Review: Astonishing X-Men #35

Published on August 30th, 2010

It’s only been six years, but Astonishing X-Men has made it to 35 issues. Overall I have been a fan of this series, mostly because it finally made Cyclops a cool character. The drawback of this series is that is so far between issues by the time you get a new one you forgot what happened. Issue 35 is the end of the storyline eXogenetic which I found to be a whole lot better than the previous and super confusing storyline Ghost Box.

astonishingx-men35After saving Abigail Brand from crashing a spaceship and then fighting off a Sentinel made from the genetics of one of Emma Frost’s deceased students the X-Men head out for some payback against the guy responsible, a geneticist known only as Kaga. They fly their jet through his crazy monster maze and crash, Cyclops blasts an exit through the front of the jet and the mutant heroes fight off the incoming soldiers. Frost finds out where Kaga is and Armor performs a fastball special with Wolverine (it doesn’t work out as well and Storm has to give Logan a boost to get to his target). Wolverine finally confronts our mystery villain and finds what can only be described as Mutant Evolution gone wrong. Kaga looks more like a burn victim with extra fingers than your run of the mill mutant. Kaga then goes into a rant about how miserable his life has been as a mutant, and his motivations for trying to destroy the X-Men and Mutant-Kind is simple jealousy. While the X-Men have spent their lives as heroes Kaga has spent his life using his super intellect just to stay alive, and when he first found out about the X-Men he was outraged by how perfect they were yet they still called themselves outcasts.

After listening to his tirade Cyclops comes up with the perfect punishment. Instead of killing him Cyclops vows to make sure Kaga gets the best medical care possible to ensure that he lives as long as possible with his miserable condition. At this point it is obvious that this whole plan was Kaga’s endgame and he’s got something going that will kill him and the X-Men. Frost tries to figure it out, but her telepathy can’t get through his defenses. Armor comes up tih the idea to make sure he lives by using her force-field to make sure that she and Kaga will survive any plan he has and no matter what he will live. He gives it some thought and then deactivates his doomsday device. Wolverine takes the opportunity to punch the old man in the face and once again the X-Men have defeated evil.

All and all I was pretty disappointed with the ending to this storyline. It started out really good, here was a villain that was using Beast’s own research to kill the X-Men in a pretty brutal fashion. When they went to confront this unknown character I was expecting an epic battle with a villain that could rival Magneto, instead we just get a bunch of whining. And when he tries to blow up his evil base and kill everyone he just gives up to logic. The guy dedicated his whole life to killing the X-Men and even though he would have been stuck in a prison cell for the rest of his life he could have at least taken out the leaders of the X-Men. I didn’t see any real motivation for him to call off his last act of vengeance, which they don’t even tell you what it is. I think after all the delays with this book they rushed this last issue. On the upside I really enjoyed the art I think this is the most threatening Wolverine has looked outside of his solo books in a long time. There’s a few entertaining scenes too with some good humor, but the biggest flaw in this is the lack of any real action. If you’ve been reading the storyline you might as well get this last issue, but at this point I don’t really care if they keep up with this X-Men title when there are at a minimum three other ongoing series.

Ken Zeider