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Astonishing X-Men Volume 1 HC (Book Market Edition): v. 1 Hardcover – 17 May 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics; Book market ed edition (17 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785123016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785123019
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,376,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 2 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a breath of fresh air this series has been...despite astronomical sales most fans would agree that Marvel have struggled to produce high quality comics over the last few years. Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-man has gone south, Bendis' much-vaunted run on New Avengers has been very hit-and-miss, the various X titles have been, apart from Peter David's X-Force, pretty mundane. The Ultimate universe is always promising because every issue can be a greatest hits version of years worth of continuity, so Ultimate X-men, Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate Fantastic Four and the Ultimates haven't really had to try too hard to succeed, thus far.

However, Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-men is a shining light in the gloom of Marvel's current output. This book is utterly captivating and carries all of Whedon's trademark signatures: dry dialogue, humanist dilemma's and wonderfully observed idiosyncracies from all the characters. There is the seismic return of one of the X universe's most popular heroes and the chance to see Charles Xavier flex his mental muscles. This is more of a joy than Morrison's run on New X-Men, in my opinion, because Whedon is so brilliant at handling human nature and the interactions of people. He reveals aspects of beloved character's personalities that you had always suspected but never thought any writer would have the balls to commit to paper.

Cassady's pencils are a joy and play in perfect harmony with Whedon's style of writing. This is the finest 12 issue run I have read (and g-d knows I've read a lot) since Bendis started on Daredevil, Willingham stated on Fables and the most refreshing Marvel read since Neil Gaiman's outstanding '1602'. And to make matters even better Whedon's second 12 issue arc has just begun...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By genejoke on 29 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
Joss whedon has nailed the characters, no two ways about it. Whats more is the story is genuinely interesting combining believable world events and out of this world alien events.

Cassadays art is unusual for a mainstream comic these days, the style is realistic as opposed to stylised. Granted I don't like all the outfits but thats pretty trivial.

Best of all Joss has brought back the heart of the x-men, no I don't just mean the return of colossus, but the stories actually emote. rare for the x-men comics of late.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dogtooth on 11 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Cassaday shows us how good comic book art can be and Whedon demonstrates that he is one of the most talented contemporary writers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Astonishingly Great! 8 Feb. 2006
By Rene Ritchie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly/Serenity, as well as script-doctor par excellence on Speed and Toy Story to name but a few, enjoys the type of celebrity usually reserved for actors or pro-athletes and almost unheard of for those behind the scenes--and deservedly so.

Whedon exudes story. Although best known, perhaps, for witty pop-culture references and intriguing linguistic twists, Whedon is a veritable treasure of modern mythology from gothic horror to science fiction space-fare and, more to the point here, comic books.

Not since the Claremont/Byrne days have the X-Men been so much themselves, and so much more.

The first of the two arcs presented here in glorious large-size hardcover format, Gifted, introduces a new villain, Ord of the Breakworld, re-introduces an old and very dear friend, and threatens both the physical and, in classic Whedon-style, the emotional world of all involved with one small, four-letter word--cure.

The second arc, Dangerous, turns around, from the future and the stars, to the immediate heart of the X-Men world, their long-time training room, their loyalties, and the nature of intelligent life and oppressor vs. oppressed.

Keeping pace in spectacular fashion with Whedon's deadly-accurate dialog and plotting are John Cassaday's (Planetary) art complemented by Laura Martin's colors. From the grippingly casual to the bullet-time explosive, Cassaday captures every emotion, subtle nuance, and jarring physical impact, and Martin lights it up and washes it with every shade and mood imaginable.

No idea-splatter, no super-decompression, no endless splash-pages or pose-downs, just the most enjoyable comic experience I've had in ages. I already have the soft-covers and I'm still getting this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of the Best Comic Collections of the Last Decade 25 July 2006
By DonAthos - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let me get some technicalities about this release out of the way:

This hardcover collects the first two story arcs of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run ("Gifted" and "Dangerous"). It costs the same as buying those softcover graphic novels separately; if you're planning on reading the series, this particular volume is definitely worth it.

If you're unsure about whether to invest so much in a comic (maybe you've seen the X-Men movies, or maybe you're a Buffy fan, and you're curious), I have to go ahead and recommend this work. You may be interested to know that Whedon's won an Eisner award (the Comic industry's Oscar) for writing, the artist (Cassaday) has won for best art and the series has won for best series... so... it's a fairly good comic to take a chance on.

The initial plot concerns the X-Men coming together to instruct a new class at Xavier's Academy for the Gifted while world-changing events take place around them. Specifically, a prominent scientist has announced that she's discovered a "cure" for mutancy--the thing that sets the X-Men apart (you may notice that they ripped this idea off for the third X-Men movie, it's such a good idea, though the execution here is better than in that film). To say much more would constitute a spoiler, though you can expect that all of the in-fighting and love-triangling that the X-Men are famous for, is well-represented here.

Whedon writes for comics well (his Fray was very good) though he's not my favorite comic writer (Neil Gaiman sits atop that mountain); his style is surprisingly sparse, allowing the visuals to tell a lot of the story, and not quite as witty as you might expect from the pen of Buffy, Angel and Firefly. That said, he captures the voices of our X-Men regulars perfectly; it rather shows his discipline that he writes differently for different media. It is clear that Whedon is a long-standing fan of the X-Men--his lines are fully of sympathy for the characters. The action is non-stop and there are twists and turns aplenty. He manages to pack a lot of story into these pages, and I look forward to his continuation of the book (supposedly only another 12 issues and then no more).

