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Astonishing X-Men, Volume 6: Exogenetic

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Abigail Brand, director of S.W.O.R.D., has been in some sticky situations, and she isn't the type who asks for help to get out of them. But when you're careening toward Earth in the cockpit of a damaged spaceship after being attacked on an exploding asteroid 7.5 million miles from Earth....it's time to call the X-Men. They might not have much of a plan, or much of a chance Abigail Brand, director of S.W.O.R.D., has been in some sticky situations, and she isn't the type who asks for help to get out of them. But when you're careening toward Earth in the cockpit of a damaged spaceship after being attacked on an exploding asteroid 7.5 million miles from Earth....it's time to call the X-Men. They might not have much of a plan, or much of a chance, but that's certainly never stopped them before. Watch as the X-Men go up against all-new versions of some of their worst foes: genetically manipulated Brood missiles, meat Sentinels and an island monster modeled after Krakoa. Superstar artist Phil Jimenez joins writer Warren Ellis for the second installment of this mind-bending series! Collecting: Astonishing X-Men 31-35


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Abigail Brand, director of S.W.O.R.D., has been in some sticky situations, and she isn't the type who asks for help to get out of them. But when you're careening toward Earth in the cockpit of a damaged spaceship after being attacked on an exploding asteroid 7.5 million miles from Earth....it's time to call the X-Men. They might not have much of a plan, or much of a chance Abigail Brand, director of S.W.O.R.D., has been in some sticky situations, and she isn't the type who asks for help to get out of them. But when you're careening toward Earth in the cockpit of a damaged spaceship after being attacked on an exploding asteroid 7.5 million miles from Earth....it's time to call the X-Men. They might not have much of a plan, or much of a chance, but that's certainly never stopped them before. Watch as the X-Men go up against all-new versions of some of their worst foes: genetically manipulated Brood missiles, meat Sentinels and an island monster modeled after Krakoa. Superstar artist Phil Jimenez joins writer Warren Ellis for the second installment of this mind-bending series! Collecting: Astonishing X-Men 31-35

30 review for Astonishing X-Men, Volume 6: Exogenetic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher (Donut)

    Having just finished some of the most over-scripted comics of all time (Stan Lee's S.H.I.E.L.D), I appreciate this wish not to over-script, but this seems to me to swing too far the other way: The art is stunning, but it is not as self-explanatory as (dare I say "lazy"? How about "otiose"?) Warren Ellis seems to think. Despite some cool concepts (bio-sentinels), and funny dialogue, the whole thing seemed half-executed (x-ecuted?). This is slightly cringe-y: Having just finished some of the most over-scripted comics of all time (Stan Lee's S.H.I.E.L.D), I appreciate this wish not to over-script, but this seems to me to swing too far the other way: The art is stunning, but it is not as self-explanatory as (dare I say "lazy"? How about "otiose"?) Warren Ellis seems to think. Despite some cool concepts (bio-sentinels), and funny dialogue, the whole thing seemed half-executed (x-ecuted?). This is slightly cringe-y:

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    Phil Jimenez says in the afterword that he first started reading the X-Men back in the early 80s, during the first appearance of the Brood, which coincidentally is when I began reading the series as well. So like Jimenez, I was a little pumped to see one of my favorite baddies returning. We even got to hear Wolverine calling them "Sleazoids" for old times' sake. That and the dialog and a few good moments rate this X-Men installment 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it more than some of the other X-volumes I'v Phil Jimenez says in the afterword that he first started reading the X-Men back in the early 80s, during the first appearance of the Brood, which coincidentally is when I began reading the series as well. So like Jimenez, I was a little pumped to see one of my favorite baddies returning. We even got to hear Wolverine calling them "Sleazoids" for old times' sake. That and the dialog and a few good moments rate this X-Men installment 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it more than some of the other X-volumes I've read recently, but it didn't raise the level of excellence, let alone greatness. I liked the idea behind the Big Bad: Kaga, a mutant who's a "real" mutant - i.e., deformed and ugly with no superpowers, not one of the sexy, flying, spandex-wearing kind. And it really, really pisses him off. "What were you expecting? A master plan? A scheme to turn off the sun? This is the real world. Hatred and disgust are good enough reasons to want to kill people." That said, I can no longer turn off my suspension of disbelief enough, even for a comic book, and even when Cyclops hangs a lampshade on it, to ignore the fact that both the X-Men and their enemies routinely spend half the GNP of Japan on their toys. Where does all this money come from? Wolverine is kind of petulant in this volume, and Armor is a character I'm not really familiar with. Emma Frost has always annoyed me, hero or villain. But the banter between Cyclops and the Beast was pretty good. Storm was just kind of there, and there were two other female characters who I don't recognize at all. Jimenez's art is not bad, but I wasn't really impressed by it either. Worth reading for X-fans, a bit above average for the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Selkie ✦ Queen

