and Ellis is once again in danger of spending too much time discussing his pet ideas rather than advancing the plot – that’s in addition to spending an unusual amount of time dropping in references to wider X-Men continuity, which isn’t something readers would normally expect to find in Astonishing, especially written by Ellis.
There’s also the slight concern that Bianchi’s art is at working odds with Ellis’ writing. One part of the issue sees Storm attacking one of the “mutants”, although from the artwork, she appears to have the character captured, and be torturing him for information – either Ellis has grossly mis-characterised Storm, or there’s been a breakdown somewhere between the writer and artist, or artist and audience that explains her actions better. It’s also possible I’ve forgotten a plot point since the previous issue that explains such behaviour, since the scene does have a rather abrupt opening, but if that’s the case then it’s a problem with the format – as long as comics are coming out monthly, it seems disingenuous to make concessions for the trade.
Other than that, Bianchi’s art remains stunning. Early issues had a tendency to look a tad muddy and homogenised, but either I’ve become more used to it or problems with the reproduction have been ironed out, because even though this issue has a lot of conversation, every page looks fantastically dynamic. It might not be the most conventional X-book ever, but with Warren Ellis writing – did you ever expect it to be?