Over the weekend, I was trying to locate a copy of Peter David’s prose adaption of Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Whedon/Cassaday’s first arc on the title. When asked which is my favorite of the Whedon arcs, it will have to be Torn. Gifted is nice as it brings the team together, Dangerous has a decent battle sequence and Unstoppable has powerful moments but I couldn’t fully enjoy it until Matt Fraction brought Kitty back, like three years later.
Torn has the best character moments, and as most people know, Whedon is all about character moments. The story is essentially Emma versus the X-Men with Kitty mounting the comeback. Emma takes down Cyclops mentally, Kitty and Colossus have sex for the first time (though, did she do it with Pete Wisdom, something about Warren Ellis tells me that she probably did as that was a mature relationship) Emma turns Wolverine into an adult James Howlett (a proper Canadian gentleman), Emma turns Hank McCoy further down towards a beast. And all that is by part two!
These issues take place in Astonishing X-Men 13-18.
Part Three has that awesome moment where Kitty relives Wolverine’s famous turn during Dark Phoenix Saga. We find out that SWORD has a traitor in the midst of the X-Men, turns out its Lockheed, which I wish they had dealt with more. We got some interaction with the “Meanwhile” storyline in Astonishing later (like in the 30s/40s) and just recently in A+X with Spider-Woman/Kitty/Lockheed.
Part Four, Kitty gets to live through a fake future where she has a son named Michael, which I’m not sure where that name comes from. I doubt its in honor of Colossus’ older crazy brother.
Part Five, Beast and Wolverine have an awesome chase sequence.
Part Six, Beast and Wolverine both get their memories back, McCoy with science and Logan with a beer, which has to be seen to fully enjoy.
I also want to give a special shout out as Cassaday’s artwork looks amazing and a huge part of that is due to Laura Martin’s coloring, makes the book look like a classic read and these issues still look great seven years later.
Its nice to see Cyclops’ eyes for the first time in a long time.
I own this storyline as the proper individual issues, the original trade, the beautiful hardcover Omnibus, and now the Motion Comic.
I really enjoyed the motion comics (I own the entire Astonishing four disc set), I just wish they had some additional features on it but for ten dollars, its a pretty good deal as I’ve seen them all repeatedly.
There is a lot of action in Torn, a lot of great character interactions and some good suspense, that really makes this one stand out. Part Six leads directly into the final arc, Unstoppable.
Lockheed shows up, mostly in the background but that’s pretty much what he did during this era. It hasn’t really changed since then but at least Cassaday got to draw him like every four issues or so.