ⓘ Uncanny X-Men
Uncanny X-Men, originally published as The X-Men, is an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics since 1963, and is the longest-running series in the X-Men comics franchise. It features a team of superheroes called the X-Men, a group of mutants with superhuman abilities led and taught by Professor X.
The title was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, met with a lukewarm reception, and was eventually cancelled in 1970. Interest was rekindled with 1975s Giant-Size X-Men and the debut of a new, international team. Under the guidance of David Cockrum and Chris Claremont, whose 16-year stint began with August 1975s Uncanny X-Men #94, the series grew in popularity worldwide, eventually spawning a franchise with numerous spin-off "X-books", including New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, Generation X, other flagship titles like the simply titled X-Men later New X-Men & X-Men Legacy, Astonishing X-Men, All-New X-Men, Amazing X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men and X-Men Gold.
1.1. Publication history 1963–1970: Original run
Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the series launched in September 1963, introducing in its first issue the original five X-Men and their teacher, Charles Xavier/Professor X as well as their nemesis, the supervillain Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto. Although Lee would deny it, it was noticed by contemporary writer Arnold Drake, that the concept of the series emulated his own earlier series for National Periodical Publicationss, The Doom Patrol, in many respects. However, Nationals editorial staff did not support Drakes concerns.
Initially published bimonthly, it became a monthly with issue #14 November 1965. Lees run lasted 19 issues, and featured the X-Men battling villains such as Magnetos Brotherhood of Mutants which included the siblings Wanda Maximoff/the Scarlet Witch and Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver; the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to destroy all mutants, and their creator Bolivar Trask; and Cain Marko/the Juggernaut, Xaviers stepbrother transformed by a mystical gem and seeking revenge on Xavier.
The series was placed firmly in the Marvel Universe, with guest appearances by Namor MacKenzie/Namor the Sub-Mariner in #6 and the Avengers in #9. The jungle adventure hero Kevin Plunder/Ka-Zar and the Savage Land were introduced in issue #10. Roy Thomas wrote the series from #20-44 May 1966-May 1968. Thomas and artist Werner Roth created Sean Cassidy/the Banshee in #28 Jan. 1967. The X-Men #45 June 1968 featured a crossover with The Avengers #53 June 1968. After brief runs by Gary Friedrich and Arnold Drake – the latter of which introduced the new X-Men Lorna Dane/Polaris and Alex Summers/Havok, and during which the series adopted a new logo designed by Jim Steranko – Thomas returned to the series with issue #55 and was joined by artist Neal Adams the following issue for an acclaimed run of stories. After a battle with the Hulk in issue #66 March 1970, the title ceased publishing original material and featured reprints in issues #67-93 Dec. 1970-June 1975.
1.2. Publication history 1975–1991: Chris Claremont era
X-Men was relaunched in May 1975 with Giant-Size X-Men #1, by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. The title featured a new, international team consisting of Scott Summers/Cyclops United States, Sean Cassidy/Banshee Ireland, Shiro Yoshida/Sunfire Japan and James "Logan" Howlett/Wolverine Canada along with new characters Ororo Munroe/Storm Kenya, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler Germany, Piotr "Peter" Rasputin/Colossus Soviet Union/Russia and John Proudstar/Thunderbird Native American. The original plan was to continue Giant-Size X-Men as a quarterly, but instead original stories were printed in the book, again initially bimonthly.Chris Claremonts first issue as writer, #94, featured all the original X-Men leaving the team with the exception of Cyclops. Sunfire also left, having agreed to assist the X-Men on one successful mission only. Thunderbird was killed in #95. Moira MacTaggert, a human ally of the X-Men, and later to be established as a former fiancee of Xavier, debuted in #96. Marvel Girl became Phoenix in issue #101. This was followed by the first Shiar space opera story. Cockrum was replaced as penciller by John Byrne as of #108. Byrne became co-plotter, and during his run the series became a monthly title again.
The series title was changed to The Uncanny X-Men with issue #114 October 1978.
