“Best X-men Comics”. What sounds good? That’s what we thought when X-Men: Apocalypse came out , back when we were young.
However, as it has rained a lot since then, and taking into account that the new Marvel mutant movie, X-Men: Dark Phoenix , is already here, we have decided to update our list, adding new comics.
In the following article, we have made a selection of what we consider to be the best X-Patrol comics , the name that the group of Marvel Comics mutants has received in Spain for years. Despite the fact that the X-men nomenclature is becoming more accepted and assimilated, especially due to the animated series and the cultural weight it had on an entire generation.
The X-men, for a long time, were second-tier heroes. In fact, they were about to be canceled on several occasions. Around 1969, Roy Thomas , called to be editor of the company and heir to Stan Lee, was in charge of the collection, along with cartoonist Neal Adams ( Green Lantern / Green Arrow ).
This last death rattle, before the mutant series was put on hold (but not cancelled) is considered one of the characters’ brightest moments. Numbers 55 to 65 of the collection in its original run. It would also be the stage that would develop the concept of individual uniforms, instead of collective, yellow and black uniforms. This showiness would mark the series in the future. To all this, these stories can be found in the volume of X-Men: Graduation , reissued not long ago.
Strictly speaking, it is not that it is the best X-men comic, but it is essential to understand the success of the group. Giant Size X-men #1, as this comic was called, is a 68-page special written by Len Wein and illustrated by Dave Cockrum .
Its importance lies in the fact that after several years without being published, the X-men returned to the shelves in 1975. The key? They completely reformed the group, retiring the original components and replacing them with new members of different nationalities, giving space and publicity to foreigners and members of minorities. In this way, heroes as iconic as Colossus, Nightcrawler or Wolverine would become part of mutant mythology.
This story is currently compiled in the volume Marvel Gold – The Impossible X-Patrol 1. Second Genesis!, by Panini. This is a volume of (almost) mandatory reading for comic book fans, who want to know the modern origin of the X-men.
The Dark Phoenix Saga
Another innovative comic at the time. It is not strictly a single comic. In essence, it is a series of interconnected stories published after Second Genesis. Properly speaking, it’s all of Chris Claremont’s original run at the helm of the collection.
Hence, The Dark Phoenix Saga can be divided into two large chapters. The first, “The Phoenix Saga” ( The X-Men 101-108, 1976–1977) tells how Jean Gray becomes the mortal wielder of the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix. Thanks to this, Gray and the X-men are able to bring order to the S’hiar Empire and repair the M’Kraan crystal, which regulates reality. On the other hand, there is the “Dark Phoenix Saga” (The X-Men 129-138, 1980), which narrates the corruption and subsequent death of Jean Grey.
Days of Future Past
Another must read from the X-Men. The tale of Days of Future Past is a story told in issues 141 and 142 of the American run of Uncanny X-men . Both issues were published in 1981 and are written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne. This already, in itself, makes each delivery an object of worship.
The story revolves around a desolate future in which mutants live in concentration camps, doomed to extermination. To prevent this, Kitty Pryde travels to the past, possessing her self from then, thus warning the X-men of a terrorist attack that will trigger a Witch Hunt against mutants. As a detail, and as you well know, this plot is the basis of the X-men movie, X-men: Days of the Future Past, which is set halfway between the fatalistic future of the Sentinels and the strange years 70.
Or, also jokingly called by some, “Wolverine in Japan” . Jokes aside, this is the first solo story of Wolverine (Wolverine), the most popular mutant in the series. This story that collects the first four issues of the first independent collection of the clawed mutant and also one of his most important. The story tells of Logan’s trip to Japan.
The X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills
Re-milk-on-bicycle. One of the best graphic novels of all time, with permission from The Death of Captain Marvel . This is the first major X-Men graphic novel, proper.
It is signed by Chris Claremont and drawn by Brent Eric Anderson ( Astrocity ). In addition to being considered by experts as the story of the X-Men his best comic, it is also the material on which the film X2 (better known as X-men 2) is based. Among other values, is that of being able to be read independently, apart from the regular line of comics.
The New Mutants
We are not referring to the New Mutants movie, but to the Original Graphic Novel by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod, published in September 1982. In it, it was shown how Charles Xavier formed a new generation of teenage heroes, as future X- Menu, in case you have to replace the main group.
The Age of Apocalypse
The ’90s were guilty of many comic book horrors. This is NOT one of them and we could put our hands on fire for it. It is a perfect paradigm, which reflects how alternative versions of heroes and villains can be pushed to the limit, offering a round and (almost) perfect story.