Astonishing X-Men #13 Review: What if All the X-Men Hated One Another?

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Havok is trying to get back into the hero business, and he has started with a giant monster attacking New York. He defeats it, but it falls onto a building. The Avengers arrive to inform Alex that they intended to pacify it peacefully as per an agreement with the Mole Man. Iron Man isn't happy about Alex's interference.

Astonishing X-Men #13 cover by Greg Land and Frank D'Armata
Astonishing X-Men #13 cover by Greg Land and Frank D'Armata

Havok returns to the Xavier Institute to gather a new team of X-Men, but Kitty Pryde tells him to get out. This leaves him with few options. Meanwhile, the Reavers are making moves, including capturing Miss Sinister.

I was excited for this new Astonishing X-Men team. Havok, Beast, Colossus, and Warpath are among my favorite X-Men. #13 isn't a bad start for this new era of the team, but it is a worrying one.

This is one of those comics where everyone seems to hate one another. The Avengers, Kitty, the X-Men, and even Beast all seem to hold nothing but disdain for Alex Summers. His recent stint as a villain is used as a crutch, but, given the world they live in, that seems unwarranted given the Red Skull's mind control nonsense. It doesn't help that Alex comes off as a reckless douchebag at times too.

The Reavers are far from being among the greatest X-Men rogues, so their presence does little to add intrigue.

There are more than a few new X-Men book cliches. They reference Xavier's dream. Alex says they aren't living up to the dream and need to change their ways. This has become part and parcel of a new X-Men book, and it's becoming stale very quickly.

Astonishing X-Men #13 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Frank D'Armata
Astonishing X-Men #13 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Frank D'Armata

Greg Land's artwork isn't that bad in this issue. It's not great; I'm not sure it's even good. However, there were fewer awkward mismatched panels and repeated faces in this issue. There were still instances where the emotion being conveyed by facial expression runs completely contrary to what the dialogue is trying to communicate, but these were mercifully few. Frank D'Armata provides the color art of this book, and it's a little oversaturated. Many of the pages are brighter than they should be, and it does result in some panels being unpleasant to look at.

Astonishing X-Men #13 is a disappointing opening salvo for Matthew Rosenberg's stint on the title. The characters are difficult to like, everyone is nasty towards one another, and the artwork leaves a lot to be desired. There were some good moments that keep the book from being completely unappealing, but they were few. I can't quite recommend this one, unfortunately.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.