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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonished by how GREAT this show is
I originally got these as downloads through the Playstation network. Gifted is divided into 6 episodes of about 15 minutes each. When I saw Amazon had the motion comic on DVD I had to purchase it.

What is a motion comic? Its a bit of a hybrid genre-- the video looks like someone was able to animate the spaces between the panels in a comic book. The...
Published on June 17, 2010 by S. H. Wells

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Remember it's a comic book not a cartoon
The first thing i thought of was the old 60s Marvel Comics cartoons, where they "animated" panels to cut actual animation costs so the end result was a self-moving pop-up book. Marvel must have thought of this too as they market this DVD as a motion comic. Still I really enjoyed this, and John Cassaday lays down some nice pencil work. Joss Whedon provides snappy dialogue...
Published on November 25, 2010 by E. SANDOVAL


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonished by how GREAT this show is, June 17, 2010
By 
S. H. Wells (Tulsa, OK United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
I originally got these as downloads through the Playstation network. Gifted is divided into 6 episodes of about 15 minutes each. When I saw Amazon had the motion comic on DVD I had to purchase it.

What is a motion comic? Its a bit of a hybrid genre-- the video looks like someone was able to animate the spaces between the panels in a comic book. The conversation bubbles are replaced by voice actors. The voice acting is spot on. Emma Frost drips with her elite mannerism. Wolverine is gruff and quick-witted. The voice actors do a great job of dramatically portraying the x-men without going over the top into the field of campy or too corny: It is not a Saturday morning cartoon-- in some ways it much better.

I loved the 1990's x-men cartoon, but as I grew up so did the X-men. Astonishing X-men are still dealing with some of the issues of discrimination and intolerance that have been a hallmark of x-men series since the comic debuted in the 1960s but in a much more sophisticated manner. In these episodes a cure for mutants is discovered, and the x-men are torn between inner conflicts as well as inter-stellar conflicts.

I wont give anything away, but the acting and animation is paced so that the suspense never slackens. The only thing I don't like about this is that there are ONLY six episodes. I would gladly buy ever x-men issue as motion comic as well as a paper issue if they were as well made as these episodes.

If you grew up with the x-men, you'll appreciate Gifted for its many allusions to their 40 year comic history. If you're new to x-men, these episodes are almost as thrilling as the movies without being nearly as campy as the saturday morning cartoons.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN THE LIVE ACTION OR ANY ANIMATED XMEN MOVIE, July 26, 2010
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
I don't know where to start. I am one of the few women that still keeps up with her inner comic book geek. I viewed this online, I was ready to make fun of it. The jokes on me.

IT WAS AWESOME!!!! I actually own two of the issues this series stems from. It perfectly replicates how most of us comic book geeks see the action and dialogue in our minds. I was so impressed with this motion comic and the execution of it. I have been trying to convince people who have never read a comic to purchase this. It had action, supense, sexuality, humor. The acting is superb!!! THIS IS NOT A CARTOON!!!!!

SPOILER: THE SCENE IN THE FACILITY WITH KITTY PRYDE HAD ME GASPING OUT LOUD

I encourage everyone to buy this DVD and I hope they make a million more. I have viewed other motion comics and this is by far the BEST ONE.

Can someone please ask Neal Adams to do a motion comis for Batman's Hush?!?!

BUY THIS DVD!!!!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We have to astonish them.", July 3, 2010
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
Joss Whedon: The Man, The Myth, The God Among Geeks. There are very few creative forces in the pantheon of Fanboy/girl obsession that have more slavish devotees than Joss Whedon. The reason for this is simple: Just about every project he touches turns to gold. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, FIREFLY, DOLLHOUSE, and the SERENITY feature film... he is a geek god. And then he came into the world of Comics. He started out with the futuristic Vampire Slayer series FRAY, and then he was given the opportunity to helm the flagship X-Men title for the new millenium: ASTONISHING X-MEN. The series comes directly after the fallout of the Grant Morrison run, which saw Jean Grey die (again), Scott Summers fall in love with Emma Frost, a Magneto-wannabe destroy a lot of Manhattan and all of the X-Men's uniforms turn into black and yellow leather.

Joss Whedon and PLANETARY's illustrious illustrator John Cassaday joined up to bring a less bizarre but more intense run than Morrison ever could have done.

I'm not really going to get into the plot because you can find that all on the TPB review pages. What I'm going into here is the Motion Comic. It does a great job at retelling and somewhat animating the "Gifted" arc. The voice talent is all no-name, but they all fit their respected characters perfectly. The executive directors of this series are Cassaday and living legend Neal Adams... who if you read comics, you should know and love. If you don't, I'll sum his work up for you: You know how BATMAN got really campy in the 60's? He was the artist that was most directly responsible for bringing the Dark Knight back from that crap.

