Wondering What We Gained With Astonishing X-Men #17

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Reavers, with their new Sentinel rigs, have killed the Astonishing X-Men– or so they think, at least. Dazzler created light holograms of the team to fool the Reavers into thinking they had won so they would leave. After this experience, Havok is ready to call it quits on the team. However, our heroes learn that the Reavers have moved on to attack the Xavier Institute, so Havok, Colossus, Dazzler, Warpath, Banshee, and Beast ride out to save the X-Men from this threat.

Astonishing X-Men #17 cover by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Frank D'Armata
Astonishing X-Men #17 cover by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Frank D’Armata

Astonishing X-Men  #17 closes out this run on the series, and I find myself wondering to make of this particular conclusion.
Charles Soule launched this iteration on the Astonishing X-Men title with a different team fighting against the Shadow King and Proteus. It was flawed, but it was an enjoyable title for much of its run.
Matthew Rosenberg took over after Soule’s run, and he brought about the current team and story. I love this lineup, but there is an overwhelming sense of cynicism and accompanied by this version of Havok seeming more like Spider-Man or Iceman than the Alex Summers we know and love.
This finale attempts to double back on that cynical tone by make a reason for it more or less, but it just doesn’t quite work. We are given a reason Alex is behaving in this manner as well as an attempt to on his part to make up for some of his recent actions.
Unfortunately, it all feels a little hollow and token.
Astonishing X-Men #17 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D'Armata, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Astonishing X-Men #17 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

I deeply dislike Greg Land’s style, but I’m not looking to drag an artist or their aesthetic. I will say that faces often do not convey the emotion or tone of action and dialogue, and female characters tend to be especially wiry in his comics. Those issues are present in this comic, and, consequently, I’m not a fan of how Astonishing X-Men #17 looks. That said, Jay Leisten’s inking is good, and Frank D’Armata’s color art is vibrant.
Astonishing X-Men #17 is a mediocre ending to this branch of the X-Men Universe. The lovable cast of characters don’t give the reader much personality to grab onto, the story wasn’t all that interesting, and the artwork just doesn’t do it for me. I can recommend it only to those who were attached to Astonishing X-Men after Rosenberg and Land took over–that is to say, if you liked the recent issues, you’ll like this one too. Beyond that, there’s no reason to pick this one up.
Astonishing X-Men #17 comes to us from writer Matthew Rosenberg, artist Greg Land, inker Jay Leisten, color artist Frank D’Armata, letterere VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Greg Land with Jay Leisten and Frank D’Armata, and variant cover artist Alex Ross.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: