Cyclops’ recovery from his epic battle with a Sentinel and Wolverine is going well physically. Mentally? Not so much. Things are possibly soothed with the arrival of Storm… until she lashes out at him with her weather control powers! Cyclops pushes himself, utilizing his powerful optic beams in new, innovative ways. Their sparring session succeeds in snapping Scott out of his funk and the pair race into action against more Sentinels. (Am I the only one getting sick of these things?) The two X-Leaders dispatch their targets pretty efficiently. And then Storm kisses him! Scott quickly figures out that this Ororo is an imposter and it is revealed that Scott and Emma have been taken prisoner and this was just a virtual reality simulation. They aren’t the only ones captured either. It appears they are among a gathering of mutants from parallel dimensions. One character’s inclusion is both startling and also answers the question of how they were going to bring a particular dead character back.
I think I’m Team Wolverine. I just don’t agree with Cyclops’ new hardline. I am impressed however that, at least for the time being, the creative teams behind these books appear to truly be moving forward in two different directions.
I loved seeing Cyclops and Storm, the X-Men’s two most famous leaders fighting side-by-side. (Even though, I guess it wasn’t really Storm… at least not “our” Storm.) This served as something of a teaser for the upcoming storyline, but as a “bridge” it was a worthwhile read. Scott really did need to have a bit of a meltdown in order to pick himself back up and Storm was a better choice to be the catalyst than Emma, because she’s known him far longer.
The art by Mike McKone is solid and clean. He gives Storm in particular a regal sense of grace, befitting her character. The action sequences are very nicely rendered! I am a fan of his style! And Rachelle Rosenberg’s coloring is very lovely!
The writing however seems mediocre. The dialogue is okay, but the plot dragged a bit. The cover spoiled one of the stories’ biggest twists. As soon as Storm shows up, I was wondering what was really going on. This issue was mostly set-up, though, so maybe the actual upcoming story will turn out okay, but unfortunately, this prelude wasn’t particularly gripping. I’m not DYING to find out what comes next, which is the reaction I should have had and what a proper preview would have left me feeling.
It read very briskly and not a lot happened in it. Even so, it wasn’t terrible or anything… just disappointingly mediocre. This is a big name title, coming out of a huge reboot. They needed to hit the ground running a bit more than this.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #44
Written by Greg Pak
Art and Cover by Mike McKone and Rachelle Rosenberg