For the remainder of the decade, the X-Men fought enemies such as Stephen Lang and his Sentinels, Magneto, Banshees cousin Black Tom Cassidy and Cain Marko/the Juggernaut, the Shiar Erik the Red and the Imperial Guard, Arcade, Wolverines former colleagues, the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, and MacTaggerts son Proteus. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Claremont and Byrnes run on The X-Men second on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels".
The "Dark Phoenix Saga" in 1980 led to a change in the line-up of the team, with the death of Phoenix Jean Grey, and Cyclops leaving the team to mourn her. Comics writers and historians Roy Thomas and Peter Sanderson observed that "The Dark Phoenix Saga is to Claremont and Byrne what the Galactus Trilogy is to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It is a landmark in Marvel history, showcasing its creators work at the height of their abilities." The storyline also saw the introduction of recurring antagonists the Hellfire Club, and its Inner Circle consisting of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce, along with Mastermind, previously a member of Magnetos Brotherhood. Teenage mutant Katherine Anne "Kitty" Pryde/Shadowcat was introduced in #129 Jan. 1980 and joined the X-Men in #139. Alison Blaire/the Dazzler, a disco-singing, roller-skating mutant, was introduced in #130 Feb. 1980, but did not join the team, instead having a solo title.
A new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Mystique, was introduced in the "Days of Future Past" storyline #141-#142, Jan–Feb 1981 in which a time-travelling Katherine Anne "Kitty" Pryde/Shadowcat tried to avert a dystopian future caused by the Brotherhood assassinating Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. Byrne plotted the story wanting to depict the Sentinels as a genuine threat to the existence of the mutant race. He then left the series after #143, being replaced by a returning Cockrum, who in turn was succeeded by Paul Smith and John Romita Jr.
By the mid-1980s, The Uncanny X-Men had become one of the best-selling American comic books, turning many of the writers and illustrators into industry stars and leading to numerous spin-offs and miniseries.
Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto was gradually revealed to be more complex: #150 established that he was a survivor of the Holocaust, and in #161 it is shown that Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier had known each other before Xavier had founded the X-Men. Anna Marie LeBeau/Rogue, a member of Raven Darkholme/Mystiques Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, defected to the X-Men in #171 July 1983. Raven Darkholme/Mystiques Brotherhood of Evil Mutants changed sides and became the government-backed Freedom Force in #199. Their first action was to capture Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto, who had begun associating with the X-Men during the "Secret Wars II" crossover. Erik Magnus Lehnsherr/Magneto surrenders himself, but escapes after his trial is abandoned, he takes over the headmastership of the school after Xavier leaves for space in #200 Dec. 1985.
The Morlocks, a group of disfigured mutants living underneath New York City, were introduced in #169 May 1983. Storm became their leader in #170. She was de-powered accidentally by government forces aiming for Anna Marie LeBeau/Rogue, and met Jonathan Silvercloud/Forge, a mutant with the power of invention. After Storm left the team temporarily to return to her native Africa, Nightcrawler became field leader.
The character Rachel Summers from the future dystopia presented in "Days of Future Past" had been shown to arrive in the present day in New Mutants #18, and then made appearances in Uncanny X-Men from #184 on and was revealed to be Cyclops daughter.
Claremont attempted to write Scott Summers/Cyclops out of the series, by having him marry Madelyne Pryor in #175 Nov. 1983; she gave birth to his son in #201 Jan. 1986. The X-Factor series was launched two months later and featured the original five X-Men. This meant the resurrection of Jean Grey performed by retcon, the character appearing from #101 having never really been her, and having Scott Summers/Cyclops abandon his wife and child. Claremont strongly objected to the latter, and was hostile towards the title until Louise Simonson became writer.
Artist Arthur Adams began a long association with the team by drawing The Uncanny X-Men Annual #9 1985 and would serve as the artist on several of the Annual s in the next few years.
