“This comic never comes out! The editors are forcing Ellis to change things!” These are the cries of fellow comic fans. The former is certainly true. Simone Bianchi takes 4-7 weeks to complete an issue. Yeah, that’s slow, but this is a team book, and besides, Bianchi’s art is really pretty. Check out the preview. Besides being beautiful and unique, Bianchi also provides interesting page layouts. In fact, for my money, although this is coming from someone who has read all of Bianchi’s American comics, I would buy this book on Bianchi’s art alone.
As for editors compromising Ellis’ vision, it could be true. I notice that what the solicit promises and what is actually included is a bit different. Anyway, let’s just analyze what’s been printed, shall we? I think the best think about Ellis’ run is that the X-Men sound like actual people. I believe that they have their own personalities, and that they’ve spent too much time with each other, for better or for worse. I know everyone loves Whedon’s characters, but really, they’re all the same: witty, witty, witty! Everyone’s witty! Though I did enjoy Whedon’s run, on a character level, it was ALL about Kitty. With Ellis, I’m not reading a team-book about tough guy, smart guy and leader guy. I’m reading about Logan, Hank, and Scott. Another thing that I’ve enjoyed about Ellis’ first arc is that I actually feel like I’m part of the X-Men. No, I’m not twelve. It’s just that Ellis puts us in the middle of this mystery. We know nothing more than what the X-Men know. In fact, they might even know more.
Both of those Ellis virtues, and of course Bianchi’s art, are still present here. So I was quite happy with this installment. Yes, it is the penultimate chapter. Nothing is resolved, and it’s exposition-heavy. I was still left satisfied, ready to patiently wait another two months for the conclusion. Oh, and Ellis provides another low-key cliffhanger. I’ve been enjoying those as well.