The X-Men were created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, first appearing in The X-Men #1 - X-Men. In the 80's thanks to writer Chris Claremont, the X-Men became very popular. By the 1990's, Marvel had turned them into their own franchise within the Marvel Universe. Because of this, over the course of the X-Men's long history it has arguably grown and expanded almost more than any other Marvel comic, but with this growth comes a head-scratcher for both newcomers and regular comic goers alike so if you would like to find out why a shadow phasing hero travelled back in time or how one member went crazy read on. The following is a guide to some of the key story lines and runs in the X-Men's history.

Origin

X-Men Masterworks

Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men #1 - Volume One

For those of you interested in classic silver age comic books, this is the original X-Men stories written by Stan Lee and penciled by Jack Kirby.

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

For those of you that want to read a more modern version of the original X-Men in their younger days, this is for you. This is a more light-hearted and fun series that tells a updated version of the X-Men as teenagers. This is a good starting point to get into X-Men, as you will need to know next to nothing about them to enjoy this series. You will see a updated spin on the teenage versions of Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Robert Drake, Warren Worthington III, and Hank McCoy here. Simplistic issue to issue series, written by Jeff Parker with art by Roger Cruz.

Giant-Size X-Men #1

Giant-Size X-men #1

The comic book that preceded Claremont's run on the X-Men and introduced many fan-favorite mutants like Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and brought Wolverine to the X-Men. This issue revived the franchise and introduced arguably the most diverse roster of the team.

The Chris Claremont Era

Writer Chris Claremont wrote Uncanny X-Men between 1975 and 1991. Claremont took these characters when they were struggling D-list superheroes, and redefined them, making them Marvel's most popular books during his run. If you're not planning on reading this run as a whole, then these are stories that may not be easy to follow if you don't have a basic grasp on the X-Men mythos. However, they are definitely well worth the read as they have shaken the X-Men to what they are today.

X-Men: Proteus

X-Men: Proteus

The X-Men were thought dead after a battle with Magneto in Antarctica. In this story, they finally make their way home. They immediately visit Muir Island to see their friends but soon discover that some strange things are going on there. Moira MacTaggart's son, a mutant known as Proteus, escapes and causes Havok. See the X-Men face one of their greatest foes as they are pushed to limits both physically and mentally, that they have never reached before. Written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne with Byrne doing the art.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga

Arguably the X-Men's most iconic tale. The Dark Phoenix Saga is the story about original X-Man, Jean Grey, becoming corrupt with power. Written by famed X-Men writer Chris Claremont while collaborating with artist/writer John Byrne. The story has been inducted into the Columbia University library. It is definitely essential reading for anyone who is looking to get into X-Men.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Although we may be overwhelmed with time travel stories currently but you'd be hard-pressed to find a cooler and fun read than this story where an X-Men mutant sends a message back to her previous self to prevent an apocalyptic future in which mutants are rapidly being wiped out.

You will see Kitty Pryde become a member of the X-Men in this story, as she is the one sent back in time to save the past from the future. The X-Men will have to fight off the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and their new leader, Mystique. This is the final story in the Chris Claremont/John Byrne run.

X-Men: I, Magneto

X-Men: I, Magneto

On the 150th issue of Uncanny X-Men, the teams most feared villains, Magneto, returns. Once again he will find himself doing battle with the X-Men. In this story, you will discover more to Magneto than just being "the bad guy." You will learn the traumatic events of his past that turned him into the master of magnetism, and you will also see that he has a human side. Written by Chris Claremont with art by DaveCockrum.

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

X-Men: God Loves Man Kills

God Loves Man Kills is what many X readers see as the X-Men's defining arc and it's hard to argue with them. In 1982 legendary writer Chris Claremont took the concept of the X-men and examined them in the light of real-world analogies. What we got was a realistic portrayal of how the world may react to the dawn of mutants and how mutants may react to the world. Some fans might recognize elements of this story as the base for the movie X2: X-Men United. This is definitely a must-read for any comic book reader.

