Friday, May 30, 2008

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men

Okay, so why do I like it so much. Let me start at the beginning:

I love Kitty Pryde. She is an awesome character and I just really enjoy the way that she was introduced and the character in general. There are many reasons I like her, but let's just say that I like her.
Joss Whedon likes Kitty Pryde a lot. At the very least, he likes Kitty enough that when creating Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, his main inspiration for Buffy was Kitty Pryde. He likes her enough that he brought her into the main X-Men comic book.
I love Joss Whedon's work. Around the time of House of M, I learned of Astonishing X-Men (this was around when I was getting back into comics to the extent of buying them semi-regularly), and I eventually picked up volumes 1 and 2 of Astonishing, after loving the first post-House of M issue. I loved both, and while I know people complained about Danger, and I can see what they are saying to an extent, the way he writes is awesome, and Cassaday's art helps a lot. Still, I liked his writing in comics, and have heard from many people how awesome Firefly is, so I checked that out, and if you remember, that was amazing. Buffy, at least the early episodes I saw on Hulu, I didn't like as much, but still enjoyed. I mostly dislike the slopiness with the realm of the magical, with vampires having that weird face and basically being the exact same as from Bram Stoker. Moonlight (on CBS), Dresden Files (the book series) and Marvel have completely different versions that are more interesting. Still, I also know that the first few episodes may be a little slow, but they get more interesting as time goes on, so we shall see. Still, I haven't disliked anything Whedon that I have seen or read.
Again, I love Kitty Pryde. When I heard that she might die or something happens, I was really upset. I think part of it was from how Praxagora died so unceremoniously in Annihilation: Conquest, and that was a character I liked a lot too. I was afraid they would do the same thing. Plus, I just don't want her to die period.
Whedon nailed everything. Pure, and simple. He nailed everything. I am a Spider-Man and he nailed Spidey. Spidey's sense of humor, his powers, his whining and complaining, everything. Cassaday did a great job too, but Whedon nailed Spidey. Everybody else worked too. I don't know when this takes place in terms of continuity, but it just is so awesome. In terms of an individual comic, this will probably take the 3rd position, falling only to Ultimates 2 #13 and Ultimates 2 #12, in my favorite comics ever. It is that awesome.
On my list of favorite characters, Deadpool is first, Kl'rt is second and Kitty Pryde is third. Deadpool will never be a mainstream character, or at the very least, he will never be a serious character. If he does become one, then I am going to be very disappointed. Kl'rt has spent way too much time as a villain, and while currently more of an anti-hero (with Secret Invasion, who knows, though), he can do some things, but probably not that big in any given event. In his own series, he was the big hero who sacrificed himself to help save Skrull worlds from the Harvester of Sorrows and saved Praxagora. Still, he hsan't done much since, and probably won't do much in the future that is hugely important. Kitty can. She is my favorite hero (Deadpool started as a villain, became an anti-hero, Kl'rt is a villainous anti-hero, maybe just villain) and so she can do anything that a comic will let her.

Kitty Pryde saved the world.

