Kevin J. Maroney On Why They Still Publish Astonishing X-Men posted April 25, 2012
True, Astonishing X-Men started as "Joss Whedon writes X-men! Cool!" But all along there was also a subtextual promise of "have some X-men stories that aren't being kicked around by the month-to-month Big Story of the main titles." That promise became clear when Whedon handed it off to Ellis, and it's pretty close to explicitly the raison d'etre now.
It's the only X-book I'm reading now. I've been reading the X-men off and on since 1970 and I realized during Ellis's "Counter-X" effort back in 2000 that there's a huge engine of wonder and delight in my brain that just wants halfway-decent mutant superhero stories as fuel. I find it pleasant to get a monthly kick of X-ness without being dragged into the post-"Schism" storyline, which I find utterly unengaging. So Astonishing might be custom-made for me.