The X-Men fight for peace and equality between normal humans and mutants in a world where anti-mutant bigotry is fierce and widespread. They are led by Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X, a powerful mutant telepath who can control and read minds.
Both have opposing views and philosophies regarding the relationship between mutants and humans. While the former works towards peace and understanding between mutants and humans, the latter views humans as a threat and believes in taking an aggressive approach against them, though he has found himself working alongside the X-Men from time to time.
Professor X is the founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters at a location commonly called the X-Mansion, which recruits mutants from around the world to teach them how to use their powers and coexist with humanity. Located in Salem Center in Westchester County, New York, the X-Mansion is the home and training site of the X-Men.
The founding five members of the X-Men who appear in The X-Men #1 (September 1963) are Angel-Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Jean Grey (as Marvel Girl); Professor X and Magneto also made their first appearances in The X-Men #1 and later on new members such as Havoc, Polaris, Mimic and Changeling joined though only the former two managed to become a regular recurring staple of the team lineup. Eventually, the X-Men roster expanded to include a wide variety of members from numerous origins, including Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty Pride/Shadow cat, Locke, Forge, Long shot, and Bishop.
Since then, dozens of mutants from various countries and diverse backgrounds, and even a number of non-mutants, have held membership as X-Men. In 2004, Lee recalled, “I couldn't have everybody bitten by a radioactive spider or exposed to a gamma ray explosion.
The original explanation for the name, as provided by Xavier in The X-Men #1 (1963), is that mutants “possess an extra power ... one which ordinary humans do not!! The creators of the series were inspired by the Doom Patrol, a group of young superheroes published by the competitor DC Comics who because of their superpowers were marginalized just like the young mutants of Marvel.
The original X-Men members that were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, showing their original designer X-Men issues introduced the original team composed of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman, along with their archenemy Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants featuring Mastermind, Quicksilver (Son of Magneto), Scarlet Witch (Daughter of Magneto), and Toad. The evil side in the fight was shown in human form and under some sympathetic beginnings via Magneto, a character who was later revealed to have survived Nazi concentration camps only to pursue a hatred for normal humanity.
Only one new member of the X-Men was added, Mimic /Calvin Rankin, but soon left due to his temporary loss of power. In 1969, writer Roy Thomas and illustrator Neal Adams rejuvenated the comic book and gave regular roles to two recently introduced characters: Havoc /Alex Summers (who had been introduced by Roy Thomas before Adams began work on the comic) and Lorna Dane, later called Polaris (created by Arnold Drake and Jim Sterno).
In Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975), writer Len Wan and artist Dave Cock rum introduced a new team that starred in a revival of The X-Men, beginning with issue #94. This new team replaced the previous members except Cyclops, who remained.
Unlike in the early issues of the original series, the new team was not made up of teenagers, and they also had a more diverse background. Marvel's corporate owners, Cadence Industries, had suggested the new team should be international, feeling it needed characters with “foreign appeal”.
So each character was from a different country with varying cultural and philosophical beliefs, and all were already well-versed in using their mutant powers, several being experienced in combat. Another major difference is that unlike the original X-Men who were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP's) except the half- Irish /half- JewishIceman, the “All-New, All-Different” X-Men team was composed of a Soviet / Russian atheist, a German Catholic blue demon-like creature, a Kenyan-American woman, an Irish Catholic, an ApacheNative American, a Japanese male and a Canadian agent as its members.
The “all-new, all-different X-Men were led by Cyclops, from the original team, and consisted of the newly created Colossus (from the Soviet Union/Russia), Nightcrawler (from West Germany/Germany), Storm (from Kenya), and Thunderbird (a Native American of Apache descent), and three previously introduced characters: Banshee (from Ireland), Gunfire (from Japan), and Wolverine (from Canada). However, this team would not remain whole for long as Gunfire quit immediately and never really accepted the other members, and Thunderbird would die in the very next mission.
Filling in the vacancy, a revamped Jean Grey soon rejoined the X-Men under her new persona of “Phoenix”. Angel, Beast, Iceman, Havoc, and Polaris also made significant guest appearances.
