Astonishing X-Men

Author: Joss Whedon

Artist: John Cassaday

Type: Fiction, comic

Published: 2009

I read it: March 2015


This one was another entry point recommendation from Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men. Though more traditional than Marvels, it was a solid book through and through. I knew most of the characters going in but there was plenty of new stuff (still trying to get used to cat-Beast) and I think total newcomers would also have a good experience. Before the real action begins there are a few pages that outline some broad plot points from historical X-Men narratives, so you can get your bearings for this modern tale.

The team is kind of unique, but still features core members. Cyclops is the leader, and he gets some really good coverage to the point where you actually root for him instead of get annoyed by him. Wolverine is present but doesn’t take over, which is the just the right dose. Beast is awesome and I think I can still call him my favorite, after I accept the feline qualities. A big change-up here is Emma Frost (the former White Queen) as an X-Man and love interest for Cyclops. You learn a lot about her in this story. The return of Kitty Pryde is a major part of the plot, as well as a revival of Colossus (it’s not a spoiler, he’s right on the cover) who was supposedly dead. Kitty and Peter are great both individually and in their scenes together. They are the heart and soul of the story and factor into the climax in a big way.

This is just all-around a super fun book, fat enough at 24 issues to have a little bit of everything you might look for in an X-Men comic, yet focused enough to know what it’s trying to do. These are the types of standalone stories I could continue to enjoy. What are some others from the Marvel universe? Let me know if you have favorites. Just give me fair warning if my favorite characters now look like cats.

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