X-Men: The Brood Saga

X-Men: The Brood Saga

While Lilandra is preparing to leave Earth to return to the Shi'ar Empire, the X-Men visit her to see her off. They are attacked by a insect-like race known as the Brood. The Brood infect the X-Men with eggs, that when hatched, will transform them into the alien creatures they were fighting against. This story contains heavy character development for most of the characters in it. See the X-Men as they try to come to terms with what has happened to them in this story. Written by Chris Claremont with art by Dave Cockrum.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto

Magneto, who is now a reformed ally of the X-Men, is captured by Freedom Force and forced to stand trial for his actions in the 'I, Magneto.' This is a turning point in the life of Magneto as he turns over a new leaf as well for the X-Men as they gain a new mentor. Written by Chris Claremont with art by John Romita Jr.

The X-Men vs The Avengers

The X-Men vs The Avengers

When Magneto discovers that a piece of his old base, Asteroid M, crashes on earth he tries to find it due to it containing weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, the Avengers also try to find the Asteroid, which leads to a battle with the X-Men due to Magneto still being a fugitive. Written by Roger Stern with art by Keith Pollard.

X-Men: Mutant Massacre

X-Men: Mutant Massacre

This will feature the mutants in one of the X-Men's darker stories. When a mutant group known as the Morlocks are massacred in the sewers, Wolverine will use his enhanced senses to hunt down the murderers; a new group of enemies. The X-Men will do battle with a new group of villainous mutants known as the Marauders. You will see the X-Men introduced to new friends here, as Psylocke joins the team, and they will have to cope with losing friends, as they suffer some defeats at the hands of their enemies. Among the enemies will be Wolverine's longtime adversary, Victor Creed, known as Sabretooth. Here you will witness the first iconic battle between Wolverine and his arch nemesis. The X-Men will hit an all time low point in this story, with only a few to survive unharmed. Older characters will have to step up and take a more important role in the group as new recruits join. Written by Chris Claremont with art by John Romita Jr and later Rick Leonardi.

X-Men: Fall Of Mutants

X-Men: Fall Of Mutants

Another great story was written by Chris Claremont, this time with art by Marc Silvestri. This story focuses on Storm and Forge, as Storm seeks out Forge in an attempt to regain her powers. However, she discovers a secret from Forge's past that he was in the midst of trying to atone for. This will lead to the X-Men being forced to make a difficult decision.

Meanwhile, you will also see the birth of Arcangel as Cyclops, Jean, Beast, and Iceman have one of their earliest battles with the ancient mutant known as Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen. They will have to face their former teammate as he fights against them at Apocalypse's side.

X-Men: Inferno

X-Men: Inferno

Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri continue their run in another great story. This tale revolves around the wife of Scott Summers, Madelyne Pryor, who had become desperate after her son was kidnapped and makes a deal with Demons to try and get him back. This story concludes what was started with Mutant Massacre as you will see the X-Men come face to face with the Leader of the Marauders, Mister Sinister.

Meanwhile, Colossus' sister Magik struggles with her role as the Dark child, the commander of limbo. After being tricked by a demon called N'Astirh to bring limbo to earth, she will have to struggle to find a way to put things back where they were meant to be.

X-Men: X-Tincton Agenda

X-Men: X-Tincton Agenda

Some of the X-Men are attacked at their home by the forces of Cameron Hodge. They are taken to Genosha, an island where mutants are treated as slaves. The X-Men will have to team up with both X-Factor and the New Mutants to stop them and rescue their allies. It will be the mutants versus a military state, as their captured allies will have their powers stolen from them and pushed to some of their lowest points. They will have to concoct a master plan to win this one. Written by Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson with art by Jim Lee, Rob Linfield, and John Bogdanove.

X-Men: Crossroads

X-Men: Crossroads

Directly following the events of X-Tincton Agenda, the X-Men are teleported to the far reaches of space where they reunite with their mentor, Professor Charles Xavier. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Magneto and Rogue will battle Zaladane in the Savage Lands. This story is another turning point in the life of Magneto, as we see him start to become more ruthless again. Written by Chris Claremont with art by Jim Lee.