After getting all of these, unfortunately, through iTunes (unfortunately, because I'm not a fan of iTunes), I still plan on getting the DVD because the motion comic for "Gifted" is just as great as the read of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "So, what? The teachers spend all their time here trying to kill each other? This place is so cool!", October 16, 2010
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
First, the comic book gives you more, in case you haven't read it yet. But this motion comics adaptation ain't so shabby, either. Apologies to Grant Morrison and his quirk and others who did decent in their X-Men runs, but no one's done it better recently than Joss Whedon. So if a comic book company were to launch a new platform to showcase its comics, mining Whedon's brilliance seems a straight-up no-brainer. Artist John Cassaday helped, too. Of course, DC was the actual pioneer in this field, having come out with its rough WATCHMEN motion comics some years ago.

ASTONISHING X-MEN: GIFTED is Whedon's first X-Men arc and, reading it, you knew right away that you're in for some spectacular times. Whedon pulls out all the usual tools from his utility belt: the wit, the humor, the emotional gut checks, the pop culture plunge, the plot swerve. He makes you love the characters, even characters you didn't give an ef about going in (I'm looking at you, Cyclops). And, after you grow to care about them, he kills them off. I'm not saying that that happens here. But Whedon is a notorious serial killer.

Whedon gets a crack at writing Kitty Pryde, and if you don't fall in love with her, you are some sort of soulless. She returns to the X-Men proper here, and as a member of Xavier Institute's faculty, all grown up. In terms of character development, Kitty is the richest character. Love Kitty Pryde.

The central conflicts in the story: An alien mercenary called Ord from the Breakworld - the wonderfully snide Emma Frost refers to him as the "alien berk" - is running amok, taking hostages, testing the X-Men for whatever reason. Meanwhile, with the ever present anti-mutant hysteria as a backdrop, a brilliant geneticist publicly announces a cure for the mutant gene. Two separate plot threads but, as it turns out, it's all one single thread. As a bonus, Nick Fury shows up and S.W.O.R.D. is introduced. And just to demonstrate that Whedon doesn't only kill people off, an X-Man returns from the dead.

Don't get it twisted, what's featured here isn't full blown animation or a cartoon or what have you. Motion comics is a medium perched somewhere between the comic book and animation (text captions and word/thought balloons are excised in exchange for spoken dialogue). The movements aren't that fluid or continuous. Think of it as taking the original artwork from the comic book and tweaking it here and there just enough so that there are bits of movement. It's pretty minimal stuff, but in spite of the inherent stiffness and the limits to this new medium, the computer graphic artists do wonders. The neat thing to this concept is that there is absolute devotion to the source material, the comic book's original artwork is preserved, as well as the words. In ASTONISHING X-MEN: GIFTED the "animators" are all very keen to keep faith with John Cassaday. Thanks to them - and thanks to project overseer Neal Adams and Cassaday himself - this motion comics achieves a sort of dynamic flow. The voice actors - a bunch of unknowns - flesh out the characters and are pitch perfect for their roles. And we already know Joss Whedon's story itself has legs.

I'm still not sold on this motion comics thing. If Marvel, and whichever other comic book company, were to stick with its best products, then motion comics might make a go of it as a valid medium. I'd love to see John Byrne's 1980s run on FANTASTIC FOUR to get this treatment or Miller & Mazzucchelli's BATMAN: YEAR ONE. I like what I saw in GIFTED because Cassaday's art is stunning stuff, never mind that this new technology is still tottering on baby legs. Neal Adams has stated that he someday wants this medium to get a movie theater release, but that is some serious reaching at this early stage. Let's wait and see.

ASTONISHING X-MEN: GIFTED collects all six episodes, each running at around 12 to 14 minutes. The DVD's bonus material: Joe Quesada and Neal Adams talk about the genesis and development of Marvel's first motion comic book, with Quesada also going into the process of acquiring Joss Whedon as X-Men's then newest writer (00:17:10 minutes long); the pretty cool "Rise Up" music video; the ASTONISHING X-MEN: GIFTED trailer; a chronological history of the X-Men, narrated in text, except that if your television screen is small, then you may not be able to read the print; "Behind the Scenes with Marvel Knights Animation" delves even more technically into the motion comics process (00:05:12 minutes); an Artist's Gallery featuring John Cassaday's incredible stuff; "Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?!" presents Marvel characters auditioning for roles in ASTONISHING X-MEN: GIFTED: Episode #1 ("There's No Business Like Snow Business"), Episode #2 ("Red Carpet M.O.D.O.K."), and Episode #11 ("Deadpool FYC"); and trailers for other Marvel motion comics (SPIDER-WOMAN: AGENT OF S.W.O.R.D., the shaky looking BLACK PANTHER, and IRON MAN: EXTREMIS).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest modern X-Men Stories, May 13, 2011
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
Title says it all, with a story like this its hard to go wrong. There's couple of spots where the animation is not quite spot on or where the action gets a little confusion (the riot during the final chapter?) but overall this is a great interpretation. Definitely a must see for X-Men fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story and Storytelling, December 15, 2010
By 
Dan Carver (Jackson, MS United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
In my mind there are a afew simple facts:
X-MEN (and their comic franchises) Were one of Marvel's Greatest Collections of Stories, Characters, and Drawing.
Bryan Singer RUINED The X-Men both in his involvement in the Films and the Comics
Joss Whedon knows how to put together a Good Story to Unfold over time and maintain suspence.

