Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic – Episode 1 Trailer

Coming off the heels of the Spider-Woman motion comic, Marvel is now launching a motion comic depicting Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s run on Astonishing X-Men
Marvel was kind enough to provide us with the trailer for the first episode…

iFanboy presents the exclusive Astonishing X-Men Motion Comics Episode #1 Trailer:

Now, what do we think?  Before you fly off the handle about it, remember the credits: John Cassaday and Neal freakin’ Adams co-directed this, so if the original artist has signed off on it and is most likely proud of it, then it’s hard to get too up in arms about it.

That said, I have to admit, compared to Spider-Woman, this one is kinda weird.  In the spectrum of motion comics to animation, this one feels way closer to animated than I would have thought, and it’s kinda spooky to see Cassaday’s art come to life in this way.  It reminds me of watching animatronic shows at Disneyworld, where the characters are moving, but you know they’re not real because the movement’s aren’t natural.  But it’s an interesting take, and John Cassaday and Neal Adam’s collaboration on this is enough to get me to watch the first episode.

What do you think?

From Marvel:
Marvel is proud to unveil the newly trailer to the hotly anticipated Astonishing X-Men motion comic, based on the seminal comic story by superstar scribe Joss Whedon (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) and renowned artist John Cassaday (Captain America). This is your latest peek at Marvel’s newest original motion comic (available October 28th on iTunes) as the X-Men embark on a bold new mission! Discover more at, bub!


  1. Hmm. The 3D modeling effect is a little distracting. Sentinel attack didn’t look bad though. 

  2. That looks nice, but I’m not interested enough in the X-men to spend the money.  I liked the first trade of Guardians of the Galaxy.  It seems like cosmic stories (like GotG) fit this format better than the ground level stuff they’ve been using.  Unique backgrounds and fantastically diverse character models would increase my interest.

  3. Interesting…it’s not like the previous motion comic previews I’ve seen, but it’s not exactly a full-fledged cartoon either. It actually makes me want to go back and re-read these issues! 

  4. Looks good. I could see myself getting into motion comics, but if we’re gonna have motion comics,why don’t they just make the cartoon … oh yeah this is cheaper.

    I still prefer to have the comic in my hand, but I did enjoy the Spider-Woman motion comic more than the issue. It might just be that some comics would be more enjoyable with a motion comic. 

  5. It might be easier to adapt to motion comics that have more of an abstaract art.

  6. This is….creepy. Really creepy to watch.

    When the characters smile and stay in that pose it’s very off putting. Did I mention creepy?

  7. this reminds me of what they did a lot in The Maxx on MTV

  8. God no. Just no.

  9. It looks like Beast has a mini stroke towards the end of this vid.

  10. ugh. I hate motion comics, sorry. the 3d effect looks like it is under water and the voice acting…well, fine, I guess, but the whole thing just kind of made my stomach hurt.  It’s not good animation and it’s not good comics.

     I agree, it reminds me the most of an animatronic show at disneyland. Sadly, I think this sucks the emotion completely out of the story. This is not going to drive people to comics, but maybe that’s not the goal.

     And, like, okay, it’s great that Neal Adams was involved, but uhm, so what?  I find it difficult to care about who "directed" this–it’s cardboard cutouts moving according to actions already made from the comic.  The voice acting is okay, but…I dunno. Maybe it’s too early in the morning for me, but it felt like reading comics on a boat.

     just my non¢,


  11. Motion comics: no.

  12. Thinking how clunky the Bendis dialogue sounded in the Spider-Woman motion comic, just think how wonky the Whedon-speak might sound.  

  13. Why go through the trouble of making a motion comic?? It looks like it should be a cartoon with less complicated animation. I know cassaday’s art is a staple on this series but it would be more credible if it was a direct to DVD movie or cartoon series instead of motion comic. Its just wierd…

  14. Motion comics are like the Special Olympics equivalent of animation.

  15. I had a good laugh when Colossus said "Kitty" and I’m not sure why.

    This don’t look good.  I’ll pass

  16. Looks like the marrionettes from Thunderbirds Are Go

  17. Dear Marvel,

    Knock it off. 

  18. The problem is that it is half-way between animation and standard illustration.  It just kinda gets lost in the cracks. 

