Perhaps iffy as a post, since there are but brief mentions of Astonishing X-men. Still, I thought it was a good read.
Marvel, led by Spider-Man, was a place for the smart but troubled reader, the deeply weird. They loved the night, the underground, accidents in the lab. All that dialogue, so many thought balloons! The heroes always on some emotional ledge, and the hubris of it all -- a grittiness that came with saving the world.