Friday, January 11, 2008

Astonishing X-Men: gifted

So, I was at the local library Wednesday night, just browsing, and I ran across Astonishing X-Men: gifted, the first collection from the same titled comic series that began in 2004. I figured why not pick it up for a cheap (free) read. After all, that is what the library is for, right?

Okay, second reason I picked it up was because it was written by Joss Whedon, famed writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, of course, Firefly. I never watched the former show, but I am a huge fan of the later one - as short lived as that was. The collection includes the first six issues of the book, so it was a good starting point of a title I had not read.

Now, to be fair, I was an X-Men fan until about the mid-90's or so. I dropped off from getting the monthly books, but I still have some in my long boxes of comics plus I have the fully Uncanny X-Men title run on DVD-ROM too. So, I'm no stranger to the X-Men world. Still, some of this was new to me - some stuff I liked and some not so much.

Liked: Wolverine is still his usual self, he and Cyclops were still having it out over their shared love of Jean Grey, Emma Frost still dresses like a skank-hooker, Kitty Pryde is back in the book, Colossus turns up alive (I stopped reading the regular books just after he "died" - does anyone stay dead in comics any more?).

Disliked: the Beast's feline look (he should look like a furry blue ape, not a cat!), Jean Grey is dead (again) - that won't last though (see paragraph above), Cyclops is with the skank-hooker (I'm betting it wasn't his idea - she does have mind control abilities after all), we're still seeing folks trying to "cure" mutants (yawn).

If I see any of the other collections in the library, I'll pick them up. I can't see myself shelling out $14.99 apiece just to read these though. I wasn't thrilled enough to do that.


Michael O. said...

A lot of the problems you're talking about are after-effects of the Grant Morrison run. Like you, I'm not that big a fan of his. He tends to shine for a few issues and then get out of control, and he tends to write the characters the way he wants, not the way they are. I bought a number of his issues at the start. The Cyclops/Emma thing was his, and Beast feline thing, too, neither of which made any sense to me. So Joss wanted to go back to the era of X-Men that he obviously loved (the same one I grew up with), and bringing back both Kitty and Colossus (him, more dramatically, of course) shows that, and were things I applauded (Pete's death was always pretty lame). But he still had to deal with everything Morrison changed, I'm afraid. I need to get back to reading those, myself...I'm ashamed, as a Joss fan, to say that I stopped after a certain point (nothing to do with the book or its quality), and I'm quite behind. I'm looking forward to seeing how he continued with it. I just love the Whedon dialogue working with my favorite old characters. Kitty in issue one, for example, to Emma - "Sorry, I was busy remembering to put all my clothes on". Classic. Make you a keep checking them out, and I'll try to catch up, and we'll both find out how the overall book is.

And I still laugh at how I spent a good amount of time talking to artist John Cassaday at the Serenity premiere after-party and had no idea who I was talking to (the lady who hooked us up didn't bother telling me who he was!). So we spent most of our time talking about The Nice Guy...when I could have been talking X-Men! Not a bad way for it to end up for me, I guess. :)

Martin said...

Mike, aha! Grant Morrison is to blame. Now it fits. He screwed up JLA for me for years. I thought his Animal Man and Doom Patrol were fine, but when it comes to the big teams he needs to back-off as, I think, he gets to radical.

Cool you talked to John Cassady at the Serenity premiere.

If I see more copies in the library, I'll give them a read. I'm not shelling out money for the books though - I'm trying to cut back where I can on my comic buying (yeah, right...I need to go cold turkey or not at all).