Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men

As far as superheroes go, I’ve always been a fan of The X-Men. I remember watching several airings of the original X-Men Animated Series and X-Men: Evolution as a kid. The concept of becoming a part of a superhero team was one I would spend my childhood dreaming about.

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As I grew up, my fondness toward the X-Men would subside, but not completely. I would still passively obsess over Marvel video games, or the occasional action figure that would feature them, but that’s as far as it would go.

I primarily blame the inaccessibility of Marvel reading materials before the rise to fame of the MCU, for me missing out on some major X-Men events. Although there are fora and free issues online, I wasn’t able to keep track of my favorite superhero team as closely as would’ve liked.

It wasn’t until recently that I was able to really get into comics. Of the first series I got into was Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men.

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Just like what Kitty Pride’s first panel states, Nothing has changed. Shadowcat returns to the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters as Miss Pryde, Computational Theory Professor and Student Adviser. It feels very familiar to the X-Men I grew up with, without it being exactly the same.

Off the bat, Whedon gives readers that banter-style character and relationship development. It’s always been a treat to behold Whedon’s work. I’ve grown up watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and I’m sure everyone’s seen the Avengers films. I know I wouldn’t be alone when I say his story telling methods are outstanding. True to his fan boy self, there are more than a few fan service references throughout this series; even way before half of the first issue.

The series was first published in 2004 and I wouldn’t be talking about it if it wasn’t that good. Whedon has an amazing story arc that will reintroduce old fans and new readers to the X-Men. It’s an amazing jumping on point for people who are looking to get into X-Men comic books. It is also a great nostalgic volume for long-time fans of my favorite mutant team. Cassady’s art is just what the doctor’s ordered for this amazing series. His art style is fun but not under-detailed.

Although a bit dated, this is still the series I recommend whenever I get asked about getting into comics.

This Saturday, as with all first Saturdays of May, is Free Comic Book Day. Be sure to check around the web to know which of your local comic book stores will be celebrating the event so you can celebrate with them! There are a lot more to each superhero than what producers can fit into each TV series or film; and if you’ve enjoyed watching them, chances are, you’ll enjoy reading about them as well.

It might seem intimidating and arduous, but there are various ways of getting involved in comic books. There are sites where you can read online copies for free, there are also local store which carry current and past comic book issues, and of course there is a vast community of new as well as veteran readers and collectors who can help you along your way.

This year, I’ll be spending free comic book day at the Alabang branch of Comic Odyssey. Some great on-going series to look out for include, All-New Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Extraordinary X-Men.

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