    Like they are trying to serve two masters.  Reminds me of the old adage, ‘A jack of all trades is a master of none.’

  19. I’ve watched a lot of "motion comics" now.  Batman Black & White, Batman Mad Love, Watchmen, Spider-Woman, Dead Space and Invincible.  I actually like them, and the idea of them.  But the trend lately seems to be to animate them even more, to the point where it’s more animation than static panels and drawings.  It’s not much different than the low budget Marvel cartoons of the ’60’s where they took Jack Kirby’s illustrations and crudely animated them. 

    I’d rather just have good voice acting and decent shots and pans of the drawings, because some of the attempted animation has a tendency to make it hard to follow.  I don’t need to see peoples mouths move and arms waive.

  20. @RoiVampire


    The Maxx, both comic and tv show, were a masterstoke of genius. I admit this vaguely reminded me of it but, I don’t know, this was weird.

  21. this looks god awful.

  22. Definitely a little weird looking.

  23. Here’s my take on it.  I kinda dig the SPIDER-WOMAN motion comic.  But that’s only because I’m not going to buy the actual comic at $4 an issue.  Spider-Woman’s not a character that I’m deeply invested in, so getting individual issues doesn’t appeal to me.  Checking up on her for $2 a pop digitally, just to get the story, and being able to watch it in a single break from work?  I’m okay with that.

    Now, when it comes to this X-Men title, I’ve already read all of these stories.  I don’t need to spend time with them in this format.  If I’m feeling like I need to get involved in the story again, I’ll buy it in trade or re-check it out from my library.

  24. Of all the motion comics I’ve seen this one is definitely the best looking. That having been said, all it has done is made me even more excited for the ASTONISHING omnibus which should be arriving today.

  25. There’s Manga and then there is Anime.  There’s Comics and then there’s Cartoons.  I don’t mean that I don’t like the work done in this area, but as far as I am concerned there is just something missing when you take out the word balloons and add in real voices.  The inventiveness that embodies every page of a comic isn’t necessarily gone when it is animated, however it is a different kind of inventive.  For me that is enough to disassociate the word comic with the product other than when referring to the characters.

    Writing evolved early on into two different directions, art that tells a story and symbols that, when interpretted, told their own story.  The symbols became words and the words became books.  The art became pictures and the pictures have since been given life and motion in movies.  However, sometime after their division into the two, the two merged to create comics, and for some reason I can’t get over the fact that the motion comic has abandoned the marriage of word and art that made it a true comic.

  26. At their best, I’m finding motion comics to be akin to Big Foot — an evolutionary missing link, neither man nor beast. A novelty. But still, the Spider-woman motion comic had some merit to me. It doesn’t seem to be trying so hard to morph the illustration into animation. I like the way Maleev’s art looks as its lit. This doesn’t have that. Instead, you go a little further with the animation and you get people walking too slow or stiffly. Weird close-ups of eyes roling side to side. Yeah… no point in this for me.



  27. It needs the animated series music.
    Duh nuh nuh nuh nah nuh…

  28. Re: JeffR

     You hit the nail on the head. 

  29. Not as though I’ll be buying it, but I say more power to them.  This looks neat.  As I said, I’m not into it, having read the comic when it came out.  But this is basically the same argument with the movies.  If it brings people to the comics who wouldn’t otherwise pick it up, keep at it.  If it’s meant as a fan-service to sell more Astonishing X-Merch to the fans, then I think it’s a misstep

  30. @slockhart: That’s the best and most appropriate response to this.

    I’m also with @smeeee on just turning this into an animated DVD or something to that effect. How awesome would it be if there was an animated series (maybe on Showtime to make it more adult?) that did the entire Whedon run? Or just a series of DVD’s that cover the entire run?

    I would buy that in a heartbeat. Not a clunky series of motion comics. In fact, that could help Marvel get back into the competition with DC with their DVD sales. Cause if that’s one thing they need help with is their animated DVD’s.

  31. Went in to this with a totally open mind, but WOW that was really freakin bad. 

  32. Wait…this is supposed to be serious?  I thought it was supposed to be funny.  TV Funhouse style.  That is why I suggested Guardians of the Galaxy (a funny book).  I’m unsettled.  I have to go re-evaluate my opinion of Marvel as a company. 

