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Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box Hardcover – September 2, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; First Edition edition (September 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785133909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785133902
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Great art in the book but I found the whole story a bit boring.
Andrew L. Small
Many of these ultra-realistic pictures and pop-art layouts pages would make beautiful posters, but do not carry the story along at all.
J. Murray
It jumps around quite a bit and is unbelievably confusing in the end.
T. Marshall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not sure if it's because Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's run was so damn good or if it's that Warren Ellis was having an off day, but this Ghost Box arc leaves me with a reaction of "meh." I guess if you're the oncoming crew you may feel the need to switch things up, try to make the venue your own. Ergo, the X-Men's relocating to San Francisco. Ergo, the new costumes (again).

But some things stay the same. Disappointingly, there are still those shipping delays. Creatively, the character dynamics remain mostly intact. Colossus and Shadowcat are gone, but everyone else is here. Scott and Emma Frost are still together, and we learn that Ms. Frost isn't really a morning person. The Beast and S.W.O.R.D. Special Agent Abigail Brand are also an item, and Brand figures in this story arc a little bit. Logan is Logan and, honestly, it's a bit hard to introduce sweeping changes in Wolverine when the guy is in every friggin' comic book! Hisako, the newest teenaged X-Man, is still learning the ropes and also hating on her codename "Armor." Early in issue #25 Storm asks to join the team, citing occasional hohumness in her marriage and craving some away time from being Queen of Wakanda.

The X-Men have set up shop in the Marin Headlands, and their headquarters looks dang impressive, and yet I miss the stately Xavier mansion. Surprisingly, the San Francisco police force considers the X-Men a viable asset to crime solving and doesn't hesitate to call them in on weird cases (which makes the X-Men the Marvel version of Sara Pezzini). One such summons has the team confounded by a floating burning corpse, and the question surfaces as to whether this body is that of a mutant or something else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By StormChild on April 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the Joss Whedon and John Cassaday run very much, and like the "Astonishing" characters. I wanted to like this Warren Ellis collection. Sadly, "Ghost Box" was a letdown in every way.

The art wasn't engaging or consistent. The angles were strange, and things were just off enough to be unsettling.
Panel to panel a character's features change, dramatically at times, and, as someone else mentioned, there's an awful lot of looking up the characters' nostrils.
Perhaps to others the style will be attractive, but it was not appealing to me.

I want to be careful not to spoil too much, but be warned that the story is thin. There seemed to be very little time actually spent drawing out the plot.
We are confronted with a situation early on that then sets the characters off for other parts of the globe, but from beginning to end I never feel the urgency that I am told I should. There is very little evidence presented of what is taking place. They simply come to know, follow point (a) to point (b) to point (c) and go home. Sure, there's a halfhearted attempt at a dramatic end, but even the attempted climax falls flat.

As the story unfolds, or doesn't, it feels more and more like the "Ghost Box" is just a plot device to put the characters repeatedly in situations where they can act on, and then justify, their post "M-Day" standards.
Even the follow-up, "what if," chapters go about justifying the moral decisions in the main story by "proving" to you that it was the right thing by way of contrasting what would have come about if they'd chosen differently.
Very forced.

Character interactions also felt contrived in most cases, with very little of the banter striking me as "real" or clever.

I'm glad I read "Ghost Box," simply to satisfy curiosity, but I wish I'd read it before buying. I won't bother reading this one twice or recommending it to friends.
Strange. Forgettable. Disappointing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joss Whedon and John Cassaday left some pretty big shoes to fill when they departed the Astonishing X-Men title, a title they started. It would take a pretty big talent to pick up the torch, but by tapping Warren Ellis (Authority, Planetary) and illustrator Simone Bianchi (Wolverine: Evolution) Marvel put the flagship title in good hands.

The initial Ellis/Bianchi run is called Ghost Box, and finds our favorite mutants relocated to San Francisco, where a call from SFPD puts the X-Men on the trail of a murderous new type of mutated individual. The trail leads to a UFO junkyard in Indonesia, and a threat from an extra-dimensional world as well as a dangerously unbalanced former ally. This collection includes Astonishing X-Men #25-30 and Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1-2. The latter series served as a "What If" style look at what might have happened if the Ghost Box story had played out differently, and the results are more than a little haunting.

I tend of expect the best from Warren Ellis, and I'm rarely disappointed. Even if I didn't end up caring much about these "New Mutants" or the extra-dimensional threat, I had a huge grin on my face reading Ellis's razor-sharp dialogue and seeing how he treated and developed these iconic characters. I loved Whedon's Astonishing X-Men arc, but Ellis comes closer to the "voice" of the classic Grant Morrison X-Men run.

The painted artwork from Simone Bianchi was another major treat. His use of framing and white space is almost as impressive as his fully rendered (and oh so real) characters and intricate scenery. These are some truly beautiful pages, though they could benefit at times from some more vibrant color. I suppose the "gray" feel adds to the darker story.
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More About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE (being adapted for TV by Microsoft Xbox) and the "underground classic" novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His GRAVEL books are in development for film at Legendary Pictures. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He's also written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for Farrar Giroux Straus.

His newest publication is the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR, from FSG Originals. His next book will be the novella NORMAL, also from FSG.

A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.

Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society's President's Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative.

Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.

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