|Artist(s):||John Cassaday, Penciller|
|Joss Whedon, Writer|
|Media Type:||Pen and Ink|
|Art Type:||Double Page Spread|
|Added to Site:||2/23/2017|
ASTONISHING X-MEN (2005) by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday. Issue #7, Pages 4 & 5: Colossus Returns to Battle / Full Team Double Splash Title Page. Graphite and ink on board with text inlay. 22" x 17" (two 11x17" pages) $4,500.00. Perhaps one of the two best pages of the entire series. What happens when one of the most beloved writers of cult television teams up with one of the most talented, popular comic book artists of the past decade? Something Astonishing... Grant Morrison’s New X Men had returned Marvel’s signature mutant series to its former glory. Now at an end, the daunting task of following such a popular and acclaimed run fell to Buffy the Vampire Slayer scribe Joss Whedon and Planetary artist John Cassaday. Astonishing X-Men became a runaway hit with critics and fans alike from the get-go. This new series exceeded the popularity of Morrison’s vision by stripping down the quantum physics and accentuating the team’s inter-personal dynamics, paying particular attention to the heroes’ private lives. Whedon and Cassaday scored a major victory by bringing back longtime fan favorites Kitty Pride and Colossus –and forever answering the question of “Will they or won’t they?” Whedon’s X-Men are sexy, complicated people working under extreme pressure, and Cassaday’s precise and detailed style helped win the book two Eisner Awards: Best Continuing Series and Best Artist. While partially paying tribute to the late Bronze Age collaboration of Chris Claremont with artists John Byrne and Paul Smith, Whedon’s strength at writing believable and clever dialog resonated with new and longtime fans alike. Though rich with nostalgia, there has never been a story quite like the 25 issues of Whedon and Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men. In fact, most critics and fans would agree that theirs is the greatest X-Men story of them all, and probably what earned Whedon his director's chair for the Avengers Movies. The series scooped the Wizard Fan Awards in both 2004 and 2005 with wins for Favorite Writer, Favorite Penciler, Favorite Ongoing Series, Favorite Female Hero: Kitty Pride, and Greatest Moment: Colossus Returns. The apex of the Whedon-Cassaday run is most assuredly the return of Colossus. The double page splash above is one of the only DPS in their entire 25 issue run (Astonishing X-Men #1-24 & Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1) to feature the entire team. This page also functions as a title page, as issue 7 is Part One to the Dangerous story line (that title card is an inlay, as all lettering in the modern era is done digitally). It is a dynamic action page, signature of Cassaday’s work on the series, and a pivotal first battle with the newly reunited X-Men team: clearly one of the greatest comic art pages of its era.
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