The Comic Queen

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Friday, June 25, 2004

Astonishing X-Men #2 Review

Astonishing X-Men #2
Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Colorist: Laura Martin

I had almost given up on the X-Men comics line. I’d tried a couple different titles and regularly read Uncanny X-Men for a time, but I was finding it more and more difficult to really get into the comics. There are so many titles with an almost unmanageable number of characters that I just kept finding myself asking “who cares?” after reading an issue. The sheer weight of the continuity and the number of characters trying to be jammed into each issue was just too much.

And then the “Reload” came along. I think Marvel believes this will grab new readers and rekindle interest, but I just found it overwhelming and a big turnoff. So, I told myself, except for an occasional TP purchase, I’m going to put aside the franchise for awhile.

Then one day, like most days, I was checking out the comic news at Comic Book Resources, and I ran across some sample pages from the upcoming Astonishing X-Men series. I was intrigued. This looked different -- this looked like more of what I was looking for. Now, would the writing hold up? I’ve heard different perspectives on Joss Whedon’s work, but hadn’t (to my knowledge) read anything by him before. Alright, I was game. I’d give the X-Men one more shot.

I am very glad I did. This series is like a nice, hot shower after a long day at work. Refreshing and invigorating, this title can easily be picked up by a newcomer to the X-Men. There’s real substance to the writing, and the storyline itself has a lot of promise. I’m anxious to see where it’s going.

This title is so far following Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Cyclops, the Beast (Hank McCoy), and Emma Frost as they restart the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Currently Ord, an alien, is holding a charity function hostage; and a renowned geneticist, Dr. Kavita Rao, has just informed the world that she has a cure for the disease that makes a person a mutant.

While there is much history behind all of the characters, Whedon treats these characters as any new title should—as people with histories and feelings that are hinted at and eluded to, slowly revealing their stories and emotions (with a nod to the conventions long-time readers of the X-Men expect).

And the art -- good golly -- the art is fantastic. Cassaday does some beautiful things in Astonishing X-Men. The book is worth picking up for the Beast alone.

For once, I’m actually looking forward to picking up the next issue of an X series.

Bottom line: A


  • At 9:05 PM, June 25, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I absolutely agree! I enjoyed Grant Morrison's recent run, but felt the inconsistent art and some oversights on his part made it difficult for some people to grasp. You can give these two issues (Astonishing #1 and #2) to almost anyone, regardless of their exposure to the X-men, and most would come away with a positive experience.

    And, let's face it, the return of Lockheed doesn't hurt.


  • At 8:43 PM, June 27, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Erin! Your review intrigued me...I think I may have to start reading this series! Thanks for the heads up!

  • At 1:29 AM, September 05, 2006, Blogger Ish Kumar said…

    good stuff buddy

    Jim -
    We are Commercial Loan and Home Loan lender in USA.


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