The life of Kurt Wagner has come to an end. Through his eternal faith in all that is good, he is allowed a place in paradise. And yet while Heaven is all that he has imagined, he feels that the last chapter of his story has yet to be told. And his father Azazel has a role to play in writing it. Down on Earth, former Avenger Angelica Jones, better known as Firestar, has joined the teaching staff of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Just in time to help Beast uncover something the Bamfs have kept hidden within the school for some time. And it’s about to activate.
So now we have five ongoing core X-Men books. Lovely. Furthermore, it’s being written by Jason Aaron. When he’s on, Aaron can write some of the most splendid stories around, as proven with Thor: God of Thunder. But at the same time, I feel he is one of the most inconsistent of writers around. His X-Men work is proof enough as he seems to enjoy writing pure chaos. There are times when he can construct good stories out of it, other times he makes nothing more than an absolute mess. This opening issue of Amazing can’t seem to make up its mind on which end of the spectrum to fall. There’s the Nightcrawler passage, which is intriguing and quite the pleasant read. But upon switching down to Earth with Wolverine’s X-Men, it’s just not all that interesting. There’s too much going on and we’re supposed to sift through all of it to understand what’s what.
Accompanying Aaron, at least through the opening story, is Ed McGuinness. Along with his inking partner Dexter Vines, Ed jumps in and illustrates a beautiful looking Heaven with enough touches to make it that much different than all other visual interpretations. It certainly helps that the great Marte Gracia is coloring. Ed draws some lively and dazzling pages that are just a joy to look at. He manages to work through some of the chaos that happens on Earth, allowing for individual moments to really stick out, such as Beast’s absolute frustrations with the Bamfs and poor Firestar’s inability to get a “Hi” in with any one. But really, Heaven is so wonderfully realized that one wants to get back there as soon as possible.
I’m willing to give Amazing X-Men #1 a slight recommendation, though it is in large part because of the beautiful artwork by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Marte Gracia. I’m still on the fence about whether having the story handled by Jason Aaron is a good move, but so far there’s enough to at least give the next couple of issues a chance.
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