X-Men: Muir Island Saga

X-Men: Muir Island Saga

Things on Muir Island have been strange for some time, with Moira MacTaggert acting strongly for months. Banshee tells Professor Xavier about this, and he discovers that the Shadow King is behind it, his oldest foe, the reason he founded the X-Men. The remaining X-Men will team up with X-Factor to battle their allies who are being controlled by the Shadow King on Muir Island. While Xavier does battle with the Shadow King on the astral plane. Written by Chris Claremont, Fabian Nicieza, and Peter David with art by Andy Kubert, Paul Smith, Steven Butler, and Kirk Jarvinen.

X-Men: Mutant Genesis

X-Men: Mutant Genesis

See the debut of the X-Men's new costumes, made iconic by X-Men: The Animated Series, in this story. Magneto has returned as an antagonist and it is up to the X-Men to stop him. Magneto will make a discovery that will have him questioning if he ever truly was reformed. This story marks the end of Chris Claremont seventeen year run with the book and the first issue of this story went on to become the highest selling comic book in the world according to the Guinness book of world records. It is the beginning of a new Era for the X-Men in this tale.

90's Era of X-Men

For many people, the 90's version of the X-Men is the definitive version. The X-Men's popularity were at an all time high, both in the comics and in general. However, it was a rocky start when Chris Claremont left the book. Artists took over the duties of plotting the books, which hurt the quality of the storytelling. That didn't last very long because Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza gained creative control at around Uncanny X-Men #289 and X-Men #12 and returned quality writing to the books. By this point, there were so many X-Men that they were divided into two teams. A Gold Team that were featured in Uncanny X-Men and a Blue team that was featured in X-Men vol 2. These stories might be hard to follow at times, but the following will be a guide to the biggest X-Men events of the 90's. Not a good jumping on point for new fans, but if you're already familiar with X-Men, then these stories will be worth looking into.

X-Men: Bishop's Crossing

X-Men: Bishop's Crossing

In a new era for X-Men, you will witness the birth of a new character, Bishop. A bounty hunter from the future who comes to the past chasing a fugitive from his timeline. He will cross paths with Storm and her X-Men while they were attempting to make a meeting with the Hellfire Club. The X-Men will chase him down and attempt to stop him from reeking havok across their world. In this tale, you will also learn more about the cabin X-Man, Gambit. Written by John Byrne, Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Whilce Portacio and Jim Lee, with art by Art Thibert and Whilce Portacio.

X-Men: X-Cutioner's Song

X-Men: X-Cutioner's Song

It is easier to understand this story if you are at least familiar with the events in Cable: Blood and Metal and X-Factor: Endgame.

While at the rock concert Professor Charles Xavier takes the stage to deliver a message of peace when he is attacked and gunned down by a man that appears to be Cable. The X-Men teams will join together along with X-Factor as they try to hunt down Cable and his group, X-Force, while simultaneously trying to find a cure for Professor Xavier. In this story, you will also witness the truth behind Cable's origin and the return of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen as well as Mister Sinister. While behind the scenes the strings are being pulled by the Mutant Liberation Front's leader, the man known as Strife. Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and Peter David with art by Andy Kubert, Jae Lee, Greg Capella, Brandon Peterson, and Lary Stroman.

X-Men: Fatal Attractions

X-Men: Fatal Attractions

Magneto Returns to his role as an antagonist. He is saved by the mutant Exodus and gathers the forces of the remaining Acolytes and battles X-Force to capture the space station, Graymalkin. Here you will witness Cable return to X-Force for the first time since X-Cutioner's Song.

The X-Men learn about this when Magneto crashes the funeral of Colossus' sister, Illyana. You will see one of the most epic confrontations between Magneto and Professor Xavier here. As he prepares to go to lengths that he has never gone before to stop Magneto. Witness one of the most iconic battles in comic history, Wolverine vs Magneto in this story. Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and Lary Hama with art by Andy Kubert, Joe Quesada, Chris Sprouse, John Romita Jr, and Ken Lashley.

X-Men/Avengers: Bloodties

X-Men and Avengers: Bloodties

This is a direct follow-up to Fatal Attractions.

Magneto's former Acolytes who betrayed him, Fabian Cortez, kidnaps the grandchild of Magneto and daughter of Quicksilver, to try and use her as protection fearing Magneto. Unaware of the events that happened in Fatal Attractions. Because Quicksilver is linked to both the Avengers and the X-Men, both teams go after Fabian Cortez who runs to the land of Genosha. While Exodus returns to Earth and again seeks revenge on Fabian Cortez. This will lead to the X-Men and Avengers reluctantly teaming up to stop him.

