I live in New York City and I'm surrounded by books all day and when I go home I have more books waiting for me. Read my "About" page on top to see what I mean. I just want to share my book experiences and my love of all-things-books, with hopefully the occasional review thrown in. If you wish to contact me, the address is polishoutlanderATgmailDOTcom

Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon

Now in one titanic tome: the entire chart-topping run of super-team Joss Whedon and John Cassaday! Winner of multiple prestigious Eisner Awards, Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men was a smash hit with critics and fans alike from the very first issue – winning praise from dozens of top media outlets including Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, TV Guide, and New York Magazine, as well as racking up nearly every major comic-book industry award. Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Whedon and Cassaday (Captain America, Planetary) assembled a tight cast – Cyclops, the Beast, Wolverine, and Emma Frost, joined by returning fan-favorite Kitty Pryde – and set forth a groundbreaking pace, from the opening pages of a Sentinel attack to the unexpected return of a beloved X-Man. Then, building on early momentum, they ratcheted up the danger and drama with a shocking second year, creating a must-read book that can truly be called “astonishing!”

Josh got this for me for my birthday earlier this year and he has been nagging me ever since to read it. It combines two things I (we) like: X-Men and Joss Whedon. This collection had been getting rave reviews. So did it live up to the hype? I think so.

One doesn’t need to have read any X-Men comics before this. I watched the cartoon when I was a kid, and I am slowly, slowly making my way through the Essential volumes that we got at last year’s NYCC (I am still on volume 1). But that’s ok! Why? Because there are some handy-dandy pages in the beginning that briefly tell and illustrate what has happened prior to this. Very helpful. Like, did you know Colossus was dead? I didn’t know he was dead. I didn’t know he and Kitty Pryde had a thing, sorta, going on.

Yes, Kitty Pryde. Move over Wolverine! Someone else has the story focus…. Wolverine is in this but he sort of takes a backseat story-wise. He’s in it throughout though. And he actually takes a young X-Man under his wing, in his own Wolverine-way.

But it is Kitty we are focused on. And Emma Frost. And Cyclops.  Jean Grey is old news people!

There are some interesting twists and turns and we do get to find out some interesting stuff about the characters, most notably Cyclops, and why he truly has to wear those special glasses.

There were a few parts I was confused about, mostly concerning Emma and the Hellfire Club. Note: she was a bad guy before she joined the X-Men. But the Hellfire Club reappears in her life and I was left scratching my head. Cause all of a sudden, there were two Emmas……? I think. Maybe I missed something. Either way, this did not hinder the story line, because I just moved on.

In a way this was an interesting throwback to the old X-Men, in terms of storyline. The X-Men are on a foreign planet trying to save our world. In the Essential Volume One, they are doing just that. But that is what the X-Men are supposed to, right? Save the world, while trying to save themselves from each other and the rest of the regular people (”mutants are evil! we have a cure for them!” is also brought up).

But it’s not all seriousness here. There is an amusing part where Wolverine and Beast revert to their childlike-selves. This cover hints at this somewhat:

Never thought you’d see Logan so…so… scared? so meek?

Overall, the covers for this run were just amazing!

So if you like X-Men AND Joss Whedon, then this is for you. And if you only like one of those things, then this is still for you. And if you don’t like either of those things, then this is for you too.

I know I will be wanting to read the following volume in the Astonishing X-Men to see what happens to all the characters. A lot happens to them here anyway, but you definitely want/need to know what happens next.

If you’re curious to see the trailer for the motion comic of this entire collection, here it is below:

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