Graphic Weekends: Astonishing X-Men

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Graphic Weekends: Astonishing X-Men

If you were anything like me as a kid, saturday morning cartoons were by far the best part of the week. And without a doubt, of all the cartoons I gunked my mind up with, X-Men was my favourite. Pick up where your childhood left off with Astonishing X-Men; not only is it (as the name suggests) astonishing, but it is also written by Joss Whedon! You might remember him as director of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the recent Hollywood blockbuster “The Avengers“.

The Astonishing X-Men Cast

Whedon insisted on hand-picking his cast for Astonishing X-Men. As such, everyone’s favourites are here and then some:
– Wolverine
– Beast
– Cyclops
– Kitty Pride (aka Shadow Cat)
– Emma Frost
– Colossus

What is Astonishing X-Men About?

The storyline of Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men is centered around an alien who comes to earth to prevent one of the X-Men from destroying his planet. However, he doesn’t know which X-Man it is, and decides to kill them all rather than attempt to do a bit of detective work.  The Astonishing X-Men have to contend with him, a formula that could possibly remove mutants’ powers, and just about everything else you could ever dream of. Whedon masterfully paces Astonishing X-Men at full speed for the entire story; to say there is never a dull moment is an understatement.

The art for Astonishing X-Men is done by John Cassaday, who keeps it realistic and helps to highlight Whedon’s stylistic urgency as well as his sense of humor. For example, the following panel is of Wolverine getting thrown like a torpedo by Colossus:

Wolverine being thrown in Astonishing X-Men

More information about Astonishing X-Men

– The first 24 issues were written by Joss Whedon, after which several other writers have since taken the reigns
– The books each cost around $15 each
– Astonishing X-Men won the Eisner award for “best continue series” in 2006
– John Cassaday won the Eisner for Best Artist in 2005 and 2006

Last but not least, a quick tribute to the X-Men cartoon we all so fondly remember:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAkL2-vh2Sk

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Dean Brookstone 

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