Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Comic Book Review: Astonishing X-Men #15

Astonishing X-Men is a great title and has been the only X-title worth reading in a very long time. I wish all X-Men titles were as great as this one. I fully expect Astonishing X-Men #15 to continue to deliver the goods. Let’s go to the review.

Creative Team
Writer
: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Emma Frost cranking up some crocodile tears. (This is an excellent looking first page. Nicely done.) She tells Logan, Peter and Kitty that Scott is gone. Emma asks Logan to get Henry.

We then cut to the Beast in his lab. Cassandra Nova has shut down Beast’s higher brain functions turning him into a true beast.

We then cut to Emma, Kitty and Peter tending to Cyclops. Emma says that this might be an attack and asks Kitty to check on the other student. Colossus then takes Cyclops to the lab.

We cut to Colossus in the lab when suddenly Sebastian Shaw appears. Colossus armors up and proceeds to lay a serious beat down on Shaw.

We cut to Kitty approaching Nagasonic Teenage Warhead in the TV room. The little Goth villain makes Kitty lose control of her ability to phase and Kitty sinks through the floor.

We then cut to Wolverine saying that Cassandra Nova underestimated him. That she forgot that he is the best at what he does. And what he does is…so terribly pretty?! We see Logan making little pink paper cutouts and acting like a little prissy English school girl. We then see a totally feral Beast attack this sissified Logan.

We cut back to Kitty phasing all the way through a layer of magma in the Earth and continuing to drop to the center of the Earth.

We then cut back to Colossus still kicking the crap out of Shaw.

We then cut to Blindfold in the bathroom and Hisako trying to get Blindfold to tell her what is bothering her. Suddenly, Logan bursts in and hides behind Hisako. The feral Beast then busts into the Bathroom and attacks Blindfold. Hisako powers up with her “shield armor” and lays a beating on Beast. Beast then runs away.

We then cut to the SWORD space station. We see Danger paying a visit to Ord. Danger says that they are both similar and have been victims of the mutant threat. That Ord’s people are coming to kill the Destroyer of Worlds. That the killer is found and that Ord is lost.

We then cut to Shaw using all of the kinetic energy her has absorbed in the beat down that Colossus gave him to take out Colossus with one punch. We then see the members of the new Hellfire Club all meeting in one room of the X-Mansion. Out the window we can see Beast chasing Wolverine across the lawn. The Hellfire Club members say to each other that this is just the beginning.

We then cut to Kitty who has regained control over her powers. She says that being an X-Man means a lot to her. Kitty says that Emma brought her in and that Emma made her move just like Kitty knew she would. Kitty then says that it is her turn. End of issue.

Comments
The Good
: Incredible. Once again, Whedon delivers the goods. Astonishing X-Men #15 is a great issue. I loved how the Hellfire Club took down each member of the X-Men. The opening scene was perfect. Emma is such a manipulating bitch. Seeing her icy cold and then making herself cry before entering the kitchen where Logan, Peter and Kitty were was fantastic.

The Hellfire’s Club plan was so wonderfully paced and executed. It was really neat to watch their plan fall into place. And the best part was watching them use all of the X-Men’s fears being used against them.

Having Beast turn feral and Wolverine turned into a prissy school girl was beautiful. What a wonderful twist on these two characters. And the “I’m the best at what I do” scene with Logan making the pink paper cut outs was hilarious!

Watching a raging Colossus pound away at Shaw was just brutal. It was pretty cool to see Shaw black and blue with bloody eyes take a beating just to power up enough to take out Colossus with one blow.

And the appearance of Danger was a nice unexpected little twist. I’m rather curious to see what Danger is up to and what kind of plan she has cooked up for her and Ord.

The end of the issue was pretty cool. I have never been a big fan of Kitty Pryde, but it was nice to see her stepping up to Emma’s challenge.

Joss Whedon is such a talented writer. Whedon delivers another fantastic issue. His stories are well constructed and have excellent pacing. Whedon’s dialogue is well crafter and entertaining to read. Whedon is weaving several interesting storylines and we are in for a real treat with this current story arc.

John Cassaday’s artwork is beautiful. Cassaday is an incredible artist and his art really boosts and compliments Whedon’s strong writing. The combination makes for a comic book that is a very powerful read. Cassaday’s art pulls the reader into the story and gets us to feel the various characters’ emotions.

The Bad: I have absolutely no complaints with this issue at all.

Overall: Astonishing X-Men #15 is a fantastic issue. Between Whedon’s great writing and Cassaday’s excellent art you have the ingredients for a powerhouse comic book. I would recommend Astonishing X-Men to anyone. You definitely don’t have to be a Marvel Zombie or an X-Men addict to enjoy this title.

4 comments:

Andy said...

Kitty's mimic of Wolverine's "Now it's my turn!" from The Hellfire Saga was absolute perfection!

God bless Whedon. It's nice to know that there is at least ONE writer at Marvel that knows how to write the X-Men.

Excelsior!

Mir said...

Just a quick comment: I think the quote about "Being an X-Man means a lot to me" was a flashback to something Emma said to Kitty early on in Astonishing.

Anonymous said...

It was okay, but honestly, did Colossus go retarded? He has faced the Black King before and he knows what he can do so to continue punching him was rather poor plot device as if he never fought against him and a convenient way to show how the Black King takes Colossus down.

I would have liked this story more if I didn't see this before in X-Man issue when the Black King and Emma Frost (in Storm's body) infiltrate and takeoever the school and Ecalibur #51 when they were ambushed from within by Captain Britain's ex-girlfriend/dimensional dictator Saturnine and in that same issue Kitty also escaped and returned to rescue them.

And this also seems like a repeat of the last Astonishing X-man arc: A siege at the school, each X-man taken down by their weakness through overwhelming odds and then at the last minute the calvary who suddenly (deus ex machina) is able to rally back. It would have been nice to write this differently. It's bad to repeat this plotline, but it's even worse to repeat it less than six issues ago. At least the two story arcs in the first 12 issues of Astonishing X-men were different from each other.

Uber Critic said...

Whedon is a great writer all right...In fact I like to call him the new Rod Serling. Just check out his work on Firefly, Serenity, Buffy, Angel, Speed and Toy Story. Quite frankly, he's the best kept secret in the entertainment industry. If Marvel is smart, they should have him create an original
super hero character and comic book for them, with the goal of turning it into a movie!!!