The revived series was illustrated by Cock rum, and later by John Byrne, and written by Chris Claremont. The run met with critical acclaim and produced such landmark storylines as the death of Thunderbird, the emergence of Phoenix, the saga of the Streamers and the M'Kraal Crystal, the introduction of Alpha Flight and the Proteus saga.
Other characters introduced during this time include Amanda Seton, Mystique, and Moira MacTaggert, with her genetic research facility on Muir Island. Other important storylines included Days of Future Past, the saga of Death bird and the Brood, the discovery of the Warlocks, the invasion of the Dire Wraiths and The Trial of Magneto, as well as X-Men : God Loves, Man Kills, the partial inspiration for the 2003 movie X2: X-Men United.
Uncanny X-Men #227 (March 1988) by Chris Claremont and Marc SilvestriBy the early 1980s, X-Men was Marvel's top-selling comic title. Its sales were such that distributors and retailers began using an X-Men index”, rating each comic book publication by how many orders it garnered compared to that month's issue of X-Men.
The growing popularity of Uncanny X-Men and the rise of comic book specialty stores led to the introduction of a number of ongoing spin-off series nicknamed “X-Books.” The first of these was The New Mutants, soon followed by Alpha Flight, X-Factor, Excalibur, and a solo Wolverine title.
When Claremont conceived a story arc, the Mutant Massacre, which was too long to run in the monthly X-Men, editor Louise Simon son decided to have it overlap into several X-Books. Throughout the decade, Uncanny X-Men was written solely by Chris Claremont, and illustrated for long runs by John Byrne, Dave Cock rum, Paul Smith, John Romina, Jr., and Marc Silver.
Additions to the X-Men during this time were Kitty Pride/Shadow cat, Rogue, Jean Grey /Phoenix, Locke, Dazzler, Long shot, Jubilee, Forge and Gambit. In a controversial move, Professor X relocated to outer space to be with Linda German, Majestic of the Shi'AR Empire, in 1986.
This period also included the emergence of the Hellfire Club, the arrival of the mysterious Madeline Pryor, and the villains Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Mojo, and Sabre tooth. The first issues of the second X-Men series were written by Claremont and drawn and co-plotted by Jim Lee.
Another new X-book released at the time was X-Force, featuring the characters from The New Mutants, led by Cable ; it was written by Rob Ziegfeld and Fabian Nicaea. In a controversial move, X-Men editor Bob Harris sided with Lee (and Uncanny X-Men artist While Portico) over Claremont in a dispute over plotting.
Marvel replaced Claremont briefly with John Byrne, who scripted both books for a few issues. Byrne was then replaced by Nicaea and Scott Lob dell, who would take over the majority of writing duties for the X-Men until Lee's own departure months later when he and several other popular artists (including former X-title artists Ziegfeld, Portico, and Marc Silver) would leave Marvel to form Image Comics.
Jim Lee's X-Men designs would be the basis for much of the X-Men animated series and action figure line as well as several Cap com video games. The 1990s saw an even greater number of X-books with numerous ongoing series and miniseries running concurrently.
X-book crossovers continued to run annually, with The Extinction Agenda in 1990, The Muir Island Saga in 1991, Executioner's Song in 1992, Fatal Attractions in 1993, Phalanx Covenant in 1994, Legion Quest “/” Age of Apocalypse in 1995, Onslaught in 1996, and Operation: Zero Tolerance in 1997. Though the frequent crossovers were criticized by fans as well as editorial and creative staff for being artificially regular, disruptive to the direction of the individual series, and having far less lasting impact than promised, they continued to be financially successful.
Gambit became one of the most popular X-Men, rivaling even Wolverine in size of fan base after his debut in Uncanny X-Men #266 (Aug. 1990). Many of the later additions to the team came and went, such as Joseph, Maggot, Marrow, Cecilia Reyes, and a new Thunderbird.
Xavier's New Mutants grew up and became X-Force, and the next generation of students began with Generation X, featuring Jubilee and other teenage mutants led and schooled by Banshee and ex-villainess Emma Frost at her Massachusetts Academy. In 1998, Excalibur and X-Factor ended and the latter was replaced with Mutant X, starring Havoc stranded in a parallel universe.
