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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 Yo 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 " Collects Astonishing X-Men #1-24, and Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1.


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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 Yo 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 " Collects Astonishing X-Men #1-24, and Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1.

30 review for Astonishing X-Men Omnibus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Wow! I'm going to go ahead, be a nerd, and say it... This was Astonishing! I haven't read much by Whedon, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was great. The X-men comics are some of (in my opinion) the hardest to break into, because there are so many characters, and they've been around for so long. Whedon put me at ease by dedicating a few pages at the beginning of the book to highlight some of the important things that had happened over the years in the X-universe. This was a HUGE help to Wow! I'm going to go ahead, be a nerd, and say it... This was Astonishing! I haven't read much by Whedon, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was great. The X-men comics are some of (in my opinion) the hardest to break into, because there are so many characters, and they've been around for so long. Whedon put me at ease by dedicating a few pages at the beginning of the book to highlight some of the important things that had happened over the years in the X-universe. This was a HUGE help to me, so I suggest newbies seek out this edition. The story itself was really good, but it's too long to go into everything in a review. It is however, an epic tale that is not to be missed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    this book is having a strange effect on me maybe the pages are infused with some kind of mutagenic DNA altering CIA/Borg nanoprobe experimental devices? it's possible The X-Men are people whose lives are drastically altered by extraordinary circumstance and their story is characterized by the very humanity they personify in their quest for acceptance. They become in essence the caretakers of that humanity, which they have been accused of not possessing. This omnibus would be an outstandin this book is having a strange effect on me maybe the pages are infused with some kind of mutagenic DNA altering CIA/Borg nanoprobe experimental devices? it's possible The X-Men are people whose lives are drastically altered by extraordinary circumstance and their story is characterized by the very humanity they personify in their quest for acceptance. They become in essence the caretakers of that humanity, which they have been accused of not possessing. This omnibus would be an outstanding addition for anyone collecting X-Men. As a standalone volume to someone unfamiliar with the X-Men, this extract of the ongoing saga would still be an exceptional reading experience: the artwork is an evolutionary development from innovators of the form such as Moebius, and the narrative has a depth of characterization one would not expect in a comic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    Erg, wow. Is there another superhero collection that HUMANIZES the heroes this successfully? Because I haven't read it. This series BLEW. MY. MIND.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Selkie ✦ Queen

    With a total of twenty-four issues, the 2005 debut of The Astonishing X-Men feels like you're viewing one season of an American television show which is perfectly understandable, seeing as its writer Joss Whedon is also the one that brought us TV gems like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse and Angel. This gorgeous omnibus edition collects all issues of Whedon's legendary run, comprised of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Beast and Colossus. Truly engaging, endlessly creati With a total of twenty-four issues, the 2005 debut of The Astonishing X-Men feels like you're viewing one season of an American television show which is perfectly understandable, seeing as its writer Joss Whedon is also the one that brought us TV gems like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse and Angel. This gorgeous omnibus edition collects all issues of Whedon's legendary run, comprised of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Beast and Colossus. Truly engaging, endlessly creative and shockingly sublime in the right places, The Astonishing X-Men has to be the BEST X-MEN SERIES I've read this year (with Jeff Parker's X-Men: First Class being the close second). I would consider this as a rather a fine example of a writing that works phenomenally when it comes to telling a really engaging superhero story with a balance between plot and character developments. Like I said, it feels like the first season of a favorite show, filled with stellar moments in the plot construction and the character arcs that make it float and stay on course. Both riveting in execution of story and delivering some of the most emotionally meaningful moments about characters (especially two female superheroes), Joss Whedon's The Astonishing X-Men is something I will recommended readily to a fan of the X-Men films but has yet to read them in comics. This is a great starting piece to ease newbies in while at the same time pleasing the long-time crowd of fans. The twenty-four issues are divided into four story arcs which are composed of six installments each. We have Gifted where a scientist develops a cure for the mutant gene, and the new team of the X-Men band together to prove that they can be just as loved by the public and the media as the other superhero teams such as the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. In Danger, the X-Men faces the threat of their most formidable foe yet; a sentient being who has lived in the Xavier School and watched them fight during combat simulation and is therefore more than informed regarding their weaknesses. For Torn, Emma Frost (a reformed villainness) commits the unthinkable, fracturing her teammates and certain important relationships within their group. The last arc, Unbreakable, ties together all three previous plot stories with its own primary focus on the alien planet Breakworld which, according to some prophecy, is destined to be destroyed by an X-Man. The conclusion of that arc continues to the Giant-Size edition whose ending was the most unexpected and stomach-churning pay-off I have ever been subjected to. Just thinking about it again makes me very sad and very mad. That being said, Whedon performed consistently in his writing for each issue, holding back no punches and making sure that each blow hurts enough to give you a lingering ache. But like most of Whedon's work, he knows how to take characters to places and then he breaks and molds them into something better and enthralling, even if it's fragmented with the kind of holes you can never mend. The two stars of his series are Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost. Whedon's first issue began with seeing Kitty Pryde again as she walks back into the Xavier School for the Gifted, bags in hand but looking as if she has never left the place at all. What I enjoyed about Kitty in her appearances here in the series is the fact that she's a darling. Really, she is. Inquisitive, selfless but clever, and brave to a goddamn fault, Kitty always becomes the star of a story when a writer really knows how to commit her stellar characterization on paper. I thought she had an impressive run so far, taking on the responsibility of becoming an X-Man head-on even if she maintained that "being an X-Man does not always suit me". In spite of whatever insecurities she had about her skills and role in the team, she never lets it get to her and performs under pressure quite creatively and adamantly. This isn't really the first time Kitty caught my attention. In Claremont's X-Men: Forever, she accidentally phased through Wolverine while a mutant got them stuck and when she separated from him, he got a piece of his adamantium claw on her knuckle. The way she dealt with that physical transformation was so riveting to watch because at her core, Kitty remains the resourceful and compassionate kid she is through all of it. In her first appearance after the Dark Phoenix Saga, thirteen-year old Kitty is inexperienced in so many ways but was eager to learn and prove herself. This is around the time Days of Future Past hit, and her older self and younger self merged to save the day. It's such a shame that the movies don't put her front and center (alongside Wolverine if they must insist, considering Logan and Kitty have a good brother-sister thing going on anyway), especially when they cast a talented actress like Ellen Page for the role. In any case, at least in Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, she truly got to shine. Meanwhile, the White Queen has always fascinated me since her very first appearance in the Dark Phoenix storyline as one of the formidable henchwomen of the Hellfire Club. It's worth noting that she and Kitty were introduced together especially here in Whedon's tale where the two are obviously at odds with each other. Kitty has made it no secret that she has no love for Emma and does not and will probably never trust her. And Emma knows this. She understands people way more than we give this cold-hearted woman credit for. The reason why she brought Kitty into the fold in the first place (as revealed in issue #18), is because Emma is losing her mind because parasitic Cassandra Nova hijacked her telepathically, and she knew Kitty would be the only one who won't hesitate to kill her. That's a powerful thing to entrust someone with, and it didn't help her already temperamental relationship with Kitty either. But Emma had revealed to Kitty that she is capable of murder if she's motivated for the right reasons, and such a startling revelation, I know, has shook Kitty, but she's not able to deal with that for now. Still, I think, in a twisted sort of way, Kitty began respecting Emma and what she can do after that incident. With little empathy and people skills, Emma can be so easy to dislike and cast aside as a woman forever trapped in the villain role, but Whedon had composed her here in such a validating perspective where she's finally vulnerable and in love with a man she feels she doesn't deserve. That broke my heart as much as Scott Summers has thawed the frost in her heart. She's so entralling in the story arc TORN that I can hardly keep up with her! I really like Emma, more than I ever thought I would. Her relationship with Scott is also worth shipping. They're an intriguing pair. That's not to say that the male characters are slacking. Cyclops was allowed to truly shine as he rediscovers his purpose as the leader of the team while Colossus takes on fate itself and tries to bend it to his own will. Meanwhile, we have Beast, who gets to contemplate about his mutation and whether or not he wants to go through another painful physical transformation as Wolverine finds yet another young girl to become a promising protégé to train. The variety of villains for this series has served their respective purposes, short-lived as they may be whole a few were certainly impactful, and they only enriched the tapestry that Whedon has painstakingly and with great love care weaved for us readers. There was even a motion comics series because everyone apparently came to an agreement that this is meant to be shown visually in another medium because it's just that damn riveting. I recommend for you to check out said motions comics yourself which has copies online. As I finish this review, I literally can't think of a single disappointing thing about this series. Well, except for the Giant-Size's ending concerning Kitty Pryde but even that wasn't enough to lessen my adoration for the entirety of the series. I am still so duly impressed by the quality that Whedon has produced here. This remains as a strong contribution to the X-Men universe nonetheless! Overall, Joss Whedon's The Astonishing X-Men has accomplished what it set out to do when it started: to astonish the world. A perfect mixture of sustainable action, relentless twist and turns and resonant character insights and relationships, this is a series that you will be a fool not to start reading at once. The majority agrees that this is just bloody brilliant and a worthy addition to any fan's X-Men collection. RECOMMENDED: 10/10 DO READ MY REVIEWS AT:

