Astonishing X-Men (2004) #67
- Wolverine and Gambit on the road in a stolen Lamborghini
- with an alien stuffed in the teeny tiny trunk and more aliens tailing them.
- And the whole solution relies on some strange girl...
- What could possibly go wrong?
The beginning of this comic is brilliant in its tribute to storytelling and its exploration of what it is about X-Men that makes us want to write about them, to imagine within its framework. The introduction of the X-Men fan Wendy helps Liu create a narrative of the desires for heroes, community and understanding that drives a lot of us as kids or teenagers to X-Men narratives, especially those of us who are marginalized and those who lived through isolating childhoods. At the same time, this meta-story written by this fictional character pays a tribute to fanfiction, both as a legitimate way of expressing one’s soul and as the way a lot of writers have begun getting themselves into literary and comic worlds.
X-Men has always been about acceptance, growth, community and finding your friends when the world hates you. The second part of this strangely relatable alien arc and the introduction of Wendy really nails that message. For a lack of a low point, I must say this story was a little rushed, and it’s really a shame Wendy was never used again in X-Men comics, because she seems like an incredibly complex and theme-filled character. Also, the next issue is the final one, and the abrupt cancellation of the series serves badly to how this story could have been explored further.
Pinna’s punk-ish art and exaggeration of the alien’s tentacles and the dreamy sequences, as well as his use of the road-trip movie style of this issue (highlighted by a fun Noto cover) can do no wrong, and again manages to keep with the beat of the story and highlight the best in each panel, like Wendy crying in that last page.
If you ever wished you were part of the X-Men, or write X-Men fanfic, or were driven to X-Men as a child by a sense of being lonely and marginalised, this issue will captivate you and possibly make you cry.
Astonishing X-Men (2004) #67: Why I Wish I Was In The X-Men
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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