  33. @stuclach: Stan Lee comes out to present the first episode. Then Lockhart comes in and tears up the title card. MAY-HEM ensues.

  34. edit: *Lockheed

  35. I wish I could Malcom-McDowell-in-A-Clockwork-Orange the lot of you and force you to watch this.  It’s not THAT bad!

  36. I’m just trying to figure out who is the target audience for this. Astonishing X-Men seems to me to be more interesting for older (ie, not tweens) readers, long time fans of the X-Men, or Whedon fans…if they are going after people who are new to the X-Men, I don’t see how those fans would understand this book. Old school X-Men fans, by and large, probably won’t care about this since they have already read the book.

     I think Marvel needs to focus. Are the web comics promos for the real comic books or are they meant to replace them?  If they are meant to replace them, then this is not the way to do it. Comic books are meant to be read. Animation, as we know it, is much more fluid and dynmaic than the a motion comic.  This just doesn’t hit any of the marks.

     I will look at the Spider-Woman motion comic because enough people seem to like it but still, this is just a mess  But that’s just me. Maybe there’s some 14 year old that’s really into one of these titles, but I really, really, really doubt it.



  37. it’s just a really bad cartoon!

    well written though.

  38. Journey was much better with Steve Perry.  Oops, sorry, wrong fan board.

  39. I watched this full episode on Youtube already???  Anyway, this is a really good story which makes this ok because the "Motion" is very sub par compared to other Motion Comics.

  40. If they ran these on television as commercials for the books, how many books do you think they’d move?

  41. @Jimski: If that’s a serious question, I’d say none. Heck this looks like one of those video game programming commercials you see.

    "Join the great career of video game programming. Look at our test of Astonishing X-Men!"

  42. Can someone explain to me why they’re doing this? It’s inferior to both animation and illustration.

    And, seriously, is the Spider-Woman motion comic really "best-selling?" And if so, compared to what? 

  43. Did Marvel’s official press release really have that typo in it?

  44. I think if the motion was a little more smooth and the movements were more natural this could be awesome. I’d rather just read Joss Whedon’s incredible run though.  

  45. I actually expected worse after the last promo. The 3D-ish aspect was interesting, but yeah still kind of creepy. Like JeffR mentioned, there’s much more incentive to getting the Spider-Woman motion comic b/c you get it ahead of the actual comic, so it’s new material rather than seeing an existing comic we already are familiar with converted to motion. I’d hope they’d continue and try releasing new (or in adv of the printed version) motion comics in the future instead.

    I’ve got the omnibus coming this week, so I’ll stick with that.

  46. AHHHH!!! Kill it!!

    This looks better than the Spider-Woman one, more aspects of actual motion came into play, but it’s incredibly creepy. I saw a longer clip on the Marvel website before and the scene that follows where Wolverine attacks Cyclops is godawful. They animate the movement of Logan’s legs and… ugh. I don’t think I can finish my bowl of Cheerios (at almost 4 in the afternoon, yes, your point?)…


  47. It was… okay. I still think that comics should be printed in books. The motion thing is weak.


  48. I welcome these motion comics. I enjoy the Spider-Woman comic online and I’ll probably enjoy this one as well.

  49. Whoever did the voice of Kitty Pryde is exactly what I hear in my head when I read her. Emma Frost, not so much.

  50. The animation doesn’t wow me but is much better then the trailer they cut earlier. The voice-acting kind of kills it for me. Particuarly Pryde’s "Prof. Xavier is a jerk!" and Emma’s starting dialog. I thought Emma was supposed to be British?

    *shrugs* Either way, the comic is still better.

  51. I’m of the mind that you should either just animate or read the comic.  This sort of in between medium seems kind of silly.  I think it is an interesting take but basically falls flat compared to the reading experience.

  52. @mikeromo – I think you’ve got a good point there. Marvel does seem a bit like a kid in a candy shop right now. Look what we can make!! See, we’re not just print dinosaurs!

    That said, I can see that they’re hoping to cash in on a young mobile market that doesn’t go into brick and mortar stores. Using iTunes as a distribution model, I suspect that they’re hoping that this is clever and flashy enough that people will, on a whim, download and watch these stories from characters they only really know from movies or maybe the 90’s cartoons.

