Collects Astonishing X-Men issues 1-6.

Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato Jr.,  Ed McGuinness, Carlos Pacheco, Ramon Rosanas, Mike Del Mundo, Mark Morales, Rafael Fonteriz, Guillermo Ortego, Walden Wong

I wanted more Rogue and Gambit stories. Unfortunately, this comic is set before they get married. In fact, when they meet again in the first issue, Rogue is quite cold toward Gambit. But this must be the series where they’re built toward the wedding. So I’m looking forward to that.

A psychic wave leaves many lesser powered telepaths dead. But when that wave reaches Psylocke, she reaches out to the X-Men who are closest: Bishop, Angel, Rogue, Old Man Logan, and Gambit. Gambit is working with Fantomex so he comes along, too. A powerful telepath is attacking Betsy and the X-Men come to her rescue. Working together Rogue and Bishop manage to save her. However, their work is just beginning.

Betsy tells them that the Shadow King is alive and well in the Astral Plane. Some of the X-Men must go there and kill him or he will take over enough minds to escape to the world.

Bishop and Angel choose to stay and guard the others. Psylocke must stay and keep the others in the Astral Plane. So, Logan, Rogue, Gambit, Phantomex, and one mystery mutant go to the Astral Plane.

The Shadow King will try to take them over by creating a reality they will accept as real so I was looking forward to twisted versions, both good and bad, of our characters’ realities. This didn’t happen.

The first issue promised that the SK will use the characters’ fears and loves against them. Unfortunately, we got only a few scenes of that before another powerful mutant psychic started to influence our characters and they realized where they were. SK has taken over Gambit and Rogue before but that was only referenced a couple of times, not significantly.

So this turned out to be quite different than what I expected. Still, I quite enjoyed this adventure with both an old enemy, SK obviously, and new one which is the UK’s Ministry of Defense’s superhuman police force which seem very trigger happy. I also enjoyed the mystery mutant working with the others. Not so sure about the resurrected character but we’ll see what happens with them.

This was a good start and I’m going to continue with the series.

Every issue has a different artist. Their styles aren’t very different from each other, so this wasn’t too annoying except in the final issue. But it was noticeable in the other issues, as well.