Written by Scotty
Being asked to return somewhere after you have left for a substantial amount of time can be hard for anyone. If it is to work for a company where you never felt appreciated or to your childhood home, it can be an experience. Without knowing what will be asked of you upon your return may be the hardest thing to fathom as you walk back in the front door. Even if you were the best at what you did during your time, you are still just starting off at the bottom of the line once again.
Kitty Pryde has been asked back to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, but does not know why and if she should return. With the teaching staff having changed over the years since her exit, she does not know if she can trust anyone, even with Scott Summers, Logan and Hank McCoy still leading the staff. Her real worry comes from the new addition of Emma Frost, a telepath who seems to be in Kitty’s head all of the time. Pryde returns to the school, feeling that she can do good for some of the youngsters with what she believes is minimal powers.
Scott Summers and Logan are still dealing with the loss of Jean Grey. Although Scott was married to Jean, Logan seems to be having a harder time dealing with her death, and is out trying to pick fights in the local bars for months on end. Scott has found the warmth of another woman as Frost has come to the school, but they both know that nothing will be able to come out of the relationship as Scott will never get over the loss. Hank McCoy is going about his business as normal, but when watching a special report that comes across the news he becomes more distressed with what is coming upon the horizon. A cure has been found for mutants, a way to make them into normal people again. The cure is being pitched as ‘Miracle’ and it was one of his past co-workers that has developed it.
With the news filtering through the school, everyone has mixed emotions about what this cure could bring them. Wanting to know more about this, McCoy pays a visit to his old colleague, Doctor Kavita Rao. Having to maneuver through many obstacles, the X-Men are confronted with a new foe, Ord of Breakworld. The new alien menace has his eyes set on exterminating the X-Men and anyone with a mutation, and with diplomatic immunity granted from the S.W.O.R.D. group, he may be able to accomplish just that. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. appears to be on the X-Men’s side for the upcoming battle, Fury is hiding his intentions from everyone.
Astonishing X-Men: Gifted takes you on an action filled journey with the X-Men trying to find out what this cure is and where it came from. Meeting resistance from anyone and everyone with acronyms the X-Men try to limit the head count of casualties on their hunt. Having McCoy being the voice of reason for the group, Logan and Summers are only held back from unleashing their fury by Emma Frost. Finding that not even the government will help them set things straight, they find a new way to dispatch the impending doom that the cure and Ord have in store for them. With Pryde back at the school and now on the team, their chances increase as there are more ways to win a battle than just killing the enemy.
A very enjoyable read for an X-Men fan. I love to see the characters grow in a novel and be a little less uncensored than what can be shown in the movies. With your favorite characters battling hardship, it is nice to see some new blood be introduced into the mix with Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde. But as all group stories go, there is too much to cover and a lot tends to get left out. One character I would like to see more of is young Tildie Soames who had the power to manifest her dreams to reality and was the first mutant to have the cure tested on. And as always, Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are great in any book they make an appearance in as they have their own agenda, and are not to be trusted most of the time. The battle for trust is one that is a never ending fight in these novels, and it should not be any other way as you learn more about the characters and where their alliances stand. Happy Reading.