I started reading the Ultimate series, but I'm not sure I'm able to get into it as much as back during the late 90's. I've heard the Astonishing core is better and more engaging. Anyone read either and have thoughts?
No idea - I have also been out of comics for quite a while. Back in the day I loved the FF but gravitated to the big ticket showdowns like the Infinety Gauntlet - read that series if you can. Never have really been into the Xmen except for Juggernaut and Professor X
Yeah, got all the Infinity series (Gauntlet, War & Crusade) then went with the Warlock Chronicles for a while too
Marvel should have ended it with the Gauntlet series IMHO. The War and Crusade as well as The Heart of the Universe should never have been printed. And any of the Beyonder stories as well once again IMHO.
The Ultimate storylines are basically reboots of the series. They try to bring it more into the modern day (ultimate spiderman includes ipods and other current stuff) but a lot of the stories are wildly different. While I have read all of the Ultimate X-Men comics, I prefer the Astonishing or Uncanny titles.
Ultimate X-Men is a reboot that tries to bring the superheroes more into "reality", but it's crap anyway. Astonishing is a tiny bit better, but it's some other crap. Xtreme X-Men is better.
The X-Men franchise has been destroyed over the last 10 years or so. Marvel tried to capitalize too much by launching a shitload of titles, not to say awfully written by guys like Mike Carey. So, I still stick to the good ol' Chris Claremont times (but PLEASE don't read X-Men Forever, it sucks)