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May 29 2008

(SPOILER) Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men out today. Four years and twenty five issues later, Joss' run on Astonishing X-Men comes to an end. It's been one heck of a read.

Until I have it in my hands (which should be tomorrow, assuming UK deliveries are their usual one day behind US release), I shall not believe it. ;)

[ edited by littlexander on 2008-05-29 12:23 ]
I phoned my local comic book shop in Belfast and they said their delivery was in. So other places in the UK may got their stock in today as well.
Yeah comics're normally unaffected by bank holidays/whatever they call them in the US (i.e. we get them on Thursday even if the American release is a day behind).

Hope it's worth the wait, i'd hate for them to fall at the final fence.
Last Buffy comic was affected by the bank holiday at the Forbidden Planet in Manchester... Had to come back the next day! Oh no!
Yeah, well, it's grim up north i'ntit ;).
OI, ello governor, after I go for a run on the pitch, I'm going to go to a chip shop wit me mates and have a pint before going to work at the aluminum shop. Bollocks. (I just wanted to interrupt all the brits with my impression of brits, which is basically wayne rooney or JT speaking about nothing).

Anyway, I am pumped about this, memorial day here in the US delayed it for us, so I'm even more anxious than usual. Everyone should also check out Millar's new book this week, All Star Superman, and Iron Fist.
The ending was elegant and so obvious it didn't even occur to me (also second ever proper Whedon finale). Not everything got wrapped up the way I would have liked it but then you can't have everything in life. Btw there's no interviews with Joss and John in this issue despite what the solitication info says.

All in all, Astonishing X-Men kept me going through the Whedon wilderness when there was nothing new on the horizon. And it was a very good read. Can't wait to get the second supersized hardcover.
Speaking of which, I realize it's probably too early to be asking, but do we know when the next pretty hardcover is coming out? I need to catch up with my AXM so badly :(
Haven't seen it advertised anywhere but I'd like to think it would be in the shops by Christmas time.
A stellar run comes to an interstellar end. Beautiful. Who could foresee that Agent Brand would turn out to be half-?

Giant-Size Astonishing -- that, Strawberry Blonde Auteur and sometime journeyman director of TV favorite "The Office," is what she said.
Not out in my area of the UK till tomorrow due to the bank holiday (along with no less than 3 other X-Men titles; X-Force, Uncanny and Legacy). More excited about Uncanny #500 at this point, but I'll be still be very interested to see if and how , plus expecting a few other twists thrown in there.
I have my issue. I've read it. I'm going to talk about it, if no one objects... There will probably be some spoilers, so keep that in mind. I'll try to keep them to a minimum, though, I promise.

Curse the fates that put my comic shop 20 miles from me with the gas prices so high! I had to ask the guy who runs it to hold on to a copy for me so I can get it next week with my copy of BtVS. Saves me $10 to not make the trip twice in two weeks. But, I figure that I've waited long enough as it is, so a little longer won't hurt.
I was actually quite little skeptical that it actually came out today until I called my shop. And then, yay! Now I hope I like it when I read it.
Actually the comic came out yesterday in Canada.

An enjoyable end, though I think it would have been stronger without the "superheroes rally to defend the earth" thing. Mostly that just reminds me why I stopped reading most superhero comics. The allusions to stories that have happened or are happening elsewhere weary me. That whole side story could have been cut and the main story would have been stronger and more focussed for it. Is there any reason the side stuff is there, apart from the necessity to justify the Giant-Size label?
I donno, bigsofty, I think it was a good way to show that the earth's mightiest heroes couldn't amount to a hill of beans when compared with one little girl from Deerfield, Illinois.
That's true.

I'm still not sure, though, that that alone justifies all the pages. Not for me, at any rate.
I didn't mind the "superheroes rally to defend the earth" thing, especially since recently the X-Men seem so cut-off from the rest of the Marvel Universe.

But it was disappointing that more of the X-Men couldn't be involved. Since GS AXM was set during so many other plots, a majority of the X-Men's heavy hitters weren't there, and that did leave the X-Men quite short handed. It's a shame that Joss didn't get to write a more diverse group of X-characters during his run. I really liked Joss' Storm in GS AXM. I wish he had had the chance to write Rogue.

As for the climax, my feelings about it depend on how it's dealt with.
Joss' and Cassaday's run on AXM has been awesome. The title of this thread sums up the problem, however, with Mr. Whedon's foray into comic book writing- FOUR years to complete 25 issues. Yeah, yeah, quality first and all that, but at that pace they had better be.

For anyone looking for Buffyverse stories, I highly recommend the trade paperbacks "Tales of the Vampires" and "Tales of the Slayers". Each is a collection of about six stories loosely connected by Joss himself with some of the tales written by BTVS and Angel tv show writers.

