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Elsewhere #1 Review

Title: Elsewhere
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Sumeyye Kesgin
Colorist: Ron Riley
Publisher: Image

It’s always fun seeing a book that combines historical figures with a heavy fantasy/sci-fi premise.
In Elsewhere, the latest Image title from the writer of Copperhead, the story imagines what it
would be like if Amelia Earheart landed in a fantasy realm when she disappeared. The world the
famous aviator finds herself in is filled with bizarre creatures, dragon-like flying beasts and
various kinds of magic.

As you can imagine, this debut issue gets weird and wonderfully imaginative fast, and never lets
up. Rising star artist Sumeyye Kesgin delivers some amazing line work in her pencils, rich with
detail and nuance. Whether she’s drawing close-ups of the main characters or big, bombastic
splash pages, the tone and execution are just right. Coupled with the vibrant colors by Ron
Riley, the art in this comic is a visual spectacle from start to finish.

Likewise, writer Jay Faerber balances an enticing high-concept with effective storytelling. His
script gives readers a solid introduction to this world and the different species that inhabit it,
while also giving Earheart herself plenty of time to shine. By the end of the issue he's also able
to incorporate another historical figure in an interesting way. As long as you’re not a factual
purist and can have fun with stories like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I think you’ll find
Elsewhere to be a highly entertaining read with dynamic art and a strong protagonist. Plus, this
is a family-friendly adventure comic, which is a rarity for the company that publishes books like
Saga and Bitch Planet. Check it out Elsewhere at your local Ultimate Comics!

-Kevin Schaefer for Ultimate Comics

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Astonishing X-Men #1

Title: Astonishing X-Men
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel

Astonishing is one of the most seminal X-Men titles in the franchise’s history. With iconic runs by Joss Whedon, Warren Ellis and Marjorie Liu, this title has a rich and expansive legacy associated with its name. Given how revered it is among fans, the new series by superstar writer Charles Soule certainly has much to live up to.

Fortunately though, this debut issue by Soule and artist Jim Cheung offers a lot of potential for the new era of Astonishing. Opening with a psychedelic action sequence in which Psylocke’s mind is being controlled by an unknown supernatural force, a band of mutants must stop her before she unleashes cataclysmic damage. Soon though, the team learns that the villain behind these psychic attacks is none other than Shadow King, and must venture into the astral plane in order to defeat him.

Whether you’re a hardcore X-Men fan, or you just really enjoyed the recent FX series Legion, this is the comic for you. With an all-star team lineup that includes Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Beast, Rogue, Archangel and Fantomex, this might be my personal favorite title from the revamped X-Men lineup. It has action, a team of gritty mutants, one of the best X-Men villains of all time and a twist ending which will cause fans everywhere to rejoice.

Though there’s a lot going on in this first issue, Soule does a nice job juxtaposing its bombastic action sequences with some great banter among the team members. And while the artists will rotate for this book, Jim Cheung nails it here. Delivering a style and execution that coincides with the psychedelic aesthetic of the astral plane, he makes this comic feel like a trippy action movie with a dose of supernatural horror. In other words, he astonishes here.

Like the other recent X-Men titles, Astonishing is both highly accessible for new readers and longtime fans. If you’re craving more Shadow King and Old Man Logan after Legion and the Logan movie, this has the best of both worlds. Pick it up today at any Ultimate Comics location.

-Kevin Schaefer for Ultimate Comics