Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Astonishing X-Men Vol 1: Gifted (2006)

Author: Joss Whedon | Illustrator: John Cassaday | Page Count: 152

"Maybe Scott and Logan could fight on the lawn again.  The kids love that."

Astonishing X-Men is a continuation of Grant Morrison's New X-Men title although it makes some big changes, not least in the costume dept.  Joss Whedon assumes writing duties.  He’s a bit of a comic nerd.  He probably earned his 100 metre nerd dash badge in high school.  Nerds write the best comics because they care about the material; it’s not just a job, it’s a passion.

For me, Joss' trademark clever puns actually work better in written form.  When Wolverine delivers a Whedon put-down it makes me grin insanely.

Joss’ greatest strength as a writer is the group dynamic.  He strips away all the unnecessary action scenes that can plague a title like this and finds the real heart of the story by focussing almost completely on the character relationships.
Scott has assumed leadership of the team but is struggling to make his authority felt.  With Jean gone he is lost in a kind of limbo.  He tries not to show it for both personal and professional reasons.  He needs the support of his friends but they are busy squabbling amongst themselves.
Furthermore, the discovery of a mutant “cure” puts the team on alert.  The story studies the effect it has on the mutant population as a whole, and the tightly knit X-Men team as individuals.  Yes, it’s the story they took the idea from for the third film but don’t hold that against it; it shits all over the film from a very great height.

There is a purity and a focus evident here that team-based comics often lack.  It's not bogged-down by a convoluted continuity or filled with excessive characters that have no real agenda.  I need book 2 in my life as soon as possible.

The book collects together Astonishing X-Men vol 3 issues 1 – 6

4 snide remarks out of 5

1 comment:

cuckoo77 said...

I love the first 12 issues.

It loses it's way a bit in the 3rd book (#13-18) but gets back on track for the grand finale.