The end of 1986 saw the first crossover between X-Men titles, the "Mutant Massacre", which saw a large number of Morlocks killed by the Marauders, acting under orders from the mysterious Nathaniel Essex/Mister Sinister The late 1980s saw several other crossovers: 1988s "Fall of the Mutants" and 1989s "Inferno", which resolved the issue of Madelyne Pryor by revealing her to have been a clone of Jean Grey created by Sinister. The cast was shaken up, with the addition of Psylocke, the Dazzler, Longshot and Havok in early 1987, as well as the first appearances of NPR-TV reporter Manoli Wetherell in #226 1988, new teenage mutant Jubilation Lee/Jubilee in #244 1989, and Remy LeBeau/Gambit in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 1990. The X-Men left their traditional residence in Westchester County, New York, and lived variously on Alcatraz, Muir Island and in the Australian outback. The "X-Tinction Agenda" crossover, in which the X-Men, X-Factor and the New Mutants fight against the government of Genosha for mutant rights, was published in the fall of 1990.
The title became twice-monthly from 1988 to 1990 every summer, and helped to launch the careers of artists Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee. In 1991 another X-Men title was launched, titled simply X-Men ; both titles were now published monthly. Claremont wrote the first three issue of this series, in which the X-Factor and X-Men teams reunited with Professor Xavier at the school. Claremont left Marvel after disputes with Bob Harras and artist Jim Lee of X-Men. Claremonts final issue of Uncanny X-Men was #279, during the "Muir Island Saga", which is set before those events.
1.3. Publication history 1991–2011: Post-Claremont era
After Claremonts run, the X-Men were divided into two color-coded squads, with a Blue team headlining the adjectiveless X-Men title, while the Gold team, consisting of Warren Worthington III/Archangel, Pitor "Peter" Rasputin/Colossus, Jean Grey, Robert "Bobby" Drake/the Iceman and Ororo Munroe/Storm, appeared in Uncanny. This roster was later joined by Lucas Bishop, another refugee from the future. After Claremonts departure, Jim Lee continued as plotter, while John Byrne scripted from #281-286. Byrne was replaced as scripter from #287 by Scott Lobdell, who was fully credited as writer from #289. The "X-Cutioners Song" crossover was released in the fall of 1992 and resulted in the outbreak of the Legacy virus, a mutant-specific plague which continued as a story element in X-Men comics until 2001.
Crossovers continued through the 1990s. The "Fatal Attractions" crossover of 1993 saw the X-Men battle Magneto again, and the "Phalanx Covenant" story of 1994 focused mostly on the techno-organic Phalanx. Uncanny X-Men briefly ceased publication during the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline in 1995, which dealt with an alternative present created by a time-travelling assassin killing Xavier; it was replaced by Astonishing X-Men. Lobdell was writing X-Men as well from 1995.
Lobdell was replaced by Steven T. Seagle with issue #350 Dec. 1997. He was replaced in turn with Alan Davis, as plotter, from issue #366 Mar. 1999 to #380. Daviss run included "the Twelve" crossover from #370-#375, in which Apocalypse sought the only 12 mutants, which also ran in his X-Men title, again being treated as a biweekly publication. As part of the Revolution relaunch, Chris Claremont made a brief return from #381 June 2000 to #389, at which point he transferred to the new X-Treme X-Men title, as Grant Morrison took over X-Men vol. 2 and that became the flagship X-Men title. From 2001, Lobdell made a short return, and then Joe Casey and Chuck Austen wrote runs into 2004. The title became bimonthly from 2003 to 2004.
The X-Men: Reload reshuffle of titles in 2004 led to Claremont returning to Uncanny with issue #444. The stories addressed the new status quo established by Morrison. Claremont remained until #473. His final story was "End of the Greys" in 2006, as part of the "Decimation" storyline, where the vast majority of mutants had lost their powers. He was replaced by Ed Brubaker, who wrote a 12-part epic space opera story "The Rise and Fall of the Shiar Empire", as a follow-up to his miniseries X-Men: Deadly Genesis. After this, the title led into the "Messiah Complex" crossover event, dealing with the first mutant birth since the Decimation.