    You would think that the insanity would have calm down just a bit after the clusterfuckity that was Joss Whedon's first run for The Astonishing X-Men. But you're reading an X-Men title so your plucky optimism will only be surely crushed if you ever expected any different. Sure, Warren Ellis' two story arcs so far within ten issues haven't been as crazy and experimental compared to all of Whedon's four arcs, but it doesn't mean things have improved. In fact, the last time we left our heroes, cert You would think that the insanity would have calm down just a bit after the clusterfuckity that was Joss Whedon's first run for The Astonishing X-Men. But you're reading an X-Men title so your plucky optimism will only be surely crushed if you ever expected any different. Sure, Warren Ellis' two story arcs so far within ten issues haven't been as crazy and experimental compared to all of Whedon's four arcs, but it doesn't mean things have improved. In fact, the last time we left our heroes, certain events still remain to conspire against them, and this time their survival as a species is at stake, all thanks to Scarlet Witch's irreversible decimation where the mutant X gene had been wiped out, causing a tectonic shift in power. Now with only two hundred or less mutants globally, the X-Men are in a tight place. After recently discovering a mutant baby born in the aftermath of M-day and sending her somewhere dimensions far away under the care of Cable, Scott Summers' estranged son, the X-Men have been occupying themselves in making sure no more mutants will die, but that has to be the most difficult thing to do given the never-ending amount of enemies showing up left and right, trying to take advantage of the whittled down number of surviving mutants. In the last arc Ghost Box, self-proclaimed mutant engineer Forge tried to create his own mutants by placing a modified X-gene in a different chromosome strand akin to those mutants who belong in alternate worlds. Mentally unstable, he justified this radical move on his part as a necessary evil but the X-Men fortunately was able to put a stop to all of it by allowing S.W.O.R.D leader Agent Abigail Brand (Beast's current squeeze) to step up and obliterate said alternate worlds via explosion through a ghost box which connects dimensions together. It was an enjoyable story especially with the pleasant addition of Ororo Munroe who was recently married and now queen of the rising African nation Wakanda. Because of M-day, she felt that her old friends needed her to fight by their side once more, and her timing couldn't have been more right. However, there seems to be a tension between her and Scott concerning how to run the team and his methods in containing situations during battles. Their difference in philosophies was pronounced by the previous arc and I got the feeling that Ellis might explore this some more in their other upcoming missions. Scott Summers has been changing--evolving into someone who more often than not has to cross certain lines his old self back in the more idyllic days of his team-leading never would have taken. As we will later witness in other titles and during the course of other decimation stories, this change in his leadership will only continue to grow and in turn will create a chasm between him and his colleagues/friends. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's discuss Elli's second arc, Exogenetic covered by issues #31-35. Much like Ghost Box some asshole is taking advantage of M-day and specifically targeting the X-Men. His nefarious plan is much more twisted than Forge's was, however. Apparently, he's been reanimating dead mutants and combining their DNA with certain machines which is as disgusting as it sounds. This unholy union of genetics and confounding vendetta has produced really nightmarish killing machines such as a flesh-made Sentinel, and a horde of rabid Broods. But the most appalling thing about it was how this unseen enemy was able to get access to such a horrid necromancy idea in the first place; and that is no other than the helpful information provided by Hank McCoy's research. As a scientist, he had been working on different scenarios to ensure the safety of their mutantkind and that meant thinking outside the figurative box of conventional methods so, yes, he had written down the possibility of harvesting recently deceased mutants in hopes of possibly activating the X-gene...or some shit. Frankly, I was definitely as horrified by the fact that he considered much like everyone else. But not like Scott though because Scott is more than horrified; he is absolutely livid and is getting ready to kick his old friend's ass. >They have a lovely verbal sparring where all their issues towards one another are finally discussed out in the open and in the presence of other parties. It's a really great way to clear the air. I loved the conversation because it was brutally honest and considering how Scott and Hank are now for the MARVEL NOW! continuity, it's great to see them speak up their minds and not worry about offending each other. There remains trust and friendship between these two and it's a remarkable relationship that was unfortunately snuffed out after the Avengers vs. X-Men debacle (you know, where Scott was possessed by the Phoenix force and ended up murdering Professor X). >Hank raised valid points concerning Scott, psychoanalyzing him in a way that Emma had before during the TORN arc. Meanwhile, Abigail Brand has been developing as a rather likable character for me even if Scott disagrees because they never seem to ever get along (for now). I think that the only reason why they don't get along is the simple fact that they actually have the same methods of operating and leading their teams--and are therefore very judgmental of one another because they see their flaws reflected back at them through each other. I wonder if they were even aware of this paradox concerning their interactions but perhaps Ellis will touch upon in the next arc. So Agent Brand has known about this asshole targeting the X-Men for quite some time and was trying to contain the situation all by her lonesome before the X-Men get mixed up on it because, well, I think she is beginning to deeply care about the mutants. As brash, mercurial and stubborn as the woman is, Brand always upholds her duty and takes her job seriously but now that she's in love with Hank and is always hanging around the X-Men, her emotional investment is growing. She's now experiencing sentiment which Hank has pointed out back in Whedon's run is something that she lacked. It's pleasantly surprising to see that this has changed and now she's putting herself at risk to defend the X-Men from any unseen forces trying to tear them down. Scott will continue not to like her and distrust her, however, which I think Brand would rather have because they both keep each other honest and this actually works well for their strained and begrudging alliance. Anyway, the unseen enemy here is a man named Kaga who was a villain I did not expect to feel so much sympathy for when his motivation for attacking the X-Men was finally revealed. It turns out that his mother was a survivor of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki US bombings and her mother's exposure to radiation has malformed in during pregnancy. He is the original "child of the atom" and this has made him physically disfigured, shunned and unloved by the majority. He has no superpowers whatsoever and his intelligence came from his dedication and hard work to rise above his afflictions. Finding out that there is a group of mutants who fight for equality rights such as the X-Men has gotten him so excited because he thought he will finally have a place to belong to and a new family to accept him. But seeing what the X-Men are and what they can do made him feel betrayed and cheated on because he argued a valid observation concerning the privilege that mutants have even if they are considered outcasts by humans. Kaga claimed that they at least have their powers and are aesthetically attractive as a unit, and that they will never know how real alienation, savagery and deprivation truly feel like, not like he has. That's why he felt the need to punish them. He was merely lashing out because he has been hurt all his life and it's time to hurt back even if most of his torment and the target of his vengeance are only imagined slights. Still, I can't help but feel very sorry for him: Kaga's story is a great cautionary tale against revenge and also an introspective story about self-loathing and self-acceptance. It's great for writer Warren Ellis to raise these issues in his arc and for creating a supposed villain who is only acting out due to the anguish, jealousy and grief over the unfairness of his life, humanizing him as someone who doesn't know how to be compassionate and kind because he has not known anything remotely close to those qualities. The X-Men also realized that even though they represent a marginalized sector of society, their outsider status can still be considered a privilege next to someone like Kaga. Unfortunately, Ellis didn't commit to the message and the story awkwardly ends with an out-of-place humorous exchange about Wolverine after he knocked out Kaga because he mistakenly thought Kaga was still going to attack them when it was obvious he was finally surrendering. I was upset that Ellis pulled back the punches and instead left me cold and disappointed. He could have had something emotionally powerful and meaningful here by making the X-Men consider other people outside their mutant community who look up to them and what their fight for equality symbolized. But instead, he chickened out in the last minute and just turn a redeemable villain like Kaga into a prisoner, some burden that Scott was only going to take care of not because he felt pity towards the guy but because he wanted to spite him. What a douche move, slim. Ororo should have said something because she seemed to be the only one who sympathized, given her facial expression in that one panel. Emma was expectedly cold-hearted; Hisako was too young to comprehend the poignancy and moral quandary she is witnessing; and Wolverine was UNCHARACTERISTICALLY BRUTISH. When he punched Kaga, that really shocked me. Sure, Logan can be a bit macho but we all know that underneath that is a man who had fought enough wars and experienced enough bloodshed to understand that Kaga is someone to heal, not someone to assault like that! I'm just very disappointed by how everyone acted here. It's times like this that we need Kitty Pryde more than ever; someone who is humane and empathic. But Kitty is gone, so who will step up to that plate and fill her role? For such an insensitive conclusion, I'm deducting one star and making this arc a seven our of ten. RECOMMENDED: 7/10 DO READ MY REVIEWS AT:

