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Astonishing X-Men #16

Posted: Monday, August 28, 2006
By: Diana Kingston



Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday

Publisher: Marvel Comics


The theme of this issue is "payoff" - a lot happens here that's been building for a while. Perfection's identity is revealed (I'm right there with you, Kitty - "yeahbuhwhat?"), we finally find out who the Destroyer of Breakworld is, and the Kitty/Emma smackdown that's been coming since issue #2... well, it's a doozy. With all this going on, Whedon still finds room to develop the Ord subplot, and hint at the Hellfire Club's true goal.

"Torn" is shaping up to be an incredibly consistent storyline, in the sense that every chapter so far has been well-paced and well-written, full of interesting twists, all illustrated with great art by John Cassaday. Whedon provides just the right blend of drama, action and humor (the psychically-regressed Wolverine remains highly amusing), and his affinity for Kitty Pryde has led him to create a compelling interpretation of the character. I find that pretty impressive given that Whedon had no real experience writing the X-Men prior to this series.

My only complaint has less to do with the content of the issue and more with its publication: I don't think the bimonthly format was appropriate for this particular arc, given its condensed time frame and reliance on cliffhangers as transitional devices. But apparently the book is returning to monthly release starting with this issue, so hopefully the momentum Whedon has built won't go to waste with the final two chapters.



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