Title: Astonishing X-Men: Gifted
Author: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Genre: Superheroes / Action / Adventure
Year Published: 2004
Year Read: 2011
Series: Astonishing X-Men #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Gory Violence and Some Language)
Alright, I have actually first heard of the “X-Men” series when I was little and it was through a 90s cartoon series entitled “X-Men: The Animated Series.” From that day on, I was so hooked onto the “X-Men” franchise that I practically watched every incarnation of “X-Men” throughout my life which included the animated series “X-Men: Evolution” and I even watched all three “X-Men” movies. Now the truth of the matter is that even though I have heard of the “X-Men” franchise ever since I was a child, I never read the comics at all, until now. I never read the comics before because there was just too many universes involving everyone’s favorite superhero mutants and I am one of those people who cannot keep up with too many different versions of certain characters’ lives because I will get confused easily. Well, I stumbled upon this unique comic book from the “X-Men” series entitled “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted” and when I found out that Joss Whedon (creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) was going to write an “X-Men” comic, I was shocked and excited at the same time! Joss Whedon is surely an accomplished writer and I have watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” before and I really enjoyed that show! And now, without further ado, I will now discuss about what this book is all about and my opinions on this comic.
What is the story?
Cyclops and Emma Frost, who are now in charge of the institute, started reforming the X-Men once again to prove to the world that even though they are mutants, they are the heroes and they want to “astonish” the world with their heroic deeds. However, when a mutant cure reaches all over the world and many mutants line up to get the cure, will the X-Men’s efforts to prove to the world that they are the good guys fall in vain? And to add to that, the X-Men will soon reunite with a fellow mutant who was presumed dead. Who is that mutant? Find out once you pick up “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted!”
What I loved about this comic:
Joss Whedon’s writing: Joss Whedon’s writing was so brilliant in this comic! He really knows how to bring excitement and suspense to the storyline regarding the X-Men trying to figure out the secrets of this “mutant cure” and who is behind all of this commotion. I also loved the way that Joss Whedon is able to shock the audience with various scenes that came so unexpected in the story, such as the scene where we find out about the mutant who was presumed dead and when I found out about that situation, I was totally shocked beyond all reason and yet I was extremely happy to see how the shock of this scene was written and shown. I also loved the way that Joss Whedon incorporated humor into the story at the right places, like Wolverine’s obsession with beer and that one popular line in the book where Wolverine is cursing like crazy and you just see a bunch of symbols indicating the strong language.
John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations were simply gorgeous and fitted this story perfectly. I loved how all the X-Men characters look so real and I especially loved seeing their expressions that ranged from anger to shock as it was amusing to look at. I also loved the lighting of certain scenes such as the X-Men going to the Benetech lab and everything inside the lab is shaded in green which fitted the brooding mood of the lab.
The characters: I have never seen such amazing characters from the “X-Men” universe in my entire life! All the characters were interesting without being boring at all and I loved seeing the actual conflicts they have with each other, especially between Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde as they clearly have contempt for each other due to Emma’s horrible past. Even though I will always be a Cyclops/Jean Grey fan, I thought that the relationship between Emma and Scott was pretty interesting and they seem to share some kind of bond that I never would have seen in any other comic. I also loved the fact that Kitty Pryde seems to be the star of this issue since the media rarely focuses on her character and what was so interesting about her character was that she resembled Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in being the heroic heroine who would do anything to save her friends from disaster.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:
I do not really have much of a problem with this issue since I thought it was perfect, but for those of you who do not like gore and language, this volume contains plenty of gore and language, so I would probably not read this issue if language and violence is a bother to some people.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading “Astonishing X-Men: Gifted” and I am looking forward to reading up on the next issue “Dangerous” from this fantastic series! If anyone has ever read the “X-Men” series before and you want to recommend me some titles, please recommend me some “X-Men” titles that were really great to read!