Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Joss Whedon
X-Men is a series I’ve been exposed to since childhood. Growing up, I watched the cartoon constantly. When I got a little older, they started making movies. For better or for worse I am a fan. I love the story. I love the social implications. And most of all, I love how Joss Whedon takes 50 years of X-Men/Marvel history and wraps them all into one easy to read, yet solid story. Seriously this guy doesn’t miss a beat.
The first thing I noticed when reading this book was the artwork. It’s beautiful. Full color illustrations on every page give a lasting impression. It makes the story truly come to life and gives a sense of realism that could easily be lost on a story like this. Since we’re dealing with mutants, alien visitors, and secret government organizations, I think that’s rather important.
Our story begins right in the middle. While this is the first volume, it doesn’t pretend to be the first of its kind. We see brief introductions to characters, but the explanations of where they came from are largely assumed. If this is your first encounter with the X-Men universe, I recommend picking up a movie or two for some background. They may not be the most accurate portrayal of the characters, but they’ll fill you in enough to get by. This particular story is very similar to the storyline of X-Men 3, but I won’t spoil the details for you in case you haven’t seen it. Whether you’re a fan from way back when, or new to comic books in general, Astonishing X-Men is well worth the read.