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My 10 Favorite X-Men Storylines From The Comics

Before Brian Michael Bendis showed me the awesomeness of his New Avengers lineup in 2004, my ride-or-die Marvel team was The X-Men. I’d been an avid reader of their comics since I rediscovered them in the mid-90s. Other team books didn’t have the outrageous plotlines and inner-team soap opera drama. And their rogues gallery was second to none. Recently, with the state of comics not being in a great place, I’ve been going back and revisiting a lot of X-Men comics and am amazed that the stories still have a great impact… even on my 2nd and 3rd read-thoughts. Want to know what I’m talking about? Here’s the shortlist of my favorite X-Men storylines from the past (and it has nothing to do with the Krakoan Era):

Age of Apocalypse

Okay, picture this: You’ve got Legion, this insanely powerful mutant with a boatload of psychological issues, right? So, he decides to do the unthinkable and travels back in time to off Magneto, thinking he’s preventing all these atrocities. But, oops, he accidentally takes out Professor X instead! And that’s where the rollercoaster begins. Now, with Professor X out of the picture, the whole mutant world gets turned on its head. Apocalypse, the big bad, sees this as his cue to step in early and start his whole “mutants rule, humans drool” spiel. Talk about a nightmare scenario!

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. You’ve got Magneto leading the charge against Apocalypse, which is wild because he’s usually the one causing chaos. The mutant resistance bands together, but it’s an uphill battle. Apocalypse is no joke. Then comes the twist: a glimmer of hope in the form of Bishop, sent back in time to fix the mess Legion made. It’s like the ultimate do-over. Can they save Professor X and set things right? It’s a nail-biter, let me tell you.

For fans, it’s like a dream come true meets a nightmare. You’ve got all your favorite mutants, epic battles, and time-travel shenanigans. It’s the kind of stuff that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.


Yesterday’s X-Men

Imagine the excitement when Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and Beast, the OG X-Men, get plucked out of their timeline and plopped right into the present! Talk about a mind-bending trip. But hold onto your hats, because what they find ain’t pretty. Instead of the bright future they always fought for, they’re greeted with a dystopian mess. Xavier’s dream? Yeah, it’s more like a nightmare. Can you imagine the shock on their faces when they see what their future selves have become? It’s a gut punch. And then there’s the present-day X-Men, who are already knee-deep in their own drama. Suddenly, their past selves show up, and it’s not exactly a happy family reunion. There’s tension, there’s conflict, and you just know things are about to explode.

Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen take us on a wild ride as these two generations clash. You’ve got the young, hopeful heroes facing the harsh reality of their future, and the older, jaded X-Men dealing with ghosts from their past. It’s drama, it’s action, it’s everything you love about the X-Men, dialed up to eleven. And trust me, when one of the X-Men gets forever changed, you’ll be flipping pages faster than Quicksilver on a caffeine high.


Mutant Genesis

Magneto’s up to his old tricks again, but this time he’s got a whole new army at his beck and call. And if that wasn’t enough, the Hand decides to stir the pot by bringing back some ancient enemies just for kicks. But fear not, because our beloved X-Men are on the case! From battling it out on Asteroid M to uncovering the dark secrets of Weapon X, they’re leaving no stone unturned in their quest to save the day.

But here’s the twist: it seems like everywhere they go, someone’s getting brainwashed! I mean, seriously, can’t a mutant catch a break? Mysteries from Wolverine’s past start cropping up left and right, and we even get a glimpse of Team X in action for the first time ever in a flashback! And let’s not forget about the Acolytes, those loyal followers of Magneto, and the ninjas thrown into the mix just to keep things interesting. It’s a whirlwind of action, intrigue, and pulse-pounding excitement that’ll have you flipping pages faster than Quicksilver on a caffeine binge.


House of M

When the Scarlet Witch decides to play with reality, she turns everything upside down, leaving the Avengers and X-Men in a world that’s completely unrecognizable. Magneto, the master of magnetism, leads mutantkind to glory. It’s a total game-changer! Suddenly, mutants are at the top of the food chain, and the whole dynamic of the Marvel Universe is flipped on its head.

But wait, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of Wolverine. As the only one who remembers how things used to be, he’s faced with a monumental decision: should he try to set things right? It’s a moral dilemma that cuts to the core of who he is.


House of X/Powers of X

Jonathan Hickman turns the X-Men world upside down! He takes the floundering mutant corner of the Marvel 616 and puts the spotlight back on mutants, their power, and the fear and apprehension from the rest of the world, by running two stories in parallel that recon the mutant past, to restructure the present and let us see the tragic future for mutants.

First up, “House of X” drops the bombshell of all bombshells: Charles Xavier unveils his master plan for mutantkind, and it’s a game-changer. Say goodbye to lurking in humanity’s shadow – Xavier’s got a plan to thrust mutants into the spotlight like never before. It’s bold, it’s daring, and it’s everything fans have been dreaming of. But that’s just the beginning. In “Powers of X,” Hickman delves deep into mutantkind’s secret history, rewriting the entire X-Men mythos in ways you never saw coming. Suddenly, every X-Men story you’ve ever known is flipped on its head, and you’ll never look at mutants the same way again.

And just when you think you’ve caught your breath, Hickman throws us headfirst into a future fraught with danger and uncertainty for our beloved mutants. As Xavier plants the seeds of the past, the X-Men’s future becomes a tangled web of intrigue and peril that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.