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I've never been a big Joss Whedon fan-boy. I've never really understood the hype. But after reading this...man, he can write a mean X-men story! It can be tricky writing for the X-Men, especially these days, with tracking so many characters and trying to keep it fresh and interesting, but Whedon does an skillful job here in this 25-issue run that he had with the heroes. Whedon shows a real love for the characters here, and the book features some of the most creative sequences I've seen in an X-Me I've never been a big Joss Whedon fan-boy. I've never really understood the hype. But after reading this...man, he can write a mean X-men story! It can be tricky writing for the X-Men, especially these days, with tracking so many characters and trying to keep it fresh and interesting, but Whedon does an skillful job here in this 25-issue run that he had with the heroes. Whedon shows a real love for the characters here, and the book features some of the most creative sequences I've seen in an X-Men tale. Whedon takes these well-known characters, consolidates all of their best attributes, and lets it all fly in this epic story. He not only has a great sensitivity to each X-Man's personality, but he takes their specific powers and explores all of the possible ways to showcase them, leading to massively entertaining sequences. One great example is the way the book shows how powerful skilled psychics can be, especially in the amazing sequence in the third volume, Torn, when the mansion is attacked by the Hellfire Club and telepathically manipulated by Cassandra Nova and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. You can also tell the love that Whedon (as with many other writers) has for Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat). She has many fans but Whedon really showcases all of the aspects of her powers here and it's all very fascinating. What happens when Kitty has an orgasm? One of the reasons why the X-Men are some of my favorite heroes to read is because of the specificity of their individual powers, so I had a blast with all these little moments. And the book also features one of the coolest character entrances ever with the appearance of Colossus. And of course the witty dialogue and entertaining set-pieces that Whedon is known for is on full-display here, showing that he might be one of the best candidates to tell superhero stories, which he's proven here, and with his popularity with the big superhero movie franchises. And with this book run, he set a good standard for X-Men storytelling!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    Growing up in the 90s, comics weren't really my thing, so my love of superheroes came from the cartoons such as Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animated Series and of course X-Men. Following the release of the average, but somewhat disappointing threequel of the X-Men film franchise, when I really start getting into comics, I was recommended Astonishing X-Men by Buffy creator Joss Whedon and Planetary artist John Cassaday. Years later, I got the omnibus, which covers the entire run which is so far the Growing up in the 90s, comics weren't really my thing, so my love of superheroes came from the cartoons such as Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animated Series and of course X-Men. Following the release of the average, but somewhat disappointing threequel of the X-Men film franchise, when I really start getting into comics, I was recommended Astonishing X-Men by Buffy creator Joss Whedon and Planetary artist John Cassaday. Years later, I got the omnibus, which covers the entire run which is so far the only X-Men run I've read so far. Following Grant Morrison's New X-Men, Whedon takes what Morrison had established in the X-world such as its characters and creates four distinctive story arcs in which Whedon and Cassaday make these characters their own. Instead of doing the run-through of the whole series, I'll briefly tell you about the first arc: "Gifted". When Kitty Pryde returns to the X-Mansion as both teacher and X-Man, a mutant cure has been found which puts pressure on the mutant kind as well as some members of the X-Men, while an evil alien comes to Earth and wreaks havoc. While the plot of the mutant cure inspired X-Men: The Last Stand, what Astonishing achieves at more is the character dynamics through Whedon's witty dialogue as the heroic mutants are in conflict with one another, whether it is about the cure or the teamwork they have to provide. With "Gifted" as well as the other story arcs, Whedon doesn't take things too seriously, and like his cinematic Avengers, the writer finds humour in places you don't expect, with dialogue that very subtly references pop culture like Harry Potter. Not perfect by any means, as some of the ideas (such as in the second arc "Dangerous", which deals with artificial intelligence) are over-emphasized so at times the story lacks action. However, whatever flaws this series has are minor due to the fun interactions by the X-Men and their young students. As we get to see a dysfunctional but moving romance between the team leader Cyclops and the former villainess Emma Frost, while Wolverine isn't always the centre of things, but does get his cool moments, the true star of the series is Kitty Pryde (who inspired Whedon's own creation of Buffy Summers) as she is the youngest of the X-Men but manages to stand up (and phases) against even a bitch like Emma Frost. At its most moving moments, is the relationship between Kitty and Colossus and despite their differences, together they found love. Accompanying the great writing by Whedon, is John Cassaday's beautiful artwork which mostly allows wide panels that give the action a very cinematic look, with special plaudits to colorist Laura Martin. During the publication of the series when they were monthly issues, but due to Cassaday's attention to detail with his art, the series went through several delays, which was subjected to criticism. However, once reading the series and look at the realistic illustrations of the characters and the epic locations, you can forgive a delay or two as you are instantly in love with the work of Mr Cassaday. With this omnibus, you get a set of pages known as "X-Men 101" which goes through the whole history of the X-Men since their introduction in 1963; as well as the humourous emails between Whedon and the Marvel publishers. As a fan of the X-Men from the 90s TV animated series and the current film franchise, Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday was for me, a great introduction to the heroic mutants in comic book form. If you were a fan of Whedon's spectacularly fun extravaganza of The Avengers, this book was instant proof that the writer is Marvel's golden boy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Siona St Mark

