Review: Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis # 3

Published on September 28th, 2010

If you’re a fan of the X-Men but vampires make you fall asleep and you think that the art in Uncanny is inexcusably bad then “Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis” may just be your cup of tea.


Written by Warren Ellis with art by Kaare Andrews, “Xenogenesis” is a five part miniseries about the X-Men tracking down an outbreak of supposed mutant births in a war torn part of Africa.  The team consists of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine (duh), Beast, Storm and Armor.

I really love this mini.  It gets the X-Men out of the current funk that I feel they’re in since Second Coming ended.  I can’t even put my finger on what I feel the other X books are lacking, other than just being slow and dull.  “Xenogenesis,” on the other hand, is a very tight and interesting story that incorporates African politics and warlords into the equation.

Issue three reveals that what were thought to be newborn mutants in Africa aren’t actually mutants, but are mutated in the womb as a result of an outside radiation source.  The warlord leader who the X-Men encountered in issues one and two is actually a former MI:13 agent who dealt with babies such as these in England that were they result of a type of space warp that occurred called a Jasper’s Warp created by a mutant named James Jaspers.  They called these babies “warpies” and ended up killing most of them who didn’t kill themselves because their powers were too unstable.  Beast believes that this outbreak of warpies isn’t from a Jasper’s Warp but a Ghost Box.

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about Kaare Andrews’ art in this book but I absolutely love it.  It’s a very different style for sure but it’s a very different story than we’re used to seeing in X-Men.  I may be a bit biased though since I’m a fan of Andrews’.  Go back and read “Spider-Man: Reign” if you get a chance.  That’s some really good Andrews’ work too.  Even if you don’t like this art, it’s still better than the absolute crap we’re dealing with in “Uncanny X-Men.”  For a look into how bad it is, check out Ken’s review of “Uncanny X-Men #528.”

One of my absolute favorite aspects of this book is Beast.  Andrews doesn’t draw Beast as a giant cat, but instead brings back the classic blue ape/man Beast that I grew up with.  It’s such a relief to see Beast in this state again, especially with all five fingers intact.  I never understood kitty cat Beast, or why he only had four fingers.  Thanks a lot Grant Morrison, yet another reason I hate you.

Overall, delays aside, “Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis” is a really great X-Men book with great talent and a great team lineup.  I’m just sad that it’s only a mini.  Screw “The Five Lights,” keep “Xenogenesis” going!