Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, May 04, 2009

A too-long nonsensical reaction post to Astonishing X-Men

Damnit. I'm out of things to post about and can't really spend time hunting for more until my next final is over. Feh.

On the plus side, before finals situation went to hell, I did finally sit down and read Whedon and Cassaday's run on Astonishing X-Men. Surprisingly I really enjoyed it. Whedon still has some of those writing quirks that I get kind of weary of, but heck, he showcased pretty much all the awesome qualities of my favorite character so I'm willing to cut him slack for that. Besides, I love anything where the master plan is "1) die, 2) get resurrected, 3) get tortured for a while, 4) be badass."

I wasn't even annoyed by the Kitty/Colossus stuff, and I was never a fan of that pairing the first go-round. Too bad about the getting shot into space thing, but it's a sufficient comic booky "death" in that she'll be back whenever they feel like yanking her back.

I expected to have problems with Whedon's dialogue, but well, the cast is mostly made up of twenty-somethings and teens who have a tendency to snark. I always figured Emma to be older (like mid- or even late-thirties) but then she's amusingly bitchy so it still works. There was one or two instances that it didn't work for me, both Wolverine, probably because Wolverine isn't really the sort for dry sarcasm. But in general, I didn't mind it.

And Whedon actually made me like the whole James Howlett thing. It was the moose thing. Shut up. I'll like almost anything if you can prove to me how it can be funny.

I'm kind of unnerved that Cyclops refers to the loss/inhibition of powers brought about by being FAIRLY HORRIFICALLY MINDRAPED as a "beautiful gift of clarity." That's not a criticism of Whedon though, because I do think that kind of thing is totally in character. (After all, it took him what? Forty years of comics to finally get really really pissed off at Xavier?) It's probably sign #456,789,234.67 that Xavier needed to get that boy real therapy a LONG time ago though.

I enjoy mocking Xavier's horrible horrible parenting skill and query what kind of probate judge in their right mind would give guardianship of a kid to him. I suspect there was mind-whammying involved.

I like Scott/Emma as a couple too. I definitely see it as more temporary than Scott/Jean, because really, it's only a matter of time before she comes back and reclaims her wayward husband (if they're still married. Does death generally cancel out contracts in the Marvel universe?) It's entertainingly unhealthy. (So, for that matter is Scott/Jean.)

I like Cassaday's art in general in the issue, though I kind of think his Scott looked too young. Especially just post mind-zappage. While catatonic, he totally looked like he was all of twelve albeit a slightly hormonally advanced one in need of a shave.

proving a point

Possibly it's just that drool has a youthening effect on people.

He gets to look slightly older while actually awake, but has some sort of strung-out heroin-addict-in-withdrawal thing going on through most of the rest of the story. You know, like he MIGHT be a handsome guy once he had a year of sleep and ate a goddamn sandwich or six. But honestly, that's kind of how I always figured he'd look without the glasses.

Also...well, those are not the eyes of a sane man. He's got crazy eyes man. Craaazy. Up until I finally got ahold of Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men, I honest to goodness figured that they just finally made him put the visor back on just to pretend that their leader is actually a sane man.


See, craazy.


Craaazy. (I'm amused that he's not even LOOKING, if Kitty were to wake up and actually sit up in that moment...oops?)

still kind of crazy

Neither Kitty nor I are reassured by your claims of "clarity", Scott.

still crazy

Still crazy.


...okay, no one can tell me that's not awesome.

I'm not sure how this post became a celebration of Scott Summers looking batshit insane, but I'm amused. Since he pretty much has been since around 1975 or so. But without the glasses, he actually LOOKS it. And the X-Men STILL follow this man into battle. That will never not amaze me.

The rest of the art's okay. I like his Beast. Hisako's unbearably cute. Even Pete is. Emma and Kitty kind of have the same face in different colors, I think.

I enjoyed it. I'm kind of glad I got to read it almost all at once though. (All due thanks to my LCS's lovely trade and back-issue selection.) I'd imagine the delays would have annoyed the hell out of me in real time.

I'm also enjoying the Ellis run too. The banter works for me. (His Wolverine sounds more natural I think, than Whedon's did.) I also like Storm lots, so it's good seeing her again. :-) I'm getting used to Bianchi's art. Initially I didn't like it much, and I'm still not a huge fan of the way he does Storm and Emma's hair. It never quite seems hair-like.


See? That's not hair. That's amoeba growing out of someone's head. Slight difference.

His Scott also looks kind of girly to me. Not BAD necessarily, and looking a little older than Cassaday's to me but:

Kind of Girly

Scott, sweetie, I realize Emma's kinky, but maybe you should wash OFF the lipstick before missions?

