ryonslaught's Astonishing X-Men #1 - Gifted, Part 1 review

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Astonishing Indeed!

 Background

Grant Morison has left the x-men after having taken them to the heights of sales and put a bold new lease on the mutant situation in marvel. There are literally millions; Genosha is dead having been annihilated by Rogue sentinels under the control of Xavier’s evil twin Cassandra Nova. Jean Grey is dead yet again and Scott and Emma are now openly in a relationship despite the fact that his wife died last week. is teeming with life as student from all over the world flock to the newly public mutant school.

Kitty Pryde is a former Xavier student herself who after heroing for years attended college, her own father died in Genosha and she later joined Storm team of X-men briefly. She has always been in love with Colossus, though their age difference had always been an issue, they broke up when he fell in love with someone else and after confessing this to kitty they drifted apart and she left the team. He later died after curing the legacy virus which years before had ravaged the mutant race and killed his little sister, Illyna Rasputina, who was also Kitty’s best friend. Now she is called back to Xaviers this time…..as a teacher……

Summary

A young mutant girl wakes up after have flashback of killing her mom and dad she is comforted by Dr. Kavita who promises her

the nightmares will never come again. In the observation booth a mysterious man watches.

At Xavier Kitty arrives at the school and makes her way to the main staff after having flashes of her past at the school and with Colossus. She and Emma exchange pleasantries while Emma addresses the school. She activates and illusion of Sentinels attacking to make a point to the student they will never be safe. Later she and Scott shag and in the morning wolvie and Scott fight about what Scott’s doing.

They later meet in the danger room where Scott tells them that its time to return to their hero ways by donning costumes and that Kitty is their PR girl since her powers are non aggressive.

Some people get held hostage an the man from the observation booth makes his presence known. Kavita meanwhile announces at a press conference that she has a cure for the mutant “disease”.

The Good!

John Cassady has serious talent; his art oozes personality in every single frame. Joss Whedon a big fan of kitty Pryde turn out a great script, simple on the outside so deep it runs the very breadth of X-men Mythology. Let me first say I was not a fan of Kitty for most of the time, I just wasn’t her power personality etc just never did a darn thing for me It was only after being a Buffy fan and Joss said Buffy was based on Kitty that she became a blip on my x-radar. Now I love her! This issue started all that!

Kitty Pryde is used here much the way used her back in the eighties. She is the new reader granting a level of accessibility she is all too familiar with.

BUT

For X-men veterans she carries a lot of “weight” into the mix for a number of reasons. When she gets off the cab she is immediately taken down memory lane. She remembers her departure from the institute after her break up with Pete. The flashback is perfectly drawn and contrasts the confident woman she has become with the demur often frightened girl she was while a teen. We also get a readers view of the institute, always destroyed, always rebuilt, in that way it’s a lot like Pheonix. Once she enters the front Door we get a flashback of Kitty picture

perfect from classic uncanny x-men after Xavier demoted her to the new mutants. From there she flashes again to her and Peter and immediately new readers and Old alike are united in the understanding that she loved this man deeply. I also loved these scenes because they resonated in a real world context. Going back to ones high school, college etc is always filled with a level of nostalgia especially when one is in an emotional state. For Kitty her X-men life was intricately bound to Peter Rasputin, the two are not separate entities but one unified experience filled with joys, anger, fear, and happiness all wrapped up in one.

Once Kitty joins the staff we get some top notch dialogue between herself and Emma and later Scott and Beast. The Emma and Kitty pieces are most entertaining for a number of reasons. They had never been on a team together, hell I don’t even recall them having an exchange from she lead Gen X to then. It’s a situation where literally Emma tried to kill her friends and the next tie she sees this woman who is the epitome of evil for her since she was a teen she’s all “chummy” with said friends. It’s a jarring experience and everything shines once they get panel time. I also loved the Emma and Scott relationship for two characters who often come off cold they have great chemistry and you get a fiery sexuality from both, the art gives these moments incredible depth.

Joss also gets great mileage out of the Scott and Wolvie rivalry. One is all about control the other about instinct and they have always know how to get under each other skin. Their fight takes on new meaning especially if one had read Grant’s run of New X-men which every X-fan should own. Let me contextualize it for you, Jean and Wolvie are on a one way trip to the heart of the sun when they have a seeming connection they almost kiss, in fact if you re read New X-men #   you see Wolvie wanting that one last “piece” of her as they prepare to die and she breaks into talk about Scott. To Wolvie this is the point where she chose Scott, sure she had been married to and been with Scott forever BUT their marriage was cold and distant they had fought she had accused him of shagging Emma he had fled and here she was STILL on the brink of death wanting…needing Scott that was a powerful image that’s imbedded in Wolvie’s mind and after that Scott just starts dating Emma like nothing happened to Wolvie that’s disrespectful to her memory and thus the few panel fight becomes so much more.

Also worth examining is Emma’s words to the student “they will never accept us” this is true of most minorities we would love to belive that   we are accepted even though we are different but once a likeminded group bands together prejudice rears its head, wether religious, ethnic or sexual. It may not be overt as is we say it but covert we think it and that affects how e react to a particular group. Mutants/ Minorities can live in society and live a good long life but never NEVER mistake that for trust and acceptance. Sure we may aspire to a world of “peaceful coexistence” but as I wrote in my thesis “Nirvana is a place that is no

place therefore it cannot exist” steel your self in the world always be on guard BUT never think you’re not in danger. Realist words, Emma has always resonated with me because she has been the realist in the midst of the idealism of the X-men. Idealism can only work in a world that is protected and fortified by Realism. Think about it……..those are deep words.

The mysterious villain of the issue is just there to make a threat and Kavita’s cure as everyone knows gave way to the X-men 3 script. This cure and how it’s used becomes a cure for difference in society, a cure to end racial, sexual and religious lines. In this context it is both desirable and dangerous because diversity in society is healthy if we were all the same our species could not grow, evolve or become more than what we are at this time.

The slash page introducing us to the new costumes was also brilliantly placed and beautiful to look at. A lot of set up for what’s to follow but that’s the nature of a good Joss story an arch not just a storyline. 
 
overall Joss has a handle on every characters Voice and characterization. Carrying years of baggage but making each one accessible enough for new readers and old alike to enjoy the story.

The Bad!

Small nitpick most readers will never “get” the fact that the danger room was malfunctioning during their meeting :P

I otherwise enjoyed everything!


The Ugly!

Great script, great art = 5/5 stars

1 Comments
Posted by Aspenite

It´s funny I just recently reread this issue and now you´ve made a review!

Best review ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other reviews for Astonishing X-Men #1 - Gifted, Part 1

    Astonishing is an under statement.* 0

    I love the x men 1st off(they can't really do any wrong,lol). But this comic book series just furthered my 'astonishment' of them(lol).I love how in your face the tension is with Emma Frost being there 1st off between Kitty Pryde, and then also with Wolverine. I never really knew much about Kitty or Emma in great depth, but it ws cool to see there characters develop throughout this series and use their powers too! I also like how in this series they kinda give u the adult x men perspective but a...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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