    This was a great X-Men run, so glad Marvel reprinted it! Really great moments with Kitty, Emma, and I liked seeing the origins of Armor. Would definitely recommend this to X-Men fans or those looking to get into the group. Would almost argue it’s better, or at the very least more coherent, that Morrison’s previous run.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    A wonderful depiction of the X-folks from Buffy's Whedon and Wizard magazine's Cassaday. A surprise return, numerous surprise enemies, great art, Brand and S.W.O.R.D... and an unbelievable exemption from all of Marvel's events (!!!!!!), that's right, no crossovers! I can never decided which I prefer Morrison's or Whedon's run... and it always comes down to... Morrison's series says F.U. to Marvel tradition, continuity and 'rules' and was near genius; whereas Whedon's uses Marvel tradition, contin A wonderful depiction of the X-folks from Buffy's Whedon and Wizard magazine's Cassaday. A surprise return, numerous surprise enemies, great art, Brand and S.W.O.R.D... and an unbelievable exemption from all of Marvel's events (!!!!!!), that's right, no crossovers! I can never decided which I prefer Morrison's or Whedon's run... and it always comes down to... Morrison's series says F.U. to Marvel tradition, continuity and 'rules' and was near genius; whereas Whedon's uses Marvel tradition, continuity and 'rules' and still makes a near genius series. Yes my answer is Astonishing. A firm 9 out of 12... making it one of my rare FIVE STARS reads.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    I believe any fan of the Astonishing X-Men line of comics will enjoy this colourful omibus regardless as to whether or not you've read any individual stories. The plot is on the whole typical X-Men brilliance with sacrifices, psychic twists, mixed agendas and a threat to the world. There are many familiar faces in this book as well as a few new faces. Fans will appreciate Emma Frost, Cyclops, Wolverine (no X-Men comic can go without Wolverine), Kitty Pryde, Colossus and even an appearance from P I believe any fan of the Astonishing X-Men line of comics will enjoy this colourful omibus regardless as to whether or not you've read any individual stories. The plot is on the whole typical X-Men brilliance with sacrifices, psychic twists, mixed agendas and a threat to the world. There are many familiar faces in this book as well as a few new faces. Fans will appreciate Emma Frost, Cyclops, Wolverine (no X-Men comic can go without Wolverine), Kitty Pryde, Colossus and even an appearance from Professor X. And the artwork, which was lush and vibrant, really helped characterise them and bring them to life. Of course this wasn't the perfect graphic novel selection. There were a few moments where the book either seemed to go off on a tangent. And there were moments where it would wander into the real of Deus Ex Machina and I would go: Oh okay...yeah, no...as if! Still the talents of Joss Whedon's writing are fully displayed for all to see. And for those with no idea who he is - shame on you, I'll have to unleash some of Stephen's lightning down upon you. He's only the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and the director/writer of the upcoming Avengers film. And his full creative prowess here introduces new characters, writes the old characters lovingly and provides a brilliant few closing lines. I would say that this is one of the better X-Men storylines I've read. I'd already read the 'Dangerous' arc (which ties into everything else) but yet was impressed by how I could enjoy that stand alone and yet it linked back into a far more grand and sweeping plot. If you enjoy your X-Men graphic novels with some colour and interesting stories read this. If you're interested in checking out the X-Men read this (it does start with an 'all you need to know'). If you're interested read this. In short just read this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This was a great read, I spread it out over a week but it can certainly be done in a day's time. Having a basic knowledge of X-Men mythos would be great for this, but there is a wonderful intro explaining everything you needed to know from over 500+ issues of comics that preceded the story here. I really enjoyed the story and art. Already a big fan of Whedon's work with Buffy and Angel, I was planning to love the story, humour, snappy remarks and deep narrative that he gives through all his work. This was a great read, I spread it out over a week but it can certainly be done in a day's time. Having a basic knowledge of X-Men mythos would be great for this, but there is a wonderful intro explaining everything you needed to know from over 500+ issues of comics that preceded the story here. I really enjoyed the story and art. Already a big fan of Whedon's work with Buffy and Angel, I was planning to love the story, humour, snappy remarks and deep narrative that he gives through all his work. The art was beautifully crisp and colourful and the perfect combination to the feel of the story. The story takes place after Genosha's destruction, just as good ol' Cyclops takes the helm. the choices for villain's were excellent and I loved how strong and vulnerable the X-Men were throughout; the chance for failure was there and that's what grounded the story for me. The Omnibus has become scarce nowadays and I was luck to grab a copy at a reasonable price; if you can manage to find one, I'd the oversized trim is worth the extra money over the paperback; especially for the Giant Size comic that closes out this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Arif