    I mean, the heart’s in the right place. They’re grabbing Bendis/Maleev and Whedon/Cassaday — even if you’re not a fan of those teams, these are pretty much THE big names. These are the stories that Marvel believes would get anyone into comics, right? So if you can widen your reach through iTunes, get people into the stories and characters… then you’ve increased your readership.

    So, I think they’re trying to use a new medium to build an audience on content they truly believe in. I just don’t think it’s gonna find the audience they’re hoping for.



  53. havn’t they been teasing this for ever?

  54. @OttoBott: Emma’s an Anglophile from Boston.

  55. @ daccampo – your argument sounds convincing on paper. but the actual product just doesn’t bear it out. it turns me off, and I suspect it would have the same effect on non-comic buyers. But who am I to say? 

    I would be happier if they made all or a good portion of their comics available as apps a la iverse. that I could get behind. 

  56. oh thank God their mouths actually move. thats my least favorite thing about the spider-woman one.  i almost like this one  better…except Emma’s voice.  she should have an English accent.  i find that odd, considering the controvery over Spider-Woman’s accent

  57. @mikeandzod21: She’s not English. She’s from Boston.

  58. Motion comics rub me in an unpleasant way.  But different strokes for different folks, you know?

  59. Can’t wait for Apple’s tablet to come out, for real digital comics to appear, and for motion comics to go the way of the dodo.

  60. @patio – its’ not my argument, really. I’m just pointing out that I see what they’re aiming for. I don’t find it to be successful either. 😉

    I think the color e-reader and iTunes like distribution model (like Longbox) will make actual comics more palatable than the motion comics.

  61. I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as most of you are saying and give credit to Marvel for trying to figure out what is the best way to do digital/motion comics.

  62. @heavyliquid, yes, I was reminded of the 1960s Marvel "cartoons too. This is kind of the 21st century version of them.
    In a funny way, I didn’t mind it much, but I won’t pay for it.

  63. This is just fucking weird. Instead of paying the $12 for this 6 issue arc, paying $47 and get all 25 issues in a omnibus. Better value and a awesome way to read it.

  64. It looked like Frisky Dingo or another Adult Swim show. But, i will say this Whedon’s dialogue(duh!) sounds lots better than Bendis’s when spoken out loud by actors.

  65. not bad but also not good, i rater read the comic.

  66. @Win: Yes! Yes! That’s what this thing reminded me of! It totally has the same animation style ala Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021.

  67. I’m not sure.  I really didn’t like the Spider-Woman motion comic that came out, and this seems, at least graphically, a bit more pleasing, but, that’s an art choice.

    The motion is certainly more animated, but, it seriously lacks in two areas.  One, there are no emotions in the face.  It’s smudges and morphs, really.  Everything seems a bit stiff. 

    Two, the 3-D modeling, while effective, takes me right out of the story.  I notice it too much.  I think that they need to explore the more graphic approach, and utilize stuff that is evident in flash banners all over the net.  Make people forget that they are watching, and let them experience. 

    So far, I don’t think motion comics have been able to do that.  Having said that, I have hope that someone will crack the code. 

  68. I really don’t want to offend anyone who liked this trailer; however, to be frank, I’m a little creeped out by it. Anyone else slightly bothered/disturbed?

    @TheNextChampion: OH THANK GOD. I didn’t see your post. Now I know I’m not alone here.

    @Josh: my thoughts exactly.

    @Slockhart: If you write a letter like that, I’ll co-sign it with ya.
    @conor: with all due respect, I have to ask. Were you drunk when you watched it? I’m sorry for asking.

  69. @Mangaman: Nope.

  70. But Conor does take that hit of weed every morning…

  71. I have all the issues, I’ve read all the issues, so I honestly have no problem seeing this story presented in a different fashion, and I like the voice acting. And if this gets a few more dollars in Cassiday and Whedon’s pockets I’ll vote with my dollar and watch this. 

  72. @Jurassicalien
    As altruistic as that sounds, the truth is, your dollar won’t be a vote for another Whedon/Cassaday jam, but rather for more motion comics. If you’re into/okay with that, it’s fine, but I for one think this is just… not for me.

