ASTONISHING X-MEN Vol. 3: TORN
By Joss Whedon & John Cassaday
Colors by Laura Martin, Letters by Chris Eliopoulos
Published by Marvel Comics, February 2007. $14.99
Like the best Spider-Man comics these days, the best of the X-Men seems to revel in nostalgia. I forget where I happened on it, but not too long ago I read a theory that there were three or four Spidey stories that are told and told again, and the same seems true of Joss Whedon’s run on X-Men. TORN, which collects ASTONISHING X-MEN 13-18, gives us the X-Men taken apart by one of their own, and a revamped (sort of) Hellfire Club, before blasting them off for what will probably be the last ASTONISHING nostalgia trip, the X-Men in space.
So while it’s nothing particularly new, it’s definitely nostalgia done well. John Cassaday packs in the homages to X-Men eras past, from the Storm/Cyclops battle for leadership to a shot of Kitty Pryde, on her own in the sewers, spinning around and ready to free her team from the Hellfire Club’s clutches -- taken right from a John Byrne panel of Wolverine doing the same in UNCANNY’s defining run of the early 80s.
Along with his recent run on BUFFY SEASON 8, Joss Whedon has proven himself a master of comic book pacing -- the reveal of Perfection’s true identity is topped only by Kitty’s reaction to the reveal, and I’ve never LOL’d to a sex scene the way I did at Kitty and Colossus finally getting back together, after years of Excalibur and death-related separation.
While ASTONISHING doesn’t have the dynamism and what-will-come-next of UNCANNY’s Claremont/Byrne run (or even the Claremont/Silvestri run, which is where I first found Marvel’s mutants), the Whedon/Cassaday connection consistently deliver a noble retelling of the X-Men myth, in a way no other creative time is capable these days.
Tell me more: Joss Whedon, X-Men wiki.