    Being a huge X-Men and Whedon fan, it was almost a crime that I hadn’t read his run on X-Men. Now that I have, it’s no surprise, it’s brilliant. Whedon’s writing contains what you’d expect: witty and clever dialogue, strong conflicts and real emotion. He’s complemented by Cassaday’s stunning art which perfectly captures the script, and he creates some show-stopping panels. The roster of characters are all written and drawn extremely well. I loved Emma Frost here, and her relationships with Kitty Being a huge X-Men and Whedon fan, it was almost a crime that I hadn’t read his run on X-Men. Now that I have, it’s no surprise, it’s brilliant. Whedon’s writing contains what you’d expect: witty and clever dialogue, strong conflicts and real emotion. He’s complemented by Cassaday’s stunning art which perfectly captures the script, and he creates some show-stopping panels. The roster of characters are all written and drawn extremely well. I loved Emma Frost here, and her relationships with Kitty and Cyclops were the most engaging. All three characters shine here, thanks to Joss. Wolverine, while not in the focus, has an enjoyable, comedic role. Beast and Colossus also get their own share of great moments. It’s not perfect, but I definitely recommend this run. It’s not too difficult to understand even if you haven’t read any X-Men before, and it’s just a great story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    I recently "reread" this run via a skim of the 4-book version accompanied with a marathon of the motion comic series on Netflix, which is actually a pretty enjoyable -- not to mention strict -- adaptation of the source material, once you get past the stilted motion-comickyness of it all (and after a few episodes, you really do.) Whedon's dialogue, as well as it works on the page, is obviously performable, even if performance makes the his X-gang even more of a Buffy/Firefly clone than they were I recently "reread" this run via a skim of the 4-book version accompanied with a marathon of the motion comic series on Netflix, which is actually a pretty enjoyable -- not to mention strict -- adaptation of the source material, once you get past the stilted motion-comickyness of it all (and after a few episodes, you really do.) Whedon's dialogue, as well as it works on the page, is obviously performable, even if performance makes the his X-gang even more of a Buffy/Firefly clone than they were before (or vice versa, I guess, since Whedon has admitted to growing up with a crush on Shadowcat.) So the Whedon-ness of the characters and stories nearly overwhelm this series, and if it weren't for the fact that, as mentioned, he's essentially always been kind of writing X-Men anyway, that might be a real problem. But it works -- the dialogue is intimate, if perhaps also overly clever. The characters feel lived-in, and Cassaday's art is pure, smooth, cinematic eye-candy. I'd argue that the four arcs that comprise the book don't hang together all that well (despite the constant narrative voice that insists they do), and don't have much sense of scope. Two of the arcs take six issues each for only about several hours of storyworld-time, and there's just not much sense that the universe has been fleshed out past the rooms the scenes take place in -- it feels almost like a play, in which the immediacy of what happens on stage is a trade-off for the blank abstraction of the world beyond. Even the action just feels like a series of set pieces with a fill-in monster at a fill-in superhero locale, and the characterization is post-modern enough that someone (often Shadowcat) will always provide a quip to undercut any hint of dramatic intent. But the aura of threat feels real and agonizing throughout, even when the villains behind that threat are less than believable -- probably because, as with all of Whedon's work, our heroes feel flawed and raw and human, and their struggles are ultimately both painful and poignant. Admittedly, whenever I reread this run I feel almost cruelly manipulated by it. But it always works on me, goddamit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar Awesome!!! My first Joss Whedon comic and it's a X-Men title! No more rebirth stories, maybe someone cool will die. Great humor, excellent story arcs, questionable leaders. X-Men and Whedon just makes too much sense! So, imagine my surprise when the opening story arc is a 狗操的 rebirth storyline!!! I mean yes, it's for a cool character but ugh... I had just finished reading Smith's Green Arrow and John's Green Lantern. Just muy luck What else? Umm.. yes Scott I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar Awesome!!! My first Joss Whedon comic and it's a X-Men title! No more rebirth stories, maybe someone cool will die. Great humor, excellent story arcs, questionable leaders. X-Men and Whedon just makes too much sense! So, imagine my surprise when the opening story arc is a 狗操的 rebirth storyline!!! I mean yes, it's for a cool character but ugh... I had just finished reading Smith's Green Arrow and John's Green Lantern. Just muy luck What else? Umm.. yes Scott Summers is a whiney leader with massive insecurity issues. Nobody trusts Emma Frost, Beast wants to be less... Beastly I presume. So there's Wolverine right? Eh, more of a comedic tool for this book.. At least there's Lockheed! He plays a fun role in this story. So why did I actually give this book four stars (decently high rating)? Because the writing is actually very well done. The story is a little X-Paint By Numbers (oh noes, some alien race wants to destroy Earth) but the dialogue and execution is fantastic (what I expected from Whedon). I also really like the Kitty Pryde character and she is a focal point of the story. Summers becomes somewhat less whiney and kinda cool later and it introduces the Armor character (someone I knew very little of prior to reading this). Extras are a bit limited but what I did like is that there was a brief introduction section... kind of a mini Wikipedia entry as to what's gone on with the X-Men leading up to this book. Unless you've read every X-Title out there, there are likely things you've missed (or were simply confused about). This helped clear things up prior to reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read about this run somewhere (I wanna say DC Girls Kicking Ass) and I love most of what Joss Whedon has done. I was also a huge fan of the X-Men way back when so I saw no bad here. It was a great read and I couldn't put it down. I was up until 4 am reading it. There is a great intro in the beginning that catches you up on the history of the X-Men to this point, which was really useful b/c I am clueless about Emma Frost, the destruction of Genosha and the virus. A small group of X-men reform th I read about this run somewhere (I wanna say DC Girls Kicking Ass) and I love most of what Joss Whedon has done. I was also a huge fan of the X-Men way back when so I saw no bad here. It was a great read and I couldn't put it down. I was up until 4 am reading it. There is a great intro in the beginning that catches you up on the history of the X-Men to this point, which was really useful b/c I am clueless about Emma Frost, the destruction of Genosha and the virus. A small group of X-men reform the superhero team and run the school. This one is less about the students and more about the adults. The four story lines I thought went incredibly well together. I am a huge fan of Kitty Pride and Colossus separately so the two of them together was definitely awesome. I do wish they hadn't killed Kitty Pride off b/c I felt like she was a great character for girls to relate to, particularly young girls, although as evidenced through Colossus very few characters stay dead in the comics. I also really liked this version of Beast, both artistically and his evolution/de-evolution. He is still probably one of my favorite characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Sims

    It's been a while since I've read this one. So good and the beginning of maybe the best overall character arc for Scott Summers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    This collection started off great, went a bit flat, then killed it at the end. But by the end, I kind of just wanted to be done. Glad I read it. I will always love these characters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

    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? B 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. 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kitchin

