Thursday, June 19, 2014

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Review



This week I decided to review Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Peter David. The book opens with a scientist who views the mutations possessed by many of the characters in the setting as a disease that needs to be treated, being told that funding for her project is being cut. Soon after this she meets an alien named Ord who offers to help her. Also Kitty Pryde, who had left the X-Men, decides to return and take up a teaching position at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Soon after this, the acting leaders of the X-Men decide they need to perform more visible and public heroic acts to help support their stance that mutants and humans can co-exist. Soon after this they hear of a hostage situation and move into action where they meet Ord, leader of the hostage takers who are equipped with prototype weaponry stolen from SHIELD. Ord flees, being badly injured during the battle and in the aftermath of this battle the mutation cure is announced. This leads to fighting among the X-Men and the students at the school over whether or not the cure is a blessing or an abomination. Beast meets the scientist who supposedly developed the cure and obtains a sample of it, discovering that DNA from a number of dead mutants was used to make it. This leads to a raid by the X-Men on the production center for the cure while Ord launches a raid on Xavier’s home. The raid turns into a clash between the X-Men and SHIELD, though the two join forces to stop Ord, along wth one of the X-Men long thought dead and a desperate race to save a young mutant taken hostage by Ord, who claims he is trying to prevent the future destruction of his home world by a mutant.
I give the book an 8 out of 10. It had some great comedy bits, and the humor has always been one of the things I liked best about the author’s works, and the battle sequences were entertaining, as were the philosophical questions raised. But there are a few things I dislike. First there are a number of major characters who would have done something in response to the appearance of the cure that either aren’t mentioned at all or are mentioned but never seen. Also the ending shows Ord has either gone mad or has been lying about his long term goals on Earth but gives you no clue which of the two has occurred and I see no sign of a sequel novel to answer this question. 


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