Astonishing X-Men #1, variant edition (July, 2004)


What’s Inside:

Kitty Pryde returns to the Xavier School, invited back to teach, and immediately reminisces about how she never got to bone Colossus.


Arriving late to the student orientation, she is shocked, as are the students, when a Sentinel attacks. The Sentinel is a Danger Room hologram programmed by Emma Frost to force a point; the mutant students should get used to surprise attacks, because the outside world will always hate them and want to hurt them. Bitch.


Later and off panel, Emma and Cyclops do it and go to sleep. They are awakened by Wolverine who is creepily hanging in their window and WHO KNOWS how long he’s just been there watching them. Cyclops and Wolverine tussle after Wolverine makes a snide comment about Cyclops being with another woman so soon after his wife’s death.

Beast reprimands the two, and the group gathers to discuss the future of the X-Men. Cyclops declares that they need to improve their PR and decides that they will become super heroes again.


Meanwhile, Dr. Rao has created both a cure for mutation and a plot device for the worst X-Men movie ever.

Writer: Joss Whedon

Artist: John Cassiday

Colorist: Laura Martin

Publisher: Marvel

Why I Kept This Issue:

I love John Cassidy’s artwork, but let’s face it, I kept this issue because of one name. Joss. The. Inimitable. Mutha. Fucking. Whedon.

Some of my friends have criticized this issue, arguing that all of Whedon’s writing is the same and that Kitty just comes across as another Buffy. I disagree with that opinion, but it’s out there. Of course, he made millions and millions because The Avengers movie was so awesome, and his critics are poor, so there. I think this comic book was a much needed push to the refresh button on the X-Men franchise, which had gone a little nuts. Right before this had been Grant Morrison’s epic run (which, though it was different, I loved), and unfortunately Morrison opened the doors to all kinds of crazy. To Chuck Austen’s offensively bad run over in Uncanny, to Chris Claremont’s bewildering X-Treme X-Men, the whole X-franchise had become a bit of a mess and lots its way. This storyline, brought things back to basics while injecting some back into it.

Also, I have most of the covers for this issue, but I chose this one because I hate it. I HATE IT. That is the crappiest looking Wolverine. I mean, I know it’s supposed to be all stylized and shit, but seriously, ew…

Attached Memory:

This issue was released the same summer that I did an independent study for my religion degree! I already mentioned an independent study on the English literature side of things, but this was for Angelology!

It was so cool. My religion advisor was my instructor for the project. I got to read, like, a bazillion books about from various sects, from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the different choirs established by Thomas Aquinas in the Dark Ages…all kinds of stuff.

My paper was about thirty pages long and worth about three credit hours, and I really, really, really wish I would have kept a copy of it. But ask me a question about angels; I’m pretty sure the knowledge is still up here in my noggin’ somewhere. 

Condition of My Copy: Other covers are better.