In 2000, Claremont returned to Marvel and was put back on the primary X-Men titles during the Revolution revamp. The book is often referred to as the Morrison-era, due to the drastic changes he made, beginning with E Is For Extinction “, where a new villain, Cassandra Nova, destroys Kenosha, killing sixteen million mutants.
Morrison also brought reformed ex-villain Emma Frost into the primary X-Men team, and opened the doors of the school by having Xavier “out” himself to the public about being a mutant. The bright spandex costumes that had become iconic over the previous decades were replaced by black leather street clothes reminiscent of the uniforms of the X-Men films.
Morrison also introduced Born, who would figure prominently in the climax of his run. Ultimate X-Men set in Marvel's revised imprint was also launched, while Chuck Austen began his controversial run on Uncanny X-Men.
X-Men Reload was the name given by Marvel Comics to their May 2004 revamp of the X-Men titles with new looks for the characters and fresh plot points. Finally, Joss When entered as the writer of the new title, with John Cassady as artist.
Under Cyclops's leadership, the X-Men later reformed in Uncanny X-Men #500, with their new base located in San Francisco. A new Mutants' volume written by Web Wells, which featured the more prominent members of the original team reunited, was launched.
Magneto joined the X-Men during the Nation X storyline to the dismay of other members of the X-Men, such as Beast, who left the team. Magneto began to work with Enamor to transform Utopia into a homeland for both mutants and Atlantes.
Other notable story arcs of this era are Divided We Stand (2008), Manifest Destiny (2008–2009), Infernos “, Utopia (2009), Nation X (2009–2010) and Necrosis (2009). Promotional artwork from the X-Men relaunch “Re genesis”Cover of Wolverine and the X-Men #1 (December 2011).
Art by Chris Bachelor & Tim Townsend. In 2011, the aftermath of the X-Men : Schism led to the fallout between Wolverine and Cyclops. Meanwhile, Uncanny X-Men relaunched for the first time ever and served as the flagship title for Cyclops' Team.
In 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men served as a closure to House of M and Decimation story lines. It featured the death of Professor X and the reappearance of new mutants after the return of the Phoenix Force.
Relaunch, all X-Men titles (except Astonishing X-Men & Wolverine and the X-Men) were canceled, including Uncanny X-Men, X-Men : Legacy, X-Men and New Mutants. New flagship title All-New X-Men was launched which featured the original five X-Men members who were brought to the present day by Beast and were made a separate team lead eventually by Kitty.
In 2013, for the 50th anniversary of the X-Men, Battle of the Atom was published which involved members of both X-Men schools trying to decide what to do about the time-displaced original X-Men, culminating in a confrontation with a version of the Brotherhood and the X-Men from an unspecified future date. During this period, the mutants dealt with the threat of the Terri gen cloud that circulated the world and appeared to be toxic to them, placing the X-Men at odds with the Inhuman.
The X-Men also dealt with Apocalypse resurfacing, and the truth of what happened between Cyclops and the Inhuman that led to his death. Storm's team resided in Limbo and worked to bring mutants to safety away from the Terri gen.
Art by Adrian SAAF and Jay Lasted. In 2017, the Resurrection lineup was launched with X-Men : Prime. It introduced new titles; X-Men Blue, X-Men Gold, Weapon X, new volumes of Astonishing X-Men and Generation X and new solo series for Cable, Jean Grey, and Iceman.
With the Terri gen gone, the X-Men vacated Limbo and moved to Central Park where they returned to their heroic roots instead of constantly living in fear for their survival. Other notable changes include Kitty Pride as the new leader of the X-Men, the time-displaced X-Men working with Magneto, Old Man Logan turning Weapon X into a black ops team, and mutant characters crossing over from Earth-1610 to the Earth-616 universe.
Early 2018 saw the Phoenix Force returning to earth and mysteriously resurrecting the original Jean Grey. A new series featuring the original Jean leading a team of X-Men called X-Men Red was released later that same month.
