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John Ary On Joss Whedon's ASTONISHING X-MEN Motion Comics!!


John Ary with a look at Joss Whedon's take on Marvel's most famous team of mutants.  
Marvel Knights Animation has transformed all 25 issues of his Astonishing X-Men run into a series of motion comics and will release the two-disc set on Blu-ray tomorrow.  
While this style of animation may not appeal to everyone, Whedon's writing and John Cassaday's artwork make it worth a watch.

If you want to check out the first chapter in the series entitled Gifted, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and several other online outlets have it streaming.  You can also pick up each of the four chapters separately on DVD. The new Blu-ray set from Shout Factory releases tomorrow and is available to order here.
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Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 12, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by hopeless

    I watched the first story arc a year or 2 ago on Netflix. Motion comics arent that bad.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Kind of cool but better to just read the books

    by Rupee88

    That is how the material was designed and meant to be experienced.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Was wondering if they were ever going to finish this

    by Bass Ackwards

    I remember watching Gifted on Hulu 3 years ago (didn't realize it had been that long ago until I just looked it up). Streaming must not have been enough of a revenue source to keep it going, even so hopefully these next ones make their way to netflix or hulu too at some point. I liked it, but not enough to drop any money on it.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Motion comics is the worst gimmick in the industry.

    by JZM

    Even worse than comic booth deaths/resurrections, renumbering and reboots. If you want to tell a story a in another medium to reach out to more people who don't necessarily read comics that's fine, then go balls deep and fucking animate the thing properly. Do things right the first time.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    advantage of motion comics

    by Bass Ackwards

    To me its just like visual audio books. The problem I find with animating them fully is, in my opinion, the animation usually looks pretty cheap, it takes the great artwork from the comic and then turns it all into the same the generic tv-animation style we've been seeing for decades, and on top of that the comic gets hugely truncated that its basically not worthwhile. That said, if they could do the whole comic arc WITH some quality animation, I'd be on board. But as I imagine budget must limit them, I think I'd prefer a full motion comic over the direct-to-dvd animated movies we've been getting (though I realize that's a comparison of picking the least worst, I'm just saying...)

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    John Ary...Jim Rash...Moby

    by OutsideChance're all the same person, aren't you?

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    of course, Whedon had nothing to do with this

    by oisin5199

    outside of writing the comic.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    It reminds me a little of those 60s Marvel cartoons

    by OutsideChance

    Those were basically "motion comics," as well.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Watchmen motion comic was fantastic.

    by JP

    Nothing left out, seek it out! This i'll buy too.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Nice looking backdrop, Ary, and...

    by Talkbacker with no name

    smooth voice

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Motion comic... Why?

    by Junior Frenger

    Why don't they just make an actual animated movie (or two... or three)? I don't understand the need to waste time money on resources on this. It won't sell as much as an actual animated film would. Joss Whedon is on fire right now. Why not? It would certainly make more money than that Avengers Babies animated movie they released.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    You spoiled the appearance of the Hellfire Club.

    by Gabe Athouse

    Good job! It's a big secret they build up to revealing in the comics, and you just mention it casually while also spoiling the line-up with the accompanying image. By the way, to anyone considering buying this - do not buy it. Don't disgrace yourself and cheapen the medium by watching comics. Read them.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Motion comics=Meh

    by brattyben

    It is a gimmick and some people like it, but, I don't prefer it. I'm not a fan of using 3D maps under 2D surfaces. Instead of a head moving, it looks like a structure moving under the skin..weird. And motion comics is such a misnomer. Call it animation. Cheap animation.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST


    by John Ary

    I wouldn't consider the Hellfire Club a spoiler considering that image is from the cover of Astonishing X-Men #15, an issue that came out in 2004.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Buy the TPB's of Whedon's run on astonishing x-men.

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    There are 4 of them. Gifted Dangerous Torn Unstoppable That's the BESt way to experience his epic run on the book.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Mr. Awry...motion comics aren't a 'new medium' Sir.

    by leroyspoboys

    You may a bit young, but check out the Maxx by Sam Keith. It's a mix of 'barely-animation' and quite a bit of 'motion-comic' using a huge amount of Keith's original work. It's done extremely well for what it is considering the year (1995), and that's from a big fan of the book. The key to quality was that Sam Keith himself handled the animated parts. Besides that, this Astonishing X-Men motion comic was pretty OK. Totally agree with your analysis.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by John Ary

    Very true my friend. Liquid Television was a staple for me growing up and The Maxx kicked ass. Instead of "new" I probably should have said "different."

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    waaah we don't like motion comics waaah

    by JAMF

    same old shit...

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST

    If the whole thing is on Netflix I'll probably watch it

    by Gnord

    But I can't for the life of me see why anyone would buy this unless they are some kind of X-Men collector who just had to have it.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by JMG84

    To WATCH it...

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Watchmen Motion Comic

    by photoboy

    I loved the Watchmen motion comic as it actually made me more aware of what the artwork was trying to do in places e.g. the transitions into and out of the flashbacks during the Comedian's funeral where their postures in the past match their postures in the present. The only criticism I have was the narrator tried to do voices for all the characters. This was fine for the male characters but naturally when he tried to do the voices of female characters the illusion of a full cast was lost. If only they'd hired a woman to perform the lines of the female characters... Still, I might get this if it's a decent price but I just finished reading the entire series via Comixology so I'm not in a rush to revisit it at the moment.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    I watched this on Netflix and loved it.

    by Beosker Posey III

    I think these are cool. Just a different way of story telling for me. I've watched a few of them on Netflix. Thor, Iron Man, etc. I think it keeps the fell of the comic book.

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    The VoiceOver work is what kills it for me.

    by david_boreanez_cunt_hairz

    Don't mind the style, it's what I expected from the term "motion-comic"

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Motion Comics deserve all the citisism they get...

    by biscuithead

    If you're going to do animation, do it properly!!

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Whedon comes across as a true X-men fan (Best X-men comic in years)

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    The unspoken fastball special = great. Kitty pulling the same pose as Wolverine after he emerges from the sewers (and before he rips apart the Hellfire club) = great. But the truly epic moment, making fun of the “inner monologue while fighting” sequence. Wolverine: “I like beer.” = genius

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    speaking of motion comics...

    by ben sheppard

    ...has anyone ever seen this?

  • Nov. 12, 2012, 9:06 p.m. CST

    I like motion comics, but they can be dinky at timws

    by 3D-Man

    That said, I think the Astonishing X-Men ones were pretty well done.

  • Nov. 13, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    If you hate motion comics, try this one:

    by Andrew Bates The Death of Spider-Man Motion Comic Fan Film. I'll made me cry.

  • Nov. 13, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    I'm waiting for the Absolute edition

    by Sinestro

    It's going to be worth the wait.

  • Nov. 13, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Dean Pelton?

    by smackfu

  • Nov. 13, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST


    by Norman Colson

    Such a sad ending too. Loki finally started to change for good when he was ruler of asgard he finally understood that all his misdeeds and bad behavior meant nothing. no one respected or liked him as king. it wasnt that he was a frost giant he was just being a complete asshole when everyone loved him. Thor got fed up with his bullshit and he put the HAMMER down! Also the extremis story is on netflix too. fucking awesome. if the movie can pull off the new transformation im gonna fucking flip out!

  • Nov. 13, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    I crush hard on SPIDER-WOMAN

    by the Green Gargantua

    I could see Eva Green playing her in a film