  4. 4 out of 5

    47Time

    Thank God, the artwork looks amazingly visceral. And the story ends with humor. It's totally worth it, even just to see how some people are viewed by the physically challenged. Political correctness be damned. On their return from saving Abigail Brand, the director of SHIELD, the X-Men are attacked by an organic, shapeshifting sentinel that looks completely badass(view spoiler)[ and is in fact a resurrected mutant. A scientist named Kaga is bringing them back from the dead using data stolen from Thank God, the artwork looks amazingly visceral. And the story ends with humor. It's totally worth it, even just to see how some people are viewed by the physically challenged. Political correctness be damned. On their return from saving Abigail Brand, the director of SHIELD, the X-Men are attacked by an organic, shapeshifting sentinel that looks completely badass(view spoiler)[ and is in fact a resurrected mutant. A scientist named Kaga is bringing them back from the dead using data stolen from Beast. After defeating the mutant guards, they follow a ship back to Kaga's facility and take him into custody. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Another fantastically enjoyable, big scienc-y romp through x-land with my favourite madman of comics, Warren Ellis. Tres cool start - all action - and very weird storyline to twist it all together. I'm thrilled that Jiminez was tapped to follow Bianchi - both talented artists, but this big, bold art style totally suits Ellis' writing. I don't know if there's any follow-ups to this stuff, but I say keep these guys on it as long as you possibly can.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I really enjoyed this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Meservier

