Comic Vine Review


Astonishing X-Men #51


Last issue Northstar proposed to his boyfriend. That didn't go so well. So what's with the cover? More importantly, will the X-Men be able to fight being mind-controlled?

Looks like there's going to be a wedding. The cover is a pretty big spoiler.

The Good

The way last issue left off, it seemed there was no way Northstar and Kyle could get married. Jean-Paul proposed and it just didn't work out. Add the fact that Karma, for some reason, was mind-controlling the X-Men. Things got really messy. But the cover does say a lot. Somehow things have to get set right. What helps in this situation is a little bit of time does go by. It's not a matter of Northstar proposing and a wedding happening the next day.

The entire idea of an X-Man being married to a non-powered individual raises many questions. Just in this issue, Kyle experiences the effects and dangers of being in close proximity to the X-Men. All of this made Kyle put everything into perspective. He could either run from Northstar and the fact that this sort of life most likely won't be a normal one or he could try to make it work because of the feelings they share. It's not too difficult to figure out which route they'll go. It's actually Kyle's parents that bring up the question of how 'comfortable' is Kyle with this world. They are surrounded by individuals that can do crazy things and Kyle is just a human. You have to wonder what life would be like. Will Northstar continue to be an X-Man and have his life be put at risk?

Of course with the nature of the wedding, the concerns of some are addressed. Despite where we're at today in society, there are still some who oppose same sex marriage. In comics, with everything that has been seen in their world, you would think this wouldn't be a hard concept to grasp. Fortunately, Marjorie Liu takes the opportunity to incorporate the doubt some may have without it feeling forced. To have it completely ignored would have been too neat. It's unfortunate that some may question whether two individuals are in love and deserve happiness but it's something that happens in the real world.

The Bad

Despite the way the story unfolds, it still felt a tiny bit rushed. We are talking about the wedding of a speedster so maybe it could be overlooked. Then again, there is a hint that this story is taking place after the events of AVENGERS VS X-MEN. The lack of certain X-Men being absent means either they didn't do too well in that fight or perhaps they just couldn't bring themselves to attend the wedding.

For the most part, I enjoy the art but I always find an instant or two that bothers me. In the gathering of all the X-Men and other heroes attending the wedding, some were hard to recognize. One panel featuring many characters had a bunch of people but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know who everyone is. We also see Spider-Man and Iron Fist are attending but in full costume. Spider-Man in costume makes some sense but Iron Fist doesn't really have much of a secret identity.

We still need to get the answers to why the mind-controlling was going on. It should be coming up again next issue but I just feel really in the dark without knowing the full motivations of why this plot is going on.

X-23 and Jubilee appear but their appearance is way too brief.

The Verdict

We've seen many weddings in comics. They often get interrupted by an evil villain or threat to the world. Other times marriages are used as stunts or the focus of a milestone issue. With Northstar and Kyle, it doesn't feel like that's the case. In the recent issues, we've gained an insight into the relationship the two share. We've seen them deal with Northstar's status as a superhero along with the dangers of that life. It's unfortunate that many feel the need to make the fact that this marriage is between two members of the same sex. That isn't exactly the focus on the issue. While there are still threads from the X-Men being mind-controlled, the scenes in whether or not they should marry is more about two individuals dealing with the decision. We do get a little commentary from those that question two guys getting married but how much of a focus the relationship gets in future issues remains to be seen. I've said it before, Marjorie Liu excels in writing about characters rather than just writing about events among superheroes. She delves into the thinking and essence of who the characters are. The issue will indeed be remembered but for the wrong reasons. The real focus should be on the way the story is written rather than on only two of the characters in the issue.