Writer: Joss Whedon
Artists: John Cassady and Laura Martin
Collects Astonishing X-Men 7-12

Publisher: Marvel
Publication date: 2006

The story starts with the student, Wing, who lost his powers in the previous story because of the medicine Ord injected into him. The poor kid is very depressed and is considering suicide.

Then we jump to the X-Men, with the returned Colossus who apparently wants immediately back in action, who are headed to Manhattan which is under attack by a large monster. The X-Men attack the monster and fight side by side/bicker with the Fantastic Four. Kitty and Peter are distracted by their thoughts about each other. When they get back to the X-Mansion, Wing is missing and people are getting anxious. Then someone or something attacks all the telepaths and cuts off all access to the outside world. Then an old Sentinel attacks and the X-Men send the students and Kitty to the Danger room. Which is exactly what their adversary wants.

This trade is pretty action packed. There are a few quieter moments, like Kitty and Peter’s talk or Agent Brand being reinstated, and the professor talking with the main adversary, Danger – and Emma Frost is apparently still in league with the Hellfire club, even calling Shaw her love. Yes! But otherwise, it’s fight against the monster, the Sentinel, and Danger.

There’s a little talk about the treatment of artificial intelligences, and the parallel between the treatment of Peter and Danger is brought up. However, I really didn’t care about how the professor’s whole ideology was apparently changed, in a ret-con. If the professor had known all along about Danger, surely he’s no better than Magneto. Doesn’t that invalidate the ideals that the X-Men are built on?

I’m also not sure if I like that Colossus just put on his old uniform and is carrying on like old times. That sort of undercuts the character development, but OTOH, I have faith on Whedon on the character part.

So, mostly an enjoyable ride but raises some uncomfortable questions. Hopefully, the characters will explore them in future issues.