Sunday, 18 December 2011

Xcavate: What's the latest on the Astonishing X-Men Motion Comics...

I first informed you guys that after adapting the first 6 issues of Joss Whedon & John Cassaday’s run on Astonishing X-Men in the Astonishing X-Men: Gifted motion comic series, Marvel Knights Animation will adapt the rest of the team’s run & they are starting with the Dangerous story arc next which follows Gifted in issues #7-12.

Covers of Astonishing X-Men Dangerous #7, 8, 9 & 10

Marvel managed to get some info & a few updates from Todd Casey, Supervising Producer on “Dangerous.” Casey works with Atomic Studios & is in charge of the entire production of each episode of the series (that he says takes about 14 weeks to complete each).

What challenges were faced in animating John Cassaday’s (see right >) art: "John is really a born director. His shot selection is impeccable & his characters have such expressive acting, which comes in really handy for what we’re doing. He brings the scenes to life with a cinematic realism that did us a world of good in the translation. The challenge in making his artwork move is that he uses a touch of charcoal around his line work. On the page, it gives it a wonderful texture, but when you blow up a small panel to the size of a TV screen, it can be tricky to preserve the detail in a line like that."

What makes Joss Whedon (< see left) & John Cassaday’s story so ripe for an animation adaptation: "Joss & John are really cinematic storytellers. Joss has well over a dozen seasons of TV under his belt, & he brought everything he learned in that time to his comic work. His scripts are airtight & there’s a liveliness to his style that keeps the pace going even in dialogue-heavy scenes." He then mentioned about the panel below saying the fact that just that panel became sort of an internet meme getting re-blogged on Tumblr by people who aren’t even X-Men fans, is testament enough to the power of John & Joss’ storytelling. About John he said that he selfishly wants "him around in comics for as long as possible, but he really belongs behind a lens making features. He has such an amazing eye."

What moment in Dangerous particularly excited him when he first saw the animation: "There’s a fight scene where the X-Men are battling a giant creature that’s come crashing through a New York City street. It’s a massive set-piece that gets even bigger when the Fantastic Four show up. As we (director Jesse Cote & Casey) were looking at the page, Jesse was telling me how the Blackbird is going to fly in from here & the Human Torch will zoom this way & Cyclops blasts there & the creature throws Colossus here while Wolverine is stabbing him & so on. I was staring at this single splash page thinking, “How the heck...?” When the animation came back & I saw it fully executed, I was really impressed & knew the Danger fight sequences & battle on Genosha were going to be amazing- & they are!"

^Covers of Astonishing X-Men Dangerous #11, 12, 12 v2

Todd revealed much more about the animation process that you can read at Marvel. Personally I'm pretty pumped to see how this new motion comic will be but I do hope they've improved the animation & got it more to the standard of Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers or Iron Man: Extremis. Though I loved the story of the Gifted motion comics, the animation imho errr....sucked. Let's hope for the best!


  1. So these are worth getting? I've been on the fence, simply cause I didnt like Whedon's run.

  2. Well these are motion comics, not the comics themselves...The story is good but personally I didn't like the animation as I said. If you wanna check out some great Marvel motion comics watch Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers & Iron Man: Extremis. The stories AND animation are AWESOME!


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