The Dark Phoenix Saga

Our beloved telepathic powerhouse, Jean Grey, has reached unprecedented levels of power, and spiraled out of control, corrupting her in ways we never thought possible. She’s teetering on the edge of absolute darkness, and the fate of the entire universe hangs in the balance. Now, the X-Men are faced with an impossible choice: do they risk everything to save Jean, or do they sacrifice her for the greater good of existence itself?

It’s a gut-wrenching dilemma that’ll have fans biting their nails and holding their breath until the very end. Can the X-Men find a way to save Jean from herself, or will they be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good? The X-Men grapple with the weight of their decisions and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance.



The X-Men are facing a whole new level of danger! Just when they thought they had a moment to catch their breath, old threats rear their ugly heads once again, and this time, they’re packing an even bigger punch. They didn’t have enough on their plate already, now they’ve got to deal with brand-new, even deadlier threats emerging from the shadows.

Cyclops knows he needs to take drastic measures. That’s where Rogue steps in, tasked with assembling her own team of first responders to tackle these threats head-on. And let me tell you, she’s not messing around. Her team is a force to be reckoned with, featuring heavy hitters like Cable, the master of time travel; Mystique, the shape-shifting queen of deception; Lady Mastermind, who can warp reality with her illusions; Omega Sentinel, the ultimate sentinel-fighting machine, and even Sabretooth, the wild card of the group.

Mike Carey’s run isn’t talked about a lot. To be honest, it’s a flip in the X-Men timeline, being the precursor, leading right up to Messiah CompleX, which tears this team apart. But for a brief moment, this overpowered mutant squad shows what the X-Men can do when the gloves are off and they hold nothing back.



Days of Future Past

“Days of Future Past” is arguably the best X-Men storyline of all time. It’s only a 2-issue arc, but the ramifications can still be felt in current stories today. The story opens with a grim glimpse into a dystopian future where mutants are hunted to the brink of extinction by the relentless Sentinels, monstrous machines designed to detect and eliminate mutant-kind. It’s a bleak and terrifying vision of what could be, and it sets the stage for an unforgettable journey through time.

What makes “Days of Future Past” truly special is its masterful blend of heart-pounding action and poignant character moments. From the desperate struggle for survival in the future to the high-stakes mission to alter the course of history in the past, every page is filled with tension and drama. The cast of characters is as diverse and compelling as ever, with fan favorites like Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, and the formidable duo of Charles Xavier and Magneto taking center stage. Seeing these beloved characters confront their demons and make impossible choices adds layers of depth and emotion to an already gripping narrative.

The artwork in “Days of Future Past” is nothing short of breathtaking, with stunningly detailed illustrations that bring the story to life in vivid color. From the towering Sentinels to the bustling streets of 1980s New York City, each panel is a work of art that immerses readers in the world of the X-Men.

Overall, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a must-read for any fan of the mutant superhero team. Its timeless themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the enduring power of hope resonate just as strongly today as they did when the story was first penned. It’s a true masterpiece of the comic book medium and a shining example of why the X-Men continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of fans around the world.


Messiah Complex/Messiah War/Second Coming

Tensions run high as a mutant activation in Alaska sets off a chain of events that will forever alter the course of the team’s history. As Cyclops and a team of X-Men investigate the scene, they uncover a bloody battle between two deadly factions: the Purifiers and the Marauders. The X-Men find themselves caught in the crossfire of a conflict that threatens innocent lives, including that of a newborn mutant baby – the catalyst for the brutal showdown. Add to that, Cyclops makes a bold move to seize control of the X-Men from Professor X, forcing the team to confront difficult questions about leadership, loyalty, and the greater good.

But perhaps the most chilling moment comes when the mutant-hunting Predator X, signals imminent danger for the newborn mutant. Fearing for the child’s safety, Cable kidnaps her and escapes into the timestream, in hopes of raising her and training her to one day become the mutant messiah she was prophesized to be. Running parallel to all this, Bishop recognizes that the child might be the catalyst that brings the mutant apocalypse to the timeline he came from, so he goes after Cable to ‘eliminate’ the child, and keep her from ending the world.

Labeled The Hope Trilogy (along with Messiah War, and Second Coming), it’s a thrilling rollercoaster ride from start to finish, packed with pulse-pounding action, jaw-dropping twists, and gut-wrenching emotion. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the X-Men franchise and a must-read for fans craving an adrenaline-fueled adventure that pushes the boundaries of the superhero genre.


X-cutioner’s Song

When Cyclops and Phoenix are abducted, and Professor X appears to fall victim to an assassination orchestrated by Cable, the mutant world is thrown into chaos. As the X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force find themselves at odds with each other, tensions reach a boiling point, leading to epic battles that rage across the globe.

As the mastermind behind the plot, Mister Sinister’s sinister plan unfolds, long-held secrets are brought to light, including shocking revelations about the true identities of Cable and his enigmatic doppelgänger, Stryfe. It’s a masterclass in storytelling that keeps readers guessing until the very end.

This is a must-read for any fan of the X-Men franchise. It’s what made me a diehard X-Men fan, showing the scope of storytelling that had come to comics. It’s a gripping tale of betrayal, redemption, and the bonds of family, with twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very end. So strap in and prepare for a wild ride – you won’t want to miss a single moment of this unforgettable storyline.