Friday, April 01, 2005

Astonishing X-Men #8
writer: Joss Whedon
artist: John Cassaday
published by Marvel Comics

You know, it's a crying shame Joss Whedon can't do X-Men forever.
Then again, I don't know that I'd want him to get stale like Chris Claremont of John Byrne has become. Claremont overstayed his welcome, then came back and things got worse. I'd hate to see that happen to Joss Whedon. Based on my utter love of his TV writing, I just don't see it occurring, but best to be safe rather than sorry, huh?
This issue starts off with all of the X-Men's telepaths going unconscious. All psychic communications are cut off (aside from the link between Kitty and her pet dragon Lockheed, but he's an alien, yo). Likewise electronic communications are jammed. Cyclops, Beast and Wolverine immediately assume that the X-Men are under attack (they certainly are). And they spring into action with all of the experience and expertise that the X-Men rely on. They rally the troops and instruct Shadowcat to take the children at the school into the safety of the impregnable Danger Room.
Then a Sentinel shows up.
A big Sentinel. Damaged long ago in battle with the X-Men. Summoned from its wrecked slumber by whatever mysterious force is attacking them. With little time to react and even less time to save the lives of his teammates and students, Cyclops does something he NEVER does. He removes his visor and unleashes the full fury of his optic blast. With Cassaday's rendering, you know why writers have always paid lip service to the massive powers contained in Scott Summers. With Whedon's words, you find that even Wolverine is impressed:

"Every now and then, Summers...
...I remember why you're still in charge."

That's the X-Men, baby. Booya.
When Kitty gets the kids to the Danger Room, the real badness begins. First, the horror of finding Wing's body after his suicide last issue. Then...he gets up. And tells Kitty he's going to kill them all.
The rest of the X-Men find the door to the Danger Room sealed. The impregnable Danger Room. The Danger Room whose safety locks were disabled last issue. The Danger Room with the Shi'ar artificial intelligence controlling it.
The Danger angry.
Oddly, this bit has been tried before with Cerebro going rogue, though the computer actually walked around in that one. Oh, and the story that time was really ass. It still feels fresh, in spite of the previous business with Cerebro (probably because the old story really was ass). Whedon is attacking the X-Men with a given staple of the series. The Danger Room's been around as long as the team has. It's given them the edge and the training level they needed. And now it's the enemy.
Can't wait to read the next ish.
Then again, I won't have to wait long. I'm behind on my reading.

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