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Astonishing X-Men Omnibus Hardcover – October 7, 2009
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Some background is needed here. I am a DC only guy. I love their characters and universe and my collection is DC only...until now. I keep up with Marvel and other companies, randomly, through my library and just checking out comic sites. I respect Marvel and it's characters and universe but as a whole it just doesn't do it for me. However, I am a sucker for the X-Men and there are certain stories I just fall for. This is one of them. I read the first trade/arc to this omnibus, Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1: Gifted, and it just stuck with me. I loved the team of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Wolverine, Colossus, and the darling Kitty Pryde. Whedon cares for these characters and makes you do so as well. That is why I succumbed to my urge to get this collection and do not regret it one bit.
The stories here are fun and full of life. The X-Men are targeted by an alien race, shadowy government agencies, their own danger room, and old foes. In the hands of a lesser writer the stories could of felt like recycled superhero stories but the details and twists and turns Whedon gives us make this story stand above others. He also accomplishes this by making his cast the driving force giving them all moments to shine as well as face their inner demons and have organic interactions amongst each other.
The other beautiful aspect about this saga is not only is it told by one writer it is illustrated by one illustrator (a real rarity for comics these days) and the right person to bring Whedon's words to picture. John Cassaday is astonishing! His clean almost realistic panels are stunning. The close ups of faces are like out of a a carefully set up hollywood film. It's crazy how detailed his work is with what seems like a minimal use of lines. One page that will haunt me forever is the expression on Kitty Pryde's face, along with the action going on, when she sees an old friend. Priceless.
This story is probably one of the best standalone or jumping on points for a new reader. Very accessible and easy to get an idea of what is meant when references come up. There is a nice little introduction that gives major history points as well as story and character points that are relevant to this story. Getting that quick explanation of the "fastball special" in the beginning made the two page spread later on in the story that more enjoyable. Haha. I was also totally stunned at how compact the book is for being close to 700 pages! It has the same height and length of other omnibuses (I compared it to my New Teen Titans omnibuses which are about the same page count) but the paper itself is very thin making it very easy to handle. The one little complaint I do have, is that I would have liked a table of contents and at the very least page numbers. I wish all graphic novels were numbered, especially ones of this size but a very minor thing.
Again, this is a great collection of one of the finest superhero stories ever told. You will be astonished!
My second X-Saga, and I'm already a believer!
I used to be a "DC Comics Only" guy. That started to change when DC started to publish tiny but expensive collected editions, but I never took real action until last year. They came out with a Flash Omnibus with only 400 pages at $75. I was officially disgusted.
At the same time, Thor came out in theaters, and I loved the movie. It took me completely by surprise! The X-Men: First Class. LOVED it! Captain America. Same thing.
I started looking for Marvel books and I found the Mighty Thor Omnibus at $60. More than 1000 pages for $60!? I went for it. That was the begining of my compulsive purchase of Marvel collections. I passed from 0 books to 15 Omnibuses!!!!
The strange thing about it was that I couldn't read them yet because I was busy with work and school. Now that the school is off, I had time, and I made New X-Men my first series to read... and I was blown away!!!
Astonishing X-Men Omnibus was (of course) my second book on the line. At the begining I thought this wasn't going to be as good as New-Men. Boy, I was wrong!
The pacing in the saga is so good. You never get bored. Your always there. Always interested in knowing more. I was surprised how Joss Weedon managed to make a good transition between TV and comics. I cared about the characters. I want to know more about them. I don't want anything to happen to them. Good job, Joss!
The art is astonishing (pun intended). John Cassidy makes a fantastic job through the entire saga. Good lines, cool shapes, fantastic color. You name it.
This is a visual storytelling that you shouldn't let pass. The format of the book makes the experience even sweeter. All the story in one shot. Previous before the comics so you know what's been going on from begining to end. Cover art gallery. A few words after the comic (that was part of the intro for the first trade, but still good), and some emails Joss and the Marvel people shared before the project came to be.
I'm just so happy I found Marvel. The storytelling (so far) surpass other superheroes from other companies.
10 out of 5!
This omnibus collects the complete run Joss Whedon and John Cassaday did covering a complete story arch. The story centers mostly on Kitty Pryde and how the curent X-Men team of Cyclops, White Queen, Beast, Wolverine and Collossus are functioning without Professor X and Magneto. Their adventures take them from the original Xavier School to Genosia and finally concluding in outerspace. Add in some costume changes and great character dynamics and you have the best X-Men story arch we've seen since the Phoenix saga. Even better, if you haven't kept up with X-Men comics or are somewhat new to these heroes there's a complete and comprehensible time-line at the beginning of the omnibus which takes us through the ENTIRE X-Men history.
John Cassaday's art is terrific and perfectly evokes the fun and seriousness of these X-Men stories. What surprised me most about this collection though was of course Joss Whedon's writing. I've never been a fan of Buffy or Angel and I thought Whedon completely RUINED Brian K Vaughn's Runaway's comic. He not only makes Astonishing X-Men a fun read but adds a level of seriousness and personlized story telling I haven't seen in comics in a long time.
I really can't praise this Omnibus enough. It got me interested in the X-Men again and as I've said is easily one of the best super-team comics to come around. It's an all out winner and easily worth your money!
Most recent customer reviews
-Opening arc is great
-Issue covers are great
-Doesn't require a crazy amount of back reading
-Nice production values
-Character Development...Read more
Book's binding is perfect. Also it starts with past references which mentioned in story.Read more