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September 25 2006

Mark Millar praises Astonishing X-Men. After reading #17, he writes "Mother of God. That was a good comic. God help whoever follows because this is my favourite run on X-Men ever".

I think Joss is the first person to ever pull focus in a comic book. That's our Boss.
It's funny how people can disagree. There was a negative review over at Silver Bullet Comic Books.
That's some pretty high praise there. Not just any old farty saying that, that's Mark frikkin Millar. And how cool is it that he went from the comics to Buffy/Angel/Serenity appreciation ? And he's watching Buffy S3 for the first time at the moment, lucky bugger.

I can't place it at the moment but I think i've seen the 'focus' technique used before though not in that specific way (I think it was to represent motion so not a true focus 'pull').

Obviously the Silver Bullet reviewer is entitled to his opinion but I think
Chatted with local comic store guy yesterday, who didn't like the Kitty dream sequence because dream sequences don't count. It was my favorite part of the book, because it allowed the story to test Kitty's character in an extraordinary way, by showing under what circumstances she would be willing to kill the man she loves. Plus I love how this story shows that people doing the wrong thing think they are doing the right thing -- their fervent belief that they're forced into it. (Not just Kitty, but Ord, and SWORD.) Favorite issue yet.
The guy at SBC was on about how he can't say he liked Claremont/Byrne era X-Men and then goes on about how Dazzler was underutilized. This speaks for itself :)

Spoilage and rebuttals:

QUOTE: Whedon then asks the reader to believe that the X-Men would try to kill her make-believe child because its mutant power represents some kind of threat. :ENDQUOTE

No, he really doesn't ask the reader to believe it, Emma tries to make Kitty believe it *cough*Proteus*cough*.

QUOTE: Kitty phases through the box and states: "I can feel him." No, you can't. Kitty is feeling a blob, probably an alien blob. If so, she should be able to feel the difference. What about the psychic-whammy on her? Here again, Whedon asks me to take a huge leap, and he simply hasn't written well enough for me to do that. :ENDQUOTE

See again Kitty under the psychic whammy as you say wouldn't realize it was a blobby thing, thats the whole point. Tremendously well written issue. Bonus points for reference to Jonathan Superstar in the review :) negative points for adding an 'h' in the spelling.

As many repeatedly pointed out, the reviewer is making some major assumptions that a lot of other people see as obviously not true. We shall see :)

I hope this will come out in graphic novel form as has previously happened, because I honestly can't keep up with the comics, and I'm dying to see what everyone is talking about.
It's already in graphic novel form, Nebula1400. The first half of it, anyway.
The 'focus' on one level by blurring the rest of the panel was actually one of the first tricks colorists learnt when comic book coloring starting being on the computer and everything Photoshoppy was considered shiny and new. My god was it overused for a while there. (I'm thinking of some issues in the Nicieza/Kubert X-Men run in particular.) The shifting of focus like here, I can't name any specific examples of, but I'm pretty sure it has been done.

Probably never on a beer can, though. :-)

I read that SBC review as well. So much to disagree with, point for point. So many elements misread. But... the same site had a gushing four star (or bullet) review a day earlier, so it all evens out.

For some reason, what Millar said about the next AXM writer having his work cut out for him made me think/worry that it was, in fact, going to be him. :-)
It often sounds like the only thing that gets in the way of people enjoying this run is themselves.

Millar & Hitches new project, Astonishing? Dunno. He already did Ultimate X-Men. Thunderbolts is another rumor.
I like it when smart people like Joss' stuff.
Here's a listing on Amazon for the AXM Vol. 3 TPB (release listed as 2/14/2007).
SBC does have some valid points. But the reviewer doesn't know enough about X-books to correctly argue them, and there are No Prize worthy explanations for all of the problems in the issue.

The thing is about X-fans is that we can put up with a lot of things that are a bit far fetched as long as the story is good and the characters are well written.

As for Millar writing Astonishing, I'm not sure he'd be right for the job since I haven't been convinced he really knows the characters when he's had a chance to write them. And there's been some errors he's made that convince me he's not very familar with X-continuity.