Rogue and Gambit's relationship became a focal point during the Rogue & Gambit miniseries and again in the Till Death Do Us Part story arc in X-Men Gold, which saw the two finally tie the knot, and once more during the Mr. & Mrs. X miniseries, which saw the new couple attempt to take their honeymoon but end up involved in an intergalactic conspiracy. 2019 saw a new volume of Uncanny X-Men released beginning with a 10-part weekly story arc.
Mainly Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean were resurrected and time displaced X-Men returned to their original timeline during the Extermination event. On May 14, 2019, Marvel announced they will cancel all the X-Men titles and relaunch the entire lineup.
Jonathan Hickman will have full creative control and will start with two rotating bi-weekly six-issue limited series called House of X and Powers of X. It was subsequently announced in July 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con that there would be six new X-titles as part of Marvel's Dawn of X campaign.
Characters who are related to time travel include: Apocalypse, Bishop, Cable, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Hope Summers, Tempos, and Strife. A major notable period in the X-Men's history began in 2012s All-New X-Men when Beast used time-travel to bring the original five 1960s X-Men into the present.
These time-displaced characters subsequently starred in their own title X-Men Blue before returning to their original timeline in 2018s Extermination event. One of the most recurring plot devices used in the X-Men franchise is death and resurrection, mostly in the sense of Jean Grey and her bond with the Phoenix.
Though not as iconic as Jean and the Phoenix, many other X-Men characters have died and come back to life on occasion. X-Necrosha is a particular story arc that sees Selene temporarily reanimate many of the X-Men's dead allies and enemies in order for her to achieve godhood.
In particular, Destiny's abilities of precognition have affected certain plot points in the X-Men's history long after she was killed off due to both the X-Men and their enemies constantly searching for her missing diaries that foretell certain futures. The topic of fate takes center stage yet again in a story arc called “The Extremists” involving attacks against the Warlocks due to one of them seeing a dark future for their people.
Other characters such as Jean, Prestige, Evan Satan, Hope Summers, and Warren Worthington III have all been wary of their fates and have all taken measures to alter their futures. Through space noteworthy characters like The Streamers and Vulcan (lost brother of Cyclops and Havoc) were introduced.
Space Travel played a major role in Joss When's run on Astonishing X-Men via the introduction of S.W.O.R.D. Other notable story arcs involving space included X-Men : The End “, “Rise and Fall of the Shi'AR Empire”, X-Men : King breaker “, War of Kings “, and The Black Vortex “.
Most famously this is addressed in Jean Grey when she gains near omnipotence through the Phoenix and Professor Xavier after he violently uses his powers against Magneto, unintentionally creating Onslaught. Mystique's sanity wavers throughout the franchise as her constant transformations causes more and more of her mind to fracture.
Ever since swapping bodies with Reach, Locke has occasionally struggled to maintain her sanity due to her more aggressive nature and new powers. Most recently Emma Frost's sanity has become fractured ever since Cyclops died in her arms, causing her to declare war against Inhuman.
Other characters who have had issues with sanity include Cyclops, Sabre tooth, Magic, Quentin Quire, X-23, and Prestige. In the Marvel Universe, mutant rights is one of the hot controversial political topics and is something that is addressed numerous times in the X-books as a plot device.
While some politicians like Valerie Cooper have legitimately tried to help the X-Men, most have made it their mission to discredit the X-Men in order to eliminate mutants once and for all. Senator Robert Kelly began his platform on a strong outspoken anti-mutant sentiment until he changed his mind after being rescued by mutants later on in his career.
Historically, the X-Men have been based in the Xavier Institute of Gifted Youngsters/X-Mansion located in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York, and are often portrayed as a family. The Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters/X-Mansion is often depicted with three floors and two underground levels.
Xavier funds a corporation aimed at reaching mutants worldwide, though it ceased to exist following the 2005 “Decimation” storyline. The X-Men benefit from advanced technology such as Xavier tracking down mutants with a device called Cerebra which amplifies his powers; the X-Men train within the Danger Room, first depicted as a room full of weapons and booby traps, now as generating holographic simulations; and the X-Men travel in their Blackbird jet.
