New Reader Guide: X-Men
Welcome to the Austin Books & Comics New Reader Guide! We’re here to introduce some of our favorite books that you may not already know about, and maybe even help you find your next favorite comic series!
Homo superior: children of the atom, people of tomorrow, hated and feared. Since 1963, the X-Men have been among Marvel’s most popular heroes. Often mirroring issues such as racism and the struggles of adolescence, but also including adventures into space, mystical realms, and alternate timelines, the X-Men have a rich history with a broad array of characters and styles.
In this guide you’ll find a collection of both classic and modern X-Men titles.
All titles are available at the store, and if not we will be happy to special order them for you!
The X-Men (1963)
Where it all began, the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby run that introduced the world to the strangest superheroes of them all! Lead by Professor Charles Xavier, the team of teen mutants Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman fight against Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants while they struggle to be accepted by the world at large.
Uncanny X-Men (1975)
After several years of sagging sales and reprints of old stories, the X-Men franchise saw a huge rebirth in 1975 with the release of Giant-Size X-Men #1, which featured an all-new team that included now-legendary characters Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, and the most famous X-Man of them all, Wolverine.
The Dark Phoenix Saga (1976)
Following a mission from space, Jean Grey is exposed to what appears to be a deadly burst of solar radiation, giving her immense, godlike powers. She quickly becomes unstable, destroying numerous stars and systems while under the influence of the Phoenix Force. The X-Men, Shi’ar, and other factions in the Marvel universe fight over how to control the seemingly-unstoppable Dark Phoenix in one of the greatest epics in X-Men history.
Days of Future Past (1981)
One of the most famous X-Men stories of all time, Days of Future Past depicted a dystopian future where the mutants have been rounded up into internment camps. An older Kitty Pryde transfers her mind back in time to her younger self in the present in order to prevent the fatal moment that causes the mass anti-mutant hysteria.
God Loves, Man Kills (1982)
After years of being bitter enemies with Professor X and the X-Men, Magneto must ally himself with them following the murder of two mutant children by the henchman of William Stryker, a fire-and-brimstone preacher hell-bent on exterminating all mutantkind.
Things get supernatural as Mr. Sinister’s Marauders attack the X-Men while a horde of N’astirh’s demons prey upon the helpless, horrified populace of New York City. And when Madelyne Pryor, wife of Cyclops, becomes the Goblin Queen… all Hell breaks loose.
The run that launched the X-Men into the top of the sales charts and made them a household name. Featuring the team of Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Psylocke, Rogue, and Jean Grey, and written by iconic X-Men writer Chris Claremont with art by the legendary Jim Lee, this is one of the most defining if not THE defining X-Men runs.
Age of Apocalypse (1995)
Another one of the most famous X-Men stories, the Age of Apocalypse was a line-wide event in which Professor X’s insane son Legion comes from the future to kill Magneto in order to prevent catastrophic events. Instead, he accidentally kills Professor X, creating an alternate timeline where the world has been conquered by Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen, and Magneto leads his own X-Men in Xavier’s memory against Apocalypse.
New X-Men (2001, Grant Morrison)
The run that modernized the X-Men franchise and heavily influenced the early films, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men brought new life to a franchise that had become creatively stagnant. Repurposing the X-Men as a more proactive peacekeeping force for mutant rights, but also dealing with threats from within the mutant community. Notable for introducing many popular character and plotlines including Kid Omega and the return to the Genosha wasteland.
Number of volumes: 7
Astonishing X-Men (2004)
Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of “astonishing” the world. Featuring plot elements such as a mutant cure, an apocalyptic prophecy around one of the X-Men, and the Danger Room coming to life, this run was incredibly accessible (not least from Joss Whedon’s deft writing) and gorgeously illustrated by John Cassaday, this is a perfect entry point for new X-Men fans.
Number of volumes: 11
X-Men: Messiah CompleX (2007)
Hope, the first mutant born since “No More Mutants” at the end of House of M has arrived, but will she bring salvation or destruction to the X-Men and all mutankind?
Uncanny X-Men (2009, Matt Fraction)
The X-Men head west, founding a new home for all mutants in San Francisco! But they soon find themselves tangling with Magneto, Sentinels, and the all-new Hellfire Cult! Then, heartsick over losing Kitty Pryde, Colossus looks for something to stop his pain… and finds a nightmare from his past! Plus, Angel and the Beast gather the most unique minds on Earth to jump-start the mutant race, even as Emma Frost forges a dark alliance. Finally, who are the Sisterhood? How can they be led by Cyclops’ late wife Madelyne Pryor – and why is Psylocke on their side?!
Number of volumes: 2 (complete collections)
X-Men: Second Coming (2010)
What started in HOUSE OF M with the Decimation of mutantkind and erupted with the first new mutant birth in MESSIAH COMPLEX finishes here. In the epic crossover SECOND COMING, Cyclops’ faith pays off when Cable returns to the present with Hope, the girl he believes to be the mutant messiah. But will she be the savior or destroyer of mutantkind? We may never know, as she is the target of an initiative for mutant eradication unlike anything the X-Men have ever experienced. Many will be wounded. Several will die. Is Hope worth it?
When a suicide bomber strikes in downtown San Francisco, it gets the X-Men’s immediate attention. But this is not your garden variety terrorist, and he’s not acting alone. Vampires from around the globe are descending en masse on the City by the Bay, staking a brutal claim for the patch of land the X-Men call their home. What is their agenda? Who is their mysterious leader? The X-Men are about to find out, as they brace themselves for a war of the species that will wreck the Marvel Universe.
