Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Read Lately: Astonishing X-Men, volumes 1-3

  • I'm secure enough in my manliness to admit without reservation that I love Joss Whedon. I am reasonably certain I'm not the only man to have made this declaration, but Google only turns up like one guy willing to admit it. (In the first hundred results at least. I'm lazy.) I mean, this is guy who did Buffy and Firefly. What more could a geek want.

  • Actually, he could want to write a comic of his own (I have the scripts to prove it.) John Cassaday is on the very short list of artists for which I would sell my (currently non-existant) first-born to work with. I've thought so ever since I first saw his work in Desperados, while Planetary went on to prove the point.

  • When it was announced that Joss and John would be working together on the successor to Grant Morrison's famed X-Men run, I knew it couldn't disappoint. Unless you're a big crybaby forum whiner, it doesn't. And if you are a big forum-whining crybaby, grow the eff up.

  • The first volume, Gifted, reintroduces this incarnation of the X-Men and gets them back in the super-heroing business. In doing so, they confront an alien bent on destroying mutantkind and face the discovery of a cure for the mutant gene. If that later sounds familiar, it is because the third X-Men movie borrowed that plot.

  • The second volume, Gifted, introduces another new villain, though it turns out to be someone we are all familiar with and would never expect. Sorry to vague that up so much. This story was not as strong as the first and would have been a week point to end on if JW and JC followed their original plan of 12 issues and out. However they decided to run out to 24 issues, which instead makes this a decent setup for future payoffs.

  • The third volume, Torn, gives us the trippy return of Morrison's villain, Cassandra Nova. The X-Men face psychological attacks the expose their greatest fears, though in Wolverine's case this comes across as extremely humorous. Each hero finally overcomes their decent into madness to help thwart the plot.

  • At the end of Torn, the X-Men are whisked off to outer space and the resolution of the plot initiated in the first volume. We're now 4 issues into this finally story line and and exciting conclusion is in the offing.

  • If you enjoyed the X-Men movies at all or superhero comics in general, this is a series that will not disappoint. Between the beautiful writing and art, the only weakness is that it will end all too soon.

  • Note: I started writing this post 3/24/07. In the meantime, I've reread these three books twice more in preperation of this post. It's that good.

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