Friday, August 10, 2012

Comic Book ABC's: A is for Astonishing X-Men

In order for me to come up with more material for this blog, I've decided to give out my recommendations on what comics to read. From A-Z. Hopefully I've read something with a Q in the beginning. 

Anyway, let's start with A. 

I'm HIGHLY recommending ASTONISHING X-MEN by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. The run is 24 issues with one Giant-Size Issue in the end. 

The Astonishing X-Men

Astonishing X-Men is probably the definitive run in the new millenium and Whedon selects a unique group of mutants for this specific team. Composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost aka The White Queen and Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat. 

I've read the omnibus in a span of 3 days and it was just a joy to read. When I read them monthly, of course it was exciting with all the cliffhangers but I got to appreciate the whole run in a short span of time. I really got to appreciate the whole story. Whedon puts a lot of geek moments, very funny moments, and of course, plenty of holy sh*t moments. The run has 4 arcs, GIFTED, DANGEROUS, TORN, and UNSTOPPABLE. 

Scott Summers / Cyclops

I really can't dwell on the arcs after "Gifted" not to spoil those who haven't read it but basically it starts with the setting that they have found to eliminate the X-GENE. Cyclops then forms a new team to deal with this Mutant Threat. A new villain is introduced in the mix with Ord of the Breakworld giving stress and problems to the X-Men.

Ord of the Breakworld

That's where it all starts. Ord plays a key role throughout the whole run of Whedon and Cassaday. But what's really great about this book is that it will make you love the X-Men. You know how Cyclops is annoying? He's actually pretty bad ass! There's tension between Kitty and Emma since Emma was a former villain and now she's Cyclops' lover. Kitty spent her first day as an X-Man fighting Emma Frost and that's something she will never forget.  

The roster is a unique one but their chemistry is what made me really enjoy the book. Wolverine is an awesome support role in the book and he's doing what he does best. Kitty with her phasing powers/ walking through walls bit may seem lame but Whedon defines Kitty Pryde in the story. She's one tough chick you wouldn't want to mess with. Dr. Hank McCoy aka BEAST is troubled since he feels he's "devolving". He still wants that cure somehow. Emma on the other hand is the mystery character. Is she a good person or not? Of course there are lots of twists and turns in the book but to sum up the arcs, GIFTED brings a key character from the past and it's an awesome return! Jean Grey? Hmm... DANGEROUS reveals a secret from the history of the X-Men. TORN is all about Emma Frost and UNSTOPPABLE rounds up the whole story.

Whedon couldn't have done this without the brilliant John Cassaday. When I read Astonishing X-Men back in 2004, I've never seen comic book art like Cassaday's before. Everything's just gorgeous. He drew the best X-Men costumes for me and the covers are just so damn awesome. 

If you'll read Astonishing X-Men, I suggest you get the Omnibus since you can read it in one go. 

You thought that the Avengers movie was cool? Wait til you read this!

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