I’m trying a new way to review a number of titles in a quick, to the point style; The One Hitter. Here I will briefly review a handful of comics, giving quick insights and opinions on the works. In this first installment I’ll be reviewing Astonishing X-Men #26, Secret Invasion: X-Men #1, and X-Men First Class Volume 2 #15.

Astonishing X-Men #26

To quote Cyclops:

“Everything takes second place to there being enough adult mutants alive to protect the new generation.”

Yep, Scott Summers, the former golden boy of the Xavier Institute has spoken these words. I was of the crowd who despised Cyclops, turned off by his ‘by the book’ mentality and teachers pet attitude. But the Cyclops of 2008 is not the Cyclops of the 90’s and earlier. The transformation of his character over recent years has been an awesome thing to behold, and Scott Summers is quickly becoming one of my favorite X-Men. He lays down the law (even to the former leader of the Gold Team), comfortable in his new role as head of the X-Men. The new Cyclops is not afraid to remind his fellow teammates that the world has changed, thus forcing the methods of the X-Men to dramatically change as well. Heck, even Wolverine now respects his fearless leader, taking orders from him without question. It cannot be denied that Cyclops’ new rhetoric and methods echo that of a long time enemy of the X-Men…

4/5 stars

-Secret Invasion: X-Men #1

While this issue’s art isn’t the best, the script delivers. For once the X-Men actually kick the crap out of their enemies and look good doing so. I mean, Cyclops blasts a freaking Skrull ship in half all by his lonesome! To quote:

“You’ve got your targets. Hit them until they stop moving.”

Like I said, Cyclops has become more bad ass.

Even a Skrull commander can’t help but poop his pants a little as he announces the arrival of the X-Men to his fellow warriors. His expression says it all, “We’re dealing with the X-Men!”

As silly as this issue is at times (and it has its moments), it shows the X-Men acting as a team, complete with different strike forces. The mutants inside these strike forces play to their powers, thus allowing the X-Men to operate as a cohesive unit. It’s nice to see that.

Writer Mike Carey must be a fan of Canadian brew as a member of the San Francisco PD is named ‘Molson.’ There’s even a small tribute to The Lord of the Rings in this issue

3/5 stars

-X-Men First Class Vol. 2 #15

I enjoy this series and while the last few issues haven’t been great, I’m sad to hear the title is getting the ax from Marvel. This comic is a light, fun read and Jeff Parker’s writing is witty, humorous, and befitting the characters. To quote Iceman:

“It’s bad enough when women drivers won’t admit their badness, but the crazy hair is too much!”

I love it.

While this title makes the original X-Men more identifiable to a modern audience by putting them in a present day setting, the style of story telling remains true to the original stories from the 60’s; The villain is met within the first few pages, the X-Men work together as a team to defeat them, and everything is hunky dory at the end. Corny? Absolutely. Entertaining? Even more so. There is a panel in this issue where Professor Xavier is stumped while trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube, which tickled my funny bone. To boot, these issues are one of the few (if not only) places Jean Grey appears in the pages of a comic book.

3/5 stars