Saturday, January 14, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Astonishing X-Men: Torn by Joss Whedon

Title:  Astonishing X-Men: Torn

Author: Joss Whedon

Artist: John Cassaday

Genre: Superheroes / Action / Adventure

Year Published: 2006

Year Read: 2011

Series: Astonishing X-Men #3

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (A Sex Scene, Violence and Mature Themes)

After finishing the second volume of the awesome “Astonishing X-Men” series “Dangerous,” I was definitely looking forward to reading the third volume of this series “Torn.” Imagine my pure delight after I had finished reading this volume since I was totally blown away by the twists and turns in this volume and I am sure that X-Men fans will enjoy this volume as much as I did!

What is the story?

Emma Frost has been acting strange ever since the incident with Danger in the last volume and now she is literally playing mind games with Cyclops which might cause harm to our beloved leader! Meanwhile, the new Hellfire Club starts making its move on the X-Men by playing vicious mind games with them that will help them get to their ultimate goal of releasing Cassandra Nova from her prison! Also, the identity of the mutant who is destined to destroy the Breakworld is finally revealed! There is a lot going on in this volume that determines the fate of the X-Men, so stay tuned!

What I loved about this comic:

Joss Whedon’s writing: Once again, Joss Whedon has woven a story that is full of humor and suspense that will keep anyone’s attention at bay! This story was fantastic as it was full of mystery and drama and I was shocked at how ruthless the new Hellfire Club is when they were manipulating each X-Men team member mentally. Probably the most traumatic scene in this entire book was of Kitty’s nightmare sequence involving her, Peter and their son that the White Queen put on her. I will not reveal what happened during this sequence, but you might want to pray for Peter and Kitty’s relationship to work after this volume. Joss Whedon also had a great knack for humor and I loved the scenes where the Hellfire Club messes with Wolverine’s mind and makes him into a wimpy man who constantly spews random things whenever he is scared. This is such a rare moment for me to see all serious and bad-tempered Wolverine become a scared wimp in a matter of seconds and it really provided so much humor for a serious storyline.

John Cassaday’s illustrations: John Cassaday’s illustrations are just as memorable here as they were in the previous two volumes. I loved the way that he makes the characters look so realistic and one of my favorite images was of Wolverine looking so scared throughout his episode of his mind being altered because they were extremely hilarious and it was rare seeing Wolverine in this state. But, my all-time favorite image in this volume was of Kitty running through the sewers that was reminiscent of the earlier comics where Wolverine was also in the sewers after being defeated by the Hellfire Club at the time and John Cassaday made Kitty look so intense and brilliant in this scene that I think that this was one of the most memorable scenes in the “Astonishing X-Men” series since Colossus’ return!

Shadowcat: Wow! Kitty was just truly awesome in this volume that I just love her character even more than I did in the cartoon series! I loved the way that she was the only person who was not affected by the Hellfire Club’s attempts at messing with the X-Men’s mind, although briefly, and the way that she fought Emma was just spectacular! I truly think that Joss Whedon has done her character justice in this series and it makes me want to read more of this series!

Peter and Kitty’s relationship (once again!): This time, Peter and Kitty’s relationship is up a notch and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship go even further! I especially loved the opening scene in this volume of Peter and Kitty having a picnic together and I really loved the little cute banter that Kitty and Peter have with each other before Peter (gasps) kisses Kitty!

 What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

The only problem I had with this book was that the plot tends to be a bit confusing and there were times where there were certain moments in the story where the conflict is not fully explained. For example, I am not sure about the Cassandra Nova arc and I was trying to figure out what was going on in that arc since I do not understand what Cassandra Nova was after at Xavier’s Institute. Well, I guess this might be made clearer in the next volume.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Astonishing X-Men: Torn” has some confusing moments, this was still a brilliant read for me and I cannot wait to read the final volume in Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s run on this series, “Unstoppable!”

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