    I have to wonder if I was the only one that found Ghost Box to be overcomplicated and confusing, as Warren Ellis's next installment in Astonishing X-men is a lot simpler and action focused. As a result, while the comic falls very short of the high standards set up by Joss Whedon, it's actually a fairly entertaining read. The storyline here is focused on the Brood, and while I would have preferred to see some of the ideas developed a bit more, it does have its moments. The book's big selling poin I have to wonder if I was the only one that found Ghost Box to be overcomplicated and confusing, as Warren Ellis's next installment in Astonishing X-men is a lot simpler and action focused. As a result, while the comic falls very short of the high standards set up by Joss Whedon, it's actually a fairly entertaining read. The storyline here is focused on the Brood, and while I would have preferred to see some of the ideas developed a bit more, it does have its moments. The book's big selling point would have to be it's break neck pace and focus on action. And while I wouldn't call Phil Jimenez's artwork perfect, it's certainly better suited to fight scenes (and my personal taste) then Ghost Box's Simon Bianchi. Not a lot of time is spent on character moments, but there are a few good bits, including a tense confrontation between Beast and Cyclops. Much like Storm noticed in Ghost Box, Beast can see that Cyclops is changing, and not necessarily for the better. I also enjoyed the banter between Armor (who's really growing on me as a character) and Wolverine. Disappointingly, Exogenetic features what could be a really cool moment, if Joss Whedon hadn't done a really similar scene involving Wolverine and Cyclops during his run. The characters are in costume for almost the entirety of Exogenetic, so we don't have to worry about the embarrassingly dated civvies that were featured in Ghost Box. Speaking of embarrassingly dated, what's going on with Emma Frost's Charlie's Angels hair? Storm's costume continues to be completely ridiculous, which is a disappointment given how stylish she's been looking in the current run of X-men. Exogenetic may not be perfect, but it's quite a step up from Ghost Box. I wouldn't pay full price for it, but it's certainly worth getting from your local library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Great story, and I loved the art! The snarky barbs being traded between the characters really made the writing stand out. Can't wait to read Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis! Great story, and I loved the art! The snarky barbs being traded between the characters really made the writing stand out. Can't wait to read Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Man, my expectations on this were super low based on the Goodreads reviews, plus I've never particularly liked Jimenez's art -- he always seems to get hired as the go-to guy to fill in for artists I really like, so I'm a little prejudiced whenever he shows up in the masthead. But I flipped through this trade several times, really digging on the new look for Armor ("ooooh!" says Nerd-Keith: "She's RED now that's so cool omg omg") and in general thinking "Hell, for Jimenez this isn't half bad." I' Man, my expectations on this were super low based on the Goodreads reviews, plus I've never particularly liked Jimenez's art -- he always seems to get hired as the go-to guy to fill in for artists I really like, so I'm a little prejudiced whenever he shows up in the masthead. But I flipped through this trade several times, really digging on the new look for Armor ("ooooh!" says Nerd-Keith: "She's RED now that's so cool omg omg") and in general thinking "Hell, for Jimenez this isn't half bad." I'd also really enjoyed Ellis' previous X-book (Ghost Box), despite, again, a lot of fellows nerds saying that he really just doesn't write very well on work-for-hire books. In fact, if this series is any indication I think Ellis is one of those writers who writes BETTER when he's not as passionate about the material. He's more critical of the needs of the narrative, packs in more story, and generally tries to make a superhero book that he would enjoy reading -- as opposed to a lot of the navel-gazing, digression, personal diatribes and general disregard for the audience that haunt his otherwise-awesome creator-owned work (Transmetropolitan, I'm looking at you. You know I got nothing but mad love, but let's be real; there's at least 5 issues of straight BS in your beautiful pages.) By comparison, Jimenez is doing his best work here because -- um, duh -- X-Men are like totally his favorite characters ever, dude. He actually has an extensive interview reprinted in the backmatter, and it sort of makes you misty how much he loved drawing this particular story. And you know, based on my own paltry body of work in indie comics, I think it's true, for whatever reason -- writers (me) write best when they're working with material that might not be their cup of tea: instead of writing for themselves, they write for the audience, with a more critical perspective of what will work for the end product. Artists (everyone I've worked with) draw better when they're given free reign to go completely nuts on their favorite thing to draw. Artists as id and writers as superego? Shit, I don't know science. In any case, Exogenetic has to be one of the most balls-to-the-wall, all-killer-no-filler superhero comics I've read in a long, long, time. It's hyperviolent, hypersexualized without being exploitative, exciting, funny, whacky, ridiculous, and dark, with a real handle on the complex dualities (no, really) of our fearless heroes -- AND you don't need to be familiar with a bunch of backstory in order to follow along. The pace is so breakneck that when one of the characters stops to explain the 20-year history of X-Men that lead to this issue's particular monster, it's actually a nice breather until the next horrible thing explodes when you turn the page. I'd really go as far as saying that this is a sort of "gonzo" comicbookery that borders on exploitation art, although I don't know if that kind of terminology really works for a genre that never had anything grounded in reality to exploit in the first place. But I have never -- like, never-ever -- gotten so involved in a big action-y blow-em-up in a comic book that it felt like I was watching a bigscreen movie with surround-sound. And that happened here. STOP LAUGHING, YOU KNOW THAT'S RAD. Anyway, awesome. I am literally regressing to my teenage self. Without all the bad poetry and Tool albums though, which is a relief.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    After many shipping delays for the individual issues collected in this book, reading it in one sitting works in the story's favour. It's hard to feel the urgency of a crisis when there are months between chapters. By the time you'd get the next chapter, you had to re-read the previous ones as a refresher. The characterisation and interactions between the cast seem natural and genuine, and the art is good. It's just... without spoiling anything, the X-Men seem to encounter no difficulty resolving After many shipping delays for the individual issues collected in this book, reading it in one sitting works in the story's favour. It's hard to feel the urgency of a crisis when there are months between chapters. By the time you'd get the next chapter, you had to re-read the previous ones as a refresher. The characterisation and interactions between the cast seem natural and genuine, and the art is good. It's just... without spoiling anything, the X-Men seem to encounter no difficulty resolving whatever crisis they're facing. There's no sense of danger. The big baddie turns out not to be so big after all, and the way our heroes deal with "it" is very much anti-climactic. Warren Ellis writes these X-Men well. The action set pieces and the "stunts" are exciting in themselves, but there it ends. Phil Jimenez supplies the art for this story (with Andy Lanning) and I must say that they do a good job. The cinematic angles used and the various designs used for the story are great. My only gripe is that Emma Frost looks like she aged 10-15 years since the last story arc, on top of having a '70s hairstyle, like she's one of Charlie's Angels... What makes this story ultimately pointless is the fact that "Astonishing X-Men" (AXM), as a series, is never too bound by current continuity. In this particular story arc (when it was first published), the X-Men's base was still on the outskirts of San Francisco. They'd had their own island nation for over a year now, and you know they all make it there... So, again, there's no sense of danger. We probably won't see their wacky X-2 rescue jet (complete with scorpion legs!) - or that (really not) frightening baddie - ever again. (Yay!) AXM used to be the flagship X-Title, from which other X-books took their cues. But an irregular shipping schedule, as well as so-so stories, have changed all that. Pity. This title deserves more. 2 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    One Flew

