Astonishing X-Men: Excellent!

tmp_13683-51gm7_awvzl-_sy344_bo1_204_203_200_-1486351120I stopped reading comics probably about 15 years ago. To be honest, after Joe Madureira, almost every other artist was just a let-down. I wouldn’t say I outgrew comics but I did just simply stop reading. And, I sold almost my entire collection this past spring while cleaning house to prep for my move. Sure, I saved all my Battle Chasers and Street Fighter comics, but all my beloved X-Men comics went.

And now, without home broadband (how primitive!) I’ve been frequenting the local library often. It’s the most spectacular library I’ve ever been to! I’ve been able to rent games like Diablo III and obviously the book collection is vast. However, there is an entire room dedicated to games, comics and the like. There are three TVs with consoles hooked up and, unsurprisingly, people gather to play football games every day. But I saw a huge hardcover collection of Astonishing X-Men and decided to take a peek. The art was pretty cool. It’s written by Josh Whedon. The team is a cool one (Beast, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Shadowcat and Cyclops (and later Colossus)). And as I started going through it, it felt a bit more mature. Not that comics are reserved for the young, but it was emotionally more mature. The story felt real and practical despite the supernatural. The urgency didn’t feel forced. The strained relationships between Logan and Scott, Emma and Kitty were as if I’d stepped right back into an old, yet oh-so-familiar pair of shoes. It was darker but still honored the 50-year tradition of my favorite heroes. And…really…I never read much outside of the X-Men. Never liked any DC comics…not Batman or Superman or anyone. Never liked Spider-Man, The Hulk or The Avengers, despite the recent successes of the movies. Nope, it was always just the X-Men and halfway through this monster of a book, I’m totally sold. My love for Stan Lee’s creation never waned. While I certainly won’t be returning to buying books weekly, this has been a fun and compelling read and one that, forgive me, astonished me. I truly have enjoyed reading this as much as I have looking at it. And one major reason is its minimalism. Every page is not riddled with bubbles of conversation. Just as often things are left unsaid which genuinely makes them feel more powerful. The comic medium is art in itself and John Cassaday has done a remarkable job. I’d buy this book…if it weren’t like $120.

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