Ever since his cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie he has been known for his strong female characters.Reading his Kitty Pryde, I can’t help but imagine her as his Buffy analogue, especially her interaction with Emma Frost.Things heat up in a way none of the X-Men ever dreamed, but will teamwork save the day when they can't even depend on themselves? I just got the second volume of the Astonishing X-Men hardcover series that collects Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s entire twenty-five issue run on the title that I thought I’d read again the first volume that I bought a few years back.
This should be essential reading for every X-Men fan and this is one of the best formats to enjoy it in. I feel bad for Beast, and was actually interested in Kitty Pryde for the first time I remember picking up the first issue of this and putting it down again in disgust after seeing that Cyclops, who I already thought was a jackass, was now dating Emma Frost.In Gifted, Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of "astonishing" the world.But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started?It’s very much “grounded” compared to Morrison’s far-out “space opera” drama, while a subtle humour is laced throughout (sometimes hilariously so).While Morrison’s run will always be my favourite of the two (back in the days, you used to not be able to go a month without fans on the comic book message boards debating about which is best), re-reading this now, it’s clear that Whedon & Cassaday’s run is the consistently stronger of the two.There are two key additions as well; one is Kitty Pryde, who is both his Buffy and avatar.This is Whedon returning to the X-Men of his youth, as Shadowcat is returning to the X-Mansion. In a series of a few pages, Whedon and Cassaday drafts an emotional sequence that brought the armored Russian back into the lives of Kitty and the X-Men readers.This is an excellent collection of the first twelve issues of Astonishing X-Men. I remember picking up the first issue of this and putting it down again in disgust after seeing that Cyclops, who I already thought was a jackass, was now dating Emma Frost.It is done in an oversized trim, so to better enjoy Cassaday’s fine work with the pencil and brush. (Who is even worse.) Reading the whole story arc, however, I quite quite liked it.Although it lead to severe delays, and much agitation from the fans at the time, Whedon’s writing was always complimented with the brilliant pencils and inks of John Cassaday. But...there just isn't enough here to really get me excited.See, part of my problem is that I abandoned comics back in the 90's, I think the fact that I picked this up and put it down so many times in the last week and a half says a lot about my opinion of this book. Whedon's zingers and one liners are sprinkled throughout and they make for some great I-laughed-out-loud panels (my favourite being Logan's internal monologue consisting of "I really like beer").