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Astonishing X-Men: Joss Whedon Ultimate Collection vol 1

Astonishing X-Men: Joss Whedon Ultimate Collection vol 1 back

Joss Whedon & John Cassaday


Page 45 Review by Publisher Blurb

Collects the first two volumes of four exceptional books created by Whedon and Cassady, more about the humanity than the hitting of things.

Here's the original review for volume one...

"Flying. God. When you're flying, in a very literal sense the world goes away. It makes everything else... smaller. And sort of okay, too. It's the most important feeling. I can't lose that."
"That's not going to happen."
"It's not?"
"Wing, just 'cause someone goes on TV and says they have a "cure for mutation"... that doesn't mean that it's even true. And if it is... nobody's going to force it on you.Mutants are a community. We're a people and there's no way anybody can makes us be what they want. We stick together and don't panic or overreact... you'll see. We're stronger than this."
"Miss Pryde... Are you a #£$%ing retard?"

Scott's wife, Jean Grey, is dead. But things have been awkward for a while ever since former telepathic adversary Emma Frost joined the school, insinuated her way into Scott's heart, and cast pithy put-downs like a cat spraying its territory. When former student Kitty Pryde returns to the mansion with her own verbal claws, Emma finds herself under fresh scrutiny and on the receiving end of as many bons mots as she can dish out. But that's nothing to the rifts that are raised when an apparent "cure" is discovered and broadcast on the national news, a cure that can reverse whatever manifestations of the mutant gene have already surfaced in young men and women across the globe.

How has this breakthrough been developed? Whence is it derived? What are the political ramifications in a world in which Homo Sapiens has found itself increasingly impotent in the face of an emerging, physically stronger sub-species? And would you or wouldn't you, if you were a mutant? Would you want the easier life that might come with fitting in better with the flock, or do you prize your individuality and consider it a gift rather than a curse? Each of these questions will spill into future storylines but here it splits the mutant community, including the school, right down the middle.

The mutant as minority outsider has for a long time been used as a metaphor for race or sexuality issues, most recently by Morrison himself upon whose NEW X-MEN books this series is built, and here the obvious parallel is with the religious right insisting that homosexuality is a disease that can and should be cured. Add to that the sad truth that in this age it's still be easier to be straight than gay (or indeed white rather than black), and you can see the temptation here for some to give in and offer themselves up for treatment. And you can see the anger this would provoke in those campaigning hard for minority rights and trying to instil pride in one's individuality, for this sends out all the wrong signals.

Having read the subsequent issue (#7) it's obvious that Joss isn't just tossing this in, he's going to play with it for a while for when one young lad takes the cure, he wishes he hadn't. Oh, and the political implications? Well, who would have a vested interest in ridding the world of mutants? All this and the time-stopping return of a former comrade long thought dead under circumstances in which he wishes he was, a sprinkling of smile-inducing dialogue, plus the gorgeous art of John (PLANETARY) Cassady who plays that return to perfection. And if there was a more compelling reason for readers to return for volume two than the last few lines on the final page, well, I couldn't have found one. Quality superheroics for real, live adults.

And here's the original review of the second volume...

The Danger Room has been the X-Men's training ground for years now. It's where they've honed their abilities. Programmed to produce a miriad of virtual environments to fight in, it has seen each new and old member of the team exhibit their skills, their intuition and their prowess. Over and over again, they've studied techniques and perfected their team-work. But as they've been fighting not just within The Danger Room, but been fighting The Danger Room itself, it has been fighting them and studying their techniques. Now it's time to fight back.

Plus: Emma Frost - were you ever convinced of her defection from the ranks of Hellfire?

"Sorry, darling. Had to pee."

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed may be king; but in the land of White Queen, Cyclops is almost certainly a pawn.
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