    I don't generally bother with the x-men, not from any active dislike but due to the fact that 90% of the genre are more or less boring superhero soap operas. The only exception is when i have a great regard for the creative team, such as Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly's New X-men run. So the concept of Warren Ellis writing the X-men was a big draw card as well as Jemenez's artwork. I wasn't overly impressed with the first issue or two, thinking that it was going to be 100% action orientated su I don't generally bother with the x-men, not from any active dislike but due to the fact that 90% of the genre are more or less boring superhero soap operas. The only exception is when i have a great regard for the creative team, such as Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly's New X-men run. So the concept of Warren Ellis writing the X-men was a big draw card as well as Jemenez's artwork. I wasn't overly impressed with the first issue or two, thinking that it was going to be 100% action orientated superheroics. As the story went on I started admiring the scale, style and general weirdness of Ellis' vision. The thing that probably impressed me the most though were the likes of the conversation between Beast and Cyclops, which had far more character depth and development than is generally seen in such titles. Also I greatly appreciated the stupid pretence in most superhero comics that it is wrong to kill the villian no matter how evil they may be. All in all a good read, by no means a must have but very enjoyable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Library copy. I liked this more than the Warren Ellis book before and I liked the artwork more too. My only criticism is the colorist still paints with too dark a palette, which is something many complained about when he colored the Captain America book. He's a fine colorist, great really, but his colors are so dark, at least when it comes to print, that it washes out the pencil/ink lines. I probably wouldn't buy this book new, but used, yes, just like I did with the last book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    I hate to think that a writer of Ellis's caliber was ever sat down (or Skyped) by edtorial, and told that his work was not gelling with the title. But it feels like that happened. His previous volume, "Ghost Box", was an ambitious story with a talented artist whose work is more complex than the usual X-artists. But it fell flat. The art made the story visually unappealing, and difficult to follow. The story never delivered on its conceptual promise. This volume has more traditonal art by Jiminez, I hate to think that a writer of Ellis's caliber was ever sat down (or Skyped) by edtorial, and told that his work was not gelling with the title. But it feels like that happened. His previous volume, "Ghost Box", was an ambitious story with a talented artist whose work is more complex than the usual X-artists. But it fell flat. The art made the story visually unappealing, and difficult to follow. The story never delivered on its conceptual promise. This volume has more traditonal art by Jiminez, but it's Top Of The Line Traditional. The concept is fairly basic and easy to follow, but it's not a cliche. The ending is a satisfying conclusion that we don't regularly see in Marvel books. Even in the last volume, Ellis's dialogue takes Whedon's voice and tweaks it a bit. And it works. It may not be boundary-pushing or hilarious, but it gives a continuity with the previous art team.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Monson