    Joss Whedon (or anyone, for that matter) has a tall order writing for the X-Men: Don't just freshen decades-old personas, but make sense of all that mashed-up continuity and -- most especially -- craft a story worth reading. Turns out Whedon and Cassaday do the job, with extra points for clever dialogue, innovative/convincing twists of plot, and great artwork. Their run also aspires to what many hero titles miss: We know superhumans struggle with paradoxically mundane anxieties, what's important Joss Whedon (or anyone, for that matter) has a tall order writing for the X-Men: Don't just freshen decades-old personas, but make sense of all that mashed-up continuity and -- most especially -- craft a story worth reading. Turns out Whedon and Cassaday do the job, with extra points for clever dialogue, innovative/convincing twists of plot, and great artwork. Their run also aspires to what many hero titles miss: We know superhumans struggle with paradoxically mundane anxieties, what's important is why they bother helping normal people at all. If established superheroes can be made new again, in short, this is how it's done. The volume opens with a brief, coherent summary of the last 40-odd years of X-Men history before jumping into a white-knuckle re-assembly of the team thanks to preceding deaths/betrayals. After roughly a third of the book things are rolling again (i.e., approaching disaster), with the X-Men struggling to mesh with other super-teams, S.H.I.E.L.D., and awful approval ratings after their last big party in Manhattan (thanks to Magneto). By the last third, however, various master plans and bad guys poking their heads along the way collide in an apocalyptic scenario for not one, but two worlds. Love, war, and unexpected, life-and-death decisions, all in abundance. I recommend this for anyone looking for a long-ish (600+ pages), complete superhero storyline with possibly the best art going, Whedon/Cassaday fans, or hopeful X-Men fans done with the old Spandex.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Goodreads decided to have a fit right when I pressed submit for my review of this book and I'm disinclined to write another. In short, Whedon >>>>> Morrison. So much more enjoyable than the previous set of arcs. More intimate, personal, much better dialogue and no pretentious pseudoscience gobbledygook. This set of stories manages to stay character-driven while keeping the planetary, even galactic, stakes high and avoids melodrama by having superheroes face normal problems: grief, love, isolatio Goodreads decided to have a fit right when I pressed submit for my review of this book and I'm disinclined to write another. In short, Whedon >>>>> Morrison. So much more enjoyable than the previous set of arcs. More intimate, personal, much better dialogue and no pretentious pseudoscience gobbledygook. This set of stories manages to stay character-driven while keeping the planetary, even galactic, stakes high and avoids melodrama by having superheroes face normal problems: grief, love, isolation, fear, and crisis of identity. More than anything the juxtaposition between Morrison and Whedon has made clear that Morrison, in spite of comics being a visual medium, has a really crappy tendency to tell rather than show. He recaps in stiff dialogue with the traditional "how-did-we-get-here-dialogue" that answers that question no one is asking in stiff and awkward panels. There's none of that in this volume. Whedon assumes his readers are intelligent and doesn't feel the need to say what can easily be shown and inferred. Perhaps he trusts his artists more than Morrison does. Whatever the case, it works better and keeping Cassaday on for the entirety of the run rather than alternating between artists definitely helped build a synergy that makes this a great read. Professor Xavier continues to be the world's biggest asshole.

  20. 5 out of 5

    James

    Strictly speaking, I don't have this exact volume. I've just read the four trade paperbacks that add up to this hardcover. It's very very very good. I was very fond of Grant Morrison's run on X-Men ten years ago or so, but then the X books went right back to being indecipherable nonsense, as far as I'm concerned, so having Joss Whedon's more or less direct sequel to Morrison's run was terrific, but then he made it even better, by not being as all over the place as Morrison's. I think it also help Strictly speaking, I don't have this exact volume. I've just read the four trade paperbacks that add up to this hardcover. It's very very very good. I was very fond of Grant Morrison's run on X-Men ten years ago or so, but then the X books went right back to being indecipherable nonsense, as far as I'm concerned, so having Joss Whedon's more or less direct sequel to Morrison's run was terrific, but then he made it even better, by not being as all over the place as Morrison's. I think it also helped tremendously that John Cassaday was the artist throughout, which gave the storyline a much better consistency than Morrison's. I even gave this (in its four-volume paperback format) to a good friend, who then let her (pre-teen) daughter read it, and everyone was happy. So there's that as well. It does hold up well on its own, though--you don't even need to read the Morrison run, though it would help. Hell, I might read it again real soon myself. It's pretty great. EDIT: I wound up with this omnibus edition for Christmas. In more good news, the out-of-print Grant Morrison omnibus is being reissued, so now you can have these two X-Men volumes side by side on your graphic novel shelf! Excelsior!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kennis Negron

    I don't like starting a story from somewhere in the middle. That's why I haven't read many X-men comics. They've been around for so long and so much has happened, that I don't even know where to start. Thankfully, this Omnibus collection of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men did a fantastic job of catching me up. I read this from cover to cover in one sitting - it was a blast! Spectacular writing by Joss Whedon. It was smart, witty, and funny. To top it off, John Cassidy provides fantastic artwork I don't like starting a story from somewhere in the middle. That's why I haven't read many X-men comics. They've been around for so long and so much has happened, that I don't even know where to start. Thankfully, this Omnibus collection of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men did a fantastic job of catching me up. I read this from cover to cover in one sitting - it was a blast! Spectacular writing by Joss Whedon. It was smart, witty, and funny. To top it off, John Cassidy provides fantastic artwork that brings the characters and story to life! Absolutely astonishing! My only complaint is that I wanted more - at times it felt like the story was moving too quickly and could've used a couple extra pages to spread out.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Russ

    I don't generally read comic books, though I certainly love comic book heroes--I watch the cartoons and movies, read any novels, etc. I cannot explain how fantastic this was. It was a graphic novel along the lines of the Watchmen. I couldn't put it down. Joss Whedon is supremely talented. This sort of makes me want to buy every issue of X-Men comics and it makes me want to start a letter writing campaign to get Whedon to do this again. I can't recommend this highly enough to fans of fantasy, sci I don't generally read comic books, though I certainly love comic book heroes--I watch the cartoons and movies, read any novels, etc. I cannot explain how fantastic this was. It was a graphic novel along the lines of the Watchmen. I couldn't put it down. Joss Whedon is supremely talented. This sort of makes me want to buy every issue of X-Men comics and it makes me want to start a letter writing campaign to get Whedon to do this again. I can't recommend this highly enough to fans of fantasy, science fiction, and superheroes. Get it and read it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    Very rarely does a comic book rile me up emotionally, much less a superhero one, but Joss Whedon's story arc with my absolute favorite characters made me gasp a few times and I might have even teared up at the resolve. Good stuff here.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Royster

    Reverting back to my high school years, and reading the X-Men again with Joss Whedon's and John Cassaday's amazing stint on the X-Men

