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The second volume of Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men is not as strong as the excellent "Gifted", but still a very entertaining read. In the wake of events of the first volume, Wing, the young mutant who's lost his powers, commits suicide in the Danger Room, causing the advance technology of the team's training facility's program to go completely off script and override its own safety protocols, threatening the X-Men (now with the addition of their risen from the dead teammate Colossus) and young students. The Danger Room has been a part of the X-Men's routine since the team's inception, so taking that familiar element and turning it into something unfamiliar and, well, dangerous is a bold move on Whedon's part, and one that definitely pays off, both in terms of the real sense of threat he manages to convey and in the character interactions that result from it-between the book's regular and some unexpected guest characters. Joss Whedon's writing remains as sharp and witty and is perfectly complemented by Cassaday's distinctive art. The book is worth checking out both for the standalone story and for some developments which will play a part in the larger arc, particularly where Emma Frost is concerned.
Initially Joss Whedon was only signed up to write twelves issues of Astonishing X-Men but apparently he was having so much fun that he signed up for twelve more. I'm not completely convinced by that argument. Joss Whedon likes to tell stories on a large, broad scale, giving us a piece of the character jigsaw a little at a time whilst, generally putting his characters through the wringer and facing them off with his latest inventive definition of what a baddy ought to look like. He can't do that in just twelve issues True to form, Joss doesn't just bring back his own Ord of Breakworld or Magneto or any other classic X-Men for another few rounds in the ring. This is possibly the least successful of Whedon's four storylines but even so manages to create an interesting enough scenario as the AI lifeform that controls the danger room comes to life and starts killing the students. It's the combination of character interaction, humour and great artwork (see my review for Gifted) that makes Dangerous stand apart form the crowd though, as this time Whedon is content to take a break from the real angst, and drama and allow us to have a break and kick back with a suspenseful and exciting action adventure story that can only work as a breather for we head into book 3: Torn, when the s*** really hits the fan....as the closing pages of Dangerous suggest they might.
A tragic death at the Xavier Institute reveals a powerful enemy living among the X-Men that they could never have suspected - and no, it's not Magneto. Things heat up in a way none of the X-Men ever dreamed, but will teamwork save the day when they can't even depend on themselves?