    I gave Volume 5 a 1-star rating thought I would have given it a 0 if that were possible. I added a star from volume 6 because the artist is different. Volume 5 has the worst art of any comic that I have ever read. Every character looked ugly and every page was just terrible. The art here is light years better but the story is still horrible. Everything is non-sensicle, the action is weird and often one page doesn't tie in well with the next. It is almost like he wrote an extra 30 pages and rathe I gave Volume 5 a 1-star rating thought I would have given it a 0 if that were possible. I added a star from volume 6 because the artist is different. Volume 5 has the worst art of any comic that I have ever read. Every character looked ugly and every page was just terrible. The art here is light years better but the story is still horrible. Everything is non-sensicle, the action is weird and often one page doesn't tie in well with the next. It is almost like he wrote an extra 30 pages and rather than editing, he randomly removed whole pages. The dialogue is painful and the humor rarely hits. The purposes for what they are doing are basically non-existent.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judah Radd

    This is a fairly by-the-numbers mutant adventure. Badguy tries to kill X-Men. X-Men stop him. Same shit, different day. It was fun, the art was very good, but there was a yawn factor due to the triteness of this well treaded territory. The highlight of this arc collection was the clever Warren Ellis dialogue. It was smart, funny and at times, very poignant. Overall, this is a fine arc, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to not blow your mind. This is nobody’s favorite story, but it’s certainly not a This is a fairly by-the-numbers mutant adventure. Badguy tries to kill X-Men. X-Men stop him. Same shit, different day. It was fun, the art was very good, but there was a yawn factor due to the triteness of this well treaded territory. The highlight of this arc collection was the clever Warren Ellis dialogue. It was smart, funny and at times, very poignant. Overall, this is a fine arc, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to not blow your mind. This is nobody’s favorite story, but it’s certainly not anyone’s least favorite either.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric Mikols

    Talk about an improvement! Most of what I hated about the previous volume is fixed here, with better art (Phil Jimenez, great as always) and no X-Men characters become overnight villains. (Seriously, what was it about this era of X-Men that they had to ruin characters like Forge and Bishop?) We get the Brood, sort of. We get sentinels, sort of. There's action and quips! The ending is anti-climatic but at least I want to keep reading this book now. Talk about hit or miss, Warren Ellis.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    Messy and confused. Definitely not a worthy followup to Joss Whedon's run. However the individual lines the character's actually say are pretty good. The story though is not. And the art doesn't make up for it. X-Men fight stuff and bicker among themselves. Blah blah blah. Armor at least is done pretty well. 2.5 of 5.

  18. 5 out of 5

    C

    I'm still continuing my great x-read of 2017/2018 and I am WAY behind on reviews due to a move and limited down time. I will be updating everything I have read in the meantime with tiny (or nonexistent) reviews so I can catch up again... Ok but not particularly memorable. Ellis again seems content to ignore the other x-books to a point. Not sure how I feel about that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashravan Deshrel

    Once again with Ellis, the idea was cool, but the dialogue and characterizations were abysmal. Childish behaviour, trivialising dialogue and unnecessary sex jokes constantly undermined any serious situation the characters were in, and this was a huge turn-off for me. The art by Phil Jimenez was pretty good though.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    This has it all Brood, zombie mutants, Sentinels and Wolverine hitting a disabled man! With nice characterisations and a less dark broody X-Men, Ellis leaves his mark on the franchise. A solid 7 out of 12. It was always going to be tough following Wheedon, but Ellis did OK.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Adams

    This isn't my favorite X-men book but it was okay. It brought back the Brood and had loads of fighting in it. Kaga, an extremely disgruntled mutant uses information "found" in Henry's files to turn Sentinels into fighting machines. The X-Men battle these giant creatures using all their powers.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jdetrick

    Beautifully illustrated and a typically fun Ellis script.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tarique Ejaz

