Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Astonishing X-Men Ghost Boxes #1 0f 2

By Patrick Bérubé
November 1, 2008 - 04:35

 This first part of a two parts mini-series present us two tales of alternate universes. In the monthly Astonishing X-Men title, the X-Men found a ghost box capable of opening gateways into parallel universes which explain how the stories told here are not just ''what if'' kind of story but part of a larger scheme. The first tale is about agent X-13, an agent from a parallel earth sent to ours to perform a mission. This agent appeared in the regular title and apparently died. In this tale, which probably takes place in the past, he is alive and being debriefed about a mission similar to the one he tried to perform in our universe. So similar in fact that I believed it the was the same for a while until the events unfolded differently. The only purpose of this story I guess was to show us what would have happened if he had succeeded here instead of being stopped by the X-Men. The second tale is also about agent X-13 but this time in a steampunk pre-digital parallel Earth where the X-Men are called the X- Society. The event depicted begin exactly like in Astonishing X-Men #25 but end up in a very different way. The rest of the comic book is filled with Ellis' scenarios for both stories

First I have to say that this mini-series does not read like a mini-series at all. What's the point of putting two almost stand alone stories, two scenarios and a sketch together and call it part one of two? What will appear in #2? These two tales are not that bad taken alone but they seriously feel like filler material that did not fit in the regular series and that were quickly put together for the sake of publishing something. I also have to add that creating parallel universes with similar versions of your heroes is not terribly an original thing to do considering that Marvel Comics' Distinguished Competitor have used (and over-used...) this formula since forever.

For the art, I have mixed feeling. The first tale is by Alan Davis. I have to admit I was never really a fan of his art but even then I could find qualities to his work. It is not the case here. His line is not as clear as it usually is and everything feel rushed. Even Mark Farmer's ink is not what I would expect from such an experienced inker. For a team that has been working together since the early 1990's, the result is pretty disappointing. The second tale is quite different and visually better. Adi Granow depicts a very beautiful and realistic Victorian era injected with steampunk technologies. His character depiction is quite interesting especially a certain former white queen... His art is probably the only redeeming quality of this issue.

Bottom line, do not buy this comic book unless you really, really want to know every ramification to the current storyline in Astonishing X-Men. It contain mostly filler materials and it looks like if everything was rushed out in order to publish something at all cost. And I have to admit that I feel someone is robbing me when he asks me 3.99$ for 16 pages of questionable stories and twelve pages of Ellis' scenarios and notes I don't care about.

I have not felt this disappointed in a long time so I will rate this comic book 5 out 10.

Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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