Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013
by Paul in x-axis
So, farewell then, Astonishing X-Men. You will be back next month with a shiny new adjective.
It’s hard to believe now, but when it was launched in 2004, Astonishing X-Men was the main book of the line. Now it’s the runt of the litter that doesn’t get invited to the crossover, as if all the other books were whispering to one another to for christ’s sake not mention the party in front of Astonishing, because it’d be really awkward. The book was created as a vehicle for Joss Whedon, and while it proved to be something of an absentee flagship, it was a flagship nonetheless. Its regular absence from the shipping schedule didn’t deprive it of that status, so much as leave the line floundering for direction without it.
After Whedon left, the book was rebranded as a place where writers could do their own thing without worrying about the broader X-Men continuity, which isn’t really a premise, but at least allowed it to be defined by the style of the creative team of the day. Whatever you may think of the creators assigned, though, few could deny that the star power has eroded rather drastically over the years, much as occurred with the Ultimate line. For the last while we’ve had Marjorie Liu and Gabriel Hernandez Walta – hardly industry stars, though they were certainly allowed to bring their own voice to the book.