I'd prefer either Brubaker or Carey move over to Astonishing (currently, I prefer Carey since he's done an amazing job maintaining continuity, and working in what's going on with all three teams into Adjectiveless), and bringing in someone new to take over Adjectiveless or Uncanny.

But I'd also love to see someone from Mutant Enemy to
take over Astonishing. Maybe someone like Goddard, Fury, Minear, or even Noxon. Maintaining that kind of Buffy-esque feel would be great.

[ edited by FaithFan on 2006-09-25 21:28 ]
That's why I'm for Greg Pak. He could carry on Joss's tone very well.

I'm not crazy about the idea of Millar on AXM, either. He's terrific when he's on the right project for him, but Wolverine: Enemy of the State, to name a relevant example, did very little for me.
Man, Whedon's run on ASTONISHING is going to be a hard act to follow. Pretty much my favorite X-MEN run ever. I hope Kitty makes it out okay.

And hey, speaking of Whedon and comics, there's an interview with me about SPIKE:ASYLUM over at AINT IT COOL. I'd post a headline, but I'm not allowed to post about myself. Damn.
Lynch: clicky. I've got your back :)
Thanks duder!

Back to X-MEN, I'm glad Wolverine is back to his old gnarly self. The little boy personality was hilarious, but I missed Whedon's take on the bad-ass version.
Two of the best Wolvie moments of JW's run on AXM so far have involved beer :) Bonus!
Hm. Anyone else think that Millar and Hitch will be taking over for Joss after he makes the jump to Runaways? They haven't announced their next project yet...
It's great when major comic writers show their love for Astonishing X-Men. Also did anybody catch this little gem in a different thread where Millar had just gotten of the phone with Stan Lee and wrote
I'm still a bit trembly (this was The Man, after all), but we really hit it off as all comic-people do and I told him I'd see him before Christmas when I'm out in LA. Me, Joss, Damon Lindelof, Goyer, James Gunn and a few other cats are all going out for a big night on the town and Stan is fucking JOINING US. Can't wait to tell Damon as he'll be dumbstruck with sheer awe.

Sounds like a fun night.

[ edited by derf on 2006-09-25 22:34 ]
Oh, that would be a fun night, make no mistake :) To be a fly on the wall...
I'm not too keen on how Joss had been writing Logan, up to his regression to 9 years old which was utterly brillant. Logan's progressed past being a thug who likes to brawl and drink beer. In Astonishing, it feels like Logan's intelligence has been sucked out of him some times.

Millar did better writing Logan in Wolverine, but I didn't particularly like Enemy of the State. The problem I have with Millar is he gets the little details wrong, which is what Joss does so well at.

When Millar was writing Ulimate X-Men, it was widely promoted that he wasn't an X-fan and had never read any X-book. When writing 616 continuity books, he's made major errors with characters (I won't get into any rants). I'm just be afraid what he'd do to Astonishing.

[ edited by FaithFan on 2006-09-25 23:51 ]
I don't feel his intelligence has been sucked out of him, I just felt that Joss hadn't really dwelled on him (see also his obsession with super-powered adolescent girls). However, I have been out of X-land since Age of Apocalypse (aside from Origin), so it could be that I just don't realize it.
Yep, not a big X-head but I think he just hasn't been totally focussed on Wolverine. Joss' take has rung/rang/ringed (can't decide ;) pretty true to me and despite the not necessarily starring bill Wolvie's still had some great lines/scenes ("What am I, research guy ?" leaps to mind, hi-larious ;).

Can't wait to tell Damon as he'll be dumbstruck with sheer awe.

OK, if Lindelof is being allowed out, there'd better be at least 3 issues of Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk in the can. Or else ;).
But I'd also love to see someone from Mutant Enemy to
take over Astonishing. Maybe someone like Goddard, Fury, Minear, or even Noxon. Maintaining that kind of Buffy-esque feel would be great.

Three of those would be so awesome as to beggar description (particularly Goddard), but please please PLEASE, I begging for no more Noxon! ...please... :(

Can't wait to tell Damon as he'll be dumbstruck with sheer awe.

Is that better than awestruck with dumb?
Former editor Mike Marts had said that Marti Noxon and David Fury were two writers he'd love see write X-books, so they were on the radar.

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