Meanwhile, SHIELD makes a deal with Professor Charles Xavier, trying to get him to go to Genosha for Negotiations. Accompanied by Beast, Professor Xavier will find himself among the action as well. Written by Bob Harris, Roy Thomas, Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza, which art by Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr, Dave Ross, Jan Duursema, and Steve Epting.

X-Men: Legion's Quest

X-Men: Legion's Quest

This story is a preload to X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. The son of Professor Charles Xavier, Legion, will come up with a plan to make his father happy by killing his nemesis, Magneto. When Charles Xavier learns of it, he sends his X-Men to battle his son. Here you will also see some flashback stories to the days when Magneto and Charles Xavier were young and had just met, as the X-Men and Legion travel back in time. The entire world will be depending on the X-Men to succeed. Written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Mark Waid, and Jeph Loeb with art by Andy Kubert, Roger Cruz, Joe Madureira, and Ian Churchill.

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse

This story is set in an alternate timeline, so it is not necessarily essential reading, but it is a fan favorite.

Professor Charles Xavier's son, Legion, travels back in time to kill his father's enemy, Magneto. However, the X-Men intervene, but Professor Xavier is the one who accidentally gets killed. These events form an alternate timeline where the ancient mutant known as Apocalypse rules the earth. Bishop is the only X-Man being able to retain his memories of the old world during this time, during to being a man out of time. With Xavier dead, it is up to Magneto to form the X-Men. There will be multiple groups of mutants in this story lead by different people, with some friends never meeting in this alternate reality. This was a year-long story arc that was written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Lary Hama, John Francis Moore, Warren Ellis, Mark Waid, Jeph Loeb, Howard Mackie and Terry Kavanagh with various artists.

X-Men: Onslaught

X-Men: Onslaught

This is a major Marvel crossover that goes outside the X-Men to also include other books like Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and Spider-Man. The X-Men will be the main focus of this event.

When Professor Charles Xavier used his mutant powers to erase the memory of Magneto during Fatal Attractions, that event caused a manifestation of Xavier's darker side to being born. This event starts with Jean Grey giving the same message the X-Man Bishop heard 70 years in the future. The time has come, the X-Men are betrayed by one of their own. The X-Men face their greatest foe yet. In this event that for a time, drastically changes the Marvel Universe. Being a major event, Onslaught had many writers. Including, Scott Lobdell, Lary Hama, Mark Waid, Jeph Loeb, Warren Ellis, Peter David, John Ostrander, Tom DeFalco, Terry Kavanagh, and Howard Mackie.

X-Men: Trial of Gambit

X-Men: The Trial of Gambit

For a while now, it has been known that the Cajun mutant known as Gambit has been keeping a dark secret from his past from the X-Men. He has been in a relationship with Rogue for a while at this point, and ever since they kissed when they thought they were going to die during 'Legion Quest' she discovered that he did something terrible in his past, that made their relationship Rocky.

The Gladiator comes to earth, getting into a battle with Cannonball. He eventually reaches the X-Men and transports them to a Shi'ar spaceship. where they are forced to battle impossible odds against old X-Men foes known as the Phalanx. After they return to Earth, Gambit finds that there are bounty hunters after him. When captured the X-Men will have to come face to face with the Nanny once more. Gambit will have to make a difficult decision and live up to his past. See the secrets to the mysterious Cajun mutant known Gambit here.

Meanwhile, Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Storm travel to Hong Kong while searching for a cure for the deadly disease known as the Legacy Virus. Here they will come into contact with New York's former Kingpin of crime, Wilson Fisk. Written by Scott Lobdell, Ben Raab, and Steve Seagal, with art by Joe Madureira, Mel Rubi, Brian Hitch, Andy Smith, Humberto Ramos, and Carlos Pacheco.

