Tug's Pick of the Week

ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 ó Click for a Larger ImageAstonishing X-Men #1

All right, everyone ó itís time for the "Pick" that youíve all been waiting for.  Itís been a long time coming, but I think that even with all the good books coming out this week, everyone probably already knew that "Tugís Pick of the Week" would be ó Archie # 548!

O.K., Iím just kidding.  Itís Astonishing X-Men # 1.  I knew I couldnít fool you smart people.

The "X-Men: Reload" event has been running rampant all month here at the Dragon, forcing people to pick up more books with mutants in them than they ever expected, and itís all been leading up to this comic.  This is the big one, folks.  So where exactly do I begin?

The obvious draw of this book is writer Joss Whedon.  He did a couple of TV shows you might be familiar with ó Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, anyone?  Ah, I see more than a few hands have been raised.  Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Buffy has probably been able to spot fairly easily how Whedon has been inspired by the Claremont/Byrne X-Men.  Good-natured heroine who taps into a nearly limitless power source that corrupts her and turns her into a ďdarkĒ version of herself?  Check.  Young girl who is new to the group so that sheís looked down on by her peers and not allowed to go on all the dangerous missions?  Check.  The list goes on and on.

The neat thing about the issue is that you really can see how Whedon is applying the formula that worked so well on Buffy to the X-Men now.  Emma Frost is essentially Spike with boobs.  Wolverine is Faith without boobs.  And so on.  This crazy filtering of influence after influence is really a joy to watch and makes for some great storytelling as well.

And speaking of great storytelling, I still havenít mentioned that John Cassadayís pencils on the book are superb.  He translates Whedonís script so that it does in fact work much like the pilot episode of a good TV show.  The book looks very cinematic, and I can tell that Cassaday is enjoying playing in the mutant sandbox (sandboX, if you will).  I have some slight problems with his designs for Beast and Cyclops, but itís nothing that I canít overlook, and itís certainly only one manís opinion.

Also, Laura Martin establishes that coloring is just as much part of the art as pencils and inks.  With her on the job, the images simply explode off the page.

So, really ó are you still reading this?

Because you shouldnít be.  You should be on your way to pick up your copy right now.

But before you leave the house, you should make sure to bring your appetite for good comics with you, because this week is a big one at the Dragon.

Besides Astonishing, Superman # 205 (the second issue by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee) will be here.  Psst:  And we still have a couple copies of # 204 available if you hurry.

Also out is the first issue of Brian K. Vaughnís Ultimate X-Men.  I accidentally said in a previous "Pick" that this book was coming out a couple weeks ago, but I was mistaken.  My bad.

Thereís also that little thing called Secret War: Book Two that Iím sure some of you will want to pick up.

Throw in Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and the third printing of Superman/Batman # 8, and youíve got a Wednesday thatís bad for your wallet but good for your comic-loviní soul!

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