To sum up, this is a very good comic. X-Men fans, and Whedon fans, should not be disappointed by this release--one of the best collections of the last 10 years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Astonishingly awesome 7 Oct. 2007
By Omar D. Odeh - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This hardcover trade features Joss Whedon's first twelve issues of Astonishing X-Men.

Story lines included:
Gifted (issues 1-6)
Dangerous (issues 7-12)

Also includes an introduction by Brian K. Vaughan (of Y: The Last Man and Runaways fame), a cover gallery (featuring the regular covers and the variants), character sketches, Joss Whedon's planning e-mails, and the Marvel Spotlight interview with John Cassaday
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant addition to the X-Men narrative universe 3 Feb. 2007
By Robert Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First, a word of clarification since this volume could be a bit misleading. Although Amazon lists it as ASTONISHING X-MEN, VOL. 1, it in fact collects both Vol. 1, GIFTED, and Vol. 2, DANGEROUS. These are available separately as well.

The joy of the X-Men has been their capacity for endless recreation. Even before the trend for reimaginings of comic book heroes in the eighties, the X-Men had been presented in a variety of story arcs, all varying slightly from one another. We've now seen numerous first rate versions in comic form, in television form, and in film. These two additions to the X-Men saga take place after the destruction and recreation of Xavier's school, with Xavier largely absent, Jean dead, and none of the traditional bad guys on hand. For his version Joss Whedon has opted for a much smaller group of X-Men than most. The Astonishing X-Men begin with the return of Kitty Pryde to the school as a teacher, joining Scott, his new girlfriend Emma Frost, Hank, and Wolverine. They are joined towards the end of the first volume by Colossus. The amazing thing is that without Xavier, Storm, Rogue, Jean, Magneto, or any of a large number of other prominent characters, Whedon has managed to craft one of the most memorable chapters in the entire run of the X-Men story.

When it was first announced that Joss Whedon had signed on to do the X-Men, a number of comic book fans greeted the news with extreme scepticism. And even a few of the early individual issues were negatively reviewed by some traditionalists. But for the most part, that initial negative reaction was overcome by the sheer brilliance of the stories. Many who early on were baldly stating that Whedon was just an overrated TV writer (usually stated by people who never discovered the genius of BUFFY, ANGEL, and FIREFLY), were later retracting and acknowledging Whedon's gifts as a creative artist. Although the narrative makes these brilliant, John Cassaday's artwork really brings it to life and makes it memorable. The two make a truly great team. I have to admit to being somewhat torn about the future. As much as I delight in Whedon's great work in comics (he is now engaged in writing the stories for the comics THE RUNAWAYS and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Season 8), my first choice would be to see him do movies and TV series. So I both hope that he continues with X-Men past TORN (Vol. 3) and hope that he doesn't.

GIFTED has strong parallels with the third of the X-MEN movies. A scientist develops a "cure" for the mutant gene and there is pressure to make it mandatory for all mutants. It is a strong story with many of the unexpected twists that we have come to associate with Whedon. DANGEROUS deals with possibly the most unusual Big Bad in the entire history of the X-Men universe: the Situation Room, which becomes self-aware and embodied in robotic form. I can't imagine any fan of the X-Men being disappointed in the stories.

I also would strongly encourage anyone who is primarily a Joss Whedon fan giving these stories a try. They contain many of the touches we associate with him. For instance, the stories never go quite where you expect them. There are a number of very funny moments. And, of course, there is a super empowered young female. As one of pop culture's leading feminists (and quite open about the fact), Whedon here employs Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat as the hero we most empathize with. Kitty has always been one of my favorite X-Men, largely because her powers are more strategic than offensive (though her "pet" mini-dragon Lockheed definitely provides some offensive support). It is hard to imagine Whedon agreeing to do the X-Men and not including her in it.

So, regardless of your interest in this volume, whether as a fan of the X-Men, of comics in general, or Joss Whedon or John Cassaday in particular, this is as close to a must-get as you are going to get in the field. I strongly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Astonishing Hardcover Collection 24 July 2006
By Justin G. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Astonishing X-Men volume 1 hardcover collects the first 12 issues of the acclaimed series by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and John Cassaday (Planetary).

After more than a decade of lackluster X-Men comics, I was ready to throw in the towel. I could remember when Uncanny X-Men was the best of the best, but aside from a few glimmers of hope, the X-Men family of titles was just not holding my interest. Then, out of nowhere, come three separate events that brought me back to the fold - the Ultimate X-Men series, Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men, and the Astonishing X-Men.

With Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon builds on the major events of Morrison's now legendary run (such as Beast's secondary mutation, Emma Frost becoming an A-list character, and the Emma/Cyclops relationship), and adds his own unique brand of energy and clever dialogue. It's obvious Whedon is a long -time X-Men fan, since he demonstrates both an appreciation for the book's history as well as a great sense of what makes the characters tick. And while I won't give away any of the major surprises, I will say that Whedon has accomplished more in 12 issues than any other writer (save Grant Morrison) has done in years.

As good as Whedon's writing is; John Cassady's artwork is the icing on the cake. I've been a fan since his work on Desperadoes and Planetary, and enjoy seeing him apply his unique style to a traditional superhero book. His artwork is the perfect fit for Whedon's storytelling style, especially in the non-action sequences where facial expressions convey so much.

My only complaint is the return of the spandex. Outfitting the team in black leather was so much cooler, and I wish that didn't have to change. I don't know if this is a result of Cassaday's particular style, but Wolverine's yellow suit has never seemed so ridiculous.

All told, Astonishing X-Men is one of the best X-Men series in a long time, coming in at a close second to Grant Morrison's groundbreaking New X-Men run.
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