Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box HC 1st print Warren Ellis Simone Bianchi Alan Davis


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Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box Hardcover
by Warren Ellis (Author), Simone Bianchi (Illustrator), Alan Davis (Illustrator), Adi Granov (Illustrator), Olivier Coipel (Illustrator), Kaare Andrews (Illustrator)

The superstar team of Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi are ready to take the X-Men to the “Second Stage”! Messiah CompleX pulled the X-Men team together, Divided We Stand tore them apart. Now the X-Men are back to business – with a new look, a new base of operations, and a mystery to solve that will take them into previously uncharted territory and test them to their core!

It all starts on a spaceship hovering 300 hundred feet above the twisted wreckage of Chaparanga Beach. Its sole inhabitant: the mysterious Subject X. Five minutes – just five minutes is all he needs, all he’s asking for. Can the X-Men afford to give it to him? Plus, artists Adi Granov, Alan Davis, Clayton Crain and Kaare Andrews join Ellis as they delve into the real consequences of this mysterious object in GHOST BOXES.

Collects Astonishing X-Men #25-30, Ghost Boxes #1-2.

Publisher ?: Marvel
Language ?: English
Hardcover? : ?184 pages

Colossus and Shadowcat are gone, but everyone else is here. Scott and Emma Frost are still together, and we learn that Ms. Frost isn’t really a morning person. The Beast and S.W.O.R.D. Special Agent Abigail Brand are also an item, and Brand figures in this story arc a little bit. Logan is Logan and, honestly, it’s a bit hard to introduce sweeping changes in Wolverine when the guy is in every friggin’ comic book! Hisako, the newest teenaged X-Man, is still learning the ropes and also hating on her codename “Armor.” Early in issue #25 Storm asks to join the team, citing occasional hohumness in her marriage and craving some away time from being Queen of Wakanda.

The X-Men have set up shop in the Marin Headlands, and their headquarters looks dang impressive, and yet I miss the stately Xavier mansion. Surprisingly, the San Francisco police force considers the X-Men a viable asset to crime solving and doesn’t hesitate to call them in on weird cases (which makes the X-Men the Marvel version of Sara Pezzini). One such summons has the team confounded by a floating burning corpse, and the question surfaces as to whether this body is that of a mutant or something else.

The Children of the Atom track the killer (whom Emma Frost would dub as “Subject X”) to Chaparanga, Indonesia, to the graveyard of alien space crafts. When they find him, Subject X is tinkering with an ominous mechanical cubelike artifact, and there’s a brief fighty fight. Demonstrating that S.W.O.R.D. really does know its extraterrestrial stuff, Agent Brand is consulted and she right away identifies the artifact as a Ghost Box, a gateway between parallel universes. She and Cyclops briefly bicker over jurisdiction, with Cyclops finally buying his team a bit of time before S.W.O.R.D. steps in.

Warren Ellis has never shied away from dropping in those epic, big-sciency elements, and this time the plot revolves around parallel realities, and never mind that it’s not exactly an original concept anymore. I simply dig alternate timelines. There’s an invasion in the works and it ties into the House of M event and with Scarlet Witch’s hexed mandate of “No more mutants.” There are less than 200 mutants now in the 616 universe, and this renders Earth very vulnerable and ripe for “Annexation.” There’s also a lot of techno-babble about “functioning triploids” and X-genes springing off the wrong chromosome, the summation of which is that somehow there may now be three types of mutants.

ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOX collects issues #25-30 of the ongoing series & the ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOXES #1-2. GHOST BOXES #1 & 2 present four short stories which set up various “what if” scenarios (or bleak glimpses into the near future) had the alternate universe mutant invasion been successful.

Collects Astonishing X-Men 25-30, Astonishing X-Men Ghost Boxes 1-2. Near mint, 1st print.