Astonishing X-Men Gifted TP Joss Whedon John Cassaday Emma Frost Cyclops 1st print


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Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Gifted Paperback
by Joss Whedon (Author), John Cassaday (Illustrator)

Dream-team creators Joss Whedon (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and John Cassaday (Planetary, Captain America) present the explosive flagship X-Men series – marking a return to classic greatness and the beginning of a brand-new era for the X-Men! Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of “astonishing” the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started?

Collecting: Astonishing X-Men #1-6

Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Marvel

The story takes place some time after the Morrison run. Jean Grey is dead again and Xavier is absent. Kitty Pryde is invited to return to Xavier’s school to teach. Cyclops and Emma Frost (and who is in charge, exactly?) decide to put together a new team of X-Men that will actually do super-heroic stuff, consisting of themselves, Kitty, Wolverine, and the Beast.

Kitty Pryde is apparently Whedon’s favorite X-Man, and it shows. Rumor is, the character Buffy was inspired by her, although Kitty in this story is now possibly in her early 20’s. Most of the focus is on her, Scott, and Emma. Wolverine is there mostly for violence and comic relief. There are two main plotlines, intertwined: a scientist has developed a “cure” for being a mutant (and it seems to work), and an alien race wants to invade the earth in order to defeat a prophecy that we’ll destroy their planet. As the series progresses, we’ll find out that a previously thought dead X-Man isn’t (no, not Jean this time), we’ll meet a new X-Man (Armor), meet S.W.O.R.D (the extra-terrestrial counter-part to S.H.I.E.L.D.) and meet various villains, new and old.

This Volume: The “cure” plot is introduced, and the scientist behind it truly seems to be benevolent. Mostly. Naturally, Hank (the Beast) is tempted to use it. (I understand Whedon came up with this cure concept before it was used in the movie X-3). An alien shows up and seems to be involved with the cure as well. The X-Men invade the lab in which the cure is being developed. They discover…somebody there. Then, they’re interrupted by…somebody else. Hey, I don’t want to tell you too much of the plot, now. Oh yeah. Kitty has a pet dragon, if you didn’t already know that.

If you’ve read Planetary, you might want to give this a chance just to see some more awesome Cassady art. And did I mention Joss Whedon?

Collects Astonishing X-Men 1-6. Near mint, 1st print.