Wednesday, April 30, 2014

astonishing x-men, vol. 1: gifted

astonishing x-men, vol. 1: gifted
joss whedon & john cassaday
marvel comics
published 2004

Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of "astonishing" the world.  But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started?  As demand for the "mutant cure" reaches near-riot levels, the X-Men go head-to-head with the enigmatic Ord, with an unexpected ally - and some unexpected adversaries - tipping the scales.

Hello back of book description.  Say "unexpected" one more time.

When I was younger I watched the X-Men cartoon and I saw the first movie when it came out back in 2000, but that was it for my foray into the X-Men world.  As readers of this blog know I'm not really a fan of Marvel comics.  I don't know why, but I just can't get into them.  I think Spiderman was the only Marvel character I really ever liked and then the movie ruined it for me.

It bugs me now when people say they're fans of Joss Whedon because 'Avengers was so awesome', but then I wonder if they get irritated when I say I'm a fan of Avengers because 'Joss Whedon is so awesome.'  But even then I'm not really a fan of Avengers.  I haven't read any of their books or anything.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic.  My friend pointed out to me that Joss wrote the first 24 issues collected in four volumes and that she thought they were really good.  When I went to the library later in the week they had all four volumes sitting right there.  It was a sign so I picked them up and now I'm finally cracking them open.

Of course, the writing is good.  That's a given.  The story is interesting and the art is great.  It still didn't grab me, I wasn't immersed like I get into the DC books I read or even Joss's other comics (Fray, Serenity, Angel, Buffy) but I thought it was good and will continue to read.  But there were things that bugged me.

Not being a knowledgeable fan of X-Men and it's characters apart from the basics like Cyclops, Wolverine & Beast I was lost a lot.  I had no idea who some of these people were and they had backstory.  It was a big deal for Emma Frost to be there, but I didn't really know why until I looked it up later.  I'm not saying they should go into a whole history of the characters just for me and other dummies who don't know what they're reading, but a little explanation would have worked.

And 'astonishing'?  We want to astonish them?  It sounds lame.  Who says that?  Well, Cyclops apparently.  He shouldn't.  And why doesn't Emma wear a matching outfit?  Why is she the only one in slut gear?  Is it because her powers don't work when she's fully clothed?

Joss's humor is mostly absent (except for a brief comment on Emma's outfit in the beginning) and that's a bummer, but I'm interested enough to keep reading.

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