Archive for the ‘Danger’ Category

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #24

January 3, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 24Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
March 2008
***
As one strike team infiltrates the alien planet’s power core, the other attempts to defuse the moon-sized bullet aimed at Earth. #24 is a cinematic work of action SF w/ plenty of old-fashioned world-wrecking. But as well-made as the issue is, it’s a shuffle to put pieces into place for the climax.
[continued in Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1]
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #23

January 2, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 23Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2008
****
A great issue for Scott Summers. Last issue left him dead in space; here he’s resurrected & repowered (by the same tech that revived Colossus—nicely plotted, Joss), leading the team from a torture chamber! A flashback to #22 repeats a page to show his orders via Emma’s ESP beneath the spoken dialog.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #24]

Astonishing X-Men #22

January 1, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 22Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2007
****
Despite a long delay btw issues, AXM‘s finale arc, a super-SF adventure, continues to thrill. The plot reunites the team to storm an alien gun the size of a moon & aimed at Earth! Cassaday’s locales give the tale a strong context, while Whedon focuses on M/F duos, esp. Scott & Emma, Kitty & Piotr.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]

Astonishing X-Men #21

December 31, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 21Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2007
****
This space adventure has a cinematic pace & scope that’s much stronger than Whedon’s previous 2 arcs. Half a dozen thrilling subplots simmer on an alien world where Social Darwinists view compassion as a mutation. The weakest link, sadly, is a convo btw Scott & Emma meant to redefine their romance.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]

Astonishing X-Men #20

December 30, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 20Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Exploding starships, plummeting planetfalls, alien temples: this arc delivers old-school scifi pleasures! Cassaday seems inspired by the shift spaceward, imagining alien environments with Mobius-level detail. Whedon, incidentally, has turned X-student Armor into Logan’s latest protegé.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men#19]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]

Astonishing X-Men #19

December 29, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 19Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Colossus has been prophesied to destroy a bellicose species on a hellscape planet. So the superheroes head into space to prevent it! The sense of adventure energizes AXM, returning it to its first arc’s form. It also lets SWORD Agent Brand exposit, a nice breather after the last arc’s confusion.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]

Astonishing X-Men #18

December 28, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 18Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
December 2006
****
The psychic cuckoo gets revealed: Cassandra Nova, hijacking Emma to escape her alien body-prison. But editorial should’ve told Whedon (2+ years ago!) that she’d been rehabilitated as a “special” student! This arc, like the last, should’ve been tighter, but a sudden leap into space opera augers well.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #19]

Astonishing X-Men #17

December 27, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 17Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
November 2006
***
Whedon delivers a stunning misdirection—SWORD’s mole is Lockheed—and indulges in a favorite maneuver: revealing action is a dream (or in this case, a psychic drama). Kitty P thinks she’s lived 3 years & had a kid w/ Colossus. But it’s actually the slug that holds Cassandra Nova’s consciousness!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #16]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]

Astonishing X-Men #16

December 25, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 16Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2006
***
A solo Kitty Pryde kicks the asses of a revamped Hellfire Club—or half of them, at least. Small pleasures add up, like Wolverine’s Fontelroy persona (from his lame “Origins” mini). As good as the character work is, this arc frustrates w/ its slow drip of action. To be fair, it reads briskly in TPB.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #15]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]

Astonishing X-Men #15

December 24, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 15Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2006
****

Emma & her gang of villains defeat the X-Men easily—mostly via psychic control, tho’ Sebastian Shaw kayos Colossus. Once again, AXM suffers from slow pacing. Each arc is a TV episode, each ish a segment btw commercials. And like the last arc, it pits the team against an enemy w/in at the mansion.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #14
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #16

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Astonishing X-Men #12

December 21, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 12Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2005
***

There’s still a lot to enjoy (like a remorseful Sentinel), but AXM has lost its momentum. If this arc had 3 issues & not 6, its reveal—that Prof X had known for years that the Danger Room was sentient—would’ve been stronger. As it is, the outcome simply exiles him from a mag he’s not in anyhow.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #11
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #13

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Young Avengers #5

Astonishing X-Men #11

December 20, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 11Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2005
****

Cassaday takes the baton in #11, penciling a few layouts atop computer-generated backgrounds to depict the astral interview btw Prof X & the sentient Danger Room. The approach underscores how JC’s style is slightly abstracted, a throwback to Romita in a way. His robot design is wonderfully rococo.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #10
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #12

also indexed for Jul. ’05
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Astonishing X-Men #10

December 19, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 10Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2005
***

Oops, the mag missed a month! A fight issue: staged well, a few surprises even, but still just a fight. The Danger Room monologues as she cleans the team’s clock. #10 also nudges the mag’s subplots along (Ord/SWORD, Emma’s secret), but clearly its arc could be half the length at no loss of content.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #9
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #11

also indexed for May ’05
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Astonishing X-Men #9

December 18, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 09Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
March 2005
****

Due to a paradox in its programming, the Danger Room has become self-aware. A fine idea, but I’m surprised no one’s done it before. What gives it juice is how its “birth” (it turns robotic at the finale) is a sacred event, in the dramatic sense. Whedon & Cass make AXM a pleasure to read.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #8
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #10

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Astonishing X-Men #8

December 17, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 08Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
February 2005
****

Somehow a suicide acts as a blood sacrifice, demon-like, freeing the Danger Room AI from its protocols. And a half-scrap Sentinel worships it as a mother goddess! An okay ish made v.g. by Cassaday. His art epitomizes the era—highly realistic, cinematic—but its colorful clarity trumps the convention.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #7
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #9

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Iron Man #2

Astonishing X-Men #7

December 16, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 07Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2005
*****

Back to superhero adventure for another strong issue. As the X-Men help the FF fend off a mole monster in midtown NYC, their internal monologues add a touch of wit. Darker plots perk tho’: SWORD Agent Brand visits a shadow council, while a de-powered student commits suicide in the Danger Room.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #6
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #8

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6