Matt Fraction became co-author from #500, and sole author from #504. The entire X-Men team relocated to San Francisco – first to the city, and then, after the "Utopia" crossover with Dark Avengers, to an island named Utopia in San Francisco Bay. The Nation X storyline focused on the return of the re-powered Magneto, and him coming to Utopia. The Second Coming crossover saw the return of Hope Summers, the baby from the "Messiah Complex" arc, to the present day, as a young adult; and the emergence of the "Five Lights", the first new mutants to have arisen apart from Hope since the Decimation. Nightcrawler was killed during this storyline and the Beast left in protest after his discovery of Cyclops secret death squad X-Force.
Kieron Gillen took over co-authorship of the series with #531, and became sole writer from #534.1.
1.4. Publication history 2011–2012: Volume 2
The original series ended with #544 and relaunched as a new volume after the events of the X-Men: Schism miniseries, wherein half the X-Men, led by Wolverine, returned to New York, to found a new school. The new volume featured the Extinction Team, containing members of the X-Men whom Cyclops had retained to deal with potential threats to the mutant races survival. Gillens run led into, and crossed over with, the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline and finished with issue #20 in October 2012. The volume ended with Cyclops, who had become increasingly hardline during Gillens run, in prison for his actions during that storyline. Gillen wrote a five-part epilogue, AvX: Consequences.
1.5. Publication history 2013–2015: Volume 3
As part of Marvel NOW!, a new volume of Uncanny X-Men was launched in February 2013 with an April 2013 cover date, written by Brian Michael Bendis, who is also writing another X-Men title, All-New X-Men, and drawn by Chris Bachalo. It features Cyclops and remnants of his Extinction Team recruiting new mutants to help them prepare for what Cyclops believes to be an inevitable revolution, coinciding events of the first All-New X-Men story arc. This volume saw Cyclops leading his team to an abandoned Weapon X facility to train new recruits and prepare for impending war against the humans, who see Cyclops as a terrorist due to his actions in Avengers Vs. X-Men. Eventually, Kitty Pryde and the time-displaced X-Men join his cause after facing a team of X-Men from a dystopian future. It lasted 36 issues, with the final issue reverting to the legacy numbering of Uncanny X-Men #600.
1.6. Publication history 2015–2016: Volume 4
As part of All-New, All-Different Marvel, Uncanny X-Men was relaunched, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Greg Land. The relaunched Uncanny X-Men team features Magneto leading Psylocke, the Archangel, M, Mystique, Fantomex and Sabretooth, while a different team led by Storm will be called the Extraordinary X-Men. Cyclopss fate after Battleworld is shown to us in the Death of X miniseries Cyclops was exposed to the Terrigen Mist and died from M-Pox.
The tagline for the relaunched series is "Bigger threats require more threatening X-Men", and is considered to be a continuation of Bunns previous work on the Magneto solo series. The series will deal with threats that arise as a result of a new, more dangerous world post- Secret Wars. Summing up the team, Bunn states "Theyre upholding Xaviers dream, but they have no right to do so.".
