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Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins Are the New Astonishing X-Men Team


By Todd Allen

Over on their “Mystery Project Liveblog,” Marvel has announced the new team on Astonishing X-Men.  Taking over with issue #48 in March are Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins.

Lui, best known to the world at large as a NY Times Bestselling writer of supernatural romance novels, has been writing for Marvel for a few years.  She’s had runs on NYX, Daken: Dark Wolverine, X-23 and Black Widow.  Which is to say, she’s been on the fringes of the X-universe for a few years.

Perkins has been around a lot longer and probably better known as an inker.  He’s been part of the Captain America artist rotation in recent years and has been doing full art on The Stand (Stephen King) series of mini-series.

This iteration of Astonishing will be part of “Team Wolverine,” per the recent split in the X-world.  Team members will be the new Shi’Ar Warbird, Northstar, Gambit, Iceman, Cecelia Reyes and Karma.

The initial villains will be the Marauders.

The theme of the first issue is “moving,” both moving in and moving on. Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle move to New York. Gambit and Cecelia are circling around each other. “It’s about relationships.” -Marjorie Liu

Astonishing X-Men will remain somewhat “off in it’s own corner” in regards to Schism. It will have effects on Team Wolverine in other books, but “this is not the place you’ll see a big Wolverine vs. Cyclops fight.”

“Astonishing is a bit more adult, a bit more graphic.” -Marjorie Liu


  1. Yikes! Marvel’s now publishing five regular titles with “X-Men” in the title.

    Uncanny X-Men
    Wolverine and the X-Men
    Astonishing X-Men
    X-Men Legacy

    Six, if you count Ultimate X-Men.

    I suppose that’s good for X-Fans, but I’d like to see more diversity (e.g., Shang Chi, Nick Fury, Invaders).

    Looks like the market won’t support that, though, unless they’re tied in with events like “Spider-Island.”


  2. Chad, are you honestly Astonished by it? Astonishing was supposed to be A-list talent, now it’s c-list. It’s not a statement on the quality of the creators involved (haven’t read anything by Liu, but Perkins is solid), it’s simply not a creative team that surprises or amazes me.

  3. > I suppose that’s good for X-Fans

    Not necessarily. X-Men title glut was a major reason this X-Fan quit all X-titles years ago. (Rapid creator turnover was another reason.)

  4. “Chad, are you honestly Astonished by it? Astonishing was supposed to be A-list talent, now it’s c-list.”

    I didn’t realize we were taking those title adjectives so seriously. Do you require every issue of the Hulk to be Incredible, while Spider-Man must always be Amazing? I mean, honestly, the only team that would “Astonish” me on this book would be Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

    Also, on what planet is calling someone “c-list” not a statement on the quality of the creators involved?

    I thought Astonishing books were just supposed to be good stories without a lot of main-title continuity baggage, but my memory may be off. That said, I enjoyed Liu’s Black Widow run a lot, so I’ll always check out anything she does.

    And Zach, I know it’s the Internet, but maybe you might want to refrain from calling someone c-list talent when you’ve never read anything they’ve done.

  5. Chad, I should’ve been more clear. I meant c-list in terms of popularity/appeal.

    My understanding was that the Astonishing books were supposed to be top-tier (in terms of both talent and popularity) creators doing accessible stories. Obviously the book has had considerable mission-drift (Pak and McKone obviously don’t generate sales like Whedon/Ellis/Cassaday/Jimenez and having an alternate-dimension Storm hanging out with Cyclops and Wolverine when the main books have those two guys hating each other is not new reader friendly in the slightest)to the point where the book seems very pointless. I’m happy to see Perkins’ work, but don’t try to sell me on him being a superstar creator. And if Liu has a great X-Men comic in her, have her do an arc of one of the other 200 X-titles a month.

  6. Marjorie Liu is no one’s c-lister. She is ridiculously talented and has done wonderful work on very fringe books.

    Good on Marvel for recognizing her many talents as a writer.

  7. I see Zach’s point, and it’s not to disparage either of these creators. The remit of Astonishing (X-men, and the other titles they dabbled with), was that it would be the biggest creators doing stories that were particularly accessible because they would not be tied heavily to continuity.

    Liu might be fabulously talented, but she’s not a Whedon or Ellis (yet).

    Likewise, Perkins is not a Cassiday, and probably not a Jiminez, either.

    I’m all for them getting the work… but when this becomes just another in an expansive line of X-Books, the book itself becomes redundant.

  8. I was still upset over the cancelling of X-23, so I’m very excited that they’ve given Marjorie a core X-book, as I’ve really grown to love her writing.

    Great cast too! Nice to see Cecelia get some use.

  9. “And if Liu has a great X-Men comic in her, have her do an arc of one of the other 200 X-titles a month.”

    You mean like this one?

    If she has a great X-Men comic in her, write an X-title? I think that’s exactly what she is doing here.

    If she won’t “Astonish” you on this one, is she going to be “Uncanny” enough for you over on that book? Will she have the “X-Factor” suitable for your enjoyment over there?

    If she can write a great comic, she can write a great comic. That’s a foolish “if” right there, since she CAN write a great comic. So why should she not write a great comic with in this title?

    Don’t be so ridiculous.

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