50 Greatest X-Men Stories: 40-36
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 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. Here are #40-36.
40. “Professor Xavier is a Jerk!” Uncanny X-Men #168
In this issue, Chris Claremont, Paul Smith and Bob Wiacek come to terms with the fact that while the X-Men were in outer space for a time (and thought to be dead by the world, including Professor X), Professor X had decided to restart the school with a group of new mutants all Kitty’s age. Naturally, then, Xavier believes that Kitty’s place is with these New Mutants. Can Kitty plead her case to Xavier that she should be allowed to remain with the older X-Men? Obviously yes, but it is the HOW that she does it that is so impressive!
39. “House of M” House of M #1-8
This Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales crossover mini-series dramatically changed the X-Men landscape for years. The X-Men and the Avengers got together to debate what they were going to do with Scarlet Witch, who was taken by Magneto after the tragic events of Avengers Disassembled. The two teams figured that they might have no other recourse but to kill Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver freaked out and ran to Scarlet Witch and convinced her to use her powers to alter the universe and make mutants the ruling class in the world and Magneto essentially the king of the world. Wolverine, now the head of SHIELD in this new universe, regains his memories of the “real” world. He then must put together a team to return the world to its original state. However, in the final battle, Scarlet Witch ends things by deciding (in her emotionally and pyschologically screwed up state) that mutants themselves were the problems. She casts a reality-altering spell and suddenly her phrase “No More Mutants” reduced the mutant population from millions to less than a thousand (the thousand were saved by Doctor Strange luckily being on the scene when she made her move). This decimation of the mutant population obviously changed the X-titles for years to come.
38. “Earthfall” Uncanny X-Men #232-234
In this storyline by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green, the Brood bring their evil selves to Earth for the first time and the X-Men have to deal with their menace. The problem is that the Brood are taking over humans and you can’t tell that they are Brood right away. Not only that, but once they began taking over humans they decided to target mutants as well so the X-Men now have to battle against Brood-possessed superhumans! It is not a good scene for the X-Men. Especially when they realize that the only way to defeat the Brood attack is to kill the innocent possessed humans.
37. “From the Ashes” Uncanny X-Men #174-175
I don’t know what else to call this two-part story where Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor plan their wedding (“Romances” and “Phoenix” were the titles of the original issues and neither seems to work – so I went with the name of the trade paperback that collected this story), only to see Mastermind trick the X-Men into believing that Cyclops and then Maddy are actually a resurrected Phoenix! Cyclops then must take on the entire X-Men team to defend his fiancee! The storyline ends with the marriage of Scott and Maddy and Scott seemingly riding off into the sunset for his happy ending. This storyline, written by Chris Claremont, saw the departure of Paul Smith and the addition of John Romita Jr. to the X-Men art team. Bob Wiacek inked the whole thing.
36. “He’ll Never Make Me Cry” Uncanny X-Men #183
Colossus returned from Secret Wars a changed man and he breaks off his relationship with Kitty Pryde. He is also surprised when Kitty Pryde did not agree with him that it is not cheating if it happens on an alien world. Wolverine and Nightcrawler are surprised by Colossus’ callousness towards his teammate, so they arrange it so that Juggernaut beats the heck out of Colossus without them helping him in the fight to teach him a lesson about what it feels like to be let down by your friends. It is a really well-done, character-driven issue by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green.