The X-Men introduced several fictional locations which are regarded as important within the shared universe in which Marvel Comics characters exist: The U.N. gave control to Magneto until the E Is for Extinction story saw Kenosha destroyed via mass genocide.
In Extraordinary X-Men, the X-Men made a sanctuary in Limbo called X-Haven their home after Terri gen started making earth uninhabitable for mutants. Its location is shown to be in the southern portion of the Strait of Malacca, south-west of Singapore.
Converse, an alternate dimension ruled by the tyrant Mojo focused on creating violent reality entertainment usually featuring captive mutants Murder world, fictional twisted amusement park designed by the Marvel super villain known as Arcade. New Then, a mutant-run region on the west coast of the United States where mutants outnumber humans.
Savage Land, a preserved location in Antarctica which is home to a number of extinct species, most notably dinosaurs, and strange tribes. Shi'AR throne world Chandler, the home world of the X-Men's occasional extraterrestrial allies The Shi'AR.
Members include Angry Eagle, Simian, Spanner, Torque, Push, Blue streak, J2, and Wild Thing. 1 #1, by Brian Michael Bends and Stuart Immune, and brought to the present with time travel.
They were kept as regular characters, as Bends intended to explore their reactions to the fate of their adult selves. The team was the main focus of the Battle of the Atom crossover, some months later.
Bends also used them for crossovers with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Miles Morales, that he also wrote. The teenager Jean also got a solo series after the end of Resurrection, by Hopeless and Victor Baez, that explored her relation with the Phoenix Force.
Charles Xavier is a tyrannical President of the United States, Jean Grey is a prostitute, Magneto and Mystique die, Wolverine suffers from poisoning from his adamantine skeleton, Emma Frost heads the Church of the Next Generation and forces children of her followers to undergo surgery, Cyclops as well as Nightcrawler and Kitty Pride are imprisoned at a Texas jail and Sabre tooth is part of a fascist cannibalistic militia based in Oklahoma alongside Bucky Barnes and Jack Monroe. The X-Men are younger, wear black and gold uniforms and supernatural/cosmic elements are downplayed.
Additionally, Colossus is gay unlike his main universe counterpart, Magneto is not a Holocaust survivor and is more villainous, mutants were created by the Super-Soldier Serum, Cable is Wolverine and Kitty Pride/Shadow cat dated Spider-Man. 2 #3, continuing as though writer Chris Claremont had never left writing the series.
Also on an individual level, a number of X-Men serve a metaphorical function as their powers illustrate points about the nature of the outsider. Racism : Although this was not initially the case, Professor X has come to be compared to civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Magneto to the more militant Malcolm X.
X-Men comic books have often portrayed mutants as victims of mob violence, evoking images of the lynching of African Americans in the age before the civil rights movement. In the 1980s, the comic featured a plot involving the fictional island nation of Kenosha, where mutants are segregated and enslaved by an apartheid state.
This is widely interpreted as a reference to the situation in South Africa at the time. Magneto, a Holocaust survivor, sees the situation of mutants as similar to those of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Magneto shows his concentration camp tattoo, while mentioning that he will never let another needle touch his skin. In the prequel film X-Men : First Class, a fourteen-year-old Magneto suffers Nazi human experimentation during his time in the camps and witnesses his mother's death by gunshot.
Diversity : Characters within the X-Men mythos hail from a wide variety of nationalities. Jubilee is Chinese American, Gambit is born to Cajun parents from New Orleans, Louisiana and Rogue is from Caledecott County, Mississippi both of whom are Southerners.
Warpath along with his deceased brother the first Thunderbird are Native Americans of Apache descent. Karma was portrayed as a devout Catholic from Vietnam, who regularly attended Mass and confession when she was introduced as a founding member of the New Mutants.
