Ellis-ium : Warren Ellis – “Astonishing X-Men” (25-30)

ABOVE: The liver is the only internal organ that can regenerate itself! Fact!

Warren Ellis’ “Astonishing X-Men” immediately declares itself a different beast from Joss Whedon’s. The school days are over, the X-Men are back from outer space and relocating to the City By the Bay, where they go to work as consultants for the SFPD, and, visually reversing a now-iconic panel from “Astonishing X-Men” #1, abandon the Whedon era spandex for outfits that suggest the team’s new stylist is plundering the Army surplus.

When they’re called in to inspect a body at a crime scene, it briefly looks like we’re in for “CSI: SF: X-Men Division,” but Ellis is just throat-clearing before he gets to a story almost as complex as the one in “Days of Future Past.” (Cyclops complains throughout that he’s getting a headache from the convoluted explanations by Hank “Beast” McCoy, and the average reader can expect to share in Cyclops’ pain.)

The X-Men have found a mutant-mimicking triploid, (a human with an artificial third strand of DNA). Examination of a Ghost Box helps them determine that the triploid was killed by a mutant from a parallel dimension, suggesting there’s an annihilation war to which Earth is not privy – yet. Traveling to Tian, a hidden five-mile garden of Eden in China, the X-Men run into an old friend. Or enemy. Or frenemy. It’s not always easy to keep X-Men allegiances straight.

Whereas Whedon’s run relied on humorous dialogue and almost constant surprises, Ellis settles for a straight-ahead detective story that jabbers with enough jargon to stump the good folks at the Human Genome Project. More successful are Simone Bianchi’s unconventional panels and stunning artwork.



One thought on “Ellis-ium : Warren Ellis – “Astonishing X-Men” (25-30)

  1. Pingback: It’s a Strange World, Let’s Keep it That Way : Warren Ellis, John Cassaday – “Planetary” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

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