Collects Astonishing X-Men issues 7-12.

Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Gerardo Sandoval, Phil Noto, Paolo Siqueria, Matteo Buffagni, Aco, and Ron Garney

The story continues straight from issue 6. Rogue, Gambit, Old Man Logan, and Mystique are back from the Astral Plane. But with them came out another mutant, someone whom everyone thinks is dead but who has been trapped in the Astral Plane, dueling with the Shadow King. He’s a changed person. Mystique doesn’t believe he is who he says he is. The new mutant, who calls himself X, has taken over Fantomex while Fantomex’s spirit stays in the Astral Plane. Psylocke even visits the Astral Plane to make sure Fantomex chose it.

But together with X another mutant comes to London from the Astral Plane: Proteus who has reality altering powers. And Proteus wastes no time using his powers. The X-Men and X drive him away from London, but he goes to a small town in Scotland. He offers all the residents whatever they want. Of course, chaos ensues.

Characters rising from the dead aren’t unusual in comics, but I’m not sure if the return of this character was needed. But he seems to be a really changed man, doing things now that he wouldn’t have before. Also, Mystique especially is suspicious of him, which is refreshing and also really sensible. Soule’s run ends here, and the next writer takes up another cast of characters.

This was mostly an enjoyable read. Soule changes especially the balance between Warren and Archangel. Also, Fantomex’s mind remains in the Astral Plane. But in the end, X wipes the memories of him from all the other characters, except Betsy. I’m so used to comics where nothing changes that I was surprised, but I liked the changes. But who knows if the next writers will even notice them. Of course, that’s always the question with a universe as large as Marvel.