Not the X-Men, not the combined forces of a whole bunch of powerful superheroes. Kitty. By herself. Now, on to the story.
So, to catch you up, the psychics of the Breakworld, a planet, had discovered that an X-Men was going to destroy their world. Ord of the Breakworld went to Earth to kill the X-Men so that his world wouldn't be killed. He was eventually defeated. Abigail Brand, agent of Sentient World Observation and Research Department (aka S.W.O.R.D.), not wanting a war with the Breakworld, took the X-Men to the planet to work out the problem of Colossus (revealed to be the X-Man to destroy the Breakworld) destroying their planet. After a few skirmishes, they learned of the Retaliator, a missile designed to destroy the Earth. As Colossus, Emma and Cyclops went to threaten the planet, Kitty tried to phase through the circuitry in the missile, realizing eventually that it fails because there is no circuitry and that it is a bullet.
Back on Earth, Spidey encounters Nightcrawler, Iceman and Storm, who bring him to a gathering of heroes, along with the sentient and remorseful Wild Sentinel from the second volume of Astonishing X-Men. On the Breakworld, Colossus confronts Aghanne (a warrior turned priestess who is the main resistance against Powerlord Kruun, ruler of hte Breakworld) about her plan to destroy the Breakworld. Basically, hse doesn't want the Breakworld citizens to suffer, so she thinks killing the planet would being them peace. Colossus, having been dead before, tells her death and peace are not the same thing, so they start to fight. Meanwhile, Emma and Scott run off to help Kitty, if at all possible, and Brand reveals some powers and defeats two Breakworld soldiers. Dr. Strange attempts to use magic to stop the bullet, but is taken out, and the heroes feel that the "magical protection" the bullet apparently has is able to stop magic. Reed then works out a plan to shunt the missile through a portable Negative Zone portal. As Colossus fights Aghanne to try to not destroy the planet, Brand reveals she wants to bang Beast, causing awkwardness, and Ord attacks Aghanne from behind. The assault isn't that helpful, but Colossus is able to use the small advantage to take care of Aghanne and mention how Ord did end up saving the Breakworld. Back on Earth, Reed's plan comes to fruition, and they succeed in getting the missile into the Negative Zone. Then, as Reed stands there, he starts to drool. Oh, wait. All those heroes are drooling and just standing there. Oops, guess Reed didn't actually stop it. As Emma contacts in the bullet telepathically, we see what Sentry, Iron Man and Spider-Man all see in their own minds, them all individually stopping the bullet. Fortunately, Spider-Man realizes he can't do what he sees himself doing. Kitty realizes that the alien metal is too bizarre and she can't make it back out again. Spidey smacks Storm, who he then shows that all the other heroes are out drooling in their minds. Colossus and the others confront Kruun about how to stop it, Colossus letting him know that if the bullet hits, he is going to take over the planet, because all of the people will fear that he could being about the end of their world. Apparently, something hitting the bullet hard and fast enough might be able to buckle or divert the bullet, at which point, the sentient Sentinel sacrifices himself to try and stop the bullet. Spidey tries to wake the others, as the Sentinel rams it, failing. Kitty makes a dramatic speech to Emma, who is more and more distressed by Kitty;s plan. Right as the bullet is about to hit Earth, Kitty phases the entire bullet right through Earth, bonding with the alien metal in a weird way and being lost. Reed and Strange try to rescue Kitty, but they aren't able to do anything. Emma is seen crying. Wolverine starts heavily drinking, but Armor tries to snap him out of it by fighting. Beast reveals to Brand that (surprise, surprise) he hates her, and she realizes she needs someone like that to question her on every single move professionally, and off the job, she wants to "break [him] like a pony." He might be a blue, furry monster, but her father was too. She if half-alien, which is why she is so good at dealing with alien threats, and has her green (like Polaris, not dyed) hair and weird powers. Cyclops loses his control over his powers again, needing the visor to not destroy things. Wolverine and Hisako fight. Beast works with Brand. Colossus looks to the sky, but Kitty is gone.

Like I have said, I really liked this issue. To be perfectly honest, my favorite stuff has comedy mixed with everything, but is serious at the right times, and has levity when it is required. Something amusing is that Kitty ended up being the serious one, while Brand provided the comedy in this one (along with Spidey). A powerful story, and I really enjoyed it. I am sad that Kitty is gone, but she saved the whole world. Whedon had Kitty there for this moment. He likes the character and used her to save the world in a way that nobody else could. She succeeded where Spider-Man, the rest of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four (including Reed's big brain), Iron Man, Dr. Strange and the Sentry failed. Kitty. I mean, that was awesome. The two-page spread where Kitty phased the bullet, I actually cried, believe it or not. I am going to miss Kitty a lot, but I know she single-handedly saved the Earth, where more powerful people failed. So, she is gone, but she definitely made the whole story worth it. Thank you Joss Whedon. Thank you.


Foilball said...

i'll be back to read/comment this juicy piece of reviewing tomorrow once my copy comes in.

-Billy Z.

Foilball said...

just read it. wow. just, wow.

Pi_3.14159... said...

Exactly. Exactly.

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