Astonishing X-Men gets a face-lift in the form of a new creative team. Lead by writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Greg Land, this new lineup and direction is a very promising one.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
X-Men fan-favorite, Alex Summers, returns to his normal self. Havok is looking to get back to his heroic ways with a new X-Men team. After a public humiliation at the hands of the Avengers, his search for teammates gets off to a rocky start.
Right away, it feels so good to have Havok back to normal and in his classic costume. His characterization is a bit puzzling at first, he reads more like Jamie Madrox (who Rosenberg is also currently writing on Multiple Man) but there’s only a brief adjustment period. His new attitude sets a light tone that is sure to smack a smile onto the face of every die-hard X-fan.
Matthew Rosenberg has absolutely been on fire recently with his Marvel contributions, this seems to be another great addition to his collection of X-Men work. There’s an injection of joy and excitement that was missing towards the end of Charles Soule’s 12-issue run of Astonishing X-Men. With the heavy dose of humor, there’s also a star-studded cast that bounce perfectly off of Summers as he takes a tour through some of Marvel’s mutants.
The little character moments are fantastic. Alex and Hank talking about superhero fatigue, Kitty phasing through the chalk-board, Havok getting the Stark treatment, etc. Astonishing X-Men #13 has so much charm spread throughout all of the featured characters. Havok’s thirst for being an X-Men and what it means to him puts him right in the reader’s shoes.
Greg Land may be the biggest source of joy in this issue, and not just for the fantastic cover art. Havok looks incredible in his classic costume, his abilities are illustrated in glorious fashion. Land delivers on every character, making them all distinctly different and visually pleasing. Colorist Frank D’Armata has an electric chemistry with the comic’s artist, treating us to some of the finest work for both creators.
As X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue trend more and more into obscurity, irrelevance, and apparent cancellation, Astonishing X-Men emerges to keep X-Men fans satisfied. Between Astonishing X-Men and X-Men: Red, Marvel has their new flagship X-books. It’s safe to say at this point, any time you see Matthew Rosenberg writing mutants you need to pick it up.