X-Men: The Hunt for Xavier

X-Men: The Hunt for Xavier

Professor Charles Xavier has been missing every since the conclusion of Onslaught when he turned himself over to the authorities. When the former X-Men Antagonist known as Pyro seemingly goes insane and starts burning down farmland in Nebraska, the military group, S.H.I.E.L.D. contacts the X-Men and offers them the chance to stop him. When confronting Pyro, they realize that he was deathly ill with the Legacy Virus, and was screaming for Xavier. When their experience with Pyro gives the X-Men a revelation about Xavier, they decide that they need to find Professor Xavier. However, things become confusing when Cerebro shows them that there are two different reading for Charles Xavier coming from two different locations. The X-Men will have to split up into two teams to search for their former mentor in this story. Written by Steve Seagal and Joe Kelly with art by Adam Kubert and Chris Banchello.

2000's X-Men

In 2001 the X-Men received a soft reboot when writer Grant Morrison joined the creative team. During this time the comics started to resemble the critically acclaimed movies from the time period. The X-Men tossed out their costumes in exchange for black leather and the school actually became a school. This is a good starting point for modern fans who are not fond of the more classic, dated writing, or for people who were introduced to the X-Men through the movies.

New X-Men by Grant Morrison

New X-Men

Grant Morrison did a soft reboot on the X-Men in 2001, along with artist Frank Quitely. Here you will see the X-Men start to more closely resemble the critically acclaimed movies from the early 2000's. There will be new challenges for the X-Men to face, and you will see the mutants impact on society like never before. This run contains essential character development for all of the main team members; Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Professor X, and Beast. There will be threats, such as Professor Xavier's sister, Cassandra Nova, the Sentinels, Magneto, Weapon Plus, U-Men, and their own students. The X-Men will also make new allies in the form of Fantomex and the New students at their school. You will be introduced to a wide array of new characters. This will also be the debut of Emma Frost as an X-Man, and one a tale of a longtime teammate, Jean Grey. This run has received mass praise, and while it is always better if you had prior knowledge of the X-Men, it is still a good starting point for fans and young readers who do not want to read the classics.

House of M

House of M

This is very much an essential story for the X-Men. While the prelude to this story are in Avengers, this story will affect the mutants for over a decade to follow. It starts with Magneto, trying to calm his daughter, the Scarlet Witch after she lost her family. When the decision is made to take action against her, she uses her power to warp reality, making a world where it is the mutants who are the dominant species on the planet, with humans being the minority. When this happens, only Wolverine will remember the past, due to him being brainwashed so many times in the Weapon X program. It will be up to Logan to try and fix things, as he gathers his former X-Men and attempts to make them remember their old life, while also forming alliances with Spider-Man and Luke Cage. Together, they will take on Magneto, the ruler of this new land, in an attempt to find the Scarlet Witch and set things right. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Olivier Coipel.

X-Men Deadly Genesis

X-Men: Deadly Genesis

This will be a direct follow-up to House of M, as you will discover the secret to Professor Charles Xavier's disappearance. Here will also be introduced to a third Summers sibling, Vulcan, and discover a deep and dark secret from the past of Charles Xavier. Written by Ed Brubaker with art by Pete Woods.

The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire

Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire

A direct sequel to Deadly Genesis, here you will see Professor Charles Xavier gather a team of Havok, Rachel Grey, Warpath, Polaris, and Nightcrawler to chase Vulcan through Shi'ar space. You will witness the return of the likes of Deathbird, Gladiator, Lilandra, Corsair, and other characters associated with the Shi'ar.

Messiah Complex

Messiah Complex

This story is a crossover where the X-Men teams up with New X-Men and X-Factor.

For the first time since House of M, a new mutant infant will be born. When this happens, the X-Men, as well as the forces of Mister Sinister, will go after it. The X-Men will be fighting for the survival of the mutant race, as they are betrayed by one of their own while fighting to save the infant. The X-Men will cover all angles and even travel through time in hopes of finding the baby. Written by Ed Brubaker, Peter David, Mike Carrey, Greg Kyle, and Christopher Yost with art by Anthony Castrillo, Bill Sienkiewicz, Brandon Peterson, Bret Blevins, Brett Booth, Carlos Pacheco, and Chris Bachalo.

X-Force

X-Force

While this is a X-Force run, and not X-Men, it is still very much tied into the X-Men books from the time period and takes part in most of the crossovers.