Number of volumes: 8
X-Men: Schism (2011)
The world refuses to trust mutantkind and after a mutant-triggered international incident, anti-mutant hatred hits new heights. Of course it’s at this moment, when the mutant race most needs to stand together, that a split begins that will tear apart the very foundation of the X-Men. Pitting Cyclops vs. Wolverine, this miniseries
Uncanny X-Men (2011, Kieron Gillen)
Earth’s mightiest mutants! In the wake of Schism, Cyclops leads a team of X-Men whose express purpose is to deal with extinction-level events. Meet the X-Men’s ‘Extinction Team’: Storm, Emma Frost, Magneto, Namor, Colossus, Danger, Magik and Hope. And not a moment too soon as Mr. Sinsiter returns!
Number of volumes: 4
All-New X-Men (2012, Brian Michael Bendis)
It’s a blast from the past as the original 5 students of Professor X — Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel and Beast — are plucked from the past and brought to the present. But they find their future and the state of Xavier’s dream is far from what they dreamed of. And how will the X-Men of the present day react to these original X-Men?
Number of volumes: 7
X-Men (2013, Brian Wood)
Featuring an all-women team, an old enemy shows up at the X-Men’s door, seeking asylum from an ancient evil come back to earth. Meanwhile, Jubilee has come home, and she’s brought with her an orphaned baby who might hold the key to the earth’s survival…or its destruction. Against a backdrop of what seems like an alien invasion and an eons-spanning war between brother and sister, Storm steps up and puts together a team to protect the child and stop a new threat that could destroy all life on earth!
Number of volumes: 5
X-Men: Battle of the Atom (2013)
The X-Men’s past, present and future collide in this 50th-anniversary event! Something horrible happens to the past versions of the X-Men that shakes spacetime to its core — and more X-Men arrive from the future with a message: The original five must return home! But when young Cyclops and Marvel Girl run away to stay in the present, the hunt is on! And where does the modern-day Cyclops’ revolutionary faction fit in? Things get even more complicated when mysterious foes attack the Jean Grey School, and the healing-impaired Wolverine takes a mortal hit! With spacetime up for grabs, the surprise ending will change everything as the X-Men’s footing in the world is drastically altered!
Amazing X-Men (2013, Jason Aaron)
Ever since Nightcrawler’s death, the X-Men have been without their heart and soul. But after learning that their friend may not be gone after all, it’s up to Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Northstar and Firestar to find and bring back the fan-favorite fuzzy blue elf! But when the team finds themselves separated and split between heaven and hell, can they get to Nightcrawler’s soul before his father, the evil Azazel, does? Pushed over the edge, the Beast gives into his savage side like never before, as Nightcrawler rallies the X-Men to take on Azazel and his hellish hordes! Can the X-Men save the afterlife, or must one of the team make the ultimate sacrifice?
Number of volumes: 3
Uncanny X-Men (2013, Brian Michael Bendis)
In the wake of the Phoenix event, the world has changed and is torn on exactly what Cyclops and his team of outlaw X-Men are — visionary revolutionaries or dangerous terrorists? Whatever the truth, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, and Magik are out in the world gathering new mutants and redefining the name Uncanny X-Men.
Number of volumes: 6
All-New X-Men (2015, Brian Michael Bendis)
More than ever, hatred and fear have made the world a dangerous place for mutants. But as the few remaining X-Men retreat into seclusion, a handful of mutant teenagers refuse to allow their destiny to be decided for them! And no one is more concerned about their fate than Scott Summers, whose young shoulders must bear the heavy weight of the terrible acts committed by his adult counterpart. Cyclops is joined by three of his time-torn teammates — Beast, Iceman and Angel — as well as the All-New Wolverine, Kid Apocalypse and Oya. Together, they’re heading out on the highway, looking for adventure, intent on writing their own futures! But when they encounter the baleful Blob, their road trip may end before it begins!
Number of volumes: 2
Extraordinary X-Men (2015, Jeff Lemire)
With the fate of mutantkind in the balance, it’s an All-New, All-Different beginning for the X-Men! Staring down a threat to her race like nothing seen before, Storm pulls together the group she’ll need to ensure mutants’ survival — including Iceman, Jean Grey, Colossus and Magik! But can Storm and Iceman protect the last remaining mutants from a demonic attack? As a new child of the atom discovers her terrifying power, an old foe compounds the horror: Mister Sinister will bring the team face-to-face with their greatest fear. But can anyone be ready for the very first meeting of Old Man Logan and young Jean Grey? Bring all the hate and fear you want, they will fight to their last breath to survive the experience. They’re the X-Men, they’re facing down extinction, and they will be Extraordinary!
Number of volumes: 2
X-Men ’92 (2015, Chad Bowers & Chris Sims)
The X-Men of a more extreme decade are back in highly animated adventures! With Cassandra Nova defeated, all the young mutants she’d rounded up are being welcomed into the officially reopened Xavier School for Gifted Children. But a crowded class schedule still allows plenty of time for extracurricular antics! Especially when Omega Red shows up with the (Formerly) Soviet Super-Soldiers! But for every ending, there must be a beginning: Prepare for the terror of Alpha Red! Plus: The machinations of the Fenris Twins, the danger of the Darkhold and…Dracula?! And, in a very special celebration of one of comics’ greatest love stories, Scott Summers and Jean Grey share a romantic getaway to remember! Start humming the theme song and dive back in to the world of X-MEN ’92 — it’s totally Nineties, but so now!
Number of volumes: 2
Uncanny X-Men (2016, Cullen Bunn)
In a world that’s never hated or feared mutants more, there is only one constant: bigger threats require more threatening X-Men. Refusing to accept one more mutant death, the most ruthless mutants on Earth have banded together to proactively mow down their enemies. But with a team populated by relentless killers, one question applies above all others: can they stay away from each other’s throats long enough to sever their targets?
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