Title: Astonishing X-Men #18
Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Reviewed by the Review Bitches, Tony (DeadFett) Mourlot and Trachman
Tony (DeadFett) Mourlot: This issue was the final part of the “Torn” arc. The tension has been building for five issues as the reborn Hellfire Club dismantled the X-Men one by one. Would the X-Men be able to rebound and defeat the Hellfire Club in time? What did you think of this issue, Trachman?
Trachman: I thought it had some pretty interesting twists at the end. It’ll really payoff in the next issue, I think. This story had to be told, but It felt kinda tired, so I’m happy for the upcoming changes Whedon is making with the story, and I think the characters are back to themselves. And he wrote them beautiful as always. Cassaday’s art seemed a little off on a few panels, but as great as he’s done I can overlook it. Your thoughts, ‘Fett?
Tony: I thought this issue was a colossal disappointment. The ending felt very anti-climatic to me and the resolution felt like it was out of an 80’s sitcom. I was expecting a battle with the Hellfire Club, but instead, it turns out it was just Emma with Cassandra Nova in her head. Since the first arc of this series, I’ve found the title to be boring and unoriginal. This is the second time we’ve seen a villain hide in a telepath’s head and cause them to take out the X-Men. It was Magneto causing Xavire to become Onslaught. This time it was Nova with Emma. It also didn’t make sense to me that the Agent Brand, the leader of S.W.O.R.D., would take the X-Men to the Breakworld. If Colosssus is supposed to destroy the Breakworld why would she take him there? Especially if she’s been trying to prevent it from happening.
The best quality of this issue is the art of John Cassaday. His characters continue to look fantastic and realistic. He doesn’t do a lot as far as background work goes, but with characters that look that good it’s something I can overlook. Any other thoughts?
Trachman: I won’t call it complete unoriginal, and boring. I wouldn’t compare it to Onslaught ’cause we didn’t see a crappy Emma/ Nova beast. And It had a lot of great moments. Cyclops blasting Wolverine onto the front yard, Beast, Wolverine fighting, Colossus and Fastball Special revival. Xavier crashing a truck into Danger. I couldn’t go on.
Tony: We may not have seen an Emma/Nova beast, but, the concept was the same. Most of the great moments you’ve cited all happened in the first arc, which as I previously stated, was good. The Danger arc is where Whedon lost me. There was a similar story about eight years ago when Cerebro gained sentience. Again, it wasn’t exactly the same, but close enough to bore me.
It’s possible I’m being overly critical. But, when I read people gushing over how great this title is I guess I just expect a little more. I’ll give Whedon this though, his dialogue is great and at least he’s still touching on some of the work Morrison did.
Posted originally: 2006-11-22 13:09:53