This team also included Wolfs bane (a devout Scottish Presbyterian), Danielle Moon star (a Native American of Cheyenne descent), Cannonball, and was later joined by Magma (a devout Greco-Roman classical religions). Different nationalities included Wolverine, Aurora, North star, Deadpool and Tran sonic from Canada ; Colossus and Magic from Russia ; Banshee and Siren from Ireland ; Dust from Afghanistan ; Locke, Wolfs bane and Chamber from the United Kingdom ; Gunfire, Armor, Surge and Zero from Japan ; Sunspot from Brazil ; M from Monaco ; Nightcrawler from Germany ; Sabra from Israel ; Omega Sentinel, Neal Sahara, Kavita Ran and Indra from India ; Velocity from Mexico ; Goya from Nigeria ; Primal from Ukraine ; etc.
, Destiny, Karma, Mystique, Locke, Courier, North star (whose marriage was depicted in the comics in 2012), Graymalkin, Victor, Shatter star, Shade, the Ultimate version of Colossus and later Iceman after revealing that he is a mutant; the comics version of the character was then revealed to be gay in 2015. Transgender issues also come up with shape changers like Mystique, Copycat, and Courier who can change gender at will.
It has been said that the comic books and the X-Men animated series delved into the AIDS epidemic with a long-running plot line about the Legacy Virus, a seemingly incurable disease thought at first to attack only mutants (similar to the AIDS virus which at first was spread through the gay community). In the 2000 X-Men film, Kelly exclaims, “We must know who these mutants are and what they can do,” even brandishing a “list” of known mutants (a reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy's list of Communist Party USA members who were working in the government).
The comics explore religious fundamentalism through the person of William Stryker and his Purifiers, an antimutant group that emerged in the 1982 graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills. The Purifiers believe that mutants are not human beings but children of the devil, and have attempted to exterminate them several times, most recently in the “Childhood's End” storyline.
The Warlocks, though mutants like those attending Xavier's school, hide away from society within the tunnels of New York. These Pollock tunnels serve as the backdrop for several X-Men stories, most notably The Mutant Massacre crossover.
These instances can also serve as analogies for the way that minority groups establish subcultures and neighborhoods of their own that distinguish them from the broader general culture. Director Bryan Singer has remarked that the X-Men franchise has served as a metaphor for acceptance of all people for their special and unique gifts.
The mutant condition that is often kept secret from the world can be analogous to feelings of difference and fear usually developed in everyone during adolescence. Magneto was a survivor of The Holocaust and witnessed the genocide of his people, severely scarring him emotionally and leaving him with a strong distrust of humanity.
In Rachel Summers' original timeline, she was captured by humans and turned into a 'hound' used to hunt down other mutants in order to capture and kill them, leaving her extremely traumatized by the experience and knowledge that she unwittingly assisted in the genocide of her own people. Bishop's childhood consisted of him being trapped in a mutant concentration camp, leaving him so emotionally scarred as an adult that upon returning to the past he was prepared to kill a baby who might have caused his future.
While taking some time off in Germany, Nightcrawler witnessed the genocide of numerous mutants. The event left him as an emotional shell of whom he used to be because of the trauma of what he witnessed until he had psychic therapy with Jean to help him cope.
Other characters who have either committed or have survived genocide include Mystique, Callisto, Apocalypse, Onslaught, Bastion, Mister Sinister, Hope Summers, Cable, and the Phoenix Force. John Buscemi, Don Heck, Bill Everett, Gene Clan.
July 22, 2010 ^ Cantor, Michael (Producer); Schreiber, Live (Narrator) Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. 4 #15 ^ Death of X #1-4 ^ X-Men Gold #1-6 ^ “Latest X-Men Comic Villain Is The Heritage Think Tank”.
Marvel Reveals Jean Grey Creative Team, Phoenix-Related Premise”. “Cullen Burn's X-Men Blue Cry Havoc & Let Slip the Symbioses of War”.
“Tapping into parallel universes: using superhero comic books in sociology courses”. X-Men and philosophy: astonishing insight and uncanny argument in the mutant ... John Wiley and Sons.
“Comic-book characters defy stereotypes: Writers stretch appeal through diverse heroes”. “Mutant and Cyborg Images of the Disabled Body in the Landscape of Science Fiction”.
Up, Up, and Of Va: How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero. Note: Contains a chapter on the X-Men, with special emphasis on Jewish characters Magneto and Shadow cat.