    "There is someone out there who is using the dead X-Men to target the reduced number of whatever is left of us." The X-Men have been alerted of a new threat and one that is directed at them head on. Using the X-Gene of the deceased mutants to create Biosentinels by sending them in as sleeper agents, this anonymous Mastermind has transcended all limitations of moral harmony to go hard at the mutants with the one aim. To exterminate them, remove them and end them. As if the prevalent hatred wasn't "There is someone out there who is using the dead X-Men to target the reduced number of whatever is left of us." The X-Men have been alerted of a new threat and one that is directed at them head on. Using the X-Gene of the deceased mutants to create Biosentinels by sending them in as sleeper agents, this anonymous Mastermind has transcended all limitations of moral harmony to go hard at the mutants with the one aim. To exterminate them, remove them and end them. As if the prevalent hatred wasn't enough to contend with for the mutants in the present comic chronological setting. Not only that, this particular anonymous had gone so far as to make a genetic transmix or transfusion (whatever you deem appropriate) of monsters of old. Monsters that the X-Men had dealt with in the past but in a more vicious manner, reanimating them - bigger than before. As the search to discover this one mind behind this attack continues, we get to see a side of Cyclops we don't encounter often. A perturbed, exasperated and volatile side. That gives us a taste of what Cyclops is capable of if he is allowed to lose control. "They play a cruel trick by putting a nuke in your head. Eh, Cyke?" As the story proceeds, we uncover a rather staggering fact about Hank McCoy and his supposed role in the attacks being perpetrated against the mutants. It is discovered that all the things they are up against is basically part of Hank's research on getting mutants back. Research that was perverted to be a destructive element rather than a saving one. The research was done by the Beast to remove the effects brought about by the M-Day. It was desperate and it was something he had to do. Unfortunately, it fell in the wrong hands. "You consider yourself outcasts. Look at yourself. You are like action heroes in that costume and...appearance. Unlike the mutants of disgust and abhorrence. Like us." A mutant it was. A mutant mastermind behind this entire attack set. A mutant who had been crippled in the Hiroshima attack. A mutant disfigured for life. A mutant born out of an atom. Hisako shows an increased maturity which only goes ahead to strengthen her stand in the mutant team. Abigail Brand again has an important role to play. An engaging read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, so this isn't all that bad... it's also not that good and I have some huge problems with this story, that stop me from giving it more stars. 1) Everyone is a smart ass. Everyone! No matter how bad the situation or whether there is even someone there to hear you, the characters have to throw out witty one liners constantly. Now, it's not a problem to have a character like this, but this is just too much. Apart from the question whether this is actually in character the even bigger problem is Okay, so this isn't all that bad... it's also not that good and I have some huge problems with this story, that stop me from giving it more stars. 1) Everyone is a smart ass. Everyone! No matter how bad the situation or whether there is even someone there to hear you, the characters have to throw out witty one liners constantly. Now, it's not a problem to have a character like this, but this is just too much. Apart from the question whether this is actually in character the even bigger problem is that it makes me disconnect from the story. Why should I as the reader care about any of this, when the characters don't take any threat to them serious? 2) What's up with building a freaking space station just to kill the X-Men? The question of how anyone can actually afford this kind of technology has always been a problem in superhero comics, but this is ridiculous. There has to be a more cost efficient way to take on mutants than building a station inside an asteroid and filling it with giant monsters. Which brings us to... 3) The villain. What the hell dude? He actually berates Cyclops for expecting some kind of big plan when they catch him... to which I say. Yes! You build a space station inside an asteroid and filled it with giant monsters... yes I expect something better, that just I want to kill a bunch of people. This is apparently the work of decades, yet once our villain gets caught he almost immediately give it all up because.... reasons. Not to mention his motivation: He is a "real" mutant and hates the X-Men because they look like movie stars, while he has no powers and looks like a monster.... Yes that apparently fueled his hate enough to dedicate his life to killing mutants... they were prettier than him... ... I don't even know what to say to that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    I'm glad to see things turned around a bit here compared to volume 5. The darkness that took over Ghost Box is still present to a degree, but the creators acknowledge and begin to move past it. First of all, this book features the return of the Brood! I loved watching the X-Men fight them in the '90s animated series. They get an upgrade here by being genetically modified by the latest person that wants to see the X-Men destroyed. There are also organic Sentinels and an island sized monster. The ar I'm glad to see things turned around a bit here compared to volume 5. The darkness that took over Ghost Box is still present to a degree, but the creators acknowledge and begin to move past it. First of all, this book features the return of the Brood! I loved watching the X-Men fight them in the '90s animated series. They get an upgrade here by being genetically modified by the latest person that wants to see the X-Men destroyed. There are also organic Sentinels and an island sized monster. The art is superb, but I've always enjoyed the work of Phil Jimenez. He takes the style from the previous book and makes it his own. And the creatures are beautiful and horrific at the same time. That alone made this a better book. The story was mediocre though. The team has to rescue Abigail Brand after her spaceship is damaged during a check of an asteroid. This sequence is pretty cool, although once it is done the X-Men just fight monsters and head off to the bad guys secret base. The villain never evoked any real feelings from me, so I think he could have been developed better. Maybe a slower reveal would have worked in his favor. That said, his backstory actually fits really well within the overall arc. Personally, I will likely hold off on the rest of the series for a while because it has mostly lost my interest.

