For decades “X-Men” have been an institution for the comics industry with thousands of stories in print. So it should come as no surprise that acclaimed comic writer Joss Whedon threw his hat into the arena and came up with ‘Astonishing X-Men.” The comic has been released on DVD and the last arc in the comic, “Unstoppable,” is a can’t miss.
In this final arc we see the X-Men travel to Breakworld to stop the leaders of the planet from firing a missile that will destroy Earth. Breakworld also has a prophecy that says that Colossus will destroy the planet so there’s that to contend with. The way the story plays out, it’s everything fans love about X-Men. The story is well written with plenty of drama, action and plenty of likable characters to keep people entertained.
Even the Breakworld aliens are likable enough to avoid the warrior race trope.
Normally, Wolverine is the one with the wise cracks and funny lines. Here, Beast has all of them and he steals the show. Hearing him say “that’s no moon” and “you’re looking at me like I’m a Tan Tan” are downright hilarious. Wolverine does get in a funny line in here and there like “are you a beer,” which does even things out a bit.
The story does have a few comic book stereotypes that could’ve been omitted. These include a pointless random sex scene, a spontaneous romance and an alien device that revives people. Not to mention Cyclopes loses and regains his powers again. Just exactly how many times has this happened in the “X-Men” universe? It’s become more of a plot device and less of a nuisance to the character.
In these releases, the voice acting isn’t quite worth noting. Here it ranges from acceptable (the aliens, Emma Frost) to top notch. The best of the bunch once again goes to Beast and Wolverine. Their voice actors have done a great job of portraying each character’s personalities. The stellar writing also helped with making these characters come alive as well.
The best way to describe this DVD is it’s a “moving comic” split into seven episodes. With that in mind the original artwork is as brilliant as ever and these are probably the best-looking X-Men to date. The problem is that it’s awkward to look at comic characters moving in very static motions and their mouths moving like Conan O’Brian celebrity cutouts. The most glaring example of awkwardness is when a character moves from one pose to another. It looks like a poor edit. These are few and far between and the viewer will eventually get used to it. In the end, it’s what the media is and isn’t the fault of the producers.
“Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable” DVD has the story and the art of the comic, but the awkward movement of the characters does take some of the charm away at some points. It does take getting used to. But even with all the little nuances the story and art more than makes up for all of that.