  25. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    Just about everything you could want in a marvel comic--let along an X-Men comic--is in here. It's heartbreakingly sad, hilariously funny, action-packed, and full of surprises.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    I read this compilation again partly out of having read the prose novel of the first few issues of Astonishing X-Men. In terms of the mechanics of the omnibus, the artwork is beautiful. I think it is some of the best renditions of the characters I have seen in years. The stories flow nicely together, one after the other, to the heart-breaking scene at the end. The character development is well-done, as well. We see some of the characters having epiphanies that, unfortunately, do not seem to last I read this compilation again partly out of having read the prose novel of the first few issues of Astonishing X-Men. In terms of the mechanics of the omnibus, the artwork is beautiful. I think it is some of the best renditions of the characters I have seen in years. The stories flow nicely together, one after the other, to the heart-breaking scene at the end. The character development is well-done, as well. We see some of the characters having epiphanies that, unfortunately, do not seem to last. There seems to be what should have been 'major' character developments that turn out to be insubstantial in future comics [as well as this series itself]. I SO loved this series when it first came out; I still love this omnibus, despite what I see as its many mistakes. What were the 'mistakes'? First off, the X-Men become criminals in this series. After Hank [the Beast] runs some tests on his samples, he discovers Jean Grey's DNA is apparently a part of 'the Cure' designed to make mutants human. Hank has already broken into Benetech's facility once. He 'breaks' into the facility again, only this time he has the entire team with him. From there, Logan assaults guards, knocking them unconscious. Kitty both hacks into and phases through computer systems to mess with the alarms. Instead of following 'legal recourse' to gain access to the facility, the X-Men take the 'easy way out' by breaking the law. We, the readers, are supposed to support and praise the X-Men for breaking the law because they are 'super heroes' and do what is 'right.' It bothered me a great deal that this event occurred, this time around. I do not know why, but previously when I read this series it never hit me that they were breaking the law. I guess I was distracted by their being 'super heroes' to acknowledge their criminal acts. Second, if SHIELD was following them so closely because of Ord and the Breakworld, why did they not step in sooner to prevent the mayhem at Benetech? It seems like a pretty big failure on the part of this peace-keeping organization. I think it interesting that at times SHIELD is said to be an 'international peace-keeping force' and other times it is said to be American-only [like when Cyclops confronts Nick Fury about Genosha and Fury says that wasn't American soil or American property]. So Cyclops did have a great point in his confrontation with Fury. This would lead into: why weren't the X-Men arrested for breaking and entering? They assaulted guards, the destroyed company property [and that was before the battle with the guards], and they damaged company computers and files. Even if SHIELD did not arrest them, charges could have been pressed against the X-Men by the company itself. They could have and should have faced both criminal and civil charges. They were the aggressors in this situation. I realize the 'ends justifies the means' and that experiments were being performed on mutant cadavers is the justification for why they did what they did, but it still was a weak reason for breaking the law. Hank's reaction to Benetech's studying and dissecting mutant corpses seemed extremely hypocritical to me. He has no problem studying the dead remains of other species, especially if they are alien. He has no issue with scientific studies in general. He has even run tests on samples from mutants to find out of some procedure, some formula, will work. Yet he is infuriated with Benetech studying corpses. It was a weak part of the story. I am sure it is supposed to be some kind of emotional moment, some kind of deep revelation, but it falls far short of its intent. Corpses are studied for a variety of reasons. CSI labs study corpses to better help them when it comes to a mysterious death investigation. Scientists study corpses to learn more about the specimen in question. Doctors will study a corpse for various medical reasons. So the use of a corpse for study, dissection, whatever, is not intrinsically a bad thing. They wish us to perceive it as such in this story because, oh, my gosh! Hank [the Beast] McCoy is UPSET and that means what Benetech is doing is somehow wrong . It was one of the weakest parts of the storyline. It was amusing to me how Cyclops said they do not support criminals [in so many words] and then Nick Fury threw Emma Frost into his face. That is one disturbed woman! Even moreso than Professor Xavier, she is willing to mentally alter people's minds if she is angry, offended, or unhappy with them. It is never about justice; it is always about revenge and getting back at somebody. I cannot decide if it is played for laughs, or if there is something else going on. I am sure the goal is to show how she has become a 'good guy/gal', but her continual abusing of her powers against those weaker than herself is rather disturbing on so many levels. She is a bully, a truly a despicable person and is constantly portrayed as being shallow, catty, vain, amoral, selfish, immoral, judgmental, unjust, vengeful, snotty, arrogant, and all-around not a very nice person. And what she does to poor Kitty! Holy cow! I do not understand why she has remained on the team for as long as she has, because she has shown very little, if any, character development that would be considered 'positive' or 'for the greater good' on a regular basis. I realize the Avengers are known for taking on criminals and helping them turn a new leaf [like Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, the Vision, and Quicksilver] in the public eye. Of course, this only works if the authors want it to work; otherwise, the former villains return to their larcenous ways [like Sand Man or even the Absorbing Man (who Eric Masterson aka Thunderstrike was trying to help before Eric died)]. The 'problem' is how the X-Men are going about it versus the Avengers. None of the X-Men seem to even try to prevent Emma Frost from abusing those around her; instead, they make jokes about her abusive behavior and look the other way. I think Whedon really blew it with Colossus. He did a phenomenal job explaining how and why Colossus was still alive after 'dying' to save mutant-kind from the Legacy Virus. Yet, Colossus suffers no ill-effects from being held captive and tortured for so long. He was kept alive and tortured for years by Ord. He possibly murders three guards after Kitty frees him, yet there is no repercussions for his actions. The damage done to his psyche is briefly mentioned, and then they move on to the next 'story.' I guess they do touch on his internal issues occasionally throughout the overall storyline, but it is more Kitty wondering if she had pushed him too hard after discovering he was alive, considering the ordeal he has endured. It truly renders what Colossus suffered as meaningless. I am not saying they should have devoted an entire issue to Colossus, but there should have been something to show for what happened to him. I will say this: what Whedon did with Colossus really set up a scene later in the comics [say, issue 18 or so] involving Cyclops, but I never saw it coming. So that was genius, on his part. I did enjoy the one-liners throughout the entire book. Such as Wolverine's quip to the Torch about how if the FF's image goes south because of being seen with the X-Men, the Torch is going to learn to enjoy a whole new set of groupies [my paraphrase]. Or Kitty's comment after Colossus did a 'fast ball special' with her [I never got it until now, for some reason hahahah]. I also liked Wolverine's comment to Colossus: "I got two words for you" and then the next page was an enormous spread of Wolverine flying into the atmosphere. Emma's comment about how she has "the best body that money can buy, a scintillating wit," and still "ranks below a corpse" amongst the two most prominent male members of the X-Men community was priceless. Some of the best lines were between Kitty and Emma, I cannot deny that [up until the very end, anyway - then they got kinda sappy-stupid]. They also gave some good oneliners to Armor. Danger was an interesting character/villain. It was an interesting concept, and one I am surprised nobody else had really touched upon, considering the problems the Avengers have had with AI gone bad [like Ultron or Ultron's second bride (who's name I cannot remember at the moment)]. Not only was Danger a great concept, but "she" has remained a force to be reckoned with in the comics themselves. I think Danger further reinforced some of the negative issues with Xavier and helped cement the wedge that had grown between Xavier and his former students. I did like how this 'story' became a 'love song' about Kitty and Peter [Colossus]. The other X-Men were there throughout the course of the story, but it really seemed like Kitty and Peter became the primary focus of 'the story.' Kitty rescues Peter. They work through their issues. They become lovers. (view spoiler)[ Kitty 'dies' (view spoiler)[not really - she just goes away for a while until Magneto saves her in a later issue of Uncanny X-Men (hide spoiler)] . (hide spoiler)] The ending of Whedon's 'story' is SO bittersweet! I think I actually cried the first time I read it. Well, maybe just a tear or two. It was quite touching. I loved Armor. She was great. I also loved her interactions with and between Wolverine. She was a necessary part of the story. I think she became the 'young Kitty' of the early issues of Uncanny X-Men. I also liked how she went from being quite a bit shorter than Wolverine to just as tall if not taller than Wolverine. What did she do? Have a growth spurt over the course of the story? Was that a 'secondary mutation' for her, that she would grow taller/bigger? She had some great lines in the series as well. I liked how her confidence grew over the course of the story, such that she was bickering with Logan to his face without backing down (view spoiler)[and, after Kitty's 'demise,' she deliberately gets into a fight with Logan because she needs to train and he needs to work through his grief (hide spoiler)] . Overall, I think she had some of the best character development amongst the many characters in the run. There was the right amount of mystery in this series to keep it interesting all throughout its run. There was also the right amount of byplay, oneliners, 'science', science-fiction, excitement, and character development [of sorts] throughout the entire run. The 'WOW'-factor was incredible. I do not know how Whedon was able to do it, but he kept 'outdoing' himself in every issue. Well, maybe not EVERY every issue, but most issues outdid the prior issues. I think Whedon did do a great job of telling a story with characters who are so loved by so many as well as introducing new characters. I thought it interesting that Cassandra Nova [Xavier's evil twin] briefly made an appearance in the comics. She was there, and then she was gone. I do not remember if any of the other X-Men comics out at the time explained what happened to her. It still astounds me that Emma invited Kitty back to the fold (view spoiler)[ with the express intent that Kitty execute her at some point when Emma gets 'out of hand.' That point occurs when Cassandra Nova is trying to utilize Emma Frost to take over Armor's mind and body; Kitty is ready to execute Emma Frost before the transfer occurs. Emma had created a three-year 'fake reality' in Kitty's head where she married Peter, had a baby boy, and the boy was taken away from her while she was imprisoned for three years. It was all in her head [literally, like an extended bad dream] and Kitty can remember everything that 'happened' in that 'three year cycle' in vivid recall. But none of it happened. Kitty is ready to kill Emma at this point, and Scott talks Kitty out of it, claiming an 'insanity' defense that saves Emma's life. Kitty is naturally enraged, but she backs down from killing Emma. Scott claims Emma suffers from survivor's guilt and wants to die; had Kitty killed her, she would have been doing Emma a favor. I guess this was an attempt to make Emma a more sympathetic character, but it fell pretty flat in my opinion (hide spoiler)] . I loved the 'science-fiction' aspect of the story. It is funny how the Avengers are supposed to be on the cutting edge of technology, but it seemed like the X-Men always had cooler 'toys.' Always. I am sure a lot of it had to do with the modified Sh'iar tech that Xavier used in conjunction with 'mutant-tech' and 'Earth-tech,' but I was always jealous of the things the X-Men had versus the Avengers [or even the Fantastic Four]. The 'stuff' introduced in this series strongly reminded me of Claremont's run when he took over the X-Men in the mid- to late-1970s. They introduced the Sh'iar back then, and I think it helped breathe fresh air into the series [in conjunction with the other ideas/creations Claremont and Byrne introduced to the series]. SWORD was a great idea, and there was some beautiful artwork of the space station. The technology of Breakworld was wonderfully rendered by the artist. It was great stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did like how Kitty had a strong backbone in this series. By that, I mean she was constantly in Emma's face about her decisions and behavior [most of the time]. She was not afraid to stand up to any of the others. She has come into her own as a character. It was refreshing, in a way. I did not care for portray of Scott, let alone Emma. I felt like Scott was a continually weak character. Despite comments made throughout the course of the series, I still do not quite get why he is the 'leader' of the group. I guess he is more self-confident in this series; perhaps it is because he 'comes up with the best plans'? Granted,that is the way it is written. I think, at the same time, most of the team is composed of 'followers' as opposed to 'leaders.' I think Logan could be a more successful leader, but [at the time] he does not want the position or responsibility that goes with it. Hank would prefer to sit in his lab all day and work. Emma is more used to controlling than she is to leading. Mind-control is not leadership; abusing your followers/students so that they follow you unquestioningly is not leadership. Kitty was not a leader. So I guess that leaves Scott, who was 'trained' to be a leader [take charge, get the job done] yet still sucks as a leader. Scott, Scott, Scott. (view spoiler)[It is kind of funny, because as I read the comics, I wondered if Emma Frost was mind-controlling Scott. Then I read the comment in the comics Emma makes about Kitty wondering the very same thing. Scott asks her if Emma is mind-controlling him, and Emma gets very angry, threatening to cut off sex. Scott seemed to have a dramatically strong 'change of character' in this series; it truly did seem as if he might be mind-controlled by Emma. Whereas before he was strong and decisive in his decisions while attempting to consider the 'human element' in their missions, he was now portrayed as weak, indecisive, unable to make decisions, and no longer caring about 'the human element.' I understand some of this is probably to 'show' the changes that occurred after Jean's death [again], having been mind-controlled by Apocalypse, how things have 'fallen apart' for the X-Men community, and how this has impacted Scott, making him question himself and doubt himself more. It really fell flat and was the worst sort of character devolvement for his character. I do not remember if his character had begun to change in the other X-Men series and this carried on that torch, or if the negative changes began here and carried over into the other X-titles. Emma's ripping on Scott as he was trying to motivate her on the subconscious level was actually kind of funny in a hysterically-so sort-of-way. I think she managed to express the general consensus of how pathetic he had become in everybody's eyes, including the reader's. Then he goes off the deep-end, becomes a complete @$$hole, and kills Professor Xavier [who needed to die, anyway], but that is a whole 'nother series altogether [Avengers v X-Men crossover event] (hide spoiler)] Being a 'tough jerk' does not make you a good leader or capable of making smart decisions; it just makes you a jerk who thinks he's [finally] showing some backbone. I know for the longest time DC was known for having heroes that did not have any 'problems' and Marvel was known for having imperfect heroes who, despite their failings and humanity, strove for the greater good. Perhaps that is what Josh Whedon was striving for in this series: a group of individuals who, despite their failings, are working for the greater good. The problem is that they often let their emotions get in the way of their decisions, making them less altruistic than they claim to be. We still get our imperfect heroes; the problem is that those imperfections make them less heroic than we want them to be. It was a shame that the epiphany Cyclops had in the prose novel did not occur in the comics. Perhaps that would have changed the direction of some of the issues; I do not know. Scott's epiphany in the novelization made him less of a 'monster'/jerk as opposed to how he was portrayed in the comics. Before I close, I will say how happy I was when the X-Men [finally] left Earth because of how badly they were treating regular humans. For a group that professes how much they want to teach regular humans and mutants to get along, they sure are portrayed as taking great delight in inflicting all sorts of harm upon regular humans. So it was nice to see aliens from a planet bent on Earth's destruction taking it on the chin for a while. Actually, I loved it more because of the sci-fi aspect of what they were doing. The off world artwork was even more phenomenal than the artwork for Earth. In closing, as I think about it, it is interesting how the exact same [or similar] behavior that bugged me when on Earth did not bug me so much on an alien planet. Both races are trying to survive [regular humans and the Breakworld inhabitants], both had issues with mutants. However, whereas regular humans had found a way to peaceably survive with mutants, Breakworld wanted to kill everybody. So perhaps that was the difference. I don't know, but it is an interesting conundrum to think about. Whedon is very sparse with his words throughout the course of the story, relying upon the artwork to get the point across. It is an excellent blending of prose and art, considering how many picture frames do not have any words, any descriptions, on them. The reader is free to interpret the facial expressions, the pictures, to continue the storyline when the written words 'stop' for a moment. I will leave it at five stars. Despite my many dislikes [and some of them were intense] I still think it is amazing storyline. Josh Whedon told an incredible story, and the artwork that went with it helped tell Whedon's story. It was [and is] a good read. ----------------------------------------------- On a side note, I am somewhat disgusted with Peter David for altering the prose novel like he did. He adds a lot of crap involving 'today's issues' into his prose novel [like illegal immigrants, 'don't ask, don't tell,' and other 'liberal drivel'] that was not in the comics. It was quite disappointing, and I lost a lot of respect for Peter David for doing that. I am sure the justification will be that the X-Men have always touched on social issues since day one and what he did was no different. I would beg to differ, as he obviously included his own opinions into the novel. Oh, well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mj

