Come Together


Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men

This is the long-awaited finale of Joss Whedon’s “Astonishing X-Men” series. Previously, the X-Men have been stuck on the alien Breakworld. They’ve learned that the Breakworldian behind the prophesy/blueprint claiming that Colossus would destroy the planet was actually the supposedly compassionate priestess Aghanne, who’s decided that her people are too violent to live. In an attempt to disrupt a gigantic missile aimed at Earth, Kitty Pryde has phased into it only to learn, just as it’s fired, that it’s actually an immense, planet-destroying bullet.

Well, the X-Men on the Breakworld just don’t have a ship fast enough to catch the bullet, but they are able to tell the superheroes of Earth. Unfortunately, the bullet has special magical defenses that put all of Earth’s superheroes into dream-like trances where they believe they’ve stopped the bullet and saved the Earth. Cyclops and Emma Frost can get a rocket near the bullet, but they’re too small to stop it, and Kitty can’t phase back out — the alien metal has weakened her too much. The Super-Sentinel that took out Genosha makes a last ditch effort to destroy the bullet — and fails. There’s nothing that can stop the bullet from hitting Earth — until someone pulls off the greatest superheroic feat ever.

Verdict: Thumbs up. As far as I’m concerned, this is a complete triumph for Whedon and artist John Cassaday. Almost everything here is spot-on perfect, from the wonderful scenes with Spider-Man (I would buy the snot out of a Spider-Man series by Whedon and Cassaday) to the new revelations about Agent Brand to Kitty’s final act to the entirely right aftermath.


Blue Beetle #27

Jaime and his girlfriend, magic-using Traci Thirteen, run into a minor invasion of demons, getting progressively more and more dangerous, as they target a group of unrelated normal people for elimination. And Blue Beetle finds himself trying to stop threats that are far beyond his abilities. Even if there’s a way to save everyone, will anything save Jaime’s self-confidence?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is officially another fill-in issue before the new writer comes in next month, but I still think it was pretty good. I started to complain that we don’t see more of Jaime’s supporting cast — but the thing is, Jaime already has one of the largest and most richly developed supporting casts around, so there’s always room to spread the spotlight around to other characters. And it’s an interesting story anyway, with Jaime finding himself more and more helpless against the demons and questioning his ability to function as a superhero.

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