Astonishing X-Men (2004) #1
"Gifted" Premiere issue. Fan favorite TV writer/director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) begins his highly acclaimed run on an X-title by returning Marvel's mighty mutants to their super-hero roots. Kitty Pryde returns to the X-Mansion just in time for Cyclops to announce that it's time the team stopped hiding in the shadows and wearing black leather. That tactic, he reasons, is only leading to more fear of mutants. Instead, the leader of the X-Men suggests they all return to the colorful costumes of their past in an attempt to place the team directly back into the same company as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. But of course, winning the public's trust back isn't going to be easy after Magneto destroyed a large portion of downtown Manhattan and subjugated its human population.
This task isn't made any easier by the group's internal tensions which boil over when Wolverine returns to find Cyclops in the arms of Emma Frost; too soon after Jean Grey's death for Logan's taste. The ensuing grudge-match spills out onto the front lawn in full view of the students of Xavier's school. And Kitty doesn't trust Emma (once known as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club) and suspects she may be controlling Scott (Cyclops) Summer's mind. Into this mix, throw a super-powered alien who takes hostages and a leading bio-chemist who claims to have a cure for mutants and you have one heck of an interesting story. Whedon's razor-sharp humor and perfect sense of dramatic timing is perfectly complemented by John Cassaday's hyper-realistic art.