Astonishing X-Men #11 Review

Reviewer: Tim Sheridan
Story Title: Danger: Part 5 of 6

Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor: Sean Ryan
Associate Editor: Nick Lowe
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I don’t quite remember if this book is monthly, bi-monthly, or whatever. All I know is that it’s been a while since I’ve read it. And honestly, that makes me a little upset. Yeah, I know Joss Whedon has a film coming out in two months, so he’s probably pretty busy with that, and I know that John Cassaday has another book he produces, but I like Astonishing X-Men a whole lot, so I want to read it.

And then there are the rumors out there that say Joss Whedon doesn’t really write the series, and he has others come in to do it for him. I really don’t believe that, but it sort of leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
So I came into this issue with a lot of baggage. For whatever reason, I came in expecting to dislike the issue, for reasons completely out of the scope of the issue itself.

But a funny thing happened. I didn’t dislike the issue. In fact, I really enjoyed it. After the first page or two, I was completely taken into the world of this story, and lost any reason to find it disagreeable. I didn’t care that the book was late, or that someone was allegedly not writing it.
This issue is the penultimate chapter of the “Danger” story, wherein the Danger Room (the X-Men’s training program) comes to life. It all has to do with the fact that some mutant kid died in there a while back. (It’s a long, weird story, I know). Anyways, so it comes to life and takes the form of….well, what looks like a female Predator. So she’s now, for whatever reason, off to kill her creator, Charles Xavier. But Chuck doesn’t want to die (understandably), so he fights the Danger Room.
Now, I know this all sounds rather absurd, but let’s face it, this is a comic book. And frankly, it works. Whedon and Cassady weave a tale that, despite its bizarre circumstances, is wholly believable. (In the realm of comics, that is)

Anyways, the X-Men themselves are recuperating from a fight with “Danger”, and after a few very tender moments between awkward lovers Shadowcat and Colossus, they head out on their way to help Professor X.

They seemingly get there in about 2 minutes, just in time for the end of the issue, which is a great cliffhanger. “Danger” brings out a character no one has thought of in four years to wreck havoc on the X-people. And while we know they’ll all get out alive and pretty much just fine, it’s a great way to end this chapter. I just hope we don’t have to wait many months to see it end.

Whedon’s script is once again chock full of the clever dialogue and sharp characterizations that are his trademarks, and Cassaday’s art is some of the best in the business. You’ll hear people lamenting the lateness of this book, but when it’s this good, it’s totally worth the wait