I stopped Reading the X-Men comics about 10 years ago. I moved on to other focuses and grew up as I moved on to College Life. However, my interest was always there as I went to see all the movies, and was dissapointed each and every one of them. From time to time, I'd pick up one of the comics by a magazine stand and read it and see how Bryan Singer's abomination had worked it's way into the pages of the comic itself and I'd put it down.

I ran across "The Astonishing X-Men: Gifted" on iTunes. I had seen something about a Motion Comic before, with Spiderwoman, but never watched it. What got me into trying this was the name: Joss Whedon. What I loved from him was his creation of the TV Series based on his movie "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" which despite superficial first looks, is quite an indepth show that dealt with things such as Self-Loathing, Drug Abuse, Coming to Terms with Self, the struggle between light and dark in ourselves.. a million things... all in a creative fashion. As an X-Men Fan.. I was very intregued by his Whedonized retelling of the Classic X-Men Storyline "The Dark Phoenix Saga" using Willow as his "Phoenix." The comparisons are undeniable and to learn that Joss has been an X-Men fan just confirm it (not to mention his brief allusion to Dark Phoenix in the series during this storyline). (If you're an X-Men fan, check out Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to see what I mean.. He really does Re-Tell the Phoenix Saga better than the X-Men Movies tried to).

ANYWAY, Joss is what made me decide to try out this X-MEN Motion Comic.
I was not suprised to learn that Jean Grey was dead, again, but a bit taken back that Scott had taken up with Emma Frost and I'm still unclear about where Xavier is, or why beast looks more... beastly than usual. The story telling, the humor, the build up and suspence are all Classic Joss Whedon with the X-Men flare and is great. He re-captures the comic style of each of these characters as I remember them and I quite enjoyed each episode, of which there are 6. I HOPE For More..

My ONE Complaint... I'm tired of "The Cure" which we've been going on and on about since Cable was a baby.

ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW: This Isn't A Cartoon, as you may be acustomed to. Essentially it is a group of Voice Actors reading the Comic to you "In Character" with Panels of the Original Print Comic Book, shown on the screen and manipulated to appear as tho they are talking, or moving.
There is a PREVIEW Available on Amazon.com and i'm sure on iTunes so you can get a taste of what to expect before you buy.

I consider this a must for any Prodigal X-Fan who wants to catch up and see where it's been going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done, Great For Whedon Fans, November 26, 2010
By 
Portezbie (new york city) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
If you like joss whedon and/or motion comics, you will love this. The only problem is that this motion comic only covers the first 6 issues of the comic and leaves you hanging wishing there were more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick & To The Point Review, October 25, 2010
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
This is highly entertaining. If you loved the original comic run of this story line, then you will love this as well. Now, would I have liked them to do a full-on animated movie of this like DC has been doing with their releases in recent years? For sure. But since this is what they are giving us, I'll take it. To hear voices put to the characters was very cool. To see the original Cassaday artwork brought to "life", again very cool.

I certainly think there is plenty of room for this type of animation - and that's what it is, another type of animation. Not bad (by any account), just different.

My only dissapointment is that this is not the full comic run and that actually gets teased near the end of the video. I'm hoping this sells well enough for them to finish the Whedon run.

You cannot beat the entertainment value of this for the price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XMen Done Right, April 24, 2011
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This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
Been a fan of the X-Men since I was a kid. Been a fan of Joss Whedon since about halfway through Buffy's first season (Firefly should never have been canceled, and The Avengers are a highlight of 2012). When I read the books, I was hooked in again. Whedon's take on the characters, partnered with his great dialogue, were a Win. The animation of the comic here went way beyond what I was expecting out of this purchase. Couple that with some great voice acting, and this was a treat. Keep these coming, and I'll keep buying.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, October 4, 2010
This review is from: Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) (DVD)
Initially when I saw the words "motion comic" I was turned off by the product. It was most likely my looking for some way to fill that Xmen Void after finishing the Wolverine and Xmen anime. I was really sceptical... I went online to view the first couple min before I purchased. I must say that this literally has to be probably the most solid representation of the Xmen that i have seen literally since the 90's anime series (props also to the first xmen movie). I cant vouch for any of the "motion comics" before today, but this feature was GREAT!! If they keep this level of quality up and continue to move forward with it I will gladly accept this as a new form of presentation. Now regarding that. I see the reviews on this product stating that this is not as animated as, well anime. In some senses yes this is true, but its not a fair comparison. just like comparing live action with anime. There are things that work better in each. I think its fair to say regarding this that I have never seen any Xmen anime with a story line and good as this and as much passion in the actors. In comparison to other xmen products I rate this like such

Xmen 90's anime 4.5 stars
Xmen Live action 4 stars
Xmen 2 LA 4.5 stars
Xmen 3 LA 3.5 stars
Xmen anime (in high school) 3 stars
Wolverine & Xmen 4 stars
Astonishing Xmen Gifted 4.5 stars
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Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights)
Astonishing X-Men - Gifted (Marvel Knights) by John Cassaday (DVD - 2010)
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