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Comic Theme Month – Best Avengers/X-Men Story

All December long, I will be doing daily installments of Comic Theme Time. Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

Today’s topic ties in with an article I wrote for Comic Book Resources’ front page about the history of the Avengers and the X-Men’s shared stories. You can read it here. So the topic is “What is the best Avengers/X-Men story?”


Secret Wars

The X-Men went off to do things their way “because no one understands me” and ended up working alongside the Avengers against Doom, largely thanks to the sacrifice of the Wasp.

Hands down Uncanny X-Men 190-191.
Kulan Gath turns Manhattan into a Conan-esque city complete with new memories for everyone.
X-Men, Avengers, New Mutants and SpiderMan in an savage battle with some fighting for the good guys and some for the bad.

The first Avengers/X-Men crossover that saw the Avengers trying to bring Magneto before a world court tribunal to answer for his crimes and the X-Men fighting to stop them.

I also have a soft spot for Bloodties; as a kid I only had one issue, with the Avengers fighting SHIELD to get in the air to get to Genosha. It was a very dynamic scene that was a lot of fun.

Oh yeah, I second Ant’s nomination of the Kulan Gath story. That was a fun one.

I’m actually surprised at how few choices pop to mind. The first one is that Roy Thomas crossover back when they fought Magneto in the sixties (and Angel fought Red Raven).

The X-Men/Avengers mini that lost Roger Stern in the middle was disappointing. I never really read Bloodties.

I only just read Ultimate War and that was pretty fun, but other than that, I’d agree with Ant and say I liked that Kulan Gath story. Even that didn’t really have a lot of interaction between the teams (other than Vision and Colossus quite physically interacting), but at least it was a cool story

I have a soft spot for Bloodties and even friggin’ Onslaught. They were big deals at the time! I can’t speak to their actual quality…

My favorite X-Men & Avengers moment was during Onslaught. Gambit is suiting up to join the teams on a mission. He comes to the elevator and sees a bunch of Avengers and gets antsy. It was a quick scene, but it highlighted how different the two groups were in tone, mission, and membership.

Another vote for Kulan Gath, one of my favorites.

One Avengers/X-Men story that hasn’t been mentioned yet is Avengers #110-111, which features the teams battling Magneto during the period where the X-Men didn’t have their own title. There was also a minor non-crossover into the Magneto/Savage Land arc circa Uncanny X-Men #114 where The Beast temporarily returns to the X-Men to help them out; while not a full crossover, the continuity between the two books is done pretty tightly so there is some cross-referencing.

New Mutants #40, where the Avengers try to “rescue” the kids from their new headmaster, Magneto, is a cool story with great art.

I forgot about New Mutants #40. That was an excellent one and done story.

Ultimate War. The freedom alloted to the Ultimate Universe dropped any pretense of “just a misunderstanding”, because the Ultimates’ reasons for going after Xavier were somewhat justified, and the X-Men were cast as casualties of the politics behind it all. This made for a really intense battle.


Yes. New Mutants #40 is quite good. Nice art from Guice and Baker.

I’m partial to the old Roy Thomas one, when he was writing both titles. Can’t recall the issues, but gimme a minute.

There we go. Avengers 53 and X-Men 43-45.

randypan the goatboy

December 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I second the nomination of the secret wars. I would love to see Secret wars rebooted/updated for current audiences. The drawback to that is the notion that most of these characters bear any resemblance to their 1984 counterparts.

I unashamedly enjoyed House of M.

Can someone tell me what the name of this comic is… After the destruction of the world as we know it, 6 great minds are tasked with recreating society. They each create their own version of utopia with, unique social and economic rules, and each society creates a bi-product, a serial killer, unique to their individual social environment.

New Mutants #40 is definitely a candidate.

Magneto is on his way to rescue the New Mutants from the White Queen. She’s manipulated the Avengers into thinking Magneto is putting together a new Brotherhood of Mutants by brainwashing kids. Hilarity ensues (and Magneto gets his backside handed back to him something good).

My favorite is Avengers 110-111.

Okay, now I must read that Kulan Gath story, it sounds awesome.

The Kulan Gath story is awesome, and (in my opinion at least) has aged better than a lot of Claremont’s work from that era because his ideosyncratic style seems much more appropriate for faux-Conan stories than superhero stuff these days (not that I didn’t love his stuff back in the day).

And I unreservedly love Secret Wars too (though not Secret Wars II), but I never considered it an Avengers/X-Men story. That’s sort of like calling Star Wars an R2-D2/Princess Leia movie. It would almost certainly get my vote for Best Marvel Crossover Event.

I’m shocked no one has mentioned Avengers Annual #10, which is one of the best single issues Claremont ever wrote. It’s not *exactly* an Avengers/X-Men story, but the X-Men appear, the Avengers battle Rogue (her first appearance), and Claremont wrote it, so the mutant ties are all over. And the Michael Golden art is superb.

It’s one of those stories that make you recall how awesome annuals use to be, back when Marvel used them to tell great stories with dream-team creators instead of as clearing-houses for bad ideas and new talent try-outs. So many of the late 70s-mid 80s Marvel annuals were classic–There were X-Men annuals with art by George Perez, Alan Davis, Art Adams, Brent Anderson, and Bill Sienkiewicz, 2 Spider-Man Annuals with Frank Miller art, the great Jim Starlin Thanos story that ran through a few annuals, Spidey’s marriage, a great Roger Stern/John Byrne Hulk annual, the Cap/Wolverine fight with the Mike Zeck cover, etc. I would say the Evolutionary War was when they started to go down hill and become something completely different.

Another vote for Bloodties. I was always a fan of Exodus and I liked how the story showed that the Marvel Universe stays connected with the various teams.

Kulan Gath for the win. That blew my mind as a kid.

No love for Onslaught?

Only kidding. Kulan Gath for sure.

Kind of interesting (to me anyway) that Kulan Gath is a fondly-remembered X-Men/Avengers story, which is actually also an X-Men/Avengers/New Mutants/Spider-Man story, and it only happened in two issues of X-Men. I don’t even know if the events were mentioned in the other books (probably in New Mutants, since that had the same writer).

if that story happened today it would be at least 12 issues, crossing over at least 4 titles (probably more, since the characters all have multiple titles now), with a big Kulan Gath banner across the top of every cover. And I bet no one would remember it as fondly.

We got all the goodness of a crossover event for about $1.50. I miss the 80’s.

I’d forgotten about the Kulan Gath story but it would have to be that. Though I got excited about Bloodties back in the day.

I love the Kulan Gath story. Always have.

I don’t know if it counts, but I also liked the somewhat recent X-Men / Dark Avengers crossover. Cyclops confronting Osborne and then going to enact not his plan, but his back up plan because he’d already set in motion the plan for Osborne’s defeat, was a nice reminder of what a good stragetist Cyclops used to be. (Back during the early issues of Secret Wars it was Cyclops with Cap and Reed doing the planning against Doom’s forces.)


Back then Kulan Gath (I think the actual name of the story was “An Age Undreamed Of” or something, wasn’t it?) was an X-Men/Avengers/New Mutants/Spider-Man/don’t forget Dr. Strange story, but nowadays the New Mutants are X-Men and Spidey and Strange are Avengers.

One last thought about the Kulan Gath story line (and I am kinda pumped other like it as much as I do) is that Claremont used that story about a Hybornian Age sorcerer to introduce Nimrod the Sentinel of all things.

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