Thursday, February 12, 2009

Astonishing X-Men

My obsession for all things Joss Whedon is well documented at this point. It has taken me far and wide, from the Buffyverse to the 'Verse, from the future to 1997, from TV to the internet to... dare I admit it?... comic books.

In 2004, Whedon wrote a 24-issue run of X-Men comics called "Astonishing X-Men," which was collected into four graphic novels. Since I've consumed absolutely everything else of his, and since Joker has been a huge comic book fan since the days of yore, it was only a matter of time before I'd read it.

There were a three major hurdles to this endeavor. First off, I am not very skilled at reading comic books. It's a more complicated than I would have thought. Dialogue scenes I get. They make sense. But when there's action and explosions - especially if it's all very red, or all very fiery - I have trouble following the action. Secondly, I've never read any of the X-Men comics, which have been going on for decades now. There is a lot of history and backstory that I simply don't know. Myriad alien races, interaction with the Fantastic Four, the Hellfire Club, various love connections... there was a lot I didn't know about. And finally, I didn't realize that this 24-issue run (a) would not be self contained, and (b) would not be comprised of a single adventure.

Despite all of this, I really enjoyed the read. The storyline was really interesting, the art was great, and it was fun to be so far out of my element. Kitty Pryde has a lot of Buffy-esque characteristics, and she had more than a few lines that could have come straight from our favorite slayer. The plot got a little fuzzy to me in the middle - too many characters that can read and influence minds, I suppose - but all in all it was a great story. Who knows... more comic books may lie in store for me now!

1 comment:

JOK said...

Amusingly, I also found the Whedon run a little harder to follow than I expected. The same thing happened to me last year when refreshing Miller's Daredevil run. Perhaps the imagination fills in more blanks in a young readers mind. Content quirks that I found important as an X-Man fan - Emma Frost as X-Man and lover of Scott Summers, the return of Colosus (didn't know he was dead), Lockheed having a pivotal storyline role, and becomoing a real fan for the first time of the Beast.