This was quite possibly the best comic book run of any X-Men series or spin off ever. Before I gush about how great the series is, I will warn that this is very much a continuation of Grant Morrison's run on "New X-Men" and some things from that series are mentioned and may confuse those unfamiliar with it. Joss Whedon is one of my favorite writers ever, and he does not disappoint on this. He excels in both "deep metaphor" stories, "character development" stories and "scary villain" stories. He gets all of these characters, but I want to talk about a few of them in particular. Kitty Pryde is a favorite of Joss Whedon (and the basis for the main character in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) and that shows: he is the best writer for her since Chris Claremont, her creator. The second character is Emma Frost. Emma evolved over Grant Morrison's "New X-Men" run (which I also recommend) from a super villain, who was willing to do the right thing if she could benefit, to a super hero with questionable motives and hilarious quips. Joss Whedon explores every aspect of her character (especially in the "Torn" arc) and keeps consistent with previous runs. Another is Cyclops, so often poorly written, who is utterly NAILED by Whedon. He has done some less then heroic stuff in the past (cheating on his wife, Jean, with Emma, continuing that relationship after Jean dies horribly), but he owns up to that. Also, Emma and Scott (Cyclops' civilian name) are a better team than Jean and Scott ever were. They are both pretty messed up and they have both done (and continue to do) bad things, but they balance each other out and it's fun to watch their banter as they fall in love (and psychologically torture each other, but that's a complicated story). The artwork is also stunning, capturing beauty and utter horror equally well. The big question is whether to read the arc in its original form or watch the motion comic. The motion comic style takes a little while to get used to, but I was still hooked by the end of the first episode. The original comic has a less polarizing style, but it doesn't have the STELLAR voice cast (this has my definitive Kitty and Colossus). Either way, you're set for amazing stories, some food for thought, and stellar art.
A lot of very iffy things happen in this series, which makes it hard to recommend for younger ones. The X-Men have always been, and still are, an adopted family, so messages of sticking together and teamwork are prevalent themes, but there are more complex and less friendly ones as well, especially in the "torn" arc. Emma Frost is very rude to everyone and has a lot of morally grey area, which makes her very entertaining to watch, but also a very poor role model for kids. However, most of the core X-Men (besides her and Wolverine) are decent role models. Cyclops has done bad things, and they still haunt him, but he tries to be better and move on. Kitty withstands belittlement from Emma and never gives up. There is plenty of comic book violence (reasonable, as it is a comic book), but some things are scarier (both appearance wise and psychologically) than others. I can think of one example that was made creepier by animating it. The whole "dangerous" arc is very disturbing, and it begins with a suicide, shown on pannel/screen rather graphically. There is a scene where Colossus and Kitty consummate their relationship, and while nothing is shown, Kitty "phases" (term for being able to walk through doors and stuff) through the floor naked, covered only in sheets (everything is covered and this is played for comedy), as well as mention of Scott and Emma having sex (after asking if she has been controlling him, Emma says to Scott "you will never see me naked again"). All language, s--t and above, is censored and wile I remember a few "d--n"s and "h--l"s, the one I really remember is when a student at the school asks to Kitty (a teacher) "are you [bleep] retarded?" which truly shocked me (as intended) and may be of concern to some parents. I do not remember any drugs or serious drinking (Wolverine drinks beer). All in all, I recommend this for teens and up and parents watch before for all under that age.