In this reboot to X-Force, Wolverine will be the leader of this incarnation of the team. This directly follows the events of Messiah Complex and will see Wolverine, X-23, Warpath, Domino, Arcangel, and Wolfsbane on the team. You will see some crucial character development with Wolverine in this series, as he is still deeply affected by the events of House of M. Warpath will also receive some crucial development, as he will go on a personal journey to his brother. Wolfsbane will also meet her former love in this run.

In this series, you will see many former X-Men Antagonists make their return and join forces to battle this team. X-Force will face some of its biggest challenges of his career here, and you will see Wolverine facing a new challenge; the challenge of leading a team. Written by Greg Kyle and Christopher Yost with art by Clayton Crain and Mike Choi.

Messiah War

Messiah War

This is a follow-up to Messiah Complex and is a crossover between X-Force and the Cable solo series. Here you will meet the infant once again, as Wolverine, X-23, Arcangel, Warpath, and Domino are sent to the future to meet with Cable. They will battle Cable's arch nemesis, Strife, as well as come face to face with Apocalypse and the X-Man that betrayed them. Written by Greg Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Duane Swierczynski with art by Clayton Crain, Ariel Olivetti, Mike Choi, and Sonia O'Back.

AvX

Avengers vs. X-Men

In this 2012 event, you will see the Avengers and the X-Men fight it out. When the Avengers ask the X-Men to leave their homes, it starts a war. This event received very mixed reviews among X-Men fans, with a lot of them not liking it. However, the story in it is essential in order to understand the next step in X-Men comics.

Marvel Now Reboot

All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men

During the fallout from Avengers vs X-Men, the X-Man, Beast, get an idea to try and help remind Cyclops of who he is. He decides to bring the Original five X-Men from the past to the present. This creates sixteen years old versions of Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Angel, and Jean Grey, who decide to stay in the present and try to help fix it. Being joined by X-23 and lead by Kitty Pryde, in this series, you will witness these somewhat innocent teenagers learn and try to adapt to just how dark and grim their future is, and come to the realization that their dream very well may end up failing.

Meanwhile, for the first time since House of M, the mutant gene has come back to life, with new Mutants being born every day. Cyclops will call for a revolution, and start recruiting the New Mutants to join his cause. Cyclops will be joined by Magneto, Emma Frost, and Magik as they try to rebuild their race, while simultaneously having to deal with personal trouble, as their powers have all been affected by the events of Avengers vs X-Men. These series are best read alongside each other and are both written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Battle of the Atom

Battle of the Atom

This event marks the 50th anniversary of the X-Men. When some X-Men who claim to be from the future show up and tell the current X-Men that they need to send the time-displaced original X-Men home, or the consequences will be dire, young Jean Grey notices that she can not read their minds and doesn't trust them. This will lead to her and Scott running away from them, and a search begins to find them. Read, as Wolverine's group of X-Men will be forced to do battle with Cyclops' X-Men. Here you will discover who these mysterious future X-Men really are, and find out if the time-displaced X-Men are capable of going home. You will also learn what the X-Men's future is really like, and see if there is a reason to hope, or if they are destined to fail. Written by Brian Micheal Bendis, Jason Aaron, and Brian Wood, with artwork by David Lopez, Stewart Immonen, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Chris Bachalo.

Current Titles

Upon the launch of All New, All Different Marvel, the X-Men currently have three team books.

  • Extraordinary X-Men is the current flagship title, and it follows Storm as she leads the X-Men and tries to find a way to save her people from the terrigen mist. This book is new reader friendly.
  • All-New X-Men is a book that follows the time-displaced original five X-Men as they're joined by X-23. It can be kind of confusing for new readers, but for the most part, it is new reader friendly.
  • Uncanny X-Men follows Magneto as he uses his methods to try and save his people from the T-Mist. This book is aimed towards long-time readers and might be confusing to new readers.

There are two solo books, Old Man Logan and All-New Wolverine. Old Man Logan is better if you have read Mark Millar's Old Man Logan before reading it. All New Wolverine follows X-23 as she takes the mantle of Wolverine.

Spin-Offs

During their history, the X-Men have had many spin-off books, with some being even more critically acclaimed that the main X-Men runs. This will be a list of some of the best titles.

