Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Comic Book Report: X-Men: Kitty Pryde - Shadow & Flame

Meh. This was an "impulse buy" at the library (wasn't looking for it, saw it on the shelf, checked it out), and while it wasn't bad, it didn't knock my socks off or anything.

I'm not a huge X-Men fan--I was always more of a DC man myself--but I enjoyed a lot of the Ultimate X-Men trades and Joss Whedon's stint on Astonishing X-Men, and I feel like I know enough backstory to jump into the current continuity without drowning. The point, though, is that I shouldn't need to know what happened six issues or six years ago in order to understand and care about what's happening now in the story.

Here's the example I always use. In 2003, my wife and I went to see Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on a whim, knowing almost nothing about the movie or the book series it was based on. I've never been rabid about costume dramas, or pirates, or old-timey sailing ships, so I was not particularly predisposed to love this movie. But I did love it, enough to buy the DVD later, because it worked as a standalone tale. I didn't need to know anything about Aubrey and Maturin or the Napoleonic Wars in order to enjoy the adventure.

Anyway. This story relies on a lot of Kitty's backstory, and features a few characters from her past in pivotal roles, but doesn't invest much in fleshing them out in the present. I suspect it would have been a more satisfying read for someone who was more of an X-Men fan, and there are plenty of those, but it didn't do much for me.

That said, I'm still hoping for a Kitty Pryde movie starring Ellen Page. And so are you. Trust me.

Buy the book: Powell's, Amazon (affiliate links)