  73. @captbastrd I actually am okay with that. I understand some people aren’t down for it, and that’s totally fine. For me it’s another way to take in content and I’m fine with that. 

  74. Why is Neal Adams apart of this? Did he have say in the original run on Astonishing?

  75. @conor: *shivers* god this is soooooo creepy. How are you not creeped out by this? I’ll buy this the day I drink bourban on a pc.

  76. @TNC: Mr. Adams draw Giant Sized X-Men#3 that bridged the gap between Whedon’s/Cassaday’s first 12 issues and second 12 issues of Astonishing X-Men.

  77. @Mangaman: I don’t find it creepy, just mostly pointless.

  78. Ultimately there will be a good amount of people who would never go into a comic store or wonder over to the graphic novel section in a book store looking at this, and who may show it to other people. Wether this is good or bad is irrelevant, it’s something that comics need to try to expand in the marketplace.

  79. Neal Adams has been doing that for years.  They’re the same as the motion animatics he does for commercials.  There’s more like that on his site: 

    What’s way cooler is his company’s special effects reel: 

    It’s really neat to see him continue to thrive and evolve, considering how much he’s already accomplished.  

  80. I’m going to check it out.  Mostly out of curiosity to see how they put it together.  I’m also interested to hear the line readings to see how they sound read aloud compared to how I hear them in my head.  I’ve had several people–all non-comic fans–borrow my Watchmen motion comic DVD and tell me they were impressed by the production values and enjoyed it, though they did say the length was hard to handle.

  81. This is no different than the Watchmen motion comics, pretty much similar. Who does the voice for Kitty Pryde, she sounded familiar. I think she is the actress that played Mellie in Dollhouse actually, Miracle Laurie? 

     Anyway, I won’t be buying any of Marvel’s motion comics, ever. I would rather read the issues, and also, they are not available outside the US iTunes store, and I’m in Canada. 

  82. I’ve watched a couple times to make sure it wasn’t just a bad first impression.

     Nope. still looks terrible beyond belief.

  83. @Win: Ah thanks for the clarification. Not to get too off topic; but that run of Astonishing X-Men….is that any good as well? I mean I know it wouldn’t be fair to judge both runs of the title. But you don’t hear a whole lot about the two previous volumes of Astonishing X-Men.

  84. @WinTheWonderBoy
    AAAAH! How was I not aware of the existence of this?? Was it Whedon-written?

  85. Wow, yall guys are harsh.  This isn’t going to replace comics.  No need to be so defensive fellas.  It’s just a new way to get stories out there.  It’s really not that bad.

  86. I’m selling this new product called Clear Thirst Quencher it doesn’t have any taste that might get in the way of quenching your thirst. If you liked water from the forcet then you’ll like this it also comes from the forcet; it looks and tastes the same. And my other product is called Motion Comics, moving pictures with synched audio. If you liked bad animation/cartoons well it looks and sounds the same. 

  87. forgive the typo, ‘faucet’, we say ‘tap’ here in the UK.

  88. You know, I gave motion comics a fair shake.  I bought the first two issues of the Spider-Woman motion comic, checked out that Watchmen dealy and this trailer, I think may have sealed it for me, I think they’re unnecessary. Everything I liked about them, is what I liked about them in printed form. It really brought nothing new to the table for me. Does any one have an pros to motion comics?  

  89. @Adam-I don’t think that they are bad as supplemental to the comics themselves because of their easy portability and convenience.  I could see myself watching this when I am on the train or at lunch or just on a break from studying.  But then you get into ‘double paying’ for a product that you already possess. 

    It’s also possibly beneficial to market them as a ‘gateway’ for new comics readers, due to their closer similarity to comics over standard animation.  But that’s all I got.

  90. boo-urns.

  91. The pro to motion comics is that it’s gotten me "reading" a monthly comic.  I’m a trade waiter by necessity.  There is nothing even remotely resembling a decent comic shop where I live.  I can get Spider Woman from Marvel monthly because it’s beamed straight to my house via the magical internet.  I’ll probably pick up the trade too because I really love Maleevs art.  With more choices, Marvel will be able to get more money from me and (probably) others that would like to read more comics but don’t have anyway to get them.

  92. Isn’t this really old? I seem to remember seeing this like over a year ago??

  93. Haha, oh man this moves like Sealab 2021