Wolverine

Wolverine

Wolverine quickly became the most popular X-Man, after so much focus was put on him during the Chris Claremont and John Byrne run on X-Men. Due to his popularity, Logan received his first solo mini-series in 1982, simply titled Wolverine. This series, which was by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and is considered by many to be a must-read for any X-Men fan. Wolverine's first ongoing solo series was launched in 1988, where he was initially written by longtime X-Men writer Chris Claremont. That series ran until 2003 when his solo was rebooted under the Marvel Knights label.

New Mutants

New Mutant

By 1982 the X-Men became so popular that Marvel wanted a second book to sell, so they went to X-Men writer Chris Claremont, where he created the New Mutants. The New Mutants originally appeared in a graphic novel, but soon received their own ongoing monthly series. The series originally ran for the entirety of the 1980's, until becoming X-Force in 1991.

X-Factor

X-Factor

X-Factor was originally launched as the original five X-Men rejoining to try and help mutants on their own because they didn't trust Magneto, who became the head of the school. This series featured the first return of Jean Grey after the Dark Phoenix Saga and starred her alongside Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, and Angel. This series also featured the debut of fan-favorite X-Men villain, Apocalypse. Later on, the team would transition to a government-funded team in the 90's, with the original X-Men coming back to the X-Men and a new X-Factor team lead by Cyclops' brother Havok emerging. The most critically acclaimed incarnation of the team would come after House of M, with former writer Peter David returning.

Excalibur

Excalibur

Another X book that was launched by Chris Claremont. Excalibur was formed out of the injured mutants that were left over from Mutant Massacre, and Captain Britain. This group would keep its base in Britain. Most famous members include Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, and Captain Britain. Moria MacTaggert was also a supporting character in the early parts of this run.

X-Force

X-Force

X-Force was originally a team that spawned from the New Mutants in 1991, but they have since gone through many incarnations. Starting in 1991 after Cable took over the New Mutants, this team was featured in the majority of the crossovers during the 1990's. In 2008 the team received a reboot, with this one being lead by Wolverine, and its purpose being to cross the lines that the X-Men have sworn that they would not cross.

Further Reading

These recommendations will consist of X-Men stories that take place outside of main continuity, with most of them taking place in alternate universes.

Ultimate X-Men

Ultimate X-Men

Launched in December of the year 2000, Ultimate X-Men was a modern reboot of the X-Men franchise that took place in a separate Universe from the mainstream X-Men. These versions of the X-Men will be noticeably different from their mainstream counterparts. Early on, there will be a added layer of realism, as Mark Millar originally launches the book using his gritty and realistic writing style.

The X-Men will start out with a different lineup, with some of the more popular X-Men being the founding members. You will see many updated re-imaginings of the X-Men's classic story arcs, like Weapon X, Days of Future Past, and Dark Phoenix Saga. This version will have a more evil version of Magneto, where he will be a mutant terrorist. The X-Men will not wear their costumes and instead wear slick leather uniforms. The characteristics of many characters will be changed. Overall, this will still be a good starting point for people who want to read something modern, that is not weighed down by decades of continuity that they don't want to read. However, due to the many changes in this universe, getting to know some of these characters will not be the same as getting to know the X-Men. Mark Millar kicks off this series, with artwork by Andy Kubert. Brian Micheal Bendis and Bryan K. Vaughn also have great runs in this series that are highly praised.

The Ultimate Universe went through a reboot of its own in 2009, where many of the most iconic characters died. The next runs on Ultimate Comics X-Men would be by Mark Spencer and Brian Wood, where they turn Kitty Pryde into team leader, and take the Ultimate X-Men into a new direction that barely resembles the mainstream counterparts. After the events of Secret Wars in 2015, the Ultimate Universe ended, with some of the characters being transported to the 616 Marvel universe.

X-Men Forever

X-Men Forever

This run is written by Chris Claremont. It starts in 2009 and is a continuation of Chris Claremont's original run on the book. It picks up where Claremont left off in 1991, with the X-Men still wearing their iconic costumes from the 1990's.

X-Men '92

X-Men '92

X-Men '92 is a series that was launched in 2015 and takes place in the same Universe as the popular and critically acclaimed cartoon that started in 1992.

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