ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOX, EXOGENETIC, XENOGENESIS: Sometime back Warren Ellis said he was never going to write for Marvel again. After reading this trilogy of story arcs, I really wish he’d stuck with that. I gather the X-universe storylines have taken a turn for the bleak recently, but I liked GHOST BOX less than anything else of Ellis’s I’ve ever read, and less than any X-story I’ve ever read, including what I considered to be the god-awful Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely run that culminated with Cassandra Nova.
The art in GHOST BOX was pretty painted stuff by Simone Bianchi, but I didn’t think the pages were well laid out or easy to follow, and this comes from somebody who really follows comic stories through the text, not images. The Ghost Boxes opened doors to multiuniverses, and the last issue of the GHOST BOX storyline was a glimpse at three or four multiverses. They were very well done, all of them, in both story and art, except *Jesus*, depressing.
EXOGENETIC was an up-tick in both story and art; Phil Jimenez remembers that Cyclops’s nickname is Slim, which no one has remembered for most of the past twenty-five years, and draws him accordingly. I liked the art very much. I’ve read reviews that didn’t care for the story at all, and I see their point, but I still preferred it considerably to GHOST BOX.
All that can be said about XENOGENESIS was I didn’t dislike it as *much* as I disliked GHOST BOX in terms of story, but I thought Kaare Andrews’ art was appalling. I mean, actually embarrassing to look at. While there are individual panels where I absolutely freaking love the style he’s coming in with, in the vast majority I find the women horrific (See the third panel here for an example that isn’t even as egregious as many of them are). I’d rather look at Frank Quitely’s art, and I don’t like Quietly’s art at all.
So yeah. Basically, that was awful. I’m going to read AvX next (well, for some value of next, WRT whenever I get around to reading another GN) and then step on board with Marjorie Liu’s ASTONISHING, which I have considerable hope for.