Tag Archives: Joss Whedon

“We Have to Astonish Them”: Revisiting Astonishing X-Men

The gang over at Fantastic Fangirls declared September to be Revisit Month. With so much new stuff coming out every damn day, I don’t always get a chance to go back and re-read favorite books; however, as luck would have it, I happened upon the Astonishing X-Men Omnibus and couldn’t resist giving Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s epic run another read.

I remember when I first heard that Whedon would be writing X-Men. I was pretty much on board before I finished reading the sentence. Then I found out that Whedon’s team would include Kitty Pryde–neither that fact nor my reaction to that fact should surprise anyone who’s been paying attention. All I had to do was sit back and wait.

Astonishing X-Men came along at a time when I had all but given up on the X-Men. But, as a Whedon fan, I figured I couldn’t go wrong checking out the first issue–even if it meant putting up with Emma Frost (more on that later). I wasn’t disappointed. And, even when I was disappointed, I felt Astonishing X-Men was still better than a lot of other books I was reading. Now that I’ve read the entire run again, I can say that the thing holds up. In fact, it’s possible that I enjoyed it even more the second time.

Since I already sort of knew what was going to happen–mutant cure, Breakworld, Cassandra Nova, S.W.O.R.D.–I was able to focus more on the smaller things. The character moments. Case in point: I hate Emma Frost. A lot. She was the villain in the very first X-Men story I ever read and, no matter how heroic she may or may not be these days, when I look at her I see a villain. However, when Whedon pairs Frost with Kitty Pryde (who, coincidentally, shares my feelings towards Miss Frost)–

–the resulting scenes are pure gold:

(I could easily sit here and do nothing but post images from Astonishing X-Men of Kitty being awesome…but, I won’t. I swear. Moving on…)

Whedon probably could have swept in and done whatever crazy-ass shit he wanted with this book. He’s a name. The book would probably sell solely on that. However, Whedon–a geek at his core–found time to pay homage to the history of these characters, whether it’s the return of the Fastball Special:

or a nod to a classic panel from Uncanny X-Men 132:

Of course, that isn’t to say that  Astonishing X-Men didn’t bring anything new to the table. There was Danger–the physical embodiment of the X-Men’s Danger Room–a storyline which left me somewhat cold during the book’s initial run but was slightly less annoying when it was just a small part of the larger narrative. There was the whole thing about Cyclops losing his powers and essentially becoming Wesley from the later seasons of Angel:

I’m still trying to figure out exactly why this happened. Scott’s lack of control over his incredibly destructive power has always been an important part of who he is as a character, especially when it plays off of the fact that Scott is a huge control enthusiast, so not being in control of his own power must really suck for him. But, I don’t really see that happening this time. Really, the only reason I can think for this to have happened in Astonishing was to have Scott run around with a gun for a while and then to have an awesome four-page-long optic blast:

But, I think the greatest thing that Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men brought to the table can be summed up in two words: Abigail Brand. The agent in charge of S.W.O.R.D., another of Marvel’s Amazing Acronym Agencies, Brand’s tasked with keeping Earth safe from alien threats. Also, she apparently has a thing for furry blue guys:

I’m really amazed at how much more I enjoyed Astonishing X-Men the second time. I honestly thought I had experienced maximum enjoyment the first time around…but, I was wrong. Sure, like everyone else, I loved Wolverine’s time as Percy Dovetails (MOOSE!!) and the reunion of Kitty and Colossus choked me up more than a little bit. And, yes, the ending positively killed me. But, something just didn’t click when I was reading it in single issues–a huge chuck of which came out bimonthly. No. I wasn’t truly astonished until I was able to sit down and read the story from the first page to the last in a single (well, okay, double) sitting.

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Browncoats Assemble!

A few days ago–April 1, to be precise–I saw a story about Joss Whedon’s name being thrown around as a possible director for Marvel’s upcoming Avengers movie. Given the date, I refused to believe it. Until this morning, when I saw this story.

I like Joss Whedon. I like Buffy. I like Firefly and Astonishing X-Men and Dr. Horrible. I know there’s a lot of Joss-hating going on these days, but I still like the guy. So, I’m going to remain excited that maybe…just maybe…Joss will get a shot at directing Avengers

A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do

And this man (hmm…sounded kind of strange referring to myself as “man” rather than “guy” or “dude”) has got to own the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog DVD, complete with singing commentary and other various and sundry extras (I think the San Diego Comic Con panel is included, as well–you know, the one where Felicia Day gets caught Twittering under the table):

Anyways…Dr. Horrible was way more awesome than most of the movies that came out this year (The Dark Knight?  Shit, Horrible totally owned Knight!).  That’s why I jumped as soon as I got word that it was up on Amazon.  It gets released on December 19, just in time for the holiday season.  Go on, you can pre-order it here.

“Hammer, meet nail.”

Earlier this week, the soundtrack to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was made available on iTunes.

For less than ten bucks, you can relive the unadulterated awesome of Joss Whedon’s epic, web-musical.  If you’d like, you can even mosey over to the Dr. Horrible website and take a gander at the liner notes and lyrics.

Personally, I can not get enough of “Bad Horse Chorus”; in fact, I think I’m going to find three guys and hire them to dress up as cowboys and deliver all of my missives in verse.  But, let’s be honest, each song pretty much hits the ball out of the park, from Neil Patrick Harris’ lovelorn stalker anthem “My Freeze Ray” to Nathan Fillion’s narcissistic “A Man’s Gotta Do” or “Everyone’s a Hero” (you can almost hear him swagger, I swear).  And, although Felicia Day breaks your heart with “Caring Hands” and “Penny’s Song”, I think “My Eyes” (her duet with NPH) is her real shining moment.

This should keep me happy until the DVD–with singing commentary!–is released.

“We’re Having an Apocalypse.”

Way back in the day–before the internet phenomenon that is Dr. Horrible, before the Buffy comic–there was talk of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series.  Actually, there was a lot more than talk, but we’ll get to that in a second.  As I remember it, Joss Whedon and Jeph Loeb were going to be in charge, and most of the cast would be returning to voice their animated selves.  It was going to be set during the tail-end of season 1 and take place in the new “Dawn Timeline.”  Sadly, no one seemed willing to buy the series and it died.

Anyways…like I said, there was more than just talk.  There was, apparently, a pilot of sorts put together.  Here it is:

All Whedon, All the Time

The good folks over at whedonesque.com have posted a transcript of an interview with The Master himself regarding his new series Dollhouse (although I suspect the entire thing was written by Joss).

Read it, it’s hy-larious.

You…Yeah, You!

What are you doing reading this?  What you should be doing is watching Act 1 of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  You should be checking out the first installment of Joss Whedon’s new web-musical.  Go on.  Watch Neil Patrick Harris kill it.  Watch Nathan Fillion radiate the kind of narcissistic swagger I haven’t seen since Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors.  Watch Felicia Day…well, do you really need a reason?

Go, show My Master the love he deserves.

No, I’m serious.  Go.  Now.  I’ll be here when you get back.