1.7. Publication history 2018–2019: Volume 5
Announced in August 2018, Uncanny X-Men vol. 5 debuted November 14, 2018, with the weekly 10-part "X-Men: Disassembled" arc and follows on from the events of the Extermination miniseries. This incarnation of the team features Lucas Bishop, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Ororo Munroe/Storm, Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock/Psylocke, Jean-Paul Beaubier/Northstar, Robert "Bobby" Drake/the Iceman, Hank McCoy/the Beast, Laura Kinney/X-23, Lorna Dane/Polaris, Jubilation Lee/Jubilee, Katherine Anne "Kitty" Pryde/Shadowcat and Sam Guthrie/Cannonball as well as trainee X-Men Hisako Ichiki/Armor, Victor Borkowski/Anole, Megan Gwynn/Pixie, Idie Okonkwo/Oya, Robert Herman/the Glob, Santo Vaccarro/Rockslide. Following the 10th issue, the series began focusing on a new team of X-Men featuring Scott Summers/Cyclops, James "Logan" Howlett/Wolverine, Alex Summers/Havok, Jamie Madrox/the Multiple Man, Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Danielle Moonstar/Mirage, Xian Coy Minh/Karma. After this volume, all X-Men titles were cancelled and two intertwining six-issue miniseries written by Jonathan Hickman, called "House of X" and "Powers of X", began a weekly run in July 2019 and concluded on October of the same year. Just after those, the X-Men series relaunched, with X-Men #1, accompanied by the other related teams regular series, such as Marauders, X-Force, Excalibur, New Mutants, X-Corp, Wolverine, X-Men: Giant Size, and reviving 1987s Fallen Angels ; all part of the 2019 story arc "Dawn of X", which searches to unite all mutantdom and settle down as a whole species.
2. Annual s
Like many comic book series, Uncanny X-Men had an associated double-sized Annual series, once in both 1970 and 1971, then regularly from 1979 to 2001. A second series of Uncanny X-Men Annual s began in 2006 as volume 2 issue #1.
3.1. Team roster TimelineNotes
This is an article about the comic book, and thus the publication history, not the in-continuity history. As such, the above reflects the team roster for the book at time of publication. Similarly, this article only reflects the team roster for the X-Men team whose home is this publication.
Professor X is the Headmaster of Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters and mentor to the X-Men, but he is rarely if ever a member of the X-Men team. In his role as mentor, he has typically been present in the book, but he has notable absences, including issues #43–64 dead, later retconned as preparing for the ZNox, #200–273 with Lilandra Neramani in Shiar space; replaced as Headmaster by Magneto during most of this absence, #340–351 in government custody after the Onslaught crisis, #379–386 educating Cadre K in space, and #495–513 rebuilding his mind in X-Men: Legacy.
Jean Grey was replaced by the Phoenix Force from issues #101-137. This was a retcon that was only revealed years later.
At many times, the team roster has been the same as that appearing in X-Men vol. 2 and during two periods, the two books have even been treated by their writer as a single bi-weekly title issues #289–350 by Scott Lobdell and issues #366–380 by Alan Davis.
During issues #370–372, Wolverine was replaced by a Skrull infiltrator, leading to "The Shattering"/"The Twelve" storylines, and the Astonishing X-Men vol. 2 limited series.
After moving to San Francisco, many other mutants continually appear as background characters or allies, but apart from during crossovers they are rarely considered part of the team roster.
After the series was relaunched as Uncanny X-Men #1, it featured Cyclopss "Extinction Team", composed of himself, Emma Frost, Namor, Magneto, Storm, Hope Summers, Colossus, Danger and Magik; Psylocke was briefly a member of this team while Emma was injured.
Until 2011, Uncanny X-Men remained Marvel Comics only Silver Age title to retain its consecutive issue numbering since its conception, even during the early 1970s reprint hiatus. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four and other legacy titles have all, at one time or another, restarted their numbering at #1, though all later returned to their original numbering. The final issue to be published under the original numbering was #544, published in October 2011 with a December 2011 cover date, which was followed by a new #1 the following month. In 2015, Marvel released Uncanny X-Men #600, following Vol. 3 #35, as a conclusion to the Brian Michael Bendis run on both All New X-Men and Vol. 3.
From issue #1-93 the indicia title was The X-Men. After the relaunch with issue #94, and up to #138, the article The was dropped from the indicia title, making it X-Men, but the article was added back in issues #139-141.
The title The Uncanny X-Men was first used in the issue #95 title block following the "Stan Lee Presents:" tagline, though the title did not appear on the covers or indicia titles yet. Covers begin displaying this title in #114. Beginning with issue #142and up to #407, the indicia title was finally changed to The Uncanny X-Men. Issue #408 was the first to use the indicia title Uncanny X-Men.
A separate series, titled simply X-Men, launched with an October 1991 cover date.