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  1. #1
    Young-ish Dinosaur Gary Cody's Avatar
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    Default Astonishing X-Men Annual #1 (spoilers)

    Northstar and Kyle show up, all ready for their honeymoon in Paris, only to find the rest of the Astonishing team (minus Cecilia, wtf?) waiting for them in the hotel room. They tell Northstar that, alongside the new wave of mutant manifestations, the Friends of Humanity have reared their heads again, and this time are coming at the X-Men from a new angle: they've take out assassination contracts on the families of known X-Men. No one knows where the assassin cells are located, and while the team has Pixie teleporting across the Americas to intercept the bad guys, they need Northstar to cover the rest of the world. (Guys? If you're short on quick-response mutants, he does have a twin. Just saying.)

    Northstar leaves Kyle in the protection of the team and heads out.

    Kyle isn't happy about the notion that he's a continual liability to his new husband, and his discussions with the X-Men aren't altogether helpful:
    - Karma's worried that her kid siblings will resent her for putting them in the line of fire as they get older
    - Gambit does some low-key flirting with Kyle over cards and advises that Kyle should try to talk Northstar into retiring from the X-Men, given the strain it'll put on their relationship
    - Kyle and Iceman reflect on the fact that romances among X-Men have a remarkably crap track record
    - Warbird advises that the best way to strengthen their marriage is for Kyle to learn to kill things

    While this is going on, Northstar is hopping around the globe, gathering intel and punching assassins. One group made the mistake of going after Amiko and, after she interrogates the survivors, they reveal that the cell is based in Moscow. The X-Men leave Karma to guard Kyle while they go clean up. Naturally, the FOH goons break in, incapacitate Karma, and take Kyle hostage. (Again.) Kyle points out the flaws in the FOH's methods to the head assassin and keeps him talking long enough for Northstar to show up and mangle the goon squad.

    While Northstar is getting the honeymoon preparations back on track, Wolverine advises a still-uncertain Kyle that his relationship with Northstar can work because they're both eyes-open about it and because Kyle and Northstar have their individual strengths, but they're both stronger for being together. Kyle offers to spend some more time getting to know Northstar's X-Men family, fade to black.

    The reprint feature is the Alpha Flight #106 coming-out story. Ugh. 1) This was just reprinted in the AXM: Northstar HC and 2) given that so much of this was focused on the X-Men as Northstar's back-up family, the issue where he actually joins the X-Men would have been a better fit. (Hell, the AF issues where he lost his father-figure and got told to kiss off by his sister would have been a better fit.)

    I was ready for a straightforward done-in-one after the long-form storytelling in the regular AXM title, and this delivered nicely. It's primarily a JP/Kyle story, but each member of the team gets their page of spotlight discussing their own thoughts on the X-Men and family. Various relatives of current JG School staff and students also get mentions and cameos -- I like that AXM is sequestered away from the events, but it was good to get the reminder that the book is at least peripherally connected to the rest of the X-line. If you like Baldeon's art, it's more of the usual: good action shots and clear storytelling, some exaggerated facial expressions, and a very "Hey, kids! Comics!" style.

    In the minus column, the advertised 48 pages of content is a 19-page story plus the reprint, which means the customer is putting down an extra buck for less new material than usual, plus an old PSA issue that Marvel should have the good sense to be sheepish about reprinting once, let alone twice in the span of a few months. And I really wasn't happy about Dr. Reyes being left out of the line-up.

    Worth picking up if you're enjoying the current team dynamic, though.
    Last edited by Gary Cody; 11-29-2012 at 02:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Sentinels were right chakal's Avatar
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    pretty good issue. still, kyle is a no-one for me, so I guess that next writer will either retcon the marriage, or have him killed
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  3. #3
    Elder Member Peter F.'s Avatar
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    Cecilia was only involved in the first few missions because the Marauders attacked her apartment and Karma went awol. Reyes just wanted to be there when they rescued Karma because she'd need medical attention. She's not even working for the school at the moment.

    I think I might like Kyle better if he actually did join the Friends of Humanity to improve their PR.

  4. #4
    Brilliance in a Bottle Boozier's Avatar
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    Kyle did not do well, Wolverine. The X-Men are just trying to tell him that so when he eventually dies he can die a "hero". There was the family dynamic (somewhat); I guess that was enjoyable, but it was an all-around forgettable and sub-par issue. Gambit was kind of a jackass. The art was good. I don't typically care for Baldeon, but it was pretty good this issue. Warbird was decent. I just wish she'd leave.

  5. #5
    I just want to hit #$%& Sanji's Avatar
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    Northstar and Kyle love each other, we get it. It's wasn't terrible but it's the only thing they ever talk about.

  6. #6
    Brilliance in a Bottle Boozier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanji View Post
    Northstar and Kyle love each other, we get it. It's wasn't terrible but it's the only thing they ever talk about.
    Kyle needs a hobby.

  7. #7

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    Cecilia is not an X-Men, still not. So she's just going back to her day 2 day life and might come by every now and then.

  8. #8
    BANNED
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    I didn't get the part where Kyle give the Friends of Humanity tips about how to be more efficient in their bigoted crusade. Like, WTF ?

  9. #9
    salt in my porridge jarrod's Avatar
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    So I guess Cypher is gold side now?
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  10. #10
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    This was a big steaming heap of pointless drivel. Baldeon's pencils looked a lot better here than they did in Legacy, but I think that's down to the colourist. Starting to realise I really don't care for Gage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master of Sound View Post
    Cecilia is not an X-Men, still not. So she's just going back to her day 2 day life and might come by every now and then.
    Wrong. Cecilia Reyes is and always has been a qualified X-Man. Her commitment is only part-time at the moment because unlike the rest of those moochers, she has a full-time job, saving lives.
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  11. #11
    Master of none Babyhater666's Avatar
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    Cece was an awesome character because she often was the only person on the team who realized how stupid the Xmen and their mission was. She was a voice of reason when written correctly. To me she could have been a less pretentious Kenji from generation hope.

  12. #12
    gerbil on a wheel SoupStainedTie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarrod View Post
    So I guess Cypher is gold side now?
    Doug appeared in this issue?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoupStainedTie View Post
    Doug appeared in this issue?
    No, he was mentioned though.
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  14. #14
    Master of none Babyhater666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoupStainedTie View Post
    Doug appeared in this issue?
    They must really want this book cancelled.

  15. #15
    BUY LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    So Northstar tries to go on his honeymoon and Iceman gate-crashes (persuading the others to tag along too), after spending all his money hiring assassins to kill Kyle... interesting...
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