book review: ghost box

Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi make a hell of an X-Men comic in Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box. At this point in the Marvel universe, Cyclops and Emma Frost are an item and the remaining X-Men have moved to San Francisco where they consult with the police. I like dipping into continuity every once in a while to see what the “current” state of affairs is. (Evidently Nightcrawler’s dead! Nooo!)

This state of things is pretty awesome. This is a very Science Fictional story with beautiful, sort of arcane looking art. There’s lots of good banter (not Whedonesque, but the casual viciousness that comes out of Warren Ellis’ brain) and there’s actual discussion of the impact of all the violence they undertake. Ororo (Storm) doesn’t want to kill anyone and hates that she’s in a position of power that she’d have to. Some people do well with that kind of adult power. Some wish they could remember being young. It’s a good story about multiverse hopping, too. And freaky sex between Beast and his girlfriend ends up saving the day. (Beast is awesome.)

At the end of the collection is an issue called Ghost Boxes which explores some alternate versions of this story that didn’t turn out so well. I loved the fuck out of that. An examination of what happens if the pyro burns Cyclops instead of Wolverine. Of what if they just failed? So good. I would love to see more of that kind of stuff in comics.

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