Astonishing X-Men 16
We left our not X-Men mutants last time with the majority of the team having been captured by the newly evil O.N.E (Office of National Emergency) Only Havok and Warpath remain free discounting zombified Banshee who is flying somewhere off panel for this entire issue. Not only are Dazzler, Colossus, and Beast imprisoned by ONE, but also the leader of the Reavers, Donald Pierce, is also being held prisoner. At the end of last issue Havok decided a team-up with the other Reavers to rescue the prisoners of ONE is in order despite the Reavers being awful cyborgs who hate mutants.
The torturous testing of Colossus and Dazzler lead Beast to offer his intellectual services to the head of ONE. ONE seeking to presumably make a next level sentinel. ???? of course meaning devil in Russian.
Meanwhile, Havok compromises his integrity to team up with the Reavers as he feels this is the only way to find the rest of the team and that the enemy of ONE must be his friend. Continuing the poor Havok decision making of the series and dubious life choices of Havok in general.
The teamed-up Reavers and not X-Men combo storm the government ONE facility to rescue their erstwhile colleagues. ONE, of course, releases the latest Sentinels on the team which the X-Men easily handle. Until, twist!, the technology left by Bastion in Havok’s head that the Reavers steal allows the Reavers to hijack the Sentinels’ bodies and control them. This allows the nefarious mutant haters to now control mutant-hunting robots and surprise surprise they turn the Sentinels upon the X-Men. What will happen? Tune in next month!
Beast fanboying the technology is pretty adorable despite the imminent Reavers/Sentinel hybrid attack.
So, Havok has really messed things up by allowing the evil technobot Reavers access to his Bastion-planted technology in his skull. The Reavers use it to take over the ONE’s newest model sentinels and betray the Team-Up in an unsurprising move to combine their Reaver tech with Sentinel tech with their age-old goal of destroying all mutants. The art remains good, although Pierce’s mutton chops are interestingly drawn by Land to say the least. The quippy writing style of Rosenberg remains a high point and the team interactions make the book more worthwhile than a standard “we fight the bad guys and go home” fare. On a positive note, the X-Men previously captured are freed at the end of the issue, but their peril has been compounded by the newly Voltroned Reaver/Sentinels which will battle the team next issue.
In this issue we still have questionable leadership decisions, others making fun of those decisions, and even a Havok/Cyclops comparison which I think is a per-issue requirement. The overall assessment of Havok's leadership abilities thus far seems to be a large failure.
Astonishing X-Men 16: Until Our Hearts Stop Part IV
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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