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Astonishing X-Men #2

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday

Publisher: Marvel Comics

If there's only one reason you should pick up this issue it's for the confrontation scene between Kitty and the White Queen, as not only does it deftly spell out why there would be tensions between these two women, but I also have to say I loved the simple fact that Kitty is able to perfectly capture why I find myself unable to fully trust Emma's motives when it comes to her relationship with Scott, as she can't help but notice the change that has taken place in her absence. The big brawl in this issue is also nicely presented, as I like the fact that some thought was made when it came to delivering the roles that the characters would play in the battle, as Kitty's rescue of the hostages was an inspired use of her phasing ability, and Emma's telepathic attack was amusingly presented.

There's also something highly entertaining about watching a villain in a position of power, as the X-Men get their heads handed to them, which in turn should bring a greater sense of uncertainty when it come to the rematch. I also enjoyed how the battle was brought to a close, as a character makes a welcome return from comic book limbo, and the reunion scene was rather touching. The line of questioning that follows when the reporters notice this character made me smile, as this is the amusing back and forth exchange that Joss Whedon does so well. I also have to credit Joss Whedon for taking what looked to be a fairly tired idea and managing to spin it into a powerful cliff-hanger moment, as Henry's final statement upped my interest in the "mutant cure" premise considerably. The debate that we received earlier in the issue was also pretty interesting, though I have to confess I found Wolverine's reaction to be a bit overblown, as frankly I've always looked on Logan as having a Clint Eastwood style ability to understate his case.

John Cassaday is a great artist and while I'm always a bit nervous when he's announced as the regular artist of a title, as he has a somewhat spotty track record when it comes to sticking with the monthly deadlines, my fingers are crossed that he had enough lead time that this won't become an issue. I will say that his art looks fantastic, from the wonderfully moody cover image, to its delivery of the final sequence where we follow the Beast as he puts on a display of agility. I also enjoyed the way the action was laid out on the page, as the art smartly jumps between the players, so we never have to wonder what each character was doing during the battle.



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