In UncannyX-Men (1963) #129 Jean Grey, the mutant telepath and love of Cyclops' life, is consumed by a destructive cosmic entity and becomes the Dark Phoenix. To save the future, Kitty Pride must travel to the past to stop the murder of a U.S. senator.
In UncannyX-Men (1963) #155 Dave Cock rum was a major force behind the look and feel of X-Mencomics in the 70s, co-creating and designing characters like Storm and Colossus. In UncannyX-Men (1963) #168 For this issue, Chris Claremont teams with acclaimed X-artist Paul Smith (working with inner Bob Wick) for a Kitty Pryde-centric story.
In UncannyX-Men (1963) #186 Legendary artist Barry Windsor-Smith draws this Chris Claremont-penned story about Storm coming to grip with the loss of her powers and discovering that fellow X-Man Forge is responsible. In UncannyX-Men (1963) #205 An injured Wolverine must team up with Katie Power to evade Lady Death strike during Christmas in New York City.
This issue kicks off the legacy of the Gold Team led by Storm and featuring Jean Grey, Colossus, Archangel and Iceman. Like some mad alchemist, frenetically creating mystery elixirs and potions in search of forming something out of nothing, Chris Claremont single-handedly forged the modern day X-Men universe from almost nothing at all during his initial 16-year run as writer on UncannyX-Men.
During this run, which lasted from 1975-1991, Claremont took what was originally considered a second-rate Fantastic Four knock-off and turned it into the gold standard to which all other series were measured against. Even when other seminal runs were lauded with acclaim, be it Frank Miller’s Daredevil, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four, or Todd Macfarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man, they were all compared against Claremont’s UncannyX-Men.
Easily the most ambitious, and arguably the most influential and important run in all of North American comics, Claremont’s tenure as writer of UncannyX-Men rivaled Stan Lee’s run on Fantastic Four in terms of sheer creative output, while also grounding the franchise in a concrete sense of realism that was unparalleled at the time. The Hellfire Club, Mr. Sinister, Shadow cat, the Readers, Dark Phoenix, Gambit, Mystique, the Warlocks, the fucking Shi’AR, these were all created by Claremont during his initial run.
UncannyX-Men 245: “MEN!” Synopsis: The male members of the team get drunk and single-handedly repel an alien invasion in the middle of the Australian Outback. It’s one of the funniest stories written by Claremont, and it proved that the X-Men weren’t the self-serious masochist team of outsiders that everyone thought they were.
UncannyX-Men 161: “Gold Rush” Synopsis: This flashback issue reveals how Professor Xavier and Magneto first met, and why they eventually parted ways. More importantly, it further explores Magneto’s history as a Jewish Holocaust survivor (an idea conceived by Claremont), and explains how and why he became the man he is today.
No longer was Magneto an inane despot; he became a man who would fight until his dying breath to save his people from enduring another Holocaust. Iconic Moment : Magneto kills Baron On Trucker and funds his pro-mutant agenda with stolen Nazi gold.
Despite only serving as scripter, Claremont proved a boon to this story for his soapy and dramatic style of writing. It’s this emotional core, the depths that a parent will go to save their child, which provides the story with such a strong sense of purpose.
Iconic Moment: Cyclops sends his son into the future in order to save the boys’ life and says to the woman who will heal him, “When he’s better, you’ll bring him back”. The issue starts in media res, after Wolverine has already lost his initial fight to Death strike and her gang.
The dichotomy between Death strike and Wolverine highlights the idea of losing one’s humanity to obsession, and the price of selling one’s soul. UncannyX-Men 117: “Psi War” Synopsis: Back in the day, when a writer wanted to humanize Professor Xavier, they would detail parts of his personal life before he creates the X-Men.
What Claremont did in this issue is give a reason for the X-Men exist: to fight mutants like the Shadow King and prevent them from abusing their powers. With Jonathan Hickman set to take over the reins of Marvel’s mutants, a lot of fans have probably looked back at their collection of comics to see which issues of UncannyX-Men were worth the 12 to 25 cents they originally cost.
