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In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the X-Men, we’re doing a poll of the greatest X-Men stories of all-time! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories!
We’ll do 10 this first day and then go to five each day from here on out (until we get towards the end, when it’ll probably get down to 3 a day). Here is a master list of every story featured so far.
50. The Phalanx Covenant (Generation Next: Uncanny X-Men #316-317, X-Men #36-37, Life Signs: X-Factor #106, X-Force #38 and Excalibur #82 and Final Sanction: Wolverine #85 and Cable #16)
This crossover was an interesting one in the sense that most of the X-Men spend the entire storyline captured. In the issues leading up to this storyline, the X-Men had been having problems with the techno-organic villains known as the Phalanx, who were mutant haters who decided to bond with the alien techno-organic species known as the Technarchy. In the Phalanx Covenant, the action begins with Banshee returns to the X-Mansion and discovers that the rest of the X-Men have been captured and replaced by Phalanx reproductions of the X-Men. The only people in the X-Mansion not yet replaced were two former X-Men villains who were being held in the Mansion, Emma Frost and Sabretooth. Banshee forms an alliance with the pair and they head off to save a group of young mutants who the Phalanx were targeting. Another unusual aspect of the crossover was that it was told in three non-connective parts. Generation Next saw Banshee, Emma Frost and Sabretooth try to save these new mutants. Life Signs saw X-Factor, X-Force and Excalibur (warned by Banshee) try to prevent the Phalanx from forming contact with the Technarchy through a giant Spire. Finally, Life Signs saw Cyclops, Jean Grey (who were away on their honeymoon so were not captured), Wolverine (who had recently taken time off from the X-Men, so he was also not captured) and Cable team-up to rescue the X-Men and destroy the Phalanx’s main base. This storyline introduced a bunch of new mutants who would then star in Generation X, where a new school would open up and Banshee and Emma Frost would be the co-heads of the school. The storyline was written by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Larry Hama and Todd DeZaco. It was drawn by Joe Madureira, Andy Kubert, Steve Skroce, Ken Lashley, Jan Duursema, Steve Epting, Adam Kubert, Roger Cruz, Tony Daniel and a host of inkers.
49. The Trial of Magneto” Uncanny X-Men #200
After being arrested the previous issue, Magneto stands trial in the World Court for his many crimes. The evil mutant siblings Fenris disrupt the trial and in the process, Professor X is seriously injured. Lilandra shows up to bring him into outer space to take care of him. He asks Magneto to take over as the head of the X-Men and the New Mutants (Magneto is not exactly acquitted, but after he saves everyone’s life, no one was particularly trying to stop him from leaving, ya know?). Meanwhile, Madelyne Pryor gives birth to her and Cyclops’s son. The issue was written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Romita Jr. and Dan Green.
48. “Wounded Wolf” Uncanny X-Men #205
Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Claremont collaborate on this acclaimed one-off issue where an injured Wolverine and Katie Power (from Power Pack) must evade Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers in the streets of New York City during Christmastime. Powerful stuff (especially Wolverine’s interactions with young Katie) with amazing artwork by BWS.
47. “Magik” Uncanny X-Men #160 (plus the Magik mini-series)
Colossus’ sister, Illyana Raspution, gets lured by the evil demon Belasco. The X-Men go to rescue her and encounter twisted versions of themselves. The X-Men lose Illyana for a moment and when they rescue her they are shocked to learn that seven years have passed for Illyana and that she is now the powerful mutant sorceress known as Magik! The accompanying mini-series, Magik, details her seven years with Belasco in Limbo. Chris Claremont wrote the issue and the mini-series while Brent Anderson and Bob Wiacek drew the Uncanny issue and John Buscema, Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema and Tom Palmer drew the mini-series.
46. “I, Magneto” Uncanny X-Men #150
Magneto attempts to conquer the world in this issue with the help of a powerful machine that can cause volcanic eruptions all over the world. He orders the world powers to cede control to him and he will become a benevolent dictator of the world. The Soviet Union sends a nuclear submarine after him. He destroys it and all the sailors aboard. The X-Men arrive at his island hideout. He has a power inhibitor in place leaving the X-Men powerless. Still, the X-Men aren’t just heroes because they have powers, so they still manage to interfere with Magneto’s plans even without their powers. In the process, though, Magneto thinks he has killed Kitty Pryde. This jolts him back into reality where he realizes how far he has fallen. When an irate Storm threatens to kill him over his murder of Kitty, he tells her she should do it. Storm relents and Magneto leaves the X-Men, perhaps finally put on to a path of righteousness. This issue is famous for how Chris Claremont began to redeem Magneto with this story, including the introduction of various pieces of Magneto’s backstory, such as his Holocaust background. Dave Cockrum, Joe Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek drew the issue.
Go to the next page for #45-41!
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