Astonishing X-Men #26 (***1/2)
This is the second issue of Warren Ellis and SImone Bianchi’s new direction on this title. I know a lot of people disliked the first issue and most of that hate was toward Ellis. Criticisms such as the writing being messy and the feeling of a CSI copy that plagued the first issue hopefully won’t continue. The writing is top notch. The X-Men seem like they are real people. They’re all quite comfortable with each other. There are many jokes and quips that are friendly that thankfully don’t get tiring. Ellis is putting his own unique spin on the book that is quite refreshing. The weakness in this issue is in Bianchi’s art. It’s stiff, flat, and has already worn out its welcome. The art is also confusing and if it weren’t for the dialogue, there are times when I wouldn’t know what was going on. The lack of backgrounds completely hinders certain scenes. This is a bit funny because the artistic highlights in this issue are when Bianchi does render the backgrounds. This is supposed to be the flagship X-Men title and one of the creators isn’t performing well. Hopefully Bianchi’s art will improve like Ellis’ writing improved next issue.
Final Crisis: Revelations #1 (****1/2)
In Rucka’s interviews about this book, he has praised it incredibly. He said that this may be the best thing he has ever written and that it is one of the best looking books his name has ever been associated with. Thankfully, this series may actually deliver. This is very dark material. Philip Tan’s art fits the story perfectly. A lot happens in this book which is always a good thing. Ruckadoes a wonderful job providing the set-up while telling an incrediblyenthralling tale that also ties into Final Crisis. Like FC Rogue’s Revenge, this is a book you can read without reading Final Crisis, but this seems to be more important to the FC story than Rogue’s Revenge at this time. I was very impressed by this first issue.