After a run in with the local townspeople, Beast has a crisis of conscience and decides to leave the X-Men. While this isn’t their first appearance (the distinction goes to Giant Size X-Men #1), this issue signifies the first regular series debut of the “New” X-Men.
Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Thunderbird, Banshee, and Nightcrawler joined Cyclops as the new generation of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters (and one old Canadian). Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants attempt to recruit the Blob into their ranks, but the X-Men have other ideas.
Upon finding the Crimson Bands of Littoral, Marko became the Unstoppable Juggernaut, gaining immense strength and the ability to block Charles’ psychic attacks. The Juggernaut’s first appearance came in the last panel of this issue, after spending the rest of the story teasing his massive presence.
For years, Magneto has tried to create a world where the mutants are in control, rather than feared and hated. Too much.” While making its first appearance here, Asteroid M would be the site of many battles over mutant kind for years to come.
Issue #3 was also one of the first times Charles Xavier used his mental abilities to erase memories from a person’s mind. It may have been for two seconds (literally), but Brad Pitt as X-Force member Vanished almost stole the show.
Issue #2 of UncannyX-Men saw the debut of the character and one of the few times during their first year they didn’t have an adventure involving Magneto. Magneto needed a team of his own if his plan for mutant control of the world was to take hold.
Featuring Mastermind, Toad, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch, this group sought to destroy the X-Men and help fulfill Magneto’s dream. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were always questioning Magneto’s motives, eventually leaving the team to become Avengers of all things.
Also, if Magneto doesn’t see himself the villain, calling his team “evil” certainly puts a dent in his argument. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby started something, well, uncanny with these five young teenagers.
Born with special abilities, Beast, Cyclops, Angel, Marvel Girl, and Iceman were taught by Professor Charles Xavier to be superheroes, showing mutants and humans can live together peacefully. Fighting their greatest foe, Magneto, in their first adventure, the X-Men proved they had the capability to stand among the Avengers and The Fantastic Four as a premier team in the Marvel Universe.
About The Author Donnie Federer (6 Articles Published) I have been a freelance writer since 2015, covering any and all aspects of pop-culture and entertainment. I currently live in Seattle, WA with my wife Rebecca and two adorable kitties Tux and Callie.
What follows has been a 55-year run of epic heights, featuring some of the most significant artists and storytellers of our time. Brian Michael Bends and Stuart Immune produced this series, where the original X-Men from issue #1 are brought to the future by a melancholy Beast.
In 2009, Fred Van Lent wrote X-Men Noir for a unique series the Marvel was running. In this 1937 version of the X-Men, the students are juvenile delinquents recruited by psychologist Xavier who trains them to hone their criminal instincts.
When Jean Grey, a known conwoman, and manipulator, is found dead and covered in distinctive cuts on a nearby beach it’s the catalyst for a twisted and layered story that leaves readers on the edge of their seats. Cybernetic psychopath Cameron Hodge and his crazed followers plus an amnesiac Havoc, lead an attack on Xavier’s mansion that imprisons Storm and a few members of the New Mutants.
The bulk of mutant’s rally to sneak into the prison camps on Kenosha to rescue their friends and family. Deep in the Latin American jungle Cassandra Nova reopens and begins to operate a Sentinel factory.
By the time she is discovered by Cyclops and Wolverine, the mechanical hunters have devastated the island state of Kenosha, which is now home to Earth’s mutant population. Messiah Complex was written by Ed Breaker and penciled by the fantastic Marc Silver in 2007.
Messiah is the first major storyline after House of M, in which mutant kind was wiped from existence, and features the first mutant birth in several years. Bishop believes the baby to be a catalyst for an earth-shattering event in his timeline and will stop at nothing to kill the child.
