"I want this thing off my lawn."
Vol II picks up where Vol I: Gifted (2006) left off. I was hoping for more of the same, but it’s different and not always the good kind of different.
The story hits the ground running. Bang! Straight in. No foreplay! From then on it's a roller coaster ride of semi-exciting highs and face-palm lows.
The danger level is cranked to maximum. There's the feeling that we're getting something that could do some real and lasting harm for a change, but it shits the bed and delivers something that isn't very dangerous at all.
Five minutes after the initial battle everyone is fully recovered and ready for more. You were dead but you're okay now. Let's get snacks.
Whedon has proved over time that he gets it right more often than he gets it wrong, but he wrote himself into a hole this time. Either he got lazy or was busy with a hundred other projects and forgot how astonish. He even forgot that Professor X is paraplegic, or did I miss something prior to this story?
The plot is ridiculous. The ending feels like it was pulled from a hat. If Wolverine had started doing card tricks it wouldn't have felt out of place.
What held my attention was the continued character development, particularly between Kitty and Peter. I like Joss' ability to balance characterisation and action in the same instance; he doesn't need to stop one to focus on the other.
I also liked the role given to Beast, and how artist John Cassaday translated that role to the page. Needs more Beast.
Volume I left me very eager for more. Volume II left me asking myself do I even want Volume III? If it’s on sale... maybe.
The book collects together Astonishing X-Men vol 3 issues 7–12
2½ purple helmets out of 5