This is the first issue of astonishing that uses the creative team of Warren Ellis and Somone Bianchi. Both do a fine job picking up the Astonishing team as the members relocate in San Fransisco.
The artwork is classic Bianchi, with close attention to detail. Wolverine is well rendered down to the very last wrinkle.
Ellis is good, but not fantastic. It felt as though the dialogue was a little too contrived. Emma Frost especially seemed a little forced in her conversations. In previous X issues, I felt she was softening up a little. In this issue her contempt for her fellow members borders on hate.
That said, there were some laugh out loud moments. I love Armour complaining about Wolverine making fun or her "X-Name":
"He says that if my name's 'Armor' then his name is 'Claws' and Ms. Frost's name is 'Brain' and Ms. rogue's name is 'Suck.' "
Finally, the teams new role and sudden good relationship with the local authorities has this book feel a little too much like X-Factor.
There upcoming adventure to Chaparanga, Indonesia should be interesting though, in that they are following a lead for a murder investigation to a place where government agencies dump alien spacecraft. This was an enjoyable read with pretty pictures if nothing else.