Blue is significant because it started a run of color titled offspring that dominated the direction of the X-universe today. Plus, Hank McCoy is a wizard in training, Jean and Cyclops are psychical linked, Angel has cool flaming wings, and Iceman can form a giant snow beast that rivals the Hulk in size.
The scale of the fighting was so epic that the sister series, ASX, featured sparse parts of the story and concentrated on the battles. The story ends with the death of Charles Xavier at the hands of his first student, Cyclops, who is possessed by the Dark Phoenix entity.
That’s what Scott Summers intended to do when he wound up with Jean Grey’s clone, a woman named Madeline Pryor. Sinister beliefs that the offspring of Cyclops and Marvel Girl would be able to bring down the world’s oldest mutant.
The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix show the origins of cable, how he came to be infected with the technogenic virus, and his trip to the future with Assani. His run revitalized the series, which cherry-picked the favorite fan mutants and teamed them up for perilous and thrilling adventures.
In the ‘Ghost Box’ storyline, Ellis plants the seeds that lead to rifts so deep the very fabric of the team is altered from this point. In the House of M series, written by Brian Michael Bends with art by the sublime Oliver Compel, explores an alternate Earth in which the Scarlet Witch has lost her children.
Her grief has made driven her insane and her power is only held in check by a strained Charles Xavier. Alas, the distraught woman is unable to control her powers and creates a separate reality.
Again, Chris Claremont delivers a series that engross readers and gives them complex storylines. While in Japan for Wolverine and Mario’s wedding, Rogue earns her keep as an X-man while Storm adopts the Mohawk and leather that would dominate her appearance throughout the John Byrne run as the artist.
His lovers Jean, Mario, and Silver Fox all meet an untimely end, simply because they loved Wolverine. Loki has hatched a plan to make Storm the new god of thunder, but he wasn’t counting on the students and their powers.
When Held comes to take Wolverine’s soul, Dani Moon star is revealed to have Valkyrie powers. Touted as one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, God Loves, Man Kills teams the X-men with general villain and all around bad guy Magneto.
The sadistic mutant hating preacher Stryker attempts to kill all mutant kind with a cerebra like machine. When the one-eyed hero from the future is believed to have shot Prof X with the techno-organic virus, the X-Men hunt down X-Force and their mysterious leader.
Written by a host of whose who authors, Inferno depicts the corruption of the Jean Grey clone Madelyn Pryor. Inferno has spanned all five mutant titles and centered on Pryor’s attempt to open a portal to limbo in New York City.
Ultimately, when the clone passes away Jean receives its memories and develops a love for young baby Nathan. When the X-Men learn that a vicious group called the Marauders are attacking the Warlocks who live in the sewer systems of New York, both X-Men and X-Factor arrive, and the slaughter is abated.
Angel is nailed to a wall and Colossus is so severely injured that he is unable to change back to his standard form. The work of Claremont with Louise and Walter Simon son crafted an arc that is at once triumphant and depressing.
This causes a break in the timeline, creating a new and separate reality, and Apocalypse attacks the X-Men sooner than intended. When Bishop appears from the future, the group's aid in full force in hopes of restoring the timeline.
How about when the love story turns dark, and one of the partners is infested with a planet-eating entity that is going to destroy the planet. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men in 1963, in the midst of some of the most significant comic creations of all time.
Angel, Beast, Iceman, Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Professor X all were introduced in this initial issue, along with their arch-nemesis Magneto. The issues are culturally significant to comic collectors everywhere and fetch one of the highest prices for mint books.
Kitty Pride has her mind sent from a dystopian future where Sentinels, the gigantic robotic mutant hunters, have all but extinguished the mutant kind from Earth. When the movies began production in 2000, there was a buzz that I hadn’t felt since the height of the comics collecting era, before the crash in the early 1990s.
Each of the issues and storylines depicted above is worth checking out as they are prime examples of a thread of comic lore that has influenced the nature of where all mutant featured titles are headed.