Whedon, Joss

Joss Whedon has worked as a screemwriter and a movie director and created the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly.

 

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

3 out of 5

(3 books)

Astonishing X-Men Vol.1: Gifted

(Art by John Cassaday)

Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, decides to reform the X-Men in an attempt to improve the public relations of mutantkind, enlisting Wolverine, Beast, Shadowcat and Emma Frost for his new team.  At the same time a mysterious alien called Ord has helped human scientists to develop a 'cure' for the mutant gene, turning the mutant community on its head.

I enjoyed seeing the X-Men reformed as a proactive superhero team but found the rest of the plot to this book a little bit lacking.  Perhaps it's because the bad X-Men movie 'The Last Stand' borrowed the cure storyline and that soured it for me, but it just didn't engage me the way it should've and I didn't buy into Beast deciding he wanted to take the cure.

Whedon has often proved himself a good storyteller and you can see hints of that here but he also displays his most irritating habit: quipping.  Every since the Buffy days I've despaired of the way that Whedon will write an entire scene just so he can have a 'witicism' (the inverted commas because wit should seem spontaneous) at the end.  He does this several times in this book and, as a result, it made me like the book less than I otherwise might have.

3 out of 5

 

Astonishing X-Men Vol.2: Dangerous

(Art by John Cassaday)

The second book of the series sees the X-Men working alongside the Fantastic Four.  Whilst they help take down a monster in Manhattan, however, a crisis is arising at the X Mansion as a new enemy makes its bid to destroy them; an enemy who knows their tactics and weaknesses intimately.

I found this a much better book than the last one, having less irritating Whedon-isms and a more compelling plot.  I won't reveal exactly who the villain is, but its a satisfying and surprising twist on a long-term staple of the X-Men series.  I also enjoyed seeing the X-Men's reaction to Professor Xavier's Magneto-esque behaviour at the end.

If nothing else, this book is worth reading to see the X-Men once more go toe-to-toe (ish) with a couple of Sentinels; something it's very hard to get sick of even after all these years.

4 out of 5

 

Astonishing X-Men Vol.3: Torn

(Art by John Cassaday)

The X-Men find themselves betrayed from within as the Hellfire Club invades the X Mansion.  Meanwhile, the villains Ord and Danger, as well as SWORD, discover the identity of the mutant destined to destroy Breakworld and set out to neutralise the threat.

This was fairly disappointing addition to the series after the upswing of the previous book.  Truth be told, I found it very hard to follow what was going on here and the fact that the book finishes on an unresolved cliffhanger didn't do it any favours either.

However, there are a few scenes in this book which showcase Whedon's wit at its best (and thankfully least quippy) and which I really enjoyed.  Among them was the scene where Wolverine is pulled out of a psychically-induced mental regression by being hit on the head by a can of beer, almost like the way a fortuitously falling can of spinach would always get Popeye out of a bind.  Another example was the amusing scene in which Shadowcat involuntarily phases naked through to the floor below due to having an orgasm.

2 out of 5

Read more...

Marvel Comics (here)