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Comics for All Ages: Astonishing X-Men

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Astonishing X-Men

Whedon, Joss, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1. New York: Marvel Publishing, Inc., 2006.

Astonishing X-Men cover

Astonishing X-Men tells the story of Cyclops, the Beast, Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Kitty Pryde. These five reflect the X-Men storylines of the ‘70s and ‘80s while Whedon simultaneously adds a new twist to their stories. The X-Men are reformed as a way to transform their image, but a world-famous geneticist rocks their plans with her announcement of a mutant gene cure. Follow their adventures to discover more about the cure, fight against their villainous enemy, Ord, and an unexpected and tragic death at the Xavier Institute. Danger and enemies are lurking in places the X-Men never expected and they must turn to each other to find the strength to overcome the greatest of obstacles.

Visual and textual style: clean lines, dark, gritty, cinematic scenes, informative and expository text, dry humor, subtext

Potential readers/appeal factors: fights, superheroes, science fiction, mutations, differences, heroes, good vs. evil, dry humor, fans of old X-Men comics from the ‘70s and ‘80s

Awards

  • This story arc won the 2006 Will Eisner Award for “Best Continuing Series”
  • Whedon’s X-Men run was nominated for several Eisner Awards
  • John Cassaday nominated for:
    • Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist for Planetary in 2000
    • Eagle Award for Favourite Comics Artist: Pencils in 2004
    • Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist for Astonishing X-Men and Lone Ranger in 2008
    • Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist for Irredeemable and Lone Ranger in 2010
  • John Cassaday won:
    • Best Penciller/Inker Eisner Award for Planetary and Hellboy: Weird Tales in 2004
    • Best Penciller/Inker Eisner Award for Astonishing X-Men, Planetary, and I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun in 2005
    • Best Penciller/Inker Eisner Award for Astonishing X-Men and Planetary in 2006
    • Best Ongoing Series Eisner Award for Astonishing X-Men in 2006
    • Favourite Comics Artist: Pencils Eagle Award in 2006
    • Best Comic-Book Artist in the Spike TV Scream Awards in 2007
  • “Gifted” was also called Wizard’s book of the year.
  • Whedon was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Wesleyan University in 2013.
  • Whedon’s Nominations
    • Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Toy Story in 1995
    • Saturn Award for Best Writing for Toy Story in 1996
    • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Hush” in 2000
    • Saturn Award for Best Writing for The Cabin in the Woods in 2013
    • Empire Award for Best Director for The Avengers in 2013
  • Whedon won:
    • Daytime Emmy Award for Writing for a Special Class Special for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in 2009
    • Saturn Award for Best Director for The Avengers in 2013
  • Laura Martin won:
    • Won two Eagle Award in 1999 and 2000
    • Won for Eisner Award for Best Colorist in 2000 and 2002
    • Won a Harvey Award in 2001
    • Won Squiddy Awards between 1999 and 2003
    • Won the Comics Buyer’s Guide Favourite Colorist Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004

Other pertinent information

  • The mutant cure plot in this comic was the basis of the X-Men: The Last Stand movie plot.
  • Motion comics have been released based on Whedon’s run: Astonishing X-Men: gifted, Astonishing x-Men: Dangerous, Astonishing X-Men: Torn, and Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable.

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