    I have loved the X-Men ever since I was a little kid, and that appreciation has only strengthened as I have realized how complex and important these stories actually are. Strength, compassion, otherness, and unity are all major tenants of an X-Men story, and Whedon captures them perfectly. Above all else, I found the Danger storyline to be the best in this run on the Merry Mutants. She is a sleek, new villain whose motivations (Why was I born? Why was I enslaved?) create an uncomfortable tension I have loved the X-Men ever since I was a little kid, and that appreciation has only strengthened as I have realized how complex and important these stories actually are. Strength, compassion, otherness, and unity are all major tenants of an X-Men story, and Whedon captures them perfectly. Above all else, I found the Danger storyline to be the best in this run on the Merry Mutants. She is a sleek, new villain whose motivations (Why was I born? Why was I enslaved?) create an uncomfortable tension that the team must process before moving forward. Plus, you are always going to sell me on a story of artificial life/intelligence. I've said it a thousand times: I will forever be interested in those questions. I appreciate that Whedon cut down on the core cast of characters to focus so much on these few. As much as I love Gambit, Storm, or Rogue, a problem many X-Writers have (especially in the movie world) is overloading the audience with cameos and pop-ins to the point of exhaustion. By eliminating that problem, we are able to have some real development here. If I may be so bold, I would argue this is the best take on the X-Men since the 90s cartoon. Pick this up whether you are a fan or casually interested.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Caruso

