Very Quick Hit: Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men


The end of a great run

I accidentally just wrote Astonishing-Sized Giant X-Men #1, which does sound like a great book, but in actuality, this is a quick review (with no spoilers, a first for me) on Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men #1.

Also, unlike DC, Marvel won’t let you link the large versions of covers off their Web site. So unless Goki wants to scan his copy and edit this post with a fullsize cover, you’ll have to make do with five smaller versions (which is just as good, or not).

Anyway, the point. This was the long-awaited conclusion to the run by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, a run that spanned 24 issues plus this big bookend. It was a run that was marred somewhat by a terribly infrequent publication date that has made it nearly impossible to place the events of Whedon’s stories in any kind of context, which is a problem since Marvel loves crossovers so damn much. But that’s Marvel’s problem to figure out, and they’ll be showing us how it all fits in pretty soon supposedly. But any flaws that you want to draw about the run mostly end with that publication schedule, because the issues themselves have been great. Whedon is refreshingly original, and Cassaday’s artwork has always been very good. Considering the largely dismal state of most of the core X-books for the majority of th epast decade, this run still might be second only to Grant Morrison’s New X-Men over that time.

Which brings us to this big wrap-up issue, which is fairly hard to evaluate. On the one hand, the action is somewhat strangely laid out, and while I wish I’d reread it before writing this, my initial evaluation was that it could have been better in that regard, since I was slightly confused a couple times.

But honestly, whether that is indeed a fair complaint or whether I just didn’t read carefully enough, it doesn’t really matter. Because what ultimately happens is so damn good that any hang-ups I had immediately flew out the door. Everything in this giant-sized issue leads up to one moment that is so spectacular that as I looked at that 2-page spread, I simply had to take a deep breath and say “Wow” out loud.

In addition, there are several great character interaction points that provide nice capstones to the kind of characterizations Whedon had been building his entire run. There were also a couple relatively minor surprises that I enjoyed. Cassaday’s art was very strong again.

All in all, I’d say this issue wasn’t flawless, but enough of it was so perfect that I have to say I really love it on the whole. Great book, great run, and the best thing I read this week.


2 Responses to “Very Quick Hit: Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men”

  1. spiffyithaca Says:

    Man I can’t wait to get caught up on this title. Since I couldn’t find the back issues, I have to wait until July for the last trade (and will reread the entire series before doing so). Although this issue sounds like a big enough deal that I should own it as is, just like I bought the last issue of Y despite not being caught up (and of course haven’t read it).

    Goki liked it too, but I don’t think he liked it AS much, but maybe I was wrong in our brief discussion about it.

    Good review AA. May youre time without internet be as fruitful as these last two posts, haha

  2. gokitalo Says:

    BWAHAHA, I’d actually started a review for this! But I don’t care, because it means less work for me, muahahaha.

    I actually liked this issue a lot. Any problems I had were leftovers from previous issues, e.g. Cyclops sounding off (I know Emma gave him “clarity,” but Whedon sometimes made him sound like a less quippy version of one of his hip, young adult heroes) and my inability to care for most of the Breakworlders. Also, I wanted to smack Armor upside the head this issue; I’m not sure I can say why without venturing into spoiler territory.

    But yeah, everything else was great. This was one of Colossus’ best issues, both story and artwise. Cassaday and Whedon have finally nailed the look and dialogue for the character, respectively. It was also great seeing other characters from the Marvel Universe show up this issue: I would happily, HAPPILY buy a Spider-Man title by Whedon (you know, if “One More Day” hadn’t happened). And of course, I can’t go without mentioning the incredibly clever and tragic way the X-Men dealt with the Breakworld weapon; I had a feeling that character wasn’t going to make it out of this story, but Whedon pulled it off with class (a.k.a. a non-fanboyish manner).

    The revelation about Agent Brand was kind of cool, too. Certainly explains the hair!

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