  26. 4 out of 5

    melhara

    ---------------------------------------------- Average rating for the entire series (minus Volume 12): 3.1/5 Check out my reviews for the rest of the series: Volume 1: Gifted | Volume 2: Dangerous | Volume 3: Torn (no review) | Volume 4: Unstoppable (no review) | Volume 5: Ghost Box (no review) | Volume 6: Exogenic (no review) | Volume 7: Monstrous (no review) | Volume 8: Children of the Brood (no review) | Volume 9: Exalted (no review) | Volume 10: Northstar | Volume 11: Weaponized (n ---------------------------------------------- Average rating for the entire series (minus Volume 12): 3.1/5 Check out my reviews for the rest of the series: Volume 1: Gifted | Volume 2: Dangerous | Volume 3: Torn (no review) | Volume 4: Unstoppable (no review) | Volume 5: Ghost Box (no review) | Volume 6: Exogenic (no review) | Volume 7: Monstrous (no review) | Volume 8: Children of the Brood (no review) | Volume 9: Exalted (no review) | Volume 10: Northstar | Volume 11: Weaponized (no review) | Volume 12: Unmasked (TBR)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leila Anani

    An unknown enemy has got hold of Beast's research and is creating mutant hybrids from the cells of dead mutants to attack the X-Men. While this is far from my favourite line up (Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Storm and Hisako... nope I still don't have a clue what use she is lol) I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Its two strengths being great art and a rather good story. When the premise is mutant hybrids from dead cells - I was expecting resurrection of past X-Men but this subverted my expec An unknown enemy has got hold of Beast's research and is creating mutant hybrids from the cells of dead mutants to attack the X-Men. While this is far from my favourite line up (Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Storm and Hisako... nope I still don't have a clue what use she is lol) I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Its two strengths being great art and a rather good story. When the premise is mutant hybrids from dead cells - I was expecting resurrection of past X-Men but this subverted my expectations - instead we get hybrids from classic enemies - The Brood, Krakoa, Sauron, Sentinels - huge thumbs up to the nod and wink to Classic X-Men stories. The dialogue is punchy and I like the interactions between the characters. I also loved the villain and his reason for setting up this elaborate attack which made a nice change from usual plans of world domination or alien invasion. Artwork is great and I thought Storm (although she had very little to do) looked the best I've seen her in ages - The female characters weren't completely over sexualised either - If I have to have Emma Frost it's nice not to have her boobs knocking me out on every page! As X-Men graphics go, this one's solid throughout.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    The Warren Ellis arc continues as the X-Men rescue Agent Brand and she tells them exactly who and what they are facing and why they are only just learning about it now. Very human failings in a very not human situation as Sentinels and the Brood both are out to eliminate everyone. The witty banter between the team members continue but there are also some issues brought up as it is discovered what small, unintentional part Beast played in these horrifying beings seeking their destruction. I loved The Warren Ellis arc continues as the X-Men rescue Agent Brand and she tells them exactly who and what they are facing and why they are only just learning about it now. Very human failings in a very not human situation as Sentinels and the Brood both are out to eliminate everyone. The witty banter between the team members continue but there are also some issues brought up as it is discovered what small, unintentional part Beast played in these horrifying beings seeking their destruction. I loved the space element combined with the X-Men perhaps more than I enjoyed the actual plot. The scene of Cyclops blasting a fight into an end before it even begins, and the beginning with Beast flying up to save Agent Brand, and lots of others where just the sheer size of the enemy in comparison to how small the X-Men team is. The volume grew on me as it went along, which is a great indicator for me to be picking up volume seven.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Warren Ellis often dismisses his work for hire books, but thankfully the work he dismisses usually gives science fiction fans a small taste of science in their fiction. Ellis tosses out ideas about genetic engineering/modification, facts such as the planetoid Cruinthne, and he shows off his love for space stories and Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds whiel indulging his habit of writing snarky dialogue. That is the thing about his work for hire books. ELlis usually avoids the pitfalls of the work he Warren Ellis often dismisses his work for hire books, but thankfully the work he dismisses usually gives science fiction fans a small taste of science in their fiction. Ellis tosses out ideas about genetic engineering/modification, facts such as the planetoid Cruinthne, and he shows off his love for space stories and Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds whiel indulging his habit of writing snarky dialogue. That is the thing about his work for hire books. ELlis usually avoids the pitfalls of the work he is more passionate about such as Transmetropolitan. Instead of every character having snarky dialgoue, numerous references to body parts and fluids a story gets told here. Not a great story, but certainly a very entertaining one. Plus Ellis plays with his friend's creation, Agent Brand, and does the best job of writing that character since Whedon created her.

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.

    Ellis captures the big-screen feel perfectly, with over-the-top plots full of ideas, and this is no exception. There's a lot of good here, and a lot of buts: The hybrid monsters look great (particularly the gut-sentinel), and the action flows at a great pace. BUT the ending is rather sudden and anticlimactic. Similarly, he's got great character moments, and some really funny dialogue, but everything is so busy that there's not much time for real emotion. The art looks really good, but some of th Ellis captures the big-screen feel perfectly, with over-the-top plots full of ideas, and this is no exception. There's a lot of good here, and a lot of buts: The hybrid monsters look great (particularly the gut-sentinel), and the action flows at a great pace. BUT the ending is rather sudden and anticlimactic. Similarly, he's got great character moments, and some really funny dialogue, but everything is so busy that there's not much time for real emotion. The art looks really good, but some of the effects (like blurring) have been so overdone that we can't tell what's going on. Overall, it has some obvious flaws, but it's a really good X-book. Frankly, with one more issue of debriefing and some emotion, it could have been really excellent.

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