Astonishing X-Men Act 1: Life of X Reaction

Or How Marvel Secretly Brought Professor X Back to Life…!!SPOILER ALERT!!

Okay, let me say what a great way to bring a character back to life and in doing so getting rid of my least favorite X-universe character, created by Grant Morrison, Fantomex. He first appeared in New X-Men #128 published August 2002. In my mind, he has been pretty much been a throwaway rogue character. He is a little too much Gambit and not quite enough Wolverine to keep me interested. However because he is a Human, Mutant/Sentinel hybrid that should have drawn me in, but then you add some Weapon (yawn) Plus program that created him and I just couldn’t engage myself. He was a formidable bad guy in the last X-Force book which allowed Hope Summers powers to shine. I think a lot more people like him but the fact is I struggle with morally ambiguous characters. Therefore Fantomex is not my favorite character.

Astonishing X-Men series Volume 4, if you are not reading it I recommend go and buy the series and begin reading it before you continue with this reaction to the series. Charles Soule and various artist have woven what seemed to finally be a true tribute story to the late great Charles Xavier. I have thought since his death that Marvel has played fast and loose with his power with the Red Skull stealing his brain and using Xavier’s powers. The story arc existed before and after Secret Wars and was even something Hydra Cap wanted to capitalize on during Secret Empire. While that story was the underlying theme in Uncanny Avengers it was still rather disgusting to me. I was happy when they finally wrapped it up. So, that was the end, or was it? Not according to the new Astonishing X-Men storyline.

I must say I was not expecting the outcome of issue 6 wrapping up with the return of Xavier to the Marvel Universe. Certainly not the way he did it and with little or no fanfare. Don’t get me wrong I am, pleased. Here are the major plot points according to Marvel synopsis:

“An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-Men discovers the truth behind the threat, but is there any time left for Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue, and Gambit? In an action-packed X-epic, they must head to the astral plane in pursuit of…the Shadow King! But in this brain-bending mindscape, not everything is as it seems, and reality is a relative concept. Will this impromptu squad of X-Men be able to contain the chaos from spilling out into the world?”

My favorite part of this story is the revelation of how Xavier sets up his comeback by discussing Fantomex’s role in his return and how he can be a good guy and no longer morally unfocused. And finally the big reveal, which caught me by surprise, Fantomex is now Charles Xavier and I could not be more thrilled. Xavier’s previous attempted returns to the X-universe by writers always seemed like missteps and did not please many readers. And now with Wolverine’s return and Jean’s emanate return I think we are seeing something that will help Marvel’s popularity and improve readership in general.

Ever the Fan Boy,

Travis