    Whedon does not disappoint. This story arch was great, but the last issue just blew everything out of the water. The characters are humanized and show a lot of their flaws, emotions and fears throughout the entire arch. I'd highly encourage anyone to read this, but there is a little bit of background you need before going into this arch (or you might be a little confused or not feel the total impact of everything that is going on). Cassaday's art was a bit lackluster for me. The way he envisione Whedon does not disappoint. This story arch was great, but the last issue just blew everything out of the water. The characters are humanized and show a lot of their flaws, emotions and fears throughout the entire arch. I'd highly encourage anyone to read this, but there is a little bit of background you need before going into this arch (or you might be a little confused or not feel the total impact of everything that is going on). Cassaday's art was a bit lackluster for me. The way he envisioned the x-men didn't line up with my imagination, especially his portrayal of their faces (although their expressions are spot on). I remember in one of the earlier trades Scott looked extremely chubby in the face, yet had a very fit body...how does that work? Also beasts was just a mess.... I have no idea how he gets so much praise, but maybe it's just my preference.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A couple of years ago I did some research to figure out what comics I needed to read if I wanted to dive into the X-men series. This omnibus was listed numerous times....so I added it to my list, without any idea what a tome this was. This Christmas I finally tracked it down using ILL...and found myself with a book that weighed more than Fox. This book starts with more recent stories of X-men--- after Xavier and Magneto have left, but before it starts the actual story, it gives some background s A couple of years ago I did some research to figure out what comics I needed to read if I wanted to dive into the X-men series. This omnibus was listed numerous times....so I added it to my list, without any idea what a tome this was. This Christmas I finally tracked it down using ILL...and found myself with a book that weighed more than Fox. This book starts with more recent stories of X-men--- after Xavier and Magneto have left, but before it starts the actual story, it gives some background so that a new reader is not completely lost. The stories are a bit confusing, but it is interesting and I am glad I finally got to read some Marvel....the Fantastic Four do appear, along with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Spiderman. I may actually continue reading the series now that I have an idea of what to expect... Read if you are want to try out X-men.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Blake

    This is the X-Men run that got be interested in the characters again after years of too many titles and complicated continuity. Whedon and Cassidy's run is a perfect jumping on point for anyone interested in the X-Men. The story arcs are action packed and are presented like a blockbuster movie. Joss does a great job of taking the X-Men back to the core of what they are. He had a difficult task to follow up what Grant Morrison had done on New X-Men (which I also enjoyed) and he delivers. Like Mor This is the X-Men run that got be interested in the characters again after years of too many titles and complicated continuity. Whedon and Cassidy's run is a perfect jumping on point for anyone interested in the X-Men. The story arcs are action packed and are presented like a blockbuster movie. Joss does a great job of taking the X-Men back to the core of what they are. He had a difficult task to follow up what Grant Morrison had done on New X-Men (which I also enjoyed) and he delivers. Like Morrison's run, I enjoy this more and more with each re-read and recommend this for anyone remotely interested in X-Men comics.

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