Then of course there is "Fray", Joss' best work to date. Melaka Fray is a slayer hundreds of years in the future who is more badass than Buffy and Faith combined. She will also be making an appearance in BTVS Season 8 come this July (if it ships on time that is ;) ) so now would be a great time to read, or re-read, her story.
I would rather have a continued Joss run on X-Men than a new live action Buffy!
Yeah, yeah, quality first and all that, but at that pace they had better be.

Except they weren't. Joss told a very good story, that was mostly carried by the art, and even then didn't justify the wait. It wasn't revolutionary. It wasn't Uncanny. Or Amazing. Or Astonishing. It was merely very pretty, with snappy writing.
A beautiful image:. Great callback to the first issue, when Scott mentioned selecting Kitty because her power doesn't hurt people.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-05-30 12:50 ]
I for one was astonished. I'm really sad that it's over.

The Beast/Brand scenes were my favorite. Not that I didn't love the drama and thematic closure of the others, just that I love that dynamic and her lines. Also Spider-Man's lines, although he did go on.

ETA: And faking the audience out with a bunch of impossible world-saving scenarios was really genius.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-05-30 14:36 ]
The climax of the story was so poignant and genius in its simplicity, that I have to wonder if Joss conceived the single image of the bullet that doesn't kill before everything else, and then simply wrote 24 issues worth of story to surround it with. Amazing.

And on top of that, I truly pity whoever tackles the character of Kitty next. Joss simply told the absolute Kitty story.


Also, wow.

It's going to take some time to process this.

Part of what I love, though, is its avoidance of the obvious: the Sentinal decides to sacrifice itself, and it seems like that might be it...but that's too easy. That story isn't done.

As an aside, though: how could the bullet possibly reach Earth that quickly? A faster-than-light bullet that slows down enough for humans to see it? Really?
Heh. That occurred to me too. It took Brand's ship what, like 4 hours to reach the Breakworld? But the last issue had all this emotional stuff that needed to happen fast for the suspense.

Suspense: bending time and distance since back when we invented words.
Heartbreaking though it was, the possibilty is there.
Blindfold was wrong.

The epic moment I saw coming literally the panel before it happened. And oh my it was beautiful, epic and heaps of wow.

(And the Spider-Man stuff was joyously mirthful. I love Spider-Man.)

I am only sad that now, there is no more. :(
Great callback to the first issue, when Scott mentioned selecting Kitty because her power doesn't hurt people.

I agree with that. Her power can hurt, though. Quite a lot. It just wasn't what Kitty wanted to do with it. She could have been the scariest assassin Marvel ever created.
I gotta admit I didn't know what was going on until it was happening and when I realized I just broke down. Best ending ever, I'm serious. Go, Kitty! I love how the first years finale was settng this up. Is that all you got bub, indeed! Love that Armor, Blindfold and Brand are all regular marvel characters now as well.
I enjoyed all the superheroes bit because of Joss's writing- especially Spiderman's which was very funny.
I haven't read the other X-Men comics but my feeling is that he has left the characters where he found them. He brought back Kitty and Peter for the story but they are both gone at the end, so he hasn't affected anyone else's storyline. Is this accurate?
I really enjoyed the issue, but I feel confused about the superheroes' daydream save-the-world scenarios. Was it Emma somehow making that happen? But if so, why? And if not her, then who? (Whom?) I feel silly for not getting it, and would appreciate some clarification :)
Lioness, the ending for Joss' Astonishing has affected other storylines, or, actually, adding to them. Peter is currently in Uncanny X-Men grieving for Kitty. There's also a character returning soon who's incredibly tied to Kitty -

In a way, at least in the short-term, Joss swapped Kitty for Peter. However, you could argue that Joss got both of them out of character limbo. For those that don't read X-books, following Peter's death, Kitty quit the X-Men, and was written nearly completely out of X-books. The editors didn't know what to do with her. Claremont tried to bring Kitty back, and had some really crazy ideas (like making Kitty a lesbian and a career politician). So, it's good that didn't happen and Joss got a hold of Kitty, despite the way this issue ended.

miri47, Earth's superheroes' daydream was likely caused by the magical protection around the bullet.
I've heard mixed reactions to the Bullet storyline, but despite a few flaws in it I thought it was an exciting, climatic end to the Unstoppable arc. I hope this isn't the last we see of Joss on X-Men because he can really write these characters to perfection.

But I couldn't help being a little disappointed that this issue didn't mention a lot of major parts of Joss's run. Most notably is what happened to Cassandra Nova, she seemed to enter Armor, but there hasn't been any signs of it since. I hope the new writing team on Astonishing address these things rather than making it a fresh start.
I just thought the Cassandra Nova thing was Joss giving his successors something to write about and add continuity as the series progresses -- it's the same book, just with a very different writer.

Having the oh so serious catch-up with the claw, all about the X-Men , only to have a two page splash with Spidey being oh so Spidey was one of the funniest reveals I've seen in any medium this year, simply because it was so unexpected, despite the cover.

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