But I'm getting used to it. :-) I also enjoyed the Ghost Box issues. (Especially since only Cyclops would actually put down a tarp before blowing his own head off. He's such a considerate boy. :-))

And this entire post is just a really complicated effort to avoid studying right at this moment. But I should probably actually get back to it. Bye!


  • At May 04, 2009 6:27 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    My favorite line from Whedon's run was when they teamed up with the Fantastic Four:

    Thing: Didn't they find a cure for your kind?

    Wolverine: You got a problem with mutants, bub?

    Thing: I meant Canadians.

  • At May 04, 2009 2:31 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    See, I'd heard a little ABOUT "Origin", but Astonishing was my first real encounter with the James Howlett bit. So, yeah, I'm predisposed to like it.

    Actually, the issues in which Wolverine was running around as a timid, spoiled, 19th-century Canadian child were my first exposure to Whedon's run on Astonishing, too. It's edged out Morrison's run on New X-Men for My Favorite X-Saga Ever.

    (And I started reading X-Men back when it was still running reprints of the Neal Adams issues, and Wolverine was some one-shot character who showed up in a forgettable Hulk story.)

    Verification word: "nessi", which can only be a reference to my favorite loch monster.

  • At May 04, 2009 4:37 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I absolutely loved the whole crazy Scott bit, with Cassaday, in fact it may have been my favorite bit, along with the "moose" thing with Wolverine as a six-year old.

    There were some incredibly enjoyable bits, there were some annoying parts, but I guess that's just comics.

    And yes, Face, the Canadians line by the Thing WAS a hoot.

  • At May 04, 2009 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whedon's X-Men is the only X-Men I own and the only X-Men apart from Grant Morrison's I enjoyed.

    My favorite part? Wolverine and the paper dolls. :)

    My favorite line?

    Kitty (to Emma): Oh my god! YOU teach ethics?

  • At May 05, 2009 12:02 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    The tagline "I like beer" in the "About Me" part of my blog was derived from the Whedon run. It was a part of the issue where the other X-Men were having inner monologues and then they cut to Wolverine's, and it was "I like beer". Just that. I think it was the same issue as the "Canadians" line.

  • At May 05, 2009 6:22 AM, Blogger K. D. Bryan said…

    The Danger arc aside, I really enjoyed Whedon's run. You got the big "Fuck Yeah!" moments for tons of characters (that "To me, my X-Men." bit - yeeeeaaahhh!) plus the humor that the X-Men need so badly to keep the "ZOMG Drama" in check. Heh. I forgot about that moose thing. The whole Howlett bit just killed me dead. Also, I've never really much cared for Kitty (or Colossus) but Whedon pulled off a trick only Ellis has managed so far and got me to like her. I also really dug Blindfold and hope that people use her more often.

    Also, while I'm one of the biggest Scott/Emma fans around, I d also don't see them as lasting long. Not because Jean's going to come back ticked (Jean practically shoved him into Emma's arms at the end of Morrison's run, after all) but because Scott's just too darn happy with Emma. Compared to his marriage with Crazy Cosmic Bird Lady, life with a kinky former supervillainess is just too dang blissful. Poor bastard's probably going to self-sabotage the relationship if poor Emma doesn't do it first. That and well, drama is the X-Men watchword, alas. Still, none of that takes away from "Torn" rocking my socks off. I wish everybody could write Emma Frost as well as Whedon.

    Ellis' run has been fun as well but the art is really not doing it for me. Bianchi's work is a bit too "Heavy Metal"-esque for my tastes. Still, I'm hoping to warm up to it as well because I enjoy Ellis' writing so much. Fingers crossed!

  • At May 05, 2009 7:16 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I don't think she'll be ticked. I just think she'll claim him.

    Heh, there's no greater sign of ownership than being able to lend something/someone out at will.

    ...I admit my conception of Scott/Jean is terribly, terribly unhealthy. :-)

    I kind of liked Danger actually. The action suffered, but I rather liked the ideas.

    ...okay, I just liked the "Get off of my lawn" moment.

  • At May 05, 2009 11:07 AM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    I only skimmed issues of Astonishing in the store from time to time, so I'm not really too familiar with it. I think my favorite scene was from that last issue when all the heroes are hallucinating how they stopped the bullet, and Spider-Man sees himself catching it with a giant web net and he's jumping up and down saying 'I did it, I did it. . . Wait a minute.'

    I cracked up at that.

    And much as I loathe Cyclops, yes, 'To me, my X-Men' is a cool line.

  • At May 07, 2009 12:36 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    Scott/Jean is the second most dysfunctional relationship in the Marvel Universe, with Hank/Janet pretty much topping the list.

    Damien/Patsy and Vision/Wanda don't really make the list; if memory serves, both relationships seemed middlin' stable right up until one partner or the other had some kind of massive trauma, and then, poof, no more relationship.

    Sure, Damien dragged Patsy off to Hell, or something, but she didn't stay with him after that.


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