Motion Comics Take Giant Leap with Astonishing X-Men: Torn
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Distributor: Shout! Factory
· Joss Whedon
· John Cassaday
DVD Review: Astonishing X-Men: Torn (Marvel Knights)
by R.J. Carter
Published: August 13, 2012
The far-reaching story arc of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men reaches another chapter of disturbing events with this newest motion comic adaptation.
I originally followed much (okay, some) of this story arc when it was originally presented in its monthly issue format. The motion comic format has allowed me to get the full experience of the story in a completely different medium -- and I might go so far as to say a preferable medium. The technology that has gone into the motion comics idea has come so far in so short a time that I almost don't even see it as 'motion comics' but as full-on animation itself, utilizing the original artwork of John Cassaday and delivering a beautiful result.
In "Torn," the readers learn just who among their number is seen as the ultimate threat to the Breakworld. However, that's secondary to the way they handle the seeming betrayal of Emma Frost, who would appear to have been working with the Hellfire Club -- and super-psychic Cassandra Nova -- all along. In short order, Emma destroys Scott Summers' mind while Cassandra Nova turns Beast into a mindless raging animal and -- in a comics moment that ranks as the most disturbing of all time -- Wolverine into a wimpy little paper-doll-cutting child. In fact, having the moment actually given action and voice makes it all the more surreal.
Much of the focus is on Kitty Pryde, who has not trusted Emma from day one of her acceptance into the X-Men. As such, her story is perhaps the most heart-touching, as she is shepherded into performing Cassandra Nova's wishes by being implanted with false memories of having borne a child with Colossus. And when a de-powered Scott Summers finally enters the fray and unravels the plot, the genius that is Joss Whedon is once again put on display for a general public that already knows his talents.
The motion comic movement continues to impress me, and I really can't see why other publishers aren't making more than a timid foray into the experiment. I'm really enjoying what I'm seeing so far, and I think other comics fans will as well.