The X-Men are a group of mutant superheroes, and among the most enduring and popular comic books published by Marvel Comics. They were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appeared in X-Men #1 (1963).
|Table of contents|
2 The All-New, All-Different X-Men
3 Later X-Men Titles
4 Other Media
5 Related articles
6 External links
The Original X-Men
The X-Men were founded by Professor Charles Xavier under the cover of a "school for gifted youngsters" in rural New York. In fact, Xavier trains young mutants to control their abilities and use them for the cause of good. The original X-Men consisted of five teenagers: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, the Beast, the Angel, and Iceman.
Lee and Kirby did not last long on the original series, handing the reins over to a variety of creators, including Roy Thomas, Werner Roth, and Jim Steranko. Much of the run is regarded as unremarkable, among the lesser work of the early days of Marvel Comics. However, Thomas and Neal Adams produced a memorable series of stories in the late 1960s. It was too little, too late, and the book became a reprint title following #67.
Other members of the X-Men during this period included Havok and Polaris. Their foes included the team's arch-nemesis Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, as well as the Blob, and the Sentinels.
The All-New, All-Different X-Men
In Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975), Len Wein and Dave Cockrum recreated the X-Men. Rather than a group of troubled teenagers who became friends, this group consisted of seasoned adults used to making their own way in the world. Under the leadership of Cyclops, the contentiousness, focus on character conflict and development, and more sophisticated storylines helped build the X-Men into a fan-favorite franchise.
Wein lasted only a couple of issues, and was replaced as writer by the man who would perhaps become most associated with the team, Chris Claremont. Cockrum departed after a couple of years and was succeeded by John Byrne, who would develop a reputation as one of comics' most popular artists due to his work on the title. Later artists included Cockrum (again), Paul Smith, John Romita Jr, Art Adams, and Marc Silvestri.
The original "new" X-Men consisted of Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Banshee, and Thunderbird. Marvel Girl would return in a substantially more powerful form, renamed Phoenix, and her odyssey was a keynote of the Claremont/Byrne run. Later additions included Shadowcat and Rogue. Their opponents included Magneto, Arcade, The Hellfire Club, Doctor Doom, the Brood, the Morlocks, and Mastermind.
Later X-Men Titles
Claremont remained with the book for over a decade until differences with the editorial regime in 1991 caused him to leave. The book has spawned a number of spinoff titles (The New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur, et. al.) and mutants have become both prevalent and popular within the comic world. Marvel has continued to produce the book under a number of creative teams but due to its popularity and status as a sales leader is the subject of strident editorial control and obligatory crossovers.
Notable creators